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Friday, August 10, 2018

Saint August 11 : St. Philomena - Patroness of Youth - #StPhilomena #FeastDay



On August 10, 1835, Pauline received a miraculous cure of a severe heart ailment at Saint Philomena’s shrine in Mugnano del Cardinale, Italy, during the Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. Immediately following, she appealed to Pope Gregory XVI to begin an examination for the beatification of "Filumena," daughter of light. And on Jan. 13, 1837, Pope Gregory XVI named St. Philomena Patroness of the Living Rosary, and declared her to be the "Thaumaturga," the "Great Wonder-Worker of the nineteenth century." In a solemn decree, he raised her to the altar of the Church, granting her a special feast day (August 11) and a Mass in her honor.
The name Philomena (fee-lo-MAY-nah) is of Latin origin. The inscription on the original loculus tiles, is Filumena. The word filia is Latin for daughter. The word, lumena, is Latin for, light, lamp, lantern; light of day; the eye; clearness; understanding. 
Pauline promoted Saint Philomena as the Supporter of Missionary Priests. Upon her return to France from Mugnano, she was eager to recount the story of her miraculous cure with her dear friend, the Venerable Cure of Ars, St. John Vianney , and offered him part of the precious relics she brought from the Sanctuary. Immediately, an incredible bond and well-known devotion formed between this holy priest and his "Dear Little Saint."

St. Philomena

Virgin, Martyr and Wonder Worker

The very name of Philomena contains the words: filia luminis, daughter of light. She is the enlightener of a dark and corrupt age confounding the sneers of materialism. She is the Patroness of the Children of Mary. Her mission today is to draw us to the Immaculate Heart of Mary through imitation of her heroic virtues of purity, obedience and humility. Saint Philomena is an anchor of HOPE in this dark age of despair.


The Story of St. Philomena

It is said that Saint Philomena revealed Her story to three people who did not know one another and who resided in different parts of the world. These private revelations unveiled the story of Saint Philomena’s life in great detail and were amazingly identical accounts.
"Filomena" [Ital.] "Philomène" [Fr.] "Philomena" [Eng.]
One of the most well-known recipients of this revelation was the Foundress of the Oblates of Our Lady of Sorrows, Mother Maria Luisa di Gesù, a Dominican Tertiary.

On August 3, 1833, after having received the Eucharist, the nun Maria was praying before Saint Philomena’s statue and at that moment felt a strong desire to know the true date of the Saint’s martyrdom. August 10 was the day St. Philomena’s relics had arrived in Mugnano, Italy. This date was significant to the people of Mugnano, but not to those who lived elsewhere. As Maria contemplated this, she closed her eyes and suddenly a gracious and gentle voice came from the direction of the statue, saying:

"Dear Sister, August the tenth was the day of my rest, my triumph, my birth into Heaven, my entering into the possession of such eternal goods as the human mind cannot possibly imagine. That is why my Heavenly Spouse disposed, by His most high decrees that my coming to Mugnano should be on the day which had seen my coming to Heaven! He prepared so many circumstances which should make my arrival at Mugnano glorious and triumphant; giving joy to all the people, even though the priest who brought me had absolutely decided that my translation should take place on the fifth of the month very quietly in his own house. My omnipotent Spouse impeded him with so many obstacles that the priest, although he did all he could to carry out his plan, could not do so. And so it came about that the said translation was made on the tenth, the day of my feast in Heaven."


Mother Maria was overwhelmed by this and thought she had fallen as prey to this illusion. She took refuge in the Sacrament of Penance, confessing the whole event to her spiritual director. He was not so hasty in disposing of the matter. He proceeded to write to Don Francesco de Lucia  in Mugnano and inquired about the truth of whether or not he originally intended to have the translation on August 5. Don Francesco’s reply confirmed that he indeed encountered many obstacles which detained him from carrying out his plan to arrive in Mugnano on the fifth.


At that, Mother Luisa’ director granted her obedience to ask St. Philomena other details of her life and martyrdom. Again, Mother Luisa went to the Saint, and begged her not to take any notice of her unworthiness, but to consider that it was a matter of holy obedience, and to reveal more about her life. After that time, there came a day when Maria was alone in her cell and felt her eyes being closed. She heard the gracious voice of St. Philomena. The following account of the life of Saint Philomena is taken from the official account of Fr. Di Lucia’s Relazione Istorici di Santa Filomena and subsequent annals from locutions received by Sr. Luisa di Gesu in August of 1833. These revelations received approval by the Holy Office, (presently the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith) on December 21, 1833.

"My dear Sister, I am the daughter of a Prince who governed a small state in Greece. My mother is also of royal blood. My parents were without children. They were idolaters. They continually offered sacrifices and prayers to their false gods.

A doctor from Rome named Publius lived in the palace in the service of my father. This doctor professed Christianity. Seeing the affliction of my parents, by the impulse of the Holy Ghost, he spoke to them of Christianity, and promised to pray for them if they consented to receive Baptism. The grace which accompanied his words enlightened their understanding and triumphed over their will. They became Christians and obtained the long desired happiness that Publius had assured them as the reward of their conversion. At the moment of my birth, they gave me the name of "Lumena," an allusion to the light of Faith of which I had been, as it were, the fruit. The day of my Baptism they called me "Filumena," or "Daughter of Light," because on that day I was born to the Faith. The affection which my parents bore me was so great that they had me always with them.

It was on this account that they took me to Rome on a journey that my father was obliged to make on the occasion of an unjust war with which he was threatened by the haughty Diocletian. I was then thirteen years old. On our arrival in the capital of the world, we proceeded to the palace of the Emperor and were admitted for an audience. As soon as Diocletian saw me, his eyes were fixed upon me. He appeared to be pre-possessed in this manner during the entire time that my father was stating with animated feelings everything that could serve for his defense.

As soon as Father had ceased to speak, the Emperor desired him to be disturbed no longer, to banish all fear, to think only of living in happiness. These are the Emperor’s words, ‘I shall place at your disposal all the force of the Empire. I ask only one thing, that is the hand of your daughter.’ My father, dazzled with an honor he was far from expecting, willingly acceded on the spot to the proposal of the Emperor.

SOURCE Philomena .org - Replaces Cath. Encyclopedia entry

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