The 54 day Novena to the Blessed Virgin of the Rosary of Pompeii

The 54 day Rosary Novena history

Among the numerous texts and prayers written by Blessed Bartolo Longo, there is the “Novena of Petition”, composed in July of 1879.  Having been struck down with typhoid fever, Bartolo Longo wrote it in order to ask for graces in the most desperate cases.

Every day he went before the Picture of the Virgin of the Rosary to be inspired and to do some corrections. But one day, owing to a serious worsening of His illness, he taught that the only remedy was to take the Picture of the Virgin from the Chapel and place it in His bedroom. Turning to Saint Catherine of Siena so that she would intercede in His favour with Our Lady, he suddenly recovered. Since then, the Heavenly Mother has been granting graces to anyone prays to Her with the Novena written by Her most profound devotee.

In 1894, at Arpino (Italy), Saint Catherine of Siena, represented at the feet of the Virgin in the Pompeiian Icon, appeared to a dying young girl and invited her to recite the Novena and to pray it together with her.  At the end of the prayer the young girl was perfectly cured. The Novena, approved by Pope Leo XIII on November 29th, 1887.

Among the many persons prodigiously cured by Our Lady of Pompeii, there is also the Commendatore Agrelli’s daughter of Naples, to whom Our Lady appeared personally in 1884 and told her: “Whenever you wish to obtain graces from me, make three Novenas of Petition and at the same time recite the fifteen decades of my Rosary and then three Novenas of Thanks”. The young Fortunatina Agrelli made according to the Virgin’s indications and was miraculously cured.

The Novena consists the 5 decades of the Holy Rosary of the day, each preceded by the five prayers of the Novena of Impetration (the first prayer followed by the first decade, the second prayer followed by the second decade and so on). At the end of these first 27 days, continue to recite the Holy Rosary for another 27 days in the same way, alternating the decades with the prayers of the Thanksgiving novena regardless of whether the request has been fulfilled. This is the 54 day rosary novena.

Text of the Novena of Petition to the Blessed Virgin of the Rosary of Pompeii

O Saint Catherine of Siena, my Protectress and Teacher, who from heaven assist your devotees as they recite Mary’s Rosary, come to my aid in this moment and deign to recite along with me the Novena to the Queen of the Rosary who has established the throne of her graces in the Valley of Pompeii, that through your intercession I may obtain the grace I desire. Amen.

O God, come to my aid.
O Lord, make haste to help me.

Glory be to the Father, etc. I. O Immaculate Virgin and Queen of the Holy Rosary, in these times of dead faith and triumphant impiety you have desired to establish your throne of Queen and Mother in the ancient land of Pompeii, the resting place of deceased pagans. From this place in which idols and demons were worshipped, you today, as the Mother of divine grace, shower the treasures of heavenly mercy far and wide.

O Mary, from this throne upon which you graciously reign, turn upon me as well your benign eyes, and have mercy on me who am so greatly in need of your help. Show yourself to me, just as you have shown yourself to so many others, as the true Mother of mercy: while I with all my heart greet you, and invoke you as my Sovereign and Queen of the Holy Rosary.

Hail, Holy Queen II. Prostrate before your throne, O great and glorious Lady, my soul venerates you amidst the groans and sighs which afflict it beyond measure. In this state of anguish and affliction in which I find myself, I confidently lift up my eyes to you, who have deigned to choose the land of poor and abandoned peasants as your dwelling-place. And there, before the city and amphitheatre where there reign silence and ruin, you, the Queen of Victories, have raised your powerful voice to call from every part of Italy and the Catholic world your devoted sons and daughters, to build a Temple to you. May you now be moved to pity for this soul of mine that lies here humiliated in the mud.

Have mercy on me, O my Lady, have mercy on me who am overwhelmingly covered in misery and humiliation. You, who are the extermination of demons, defend me from these enemies besieging me. You, who are the Help of Christians, deliver me from these tribulations which wretchedly oppress me. You, who are our Life, triumph over death which threatens my soul in these dangers to which it is exposed; grant to me peace, serenity, love and health. Amen.

Hail, Holy Queen III. The knowledge that so many have been helped by you, solely because they turned to you with faith, gives me new strength and courage to call upon you in my needs. You once promised St. Dominic that those wishing graces shall receive them through your Rosary. Now I, your Rosary in my hands, dare to remind you, O Mother, of your holy promises. Indeed, you yourself work endless miracles in our times in order to call your children to honour you in the Temple of Pompeii. You therefore long to wipe away our tears, you yearn to relieve our pain! Then I, with my heart bared and with burning faith, call upon you and invoke you: My Mother!… Dear Mother!… Beautiful Mother!… Most Sweet Mother, come to my aid!

Mother and Queen of the Holy Rosary of Pompeii, delay no longer in stretching your powerful hand out to me, to save me: for you see, delay would be my ruin.

Hail, Holy Queen IV. And to whom else might I go, if not to you who are the Solace of the wretched, the Comforter of the forsaken, the Consolation of the afflicted? I confess to you, my soul is miserable: weighed down by enormous faults, it deserves to burn in hell, unworthy of receiving graces!

But are you not the Hope of those who despair, the Mother of Jesus the only mediator between God and humanity, our powerful Advocate by the throne of the Almighty, the Refuge of sinners? Then, only say a word on my behalf to your Son, and He shall hear you. Ask of Him, O Mother, this grace which I am so greatly in need of. (Here express the grace you desire.) You alone can obtain it for me: you who are my only hope, my consolation, my sweetness, my whole life. So I hope. Amen.

Hail, Holy Queen V. O Virgin and Queen of the Holy Rosary, you who are the Daughter of our Heavenly Father, the Mother of the divine Son, the Bride of the Holy Spirit; you who can obtain everything from the Blessed Trinity: I beseech you, seek this grace so necessary for me, provided that it be not an obstacle to my eternal salvation. (Here repeat the grace you desire.)

I ask this of you through your Immaculate Conception, your divine Maternity, your joys, your sorrows, your triumphs. I ask it of you through the Heart of your loving Jesus, through those nine months you bore Him in your womb, through the hardships of His life, His bitter passion, His death on the cross, His most holy Name and His most precious Blood. Finally, I ask it of you through your sweetest Heart: in your glorious Name, O Mary, who are the Star of the sea, Our Powerful Lady, the Sea of sorrow, the Gate of Heaven and the Mother of every grace. In you I place my trust and my every hope; save me, I pray. Amen.

Hail, Holy Queen V. Queen of the Holy Rosary, pray for us

That we may become worthy of Christ’s promises. Prayer – O God, by His life, death and resurrection your Only Begotten Son obtained for us the fruits of eternal salvation: grant, we beseech you, that by venerating these mysteries of Virgin Mary’s Holy Rosary, we imitate what they contain and obtain what they promise. Through Christ, our Lord. Amen.

PRAYERS TO ST. DOMINIC AND TO ST. CATHERINE OF SIENA TO OBTAIN GRACES FROM THE BLESSED VIRGIN OF POMPEII

O holy priest of God and glorious Patriarch, Saint Dominic, who were the friend, the beloved son and the confidant of our heavenly Queen, and who worked many miracles through the power of the Holy Rosary; and you, Saint Catherine of Siena, the leading daughter of this Order of the Rosary and a powerful mediator by the throne of Mary and the Heart of Jesus, with whom you exchanged hearts: O my dear holy Saints, consider my needs and pity the state I find myself in. On earth you possessed a heart open to all the miseries of others, and a hand powerful enough to take care of them. And now, in Heaven, neither your charity nor you power has been lessened.

On my behalf then, pray to our Mother of the Rosary and to her Divine Son, for I have great faith that through you I shall obtain the grace I ardently desire. Amen.

Three Glory be to the Father.

Text of the Novena of Thanks to the Blessed Virgin of the Rosary of Pompeii

O God, come to my aid.
O Lord, make haste to help me.

Here am I at your feet, O Immaculate Mother of Jesus, who delight in being invoked as Queen of the Rosary of the Valley of Pompeii. Rejoicing in my heart, my soul overwhelmed by the most ardent gratitude, I return to you, my generous Benefactress, my sweet Lady, the Queen of my heart, to you who have truly shown yourself as my Mother who so dearly loves me.

In my laments you heard me, in my afflictions you comforted me, in my anguish you gave me peace. Sorrows and the pains of death were besieging my heart, and you, O Mother, from your throne in Pompeii, by your compassionate gaze, offered me relief. Who has ever turned to you with confidence and has not been heard? If all the world only knew how good you are, how compassionate with those who suffer, all creatures would turn to you. May you for ever be blessed, O Sovereign Virgin of Pompeii, by me and by everyone, by humanity and by the Angels, by Heaven and by earth. Amen

Glory be to the Father.

Hail, Holy Queen II.

I offer thanks to God and to you, O divine Mother, for the new favours that have been granted to me through your compassion and mercy. What would have become of me, had you turned your back on my groans and my tears? May the Angels of paradise and the choirs of Apostles, Martyrs, Virgins and Confessors thank you for me. May all the souls of sinners saved by you, who now enjoy the vision of your immortal beauty in heaven, thank you for me.

I wish all creatures to join me in loving you, and that all the world repeat the echo of my thanks. What have I to offer you, O Queen, rich in mercy and magnificence? What remains of my life I dedicate to you, and to the propagating of your cult everywhere, O Virgin of the Rosary of Pompeii, through whose invocation the grace of the Lord has visited me. I shall promote the devotion of your Rosary; I will tell everyone of the mercy you have obtained for me; I shall always proclaim your goodness towards me, so that others as well, unworthy as I and sinners, may turn to you with confidence.

Glory be to the Father.

Hail, Holy Queen III.

By what names shall I call you, O snow white dove of peace? By what titles shall I invoke you, whom the holy Doctors called Our Lady of creation, Gate of life, Temple of God, Royal Palace of light, Glory of the heavens, Holy among the Holy, Miracle of miracles, Paradise of the Most High? You are the Treasurer of graces, the Almighty of supplication, indeed, the very Mercy of God which descends upon the unfortunate.

Yet I know that your heart takes pleasure also in being invoked as the Queen of the Rosary, of the Valley of Pompeii. And when invoking you in this manner, I hear the sweetness of your mystical Name, O Rose of Paradise, transplanted in the Valley of tears to relieve the sorrows of us banished children of Eve; red Rose of charity, more fragrant than all the perfumes of Lebanon, drawing the hearts of sinners to the Heart of God in your Valley by the fragrance of your heavenly sweetness.

You are the Rose of everlasting freshness who, nourished by the streams of heavenly waters, planted your roots in soil scorched by a shower of fire; a Rose of unblemished beauty, who planted the Garden of the Lord’s delights in a land of desolation. May God be exalted, who made your name so wondrous. Bless, O nations, the Name of the Virgin of Pompeii, for all the earth is full of her mercy.

Glory be to the Father.

Hail, Holy Queen IV.

In the midst of the storms raging about me I lifted my eyes to you, new Star of hope that appeared in our times over the Valley of ruins. From the depths of sorrow I raised my voice to you, O Queen of the Rosary of Pompeii, and I experienced the power of this title so dear to you. Hail, I shall always cry, Hail O Mother of mercy, immense sea of grace, ocean of kindness and compassion! Who shall worthily sing the glories of your Rosary, the victories of your Crown?

The world has freed itself of Jesus’ arms to become abandoned in those of Satan, yet you make ready to restore it to health in that Valley where Satan devours souls. Triumphant you rode over the ruins of the pagan temples, and upon the decay of idolatry placed the footstool of your rule. You transformed a region of death into a Valley of resurrection and life, and upon the land ruled over by your enemy you established a City of refuge, where you welcome the nations unto their salvation.

Behold your children, spread throughout the world, who raised a throne to you in this place, as a testimonial) of your miracles, as a trophy of your mercies. From this throne you have called me also, among your chosen children: upon me a sinner your merciful gaze has rested. May your works be everlastingly blessed, my Lady: and blessed be all the miracles worked by You in this valley of desolation and ruin.

Glory be to the Father

Hail, Holy Queen V.

May every tongue resound with your glory, O Mary; may the evening hand on to the following day the harmony of our blessings. Let every generation proclaim you blessed, and let all the regions of the earth and the heavenly choirs repeat, blessed are you. I too shall call you three times blessed with the Angels, the Archangels and the Principalities; three times blessed with the angelic Powers, the Virtues of the heavens and the celestial Dominations. I shall proclaim you most Blessed with the Thrones, the Cherubim and the Seraphim.

O my Sovereign Rescuer, may you never turn your merciful gaze away from this family, this nation, the entire Church. Especially, do not deny me the greatest of graces: that I never become separated from you through my weakness. Let me persevere until my last breath in the faith and love with which my soul in this moment burns.

And grant that all of us who contribute to the maintenance of your Shrine in Pompeii, and to the building-up of its charitable works, be included in the number of the chosen. O Holy Rosary of my Mother, I press you tightly to my bosom and kiss you with veneration. (Here kiss your rosary.) You are the way leading to every virtue, the treasure of merits for paradise, the pledge of my predestination, the strong chains binding the enemy, the source of peace for those who honour you throughout life, the promise of victory for those kissing you at the point of death. In that last hour I await you, O Mother. Your appearing will be the sign of my salvation; your Rosary shall open before me the gates of Heaven. Amen

Glory be to the Father

Hail, Holy Queen V.

Queen of the Holy Rosary, pray for us.

Prayer – O God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who taught us to turn to you with confidence and call you: Our Father, who art in heaven; O gracious Lord, ever merciful and forgiving: through the intercession of Immaculate Virgin Mary, hear us who take delight in being called children of the Rosary. Accept our humble thanks for the gifts we have received; and daily render the throne you have established in the Shrine of Pompeii more glorious and lasting, through the merits of Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen

Resistance Podcast #198: Leo DuPont – Apostle of the Holy Face (War Against Communism) & The Greatest Miracle Worker the Church Has Ever Had

According to Pius IX, Ven Leon DuPont is the greatest miracle worker the Church has ever had. It is said that volumes could be published of the miracles that occurred in his room, and, somehow, he is not well known.

 

Watch on the following platforms

YouTube / Odysee / BitChute / Rumble / GabTV / GloriaTV / Brighteon / UGETube

Or Listen on iTunes

Join the Confraternity, Get Booklets and Oil here

St. Padre Pio was known to pass around Holy Face Medals saying “This is your entrance ticket to Heaven.”

The medal became famous for the miracles and spiritual favours associated with its use. In Our Blessed Mother’s own word, the medal is “a weapon for defense, a shield for courage, a token of love & mercy in these troubled days of lust, evil, loss of faith and hatred for God and for His Church.

Whoever wears this medal and, if possible, pays a weekly visit to the Blessed Sacrament on Tuesdays in a spirit of reparation to the Holy Face will be granted the gift of a strong Faith and the grace to fly to its defense conquering if need be all interior and exterior difficulties. Moreover, they will meet their death peacefully, under the loving gaze of my divine son.”

More on the Tuesday devotion here & to download your own print here

Books to Read

Chaplet of the Holy Face

Devotion to the Holy Face

Devotion to the Holy Face

“This salutary reparation to the Holy Face of Jesus is a divine work, destined to save modern society.” ~ Pope Pius XI

All those who honour my face in a spirit of reparation will by doing so perform the office of the pious Veronica. According to the care they take in making reparation to my Face, disfigured by blasphemers, so will I take care of their souls which have been disfigured by sin. My Face is the seal of the Divinity, which has the virtue of reproducing in souls the image of God.
Those who by words, prayers or writing defend My cause in this work of reparation I will defend before My Father, and will give them My Kingdom.
By offering My Face to My eternal Father, nothing will be refused, and the conversion of many sinners will be obtained.
By My Holy Face, they will work wonders, appease the anger of God and draw down mercy on sinners.
As in a Kingdom they can procure all that is desired with a coin stamped with the Kings effigy, so in the Kingdom of Heaven they will obtain all they desire with the precious coin of my Holy Face.
Those who on earth contemplate the wounds of My Face shall in Heaven behold it radiant with glory.
They will receive in their souls a bright and constant irradiation of My Divinity, that by their likeness to My Face they shall shine with particular splendor in Heaven.
I will defend them, I will preserve them and I assure them of Final Perseverance.

Devotion to the Holy Face was revealed by Jesus to Sr. Marie of St. Peter (1816-1848) a Carmelite nun of Tours in France.

The primary purpose of the devotion is to make reparation for sins against the first three commandments:
1) Denial of God,
2) Blasphemy,
3) and the profanation of Sundays and Holy Days.

The devotion to the Holy Face of Jesus, based on the life and writings of Sr. Marie of St. Peter, was eventually approved by Pope Leo XIII in 1885 who established the devotion as an Arch-confraternity for the whole world. In January 1849 Pope Pius IX had the relic of Veronica’s veil placed for public veneration in Rome. During this time, the Divine Face appeared distinctly, as if living, and was illuminated by a soft light. Reproductions of the veil were later printed, touched to the original and sent abroad for veneration.

The Holy Man of Tours – Leo Dupont

Leo Dupont heard of the reported visions of Jesus and Mary by the Carmelite nun Sister Marie of St Peter from 1844 to 1847. Based on this, Dupont started to burn a vigil lamp continuously before a picture of the Holy Face of Jesus based on the painted image on the Veil of Veronica. Dupont used that image because the existence of a clear image on the Shroud of Turin was not known to anyone at that time for the somewhat faded image of the face on the Shroud can not easily be seen with the naked eye and was only observed in May 1898 via the negative plate of Secondo Pia’s first photograph. In 1851 Dupont formed the “Archconfraternity of the Holy Face” in Tours. He prayed for and promoted the case for a devotion to the Holy Face of Jesus for around 30 years.

The Holy Man of Tours had more miracles than St. Vincent Ferrer, but you never heard of Leo. Here is a link of some of the Miracles of the Holy Face in the Home of Ven. Leo Dupont (1851-81). The miracles accumulated to such a point that Pope Pius IX stated that Leo Dupont was perhaps the greatest miracle worker in Church history!

Blessed Maria Pierina de Micheli & The Holy Face of Jesus Devotion & Medal

At the age of twelve, when she was in her Parish Church during the 3pm Good Friday service, she heard a Voice saying quite distinctly: “No one gives me a kiss of love on My Face to make amends for the Kiss of Judas.”

In her childlike simplicity, she believed that the voice was heard by everyone and was pained to see that only the wounds were kissed but not the face. In her heart exclaiming, “Have patience, dear Jesus, I will give you a kiss of love”, and when her turn came she lovingly and devoutly imprinted a kiss on His Face. Mother Maria Pierina de Micheli obtained permission from her spiritual Director and although she did not have any financial means to get medals of the Holy Face made. She obtained the permission of the photographer Bruner to take copies of the Holy Shroud as reproduced by him, and she received the permission to do so by the Archdiocese of Milan on the August 9, 1940. Since then the devotion and the medal have been spread worldwide with much enthusiasm, accompanied all the while by wonderful graces, conversions and cures as a testament and heavenly sign of God’s institution and approval of both.

This devotion to the Holy face of Jesus so inspired St Therese that she took the full title: ‘Sr. Therese of the Child Jesus and of the Holy Face’.

On the first Friday of Lent 1936, Mother Maria Pierina de Michelli (beatified 30th May 2010) reported a vision of Jesus. In further visions she was urged to make a medal bearing the Holy Face of Jesus. She was given permission to reproduce the face of the Holy Shroud of Turin and authorisation by the Curia to proceed in 1940 with the medal.

Click the Image to Order a Medal

One side has the image of the Holy Shroud of Turin and the words of Ps 66:2 “illumina Domine Vultum Tuum super nos” (may the light of your Face, O Lord, shine upon us).

On the other side the sacred host. The letters IHS and “Mane nobiscum Domine” (stay with us O Lord) Pope Pius XII approved the devotion and medal in 1958. She also reported Jesus’ desire of a special feast day on the Tuesday preceding Ash Wednesday each year (Shrove Tuesday), to be preceded by a 9 day novena of prayer.

The medal became famous for the miracles and spiritual favours associated with its use. In Our Blessed Mother’s own word, the medal is “a weapon for defense, a shield for courage, a token of love & mercy in these troubled days of lust, evil, loss of faith and hatred for God and for His Church.

Whoever wears this scapular (medal) and, if possible, pays a weekly visit to the Blessed Sacrament on Tuesdays in a spirit of reparation to the Holy Face will be granted the gift of a strong Faith and the grace to fly to its defence conquering if need be all interior and exterior difficulties. Moreover, they will meet their death peacefully, under the loving gaze of my divine son.” (from Biography of Blessed Pierina p33).

In 1958, Pope Pius XII declared the feast of the Holy Face of Jesus for all Roman Catholics to be the day before Ash Wednesday (Shrove Tuesday).

A visit to the Blessed Sacrament on a Tuesday in a spirit of reparation to the Holy Face bestows particular graces.

Jesus appeared to Blessed Mother Maria Pierina de Micheli covered with blood and very sadly said to her:
“Do you see how I suffer? Yet, very few understand me. Those who say they love me are very ungrateful! I have given my heart as the sensible object of my great love to men and I give My Face as the sensible object of my sorrow for all the sins of men. I wish that it be venerated by a special feast on Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday. I wish that the feast be preceded by a novena in which the faithful make reparation with me, joining together and sharing in my sorrow.”

In 1939 Jesus said again:

“I wish that My Holy Face be honored in a particular manner on Tuesdays”.

Our Lady said to Blessed Maria Pierina de Micheli

“A visit to the Blessed Sacrament every Tuesday in reparation for the outrages that the Holy Face of my Son Jesus received during His Passion and is still receiving in the Holy Eucharist every day,
– will be strengthened in the Faith, and will be made ready to defend it,
– will overcome all difficulties, internal and external
– and they will have a peaceful death under the loving gaze of my Divine Son”

Sr. Mary of St. Peter writes: “In the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar, His adorable Face is more dazzling than the sun. He then once more promised me to imprint His Divine Likeness upon the souls of those who honour the features of His Face” (Autobiography p187)

St. Gaetana Catanoso (canonised by Pope Benedict XVI) said: “If we wish to adore the real Face of Jesus…, we can find it in the divine Eucharist, where with the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, the Face of Our Lord is hidden under the white veil of the Host”.

Prayers of the Holy Face
A Heaven- revealed Remedy to the Ills of our Times

Introductory Prayer

Dear Lord, through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary I (we) offer you these prayers in reparation for the sins which offend God the most in these modern times – the sins of blasphemy and the profanation of Sunday and Your Holy Days of Obligation.

Prayer to offer the Holy Face of Jesus to God the Father to appease his justice and draw down mercy upon us.

Almighty and Eternal Father, since it has pleased Our Divine Saviour to reveal to mankind in modern times the power residing in His Holy Face, we now avail ourselves of this treasure in our great need. Since our Savior Himself promised that by offering to you His Holy face disfigured in the passion we can procure the settlement of all the affairs of our household, and that nothing whatsoever will be refused to us, we now come before Your throne. Eternal Father, turn away Your angry gaze from our guilty people whose face has become unsightly in your eyes. Look instead upon the Face of Your Beloved Son; for this is the Face of Him in whom you are well pleased. We now offer You His Holy face covered with blood, sweat, dust, spittle and shame, in reparation for the worst crimes of our age, which are atheism, blasphemy and the desecration of Your holy days. We thus hope to appease Your anger justly provoked against us. The All-Merciful Advocate opens His mouth to plead our cause; listen to His cries, behold His tears, O God, and through the merits of His Holy Face, hearken to Him when he intercedes for us poor miserable sinners.

LITANY OF THE HOLY FACE OF JESUS

(composed by Sister Mary St. Peter)

I salute Thee, I adore Thee and I love Thee, O adorable Face of Jesus, my Beloved, noble Seal of the Divinity! outraged anew by blasphemers. I offer Thee, through the heart of Thy blessed Mother, the worship of all the Angels and Saints, most humbly beseeching Thee to repair and renew in me and in all men Thine Image disfigured by sin.

O adorable Face which was adored, with profound respect, by Mary and Joseph when they saw Thee for the first time, have mercy on us,
O adorable Face which ravished with joy, in the stable of Bethlehem, the Angels, the shepherds and the magi, have mercy on us,
O adorable Face which transpierced with a dart of love in the Temple, the saintly old man Simeon and the prophetess Anna, have mercy on us,
O adorable Face which filled with admiration the Doctors of the Law when Thou appeared in the Temple at the age of twelve years, have mercy on us,
O adorable Face which possesses beauty always ancient and always new, have mercy on us,
O adorable Face which is the masterpiece of the Holy Ghost, in which the Eternal Father is well pleased, have mercy on us,
O adorable Face which is the ineffable mirror of the divine perfections, have mercy on us,

O adorable Face of Jesus which was so mercifully bowed down on the Cross, on the day of Thy Passion, for the salvation of the world! Once more today in pity bend down towards us poor sinners. Cast upon us a glance of compassion and give us Thy peace.

O adorable Face which became brilliant like the sun and radiant with glory, on the Mountain of Tabor, have mercy on us,
O adorable Face which wept and was troubled at the tomb of Lazarus, have mercy on us,
O adorable Face which was rendered sad at the sight of Jerusalem, and shed tears on that ungrateful city, have mercy on us,
O adorable Face which was bowed down to the ground in the Garden of Olives, and covered with confusion for our sins, have mercy on us,
O adorable Face which was covered with the sweat of blood, have mercy on us,
O adorable Face which was struck by a vile servant, covered with a veil of shame, and profaned by the sacrilegious hands of Thine enemies, have mercy on us,
O adorable Face which by Its divine glance, wounded the heart of St. Peter with a dart of sorrow and love, have mercy on us, Be merciful to us, O my God!

Do not reject our prayers, when in the midst of our afflictions, we call upon Thy Holy Name and seek with love and confidence Thine adorable Face.

O adorable Face which was washed and anointed by Mary and the holy women and covered with a shroud, have mercy on us,
O adorable Face which was all resplendent with glory and beauty on the day of the Resurrection, have mercy on us,
O adorable Face which is hidden in the Eucharist, have mercy on us,
O adorable Face which will make sinners tremble, have mercy on us,
O adorable Face which will fill the just with joy for all eternity, have mercy on us,

O Lord, show us Thy Face, and we shall be saved!
O Lord, show us Thy Face, and we shall be saved!
O Lord, show us Thy Face, and we shall be saved!

O adorable Face which will appear at the end of time in the clouds with great power and great majesty, have mercy on us,
O adorable Face which merits all our reverence, our homage and our adoration, have mercy on us,

Prayer of St. Theresa of the Child Jesus to the Holy Face

O Jesus, who in Thy bitter Passion didst become “the most abject of men, a man of sorrows”, I venerate Thy Sacred Face whereon there once did shine the beauty and sweetness of the Godhead; but now it has become for me as if it were the face of a leper! Nevertheless, under those disfigured features, I recognize Thy infinite Love and I am consumed with the desire to love Thee and make Thee loved by all men.

The tears that thou hast shed so abundantly appear to me as so many precious pearls that I love to gather up, in order to purchase the souls of poor sinners by means of their infinite value. O Jesus, whose adorable Face ravishes my heart, I implore Thee to fix deep within me Thy divine Image, to set me on fire with Thy Love, and to make me worthy to contemplate in Heaven Thy glorious Face. Amen.

 Chaplet of Sister Marie of St Peter

The following Chaplet of Reparation contains prayers composed by Sister Marie of St Peter after Jesus asked her to battle in prayer against the “enemies of God”, especially communists.
(Even if you do not have the ‘chaplet’ of beads, you can still pray the prayers).

The Holy Face Chaplet beads consists of 33 beads made up of 5 sets of 6 beads each to make reparation for the sins of blasphemy against Our Lord’s Holy Face through His five senses and the last three beads in honour of the three years of our Lord’s public ministry on earth.

On the Crucifix say:

Eternal Father I offer You the cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ and all the other instruments of His Holy Passion, that You may put division in the camp of Your enemies; for as Your Beloved Son has said, “A kingdom divided against itself shall fall.”

On the next five beads say:

1) May God arise and let His enemies be scattered and let those who hate Him flee before His Face!
2) May the thrice Holy Name of God overthrow all their plans!
3) May the Holy Name of the Living God split them up by disagreements!
4) May the terrible Name of the God of Eternity stamp out all their godlessness!
5) Lord, I do not desire the death of the sinner, but that he be converted and live. “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”

On the medal say: the “Golden Arrow” prayer.

THE “GOLDEN ARROW” PRAYER

(Dictated by Our Lord to Sister Mary of St. Peter)

This “Golden Arrow” prayer was given to Sr. Mary of St. Peter to atone for the sins of blasphemy against God’s name. Just as sins of blasphemy were like a ‘poisoned arrow’ continually wounding God’s Heart, she saw in a vision that this “Golden Arrow” had the power to wound him “delightfully”.

Our Lord revealed to her the inseparable connection in honouring the unutterable name of God through the Golden Arrow prayer and in venerating the Holy Face of Jesus. She saw how its recitation caused torrents of graces to stream for the conversion of sinners.

It is the central prayer in the devotion to the Holy Face.

“May the most holy, most sacred, most adorable, most incomprehensible and unutterable Name of God be always praised, blessed, loved, adored and glorified in Heaven, on earth, and under the earth, by all the creatures of God, and by the Sacred Heart of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar. Amen.”

On the thirty three white beads say:

Arise, O Lord, and let Your enemies be scattered, and let those that hate You flee before Your Face.

On each of the six large beads say:

My Jesus, mercy” and one “Glory Be..”

On the medal at the end say:

Eternal Father, I offer You the Holy Face of Jesus, covered with blood, sweat, dust and spittle, in reparation for the crimes of communists, blasphemers, and for the profaners of the Holy Name and of the Holy Day of Sunday. (This exclamation is also recommended to be recited frequently throughout the day).

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St Philomena (Feast Day 11 August)

The Catacombs

Before outlining the radiating figure of Saint Philomena, virgin and roman martyr, it’s appropriate to mention the catacombs, since her mortal remains were discovered in 1802 in Rome at the Catacombs of Priscilla (fig. 1-2-3).

There are prestigious studies regarding this (for ex.: P. TESTINI, Archeologia Cristiana (Christian Archaeology); M. SORDI, I cristiani e l’impero romano (Christians and the roman empire), etc.) In particular, we have decided to relate a page from the illustrious southern historian Gabriele De Rosa, because it seemed to us an effective synthesis and at the same time an accessible and clear exposition of the argument, in line with the style and objectives of this work, limiting us only to add some complementary information in the notes:

“The pagans buried their deceased in the necropolis, the city of the dead, or in monumental tombs reserved for the wealthier ones and positioned along the roads that stretched out of the city. It was forbidden to bury the dead inside an inhabited area, and soon it became customary to burn the bodies. Christians, instead, continued to bury their dead and were granted the authorization to build cemeteries reserved for the faithful and the martyrs in which to celebrate the funeral rituals according to their cults. So they eventually started using, as a cemetery, a site situated on the roadsides of the via Appia called “Catacumbas”, which means “near the cavity”, since it seems that in that area there were tuff mines which had caused hollows the ground. In this way what we know today as “catacombs” is a term extended to all the Christian underground cemeteries. Catacombs, although particularly numerous in Rome because of the nature of its ground, are not exclusive of the capital: there are more in other places of Italy, in Malta, in Northern Africa.
“Many people think that the catacombs were places of refuge in which Christians could hide to escape from persecutions. But this is not accurate since the catacombs were well known to the roman authorities, who had them under strict surveillance. Furthermore, it proves very difficult to live for lengthy periods in these tunnels dug underground without air. It is instead true that catacombs, in addition to being dedicated to burials, were places of worship, in which rituals of the Christian community: the group praying, the Eucharist, the administration of the sacraments were celebrated. Only in special circumstances, when persecutions became very violent, the catacombs were used as a provisional refuge place. The first groups of underground cemeteries began to be dug around the middle of the II century A.D. Later, a corporation was founded called fossors, which specialized in the digging of tunnels.

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Fig. 1 – Basilica of San Silvestro, in Rome, built on Priscilla’s catacombs.

061013_2145_2Fig. 2 – Burial niches in the tunnels of Priscilla’s catacombs. In one of these burial niches, on May 25, 1802, the body of the Martyr Philomena was found.

 

catacombs

Fig. 3 – The so-called cryptoportcus of Priscilla’s catacombs.

Catacombs were structured on more levels (there could be as many as five), and they could reach a depth of up to thirty meters. The tunnels were tight and long, about three meters tall, and were connected by steep stairs which formed a complex grid, an actual true labyrinth. The niches assigned to the burial of the dead were dug into the walls. After the burial, the niches were closed by a tombstone or bricks.The tunnels were larger rooms and the crypts, were underground churches.

The light, which filtered from tiny openings, was very scarce and it illuminated only the floors nearer the surface.

The catacombs near Rome have not yet been fully explored. Of these, the most important ones are those of St. Callisto, St. Sebastian, Domitilla and St. Agnes.”

Miracle of Recognition

The great miracle of Mugnano One of the most illustrious heroines which the Church has given to the world in the nineteenth century is without doubt the sweet French girl, Pauline Marie Jaricot.

Many were the obstacle which this noble child had to confront whilst following the high but arduous career marked out for her by God. She was the favorite daughter of wealthy parents from whom she inherited a vast fortune. Her beauty was striking and singled her out in the most fashionable gatherings as an object of admiration. Added to this she was clever, bright and gay, gifted with a most attractive personality and possessing a heart overflowing with gentleness and affection. Everything in the girl drew one towards her. Society was at her feet. Notwithstanding the allurements of pleasure and the soft flattery of many friends, Pauline always felt a call to higher things. God beckoned her one way the world another. This first combat was long and fierce, but at last grace triumphed and the victory was for God. The next struggle that our heroine was destined to encounter was of a far different nature. She lost her beloved mother at an early age and, at the same time, fell herself a prey to a violent disorder which attacked both body and mind, leaving her a veritable caricature of her former self. This trial like the former was long and intensely painful. After this came a breathing space, which in turn was followed by a still more grievous malady which kept her for long years at the very gates of death.

Wonderful are the ways of God who ever purifies in the crucible of suffering the souls which He has chosen for great designs. It was this sorely tried child who was to give the Church three of its most important modern Associations, each of which is gathering into the fold of Peter millions of abandoned souls.

Her first work was the foundation of the Association of the Living Rosary, the fruits of which are incalculable. The Society of the Propagation of the Faith came next. This society infused, in an incredibly short time, new life and vigor into the foreign missions and extended still further their already vast radius. By a single system – the inspiration of Pauline herself – abundant funds flowed in from all parts, enabling the missionaries to achieve results far in excess of their wildest dreams.

Finally, if not the sole Foundress, she at least took a leading part in the establishment of the Holy Childhood, an association which is annually rescuing countless babes from the horrors and degradation of paganism.

Pauline’s life story is well worth perusal not only because it is teeming with interest, but much more because it sets before us an example which might well serve as a model and stimulus to other girls who, like her, could do great things for the world had they only the necessary confidence in God and themselves. Unfortunately it does not come within the scope of this work to give a more lengthy account of Miss Jaricot. We refer to her merely because of her connection with Saint Philomena by whom, as we shall see, she was miraculously restored to health and whose devotion she was instrumental in spreading all over France and, indeed, throughout the world.

We entitle the cure of Miss Jaricot the Great Miracle of Mugnano, firstly, because the Holy Father Gregory XVI, who was a witness of it, declared it to be a miracle of the first class; secondly, because it was the immediate reason why the office and feast of the Saint were granted to the universal Church and, lastly, because, more than any other of the wonders worked at Mugnano, it served to make the name of Saint Philomena known far and wide.

We still allow the young heroine to recount in her own words the history of her illness and the miraculous nature of her cure

Pauline’s Illness
“It would be well-night impossible to describe the sufferings I endured for the past ten years. I do not pretend to give a scientific explanation of all I went through. I merely state what I felt and what I heard the doctors say.

Up to March 1835 I was, as a rule, able to bear my pains in such a way that those around me had no idea of what I was going through. After the Revolution, however, the disease showed unmistakable signs of aggravation. As my malady chiefly affected the heart, in proportion as it increased, the palpitations became ore violent so that they could be heard at a distance. On these occasions my sides heaved with the agony I endured. A slight movement or change of position was sufficient to send the blood rushing violently back to my heart, thus causing imminent risk of suffocation. My breathing seemed to cease and the beatings of my pulse became imperceptible, so that the most drastic remedies had to be applied to restore some degree of heat to my frozen limbs

The abnormal dilation of my heart compressed the lungs, and breathing became a positive torture. As a consequence, I was compelled to lie perfectly still lest the over-charged blood vessels should burst

In the part of my chest where the palpitations were most violent, a cavity was gradually formed into which most violent, a cavity was gradually formed into which the food that I attempted to swallow lodged, causing still further danger of suffocation

The doctors now made two openings in my side in a vain effort to check the progress of the disease and with a view to lessen the danger of suffocation. I was in consequence reduced to such a state of pain and exhaustions as made it evident that death could not be far off

During these awful years of torture I had some short intervals of relief. The most appreciable of these was at the end of a novena made to Saint Philomena. The body of this Virgin Martyr ad been recently discovered in the Roman Catacombs, and the marvels wrought by means of her precious relics were so extraordinary that the name of Philomena was on every tongue. At the mention of this dear name I experienced intense joy and longed to kneel at the shrine of this illustrious Virgin. But alas! Such a thing seemed impossible, for her sanctuary was far away in Naples and I was unable to bear the least fatigue. Yet I felt inspired to go to the Sanctuary of the Sacred Heart, at Paray-le-Monial, not, indeed, to ask for a cure but to settle the affairs of my soul

Utterly worm out with pain I said to myself: “I survived the fearful shock and excitement of the bombardment and thought weeks and months have passed I am still alive. Surely there is some hidden design of God’s Providence in all this.” I knew that the Association of the Living Rosary was praying for me, so, placing my trust in God and these good prayers, I resolved on a step which, had it been known, would certainly have been deemed pure and simple madness

In fact I had some scruples about the matter myself as I had no wish to do anything of which my conscience did not fully approve

I therefore elicited from the doctor the information that my state was so desperate that nothing I might do mattered much one way or another. This declaration set my scruples at rest.

When I mooted the project I had at heart, I met at once with opposition. Though he was not aware of it, I heard the doctor say in a whisper: “Let her alone, let her go, she will not go far.

The preparations for the projected journey had been made in secret so Pauline started immediately in a carriage for Paray-le-Monial, accompanied by her chaplain, a young lady friend and a confidential servant. The few who knew of her departure said: “She will not reach the first resting place alive.” Even those who accompanied her feared that every jolt of the carriage would cause her death. No such thing however happened.

She arrived safely at her journey’s end and settled the affairs she had so much at heart. Then she said to herself: “This first journey did not keel me so let me go to Rome and get the Holy Father’s blessing.” This was the ambition of her life

If we think of what a journey to Rome meant in those days of coach-traveling over the Alps, through wild and abandoned stretches of territory infested with brigands, we shall be able to form some idea of the heroic faith and magnificent courage of this young girl. The journey was at all times wearisome and full of danger but, for one in Pauline’s state of exhaustion and with so small an escort, it was perilous in the extreme. Death seemed to dog the steps of the travelers. The pains endured by the poor invalid were excruciating. Only when her sufferings were most intense could she be induced to make a short halt, and, even then, after the briefest rest she would insist, with indomitable courage, on pursuing the journey. When the party reached Chambery, Pauline herself lost hope and resigned herself to die for from home and far from the Vicar of Christ. Her weakness was extreme and she completely lost the use of her senses, remaining unconscious for two whole days. The pupils in the Convent of the town made a novena to Saint Philomena for her recovery and, at its conclusion, she was much better and the journey was resumed. The snow was so deep on the road over the Alps, that notwithstanding their powerful horses and the valuable aid of sturdy mountaineers, their progress was slow and difficult

On reaching the summit of Mount Cenis a glorious view burst on their delighted gaze and they halted for some time to contemplate the magnificent panorama that stretched before them.

As they gazed on this wondrous scene, a beautiful child suddenly appeared – no one knew whence he came – and approaching the carriage where Pauline lay, smiled on her sweetly and presented her with a beautiful white rose which exhaled a delightful perfume

The guides had never before seen the child, who disappeared as quickly as he had come, nor could they form any idea of who he might be. The rose, they declared, could not have bloomed in the mountains. No such flowers were found in these regions of snow. The little incident was a consolation for the travelers after all they had undergone. Pauline’s companions saw in it a symbol of the beautiful present she was about to make the Holy Father, nothing less than the gift of her first great work, the Living Rosary, of which the white and fragrant rose was so fit an emblem

“On our arrival in the Italian plains” she goes on to write, “we were forced to travel by night, as the heat of the day was excessive. I had no fear of brigands or of evil spirits since we were under the protection of our Lady and Saint Philomena. We made sure to have their medals hung on the carriage and we likewise gave one to the postilions. It was eleven o’clock at night when we reached the foot of the mountain of Loreto and, though warned that the roads were not safe, we pushed on in the hope of soon reaching the “House of the Holy Family,” (now the Basilica of Loretto), which we did as the dawn was breaking over the hills.

Here again the invalid had a serious relapse, and once more all hope was lost of saving her life. Nevertheless she rallied and after a few days’ rest started anew on the road to the Eternal City. During this last stage of her journey the attacks were frequent and she arrived in Rome in an almost unconscious state

The nuns of the Sacred Heart, at the Trinita deiMonti, received her with the greatest affection. Her weakness was extreme and it was simply unthinkable that she should leave the convent

Thus after a long and perilous journey, in which she braved so many dangers and even death itself, she had to halt at the very threshold of the Vatican. She could go no further

The Blessed Mother and Saint Philomena were with her and she was not to lose her reward. The Holy Father soon heard of her arrival in Rome and aware of the state of exhaustion in which she lay, resolved with truly paternal affection to go himself and visit “his dear daughter” whom he so tenderly loved and who deserved so well of Holy Church.

It was surely an extraordinary honor but a still more extraordinary consolation for this most humble girl to receive the visit of the Vicar of Christ who came expressly, not merely to visit and console but to thank and bless her

The Holy Father opened his great heart and poured forth his thanks in the most affectionate terms. He told “his dear child” how please he was with all she had done; he praised her great courage and ardent faith in coming to Rome, and blessed her most abundantly. It was like a visit of our Blessed Lord, for in His Vicar she saw and reverence the Master Himself. Seeing how exhausted she was he asked her to pray for him when she got to Heaven.

“Yes, Holy Father,” she replied, “I promise to do so but, if on my return from Mugnano I come back well and go on foot to the Vatican will your Holiness deign to proceed without delay with the final enquiry into the cause of Saint Philomena?”

“Yes, yes, my daughter,” replied the Pope, “for that, indeed would be a miracle of the first class.

Turning to the Superiors the Holy Father said in Italian; “How ill our daughter is! She seems to me as if she had come forth from the grave. We shall never see her again. She will never return.”

Pauline understood what he said but only smiled confidently.

When leaving, the Pope blessed her anew and said to Cardinal Lambruscini who accompanied him; “I recommend my dear daughter to you. Grant her all the indulgences and privileges it is possible to bestow.”

It was now August and the heat was terrific. The little party started for Mugnano but had to travel by night and rest by day. They arrived at the Sanctuary on the eve of Saint Philomena’s feast

The Neapolitans and the crowds from all the surrounding districts, who flocked to the Sanctuary for the feast, went wild with excitement when they heard who Pauline was and why and whence she had come. Their sympathy for her on the one hand their jealousy for the reputation of their dear patroness on the other awakened the highest enthusiasm. Here was this French Lady, so loved by the Holy Father, who had done so much for religion, come hundreds and hundreds of miles, over the snow-capped Alps, through mountain fastnesses, braving perils and death itself to invoke Saint Philomena – She must, she must be cured

“Dear Saint Philomena” they cried, “you must cure this dear lady who has come such a distance to ask your aid. She has done enough for God and for the Madonna for you to cure her.” And then, knocking at the urn of the Saint, as it were in threatening tones, they called out! “Do you hear us, Philomena? If you do not grant our prayers at once we will invoke you no more, it will be all over between us.
So much the worse for you great Saint.”

The uproar became so terrific that Pauline could scarcely endure it.

The next day, the feast itself, when Pauline received Holy Communion near the Urn of the Saint she experienced such frightful pains all over her body, and her heart beat so violently that she fainted way. At the sight of what they thought was death the crowds gave way to such cries and vociferations that it was thought safer to carry the chair, on which Pauline was lying, out of the Church. She, however, regained consciousness enough to make a sign to be left near the Urn, on which she fixed her eyes with an expression of the deepest affection. Suddenly an abundant flood of hot tears burst from her eyes, the color came back to her cheeks, a warm, healthy glow spread through her numbed limbs. Her soul was inundated with such heavenly joy that she believed that she was about to enter Heaven. But is was not death, it was life, Philomena the beloved had cured her, and she was reserved for long years of toil and labor which were to end in a glorious though bloodless martyrdom.

Although she felt that she was cured, Pauline dared not for some moments reveal the fact, dreading the outburst of enthusiasm that it was certain to provoke. However, the Superior of the Sanctuary understanding what had happened, ordered all the bells to peal and announce the miracle.

The crowds on hearing the news went frantic with joy and were literally beside themselves with delight. The Church and the streets rang with their shouts. Vivas, vivas resounded on all sides. It would be impossible to describe adequately this magnificent and soul-stirring demonstration of faith. “Viva Saint Philomena, Viva our dear Saint – Viva the great Virgin and Marty – Viva the good French Lady.

In their wild enthusiasm they rushed towards Pauline and wanted to carry her in triumph on their shoulders. This however, she absolutely refused to allow.

Idolized by the people, Pauline tarried in Mugnano for some time, her soul overflowing with joy. She passed long hours in sweet colloquy at the feet of her Heavenly benefactress and great were the graces she received, more even for soul than body. At last, when the day of departure arrived and she had to tear herself away from the Sanctuary, she took with her a great relic of Saint Philomena which she placed in a life-sized statue of the Saint. This was clad in royal robes, given the seat of honor in the carriage and was hailed by all as the “Princess of Paradise.

At the various stages of the journey, the potilions who had brought Pauline to Mugnano, more like a corpse than a living person, cried out: “A miracle, a miracle.” “Viva Saint Philomena.” At this cry crowds used to gather, bringing wreaths and garlands which they hung on the carriage, invoking at the same time the name of the Saint with the most intense piety and love.

Naples was profoundly moved on the arrival of the Miraculee. A thrill ran through the people. The Bishop received Pauline with great honor and, in the presence of the Apostolic Nuncio and the King of Sicily, presented the blood of St. Januarius for her to kiss and venerate.

Blessed and invoked on all sides, the “Princess of Paradise” and her escort soon arrived in Rome where, the better to enjoy the Holy Father’s surprise, Pauline had not announced her cure

When in the full enjoyment of health and strength she presented herself in the Vatican, all those who had heard of her were thunderstruck. “Is it really my daughter?” said the Holy Father. “Has she come back from the grave, or has God manifested in her favour the power of the Virgin Martyr?” “It is, indeed, I, most Holy Father,” she replied, “whom your Holiness saw so recently at the very door of death and on whom Saint Philomena has looked with pity. Since she has given me back my life deign, Holy Father, to give me permission to build a chapel in honor of my benefactress.”

“Most certainly,” replied the Pope, in accents full of joy and affection

Then he insisted on hearing from her own lips the details of the cure. In his delight and wonder he ordered her to walk up and down in his presence. “Again, again, quicker, quicker” he exclaimed laughing. “I want to be sure that what I see is not an apparition from the other world but really and truly my dear daughter from Fourvière.” And as his dear daughter walked backwards and forwards, she naturally, without meaning it, turned her back on the Pope. The Master of Ceremonies hastily reminded her that she must not turn her back on the Holy Father, whereupon the Pope said with a smile: “Nonsense, do not trouble about that. God Himself has made far greater exceptions in her favour.

The Sovereign Pontiff now ordered Pauline to remain in Rome for a whole year, that the miracle might be thoroughly investigated. During which he conferred on her many and great privileges, and gave orders for an immediate enquiry to be made into the cause of Saint Philomena
At the close of the year, with the blessing of Christ’s Vicar, Pauline returned to Fourvière.

Pauline-Marie Jaricot
Foundress of the Society of the Propagation of the Faith and the Association of the Living Rosary, born at Lyons, 22 July, 1799; died there, 9 January, 1862.

At the age of seventeen she began to lead a life of unusual abnegation and self-sacrifice, and on Christmas Day, 1816, took a vow perpetual virginity. In order to repair the sins of neglect and ingratitude committed against the Sacred Heart of Jesus, she established a union of prayer among pious servant girls, the members of which were known as the “ Réparatrices du Sacré-Coeur de Jésus-Christ”. During an extended visit to her married sister at Saint-Vallier (Drôme), she succeeded in effecting a complete transformation in the licentious lives of the numerous girls employed by her brother-in-law. It was among them and the “Réparatrices” that she first solicited offerings for the foreign missions.

Systematic organization of such collections dates back to Her 1819 when she asked each of her intimate friends to act as a promoter by finding ten associates willing to contribute one cent of a week to the propagation of the Faith. One out of every ten promoters gathered the collections of their fellow-promoters ; through a logical extension of this system, all the offerings were ultimately remitted to one central treasurer. The Society for the Propagation of Faith at its official foundation (3 May, 1822) adopted this method, and easily triumphed over the opposition which had sought from the very start to thwart the realization of Pauline Jaricot’s plans. In 1826 she founded the Association of the Living Rosary. The fifteen decades of the Rosary were divided among fifteen associates, each of whom had to recite daily only one determined decade. A second object of the new foundation was the spread of good books and articles of piety. An undertaking of Pauline’s in the interest of social reform, though begun with prudence, involved her in considerable financial difficulties and ended in failure. The cause of her beatification and canonization has been introduced at Rome.

The Story of Saint Philomena

Three people, unknown to each other and living far apart, had what was apparently a revelation made to them about Philomena’s life. Compared – when they were known – these three accounts were found to be identical.

The best known recipient of the revelation was the Foundress of the Oblates of Our Lady of Sorrows, Mother Maria Luisa di Gesù, a Dominican Tertiary.

On the 3rd of August, 1833, this nun was praying after Communion, before a statue of Saint Philomena and she felt a great wish to know the true day of the Saint’s martyrdom, because, after all, August 10th was only the day the relics arrive in Mugnano – a great day for Mugnano, but of not so much importance to people who lived elsewhere. She had often thought of this, but suddenly the desire filled her heart. And then she felt that she must close her eyes…and that she could not open them to look at the statue any more…and a gracious and soft voice came from the direction of the statue, saying:

“Dear Sister, August the 10th 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 5th 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”

The result of this happening as that Mother Maria Luisa was overwhelmed with sadness at the thought that she should fall so easy a prey to an illusion. She took refuge in the sacrament of penance, confessing the whole thing to her director. He was not so hasty in disposing of the matter. He tested it. He wrote off to Mugnano, and asked Don Francesco whether it was true that he had originally intended to have the translation on the 5th and quite quietly in his own house. And the reply came that after clearly how many obstacles prevented his innocent attempt to bring his resent from Rome quickly and quietly into his own chapel!

At that, Mother Luisa’ director gave her an obedience to ask Saint Philomena to tell her some more about her life and martyrdom. So Mother Luisa went to her, 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 a little more. And there came a day when, being in her cell, she felt her eyes being closed and heard the gracious voice again.The following is the account of the life of Saint Philomena as 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, revelations that 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 Spirit, 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.

When we returned to our own dwelling, Father and Mother did all they could to induce me to yield to Diocletian’s wishes and theirs. I cried, “Do you wish, that for the love of a man, I should break the promise I have made to Jesus Christ? My virginity belongs to him. I can no longer dispose of it.” “But you were young then, too young,” answered my father, “to have formed such an engagement.” He joined the most terrible threats to the command that he gave me to accept the hand of Diocletian. The grace of my God rendered me invincible, and my father, not being able to make the Emperor relent, in order to disengage himself from the promise he had given, was obliged by Diocletian to bring me to the Imperial Chamber.

I had to withstand for some time beforehand a new attack from my father’s anger. My mother, uniting her efforts to his, endeavored to conquer my resolution. Caresses, threats, everything was employed to reduce me to compliance. At last, I saw both of my parents fall at my knees and say to me with tears in their eyes, “My child have pity on your father, your mother, your country, our country, our subjects.” “No! No,” I answered them. “My virginity, which I have vowed to God, comes before everything, before you, before my country. My kingdom is heaven.”

My words plunged them into despair and they brought me before the Emperor, who on his part did all in his power to win me. But his promises, his allurements, his threats, were equally useless. He then flew into a violent fit of anger and, influenced by the Devil, had me cast into one of the prisons of the palace, where he had me loaded with chains. Thinking that pain and shame would weaken the courage with which my Divine Spouse inspired me, he came to see me every day. After several days, the Emperor issued an order for my chains to be loosed, that I might take a small portion of bread and water. He renewed his attacks, some of which would have been fatal to purity had it not been for the grace of God.

The defeats which he always experienced were for me the preludes to new tortures. Prayer supported me. I did not cease to recommend myself to Jesus and his most pure Mother. My captivity had lasted thirty-seven days, when, in the midst of a heavenly light, I saw Mary holding the Divine Son in her arms. “My daughter,” she said to me, “three days more of prison and after forty days you shall leave this state of pain.” Such happy news made my heart beat with joy, but as the Queen of Angels had added that I should quit my prison, to sustain, in frightful torments a combat far more terrible than those preceding, I fell instantly from joy to the most cruel anguish; I thought it would kill me. “Have courage, my child,” Mary then said to me; “are you unaware of the love of predilection that I bear for you? The name, which you received in baptism, is the pledge of it for the resemblance which it has to that of my Son and to mine. You are called Lumena, as your Spouse is called Light, Star, Sun, as I myself am called Aurora, Star, the Moon in the fullness of its brightness, and Sun. Fear not, I will aid you. Now nature, whose weakness humbles you, asserts its law. In the moment of combat, grace will come to lend you its force, and your Angel, who was also mine, Gabriel, whose name expresses strength, will come to your aid. I will recommend you especially to his care, as the well beloved among my children.” These words of the Queen of virgins gave me courage again, and the vision disappeared, leaving my prison filled with a celestial perfume. I experienced a joy out of this world. Something indefinable.

What the Queen of Angels had prepared me for was soon experienced. Diocletian, despairing of bending me, decided on public chastisement to offend my virtue. He condemned me to be stripped and scourged like the Spouse I preferred to him. These are his horrifying words. “Since she is not ashamed to prefer to an Emperor like me, a malefactor condemned to an infamous death by his own people, she deserves that my justice shall treat her as he was treated.” The prison guards hesitated to unclothe me entirely but they did tie me to a column in the presence of the great men of the court. They lashed me with violence until I was bathed in blood. My whole body felt like one open wound, but I did not faint.

The tyrant had me dragged back to the dungeon, expecting me to die. I hoped to join my heavenly Spouse. Two angels, shining with light, appeared to me in the darkness. They poured a soothing balm on my wounds, bestowing on me a vigor I did not have before the torture.

When the Emperor was informed by the change that had come over me, he had me brought before him. He viewed me with a greedy desire and tried to persuade me that I owed my healing and regained vigor to Jupiter, another god, that he, the Emperor, had sent to me. He attempted to impress me with his belief that Jupiter desired me to be Empress of Rome. Joining to these seductive words promises of great honor, including the most flattering words, Diocletian tried to caress me. Fiendishly, he attempted to complete the work of Hell which he had begun. The Divine Spirit to whom I am indebted for constancy in preserving my purity seemed to fill me with light and knowledge, and to all the proofs which I gave of the solidity of our Faith, neither Diocletian or his courtiers could find an answer.

Then, the frenzied Emperor dashed at me, commanding a guard to chain an anchor around my neck and bury me deep in the waters of the Tiber. The order was executed. I was cast into the water, but God sent me two angels who unfastened the anchor. It fell into the river mud, where it remains no doubt to the present time. The angels transported me gently in full view of the multitude upon the riverbank. I came back unharmed, not even wet, after being plunged with the heavy anchor.

When a cry of joy rose from the debauchers on the shore, and so many embraced Christianity by proclaiming their belief in my God, Diocletian attributed my preservation to secret magic. Then the Emperor had me dragged through the streets of Rome and shot with a shower of arrows. My blood flowed, but I did not faint. Diocletian thought that I was dying and commanded the guards to carry me back to the dungeon. Heaven honored me with a new favor there. I fell into a sweet sleep, and I found myself, on awaking, perfectly cured.

Diocletian learned about it. “Well, then,” he cried in a fit of rage, “let her be pierced with sharp darts a second time, and let her die in that torture.” They hastened to obey him. Again, the archers bent their bows. They gathered all their strength, but the arrows refused to second their intentions. The Emperor was present. In a rage, he called me a magician, and thinking that the action of fire could destroy the enchantment, ordered the darts to be made red in a furnace and directed against my heart. He was obeyed, but these darts, after having passed through a part of the space which they were to cross to come to me, took a quite contrary direction and returned to strike those by whom they had been hurled. Six of the archers were killed by them. Several among them renounced paganism, and the people began to render public testimony to the power of God that protected me.

These murmurs and acclamations infuriated the tyrant. He determined to hasten my death by ordering my head to be cut off. My soul took flight towards my heavenly spouse, who placed me, with the crown of virginity and the palm of martyrdom, in a distinguished place among the elect. The day that was so happy for me and saw me enter into glory was Friday, the third hour after mid-day, the same hour that saw my Divine Master expire.

What is noteworthy from a historical perspective is not only that this revelation was confirmed y two other individuals unknown to each other (one a priest, the other an historian), but these other confirmatory historical facts: 1) The Third Century Roman Emperor was known for executing Christians by the use of arrows, an exemplified by St. Sebastian; 2) The Third Century Roman Emperor was also known for killing Christians by tying anchors around their necks and throwing them into the water; 3) The reference to “Lumena” — the name given to her at birth, “Light” — and then at Baptism, “Fi Lumena”, “Daughter of Light”, may explain the arrangement of the tiles found at the grave (“Lumena”, her first given name, was on the first tile).

History of the Devotion

Pontifical Documents

The Liturgic And Popular Devotion In The Pontifical Documents

  1. Introduction

Before the decree of the Congregation of Rites of 1961, Saint Philomena was venerated and her figure was present in all the hagiography books (the writings and critical studies of the lives of saints). After 1961, not only was she removed from the liturgical calendar, but in the majority of hagiography books she was treated as a symbol for all legends. Therefore, just like the other “obscure” Saints, even among Saint Philomena’s devotees there were those who continued to venerate her more than ever, while others, confused, fell by the wayside. The purpose of this chapter is to stimulate the reflection of both groups. To the first, we want to give a solid base for their faith. To the second, we want to insinuate doubt, encouraging them to critically evaluate their own opinions. If so many High Pontiffs have approved her Devotion, Saint Philomena is a reality, and cannot be regarded as only legendary.

  1. The liturgical Devotion in the pontifical documents

a – Leo XII, with decree of the Sacred Congregation of Rites, on March 15, 1826 only granted the celebration of the solemn Mass de Communi Virginum et Mart. In the day of Saint Philomena’s feast, in her Sanctuary of Mugnano del Cardinale, as long as it was not a fixed Sunday occurring on the Office Double of First class.

b – Gregory XVI, with decree of September 6, 1834, granted the singing of the Mass even on a Sunday, as long as the feast falls on the 10th of August, day of the Translation of the Saint’s body.

c – The Sacred Congregation of Rites, with decree of September 6, 1834, granted to the secular and regular clergy of the Diocese of Nola the possibility to recite, on the 11th of August, the Office with the Mass of de Comm. Virg. et Mart., primo loco with the Fourth Lesson proprius in honor of Saint Philomena Virgin and Martyr. Pope Gregory XVI on January 30, 1837 approved such decree.

d – Gregory XVI, with decree of the Sacred Congregation of Rites, on March 16, 1839 grants the clergy of Mugnano to recite the Office of Saint Philomena V. and M. on her feast with double major rite.

e – Gregory XVI, with decree of the Sacred Congregation of Rites, on January 1, 1841 promotes the Office of Saint Philomena Virgin and Martyr to double rite of second class without Octave in her own Church of Mugnano.

f – Pius IX, on the request of King Ferdinand II of Bourbon (fig. 17) in 1854 proclaims Saint Philomena second Patroness of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, where the devotion towards the glorious Martyr is widely spread.

g – Pius IX, on January 11, 1855, approves the decree of the Sacred Congregation of Rites, granting the clergy of Mugnano the new Office with its own Mass in honor of Saint Philomena V. and M., with the double rite of second class.

h – Pius IX, on January 15, 1857, approves the decree of the Sacred Congregation of Rites, on request of Mons. Joseph Formisano, Bishop of Nola, extending to the secular and regular clergy of the diocese of Nola the concession to celebrate with the double minor rite the proper Office with the Mass in honor of Saint Philomena V. and M. already approved and granted to the clergy of Mugnano and other dioceses.

i – Pius IX, on April 15, 1858, approves the decree of the Sacred Congregation of Rites that grants the foreign priests who go to Mugnano to visit the Sacred Body of Saint Philomena, the indult to celebrate once only the Saint’s votive mass at her altar, although it would require the Office of double rite, excluding the double rite days of first and second class, the holidays, the vigils and the privileged octaves.

l – Pius IX, with Brief Pontificate of December 9, 9, grants temporarily to the Rector of the Sanctuary of Saint Philomena in Mugnano the privilege to use the pontifical insignias to accomplish all the sacred functions in the Sanctuary.

m – Leo XIII, on January 14, 1896, grants the Patronage Feast of Saint Philomena.

n – Leo XIII, with Brief Pontificate, grants the privileged altar in the Sanctuary of Saint Philomena.

o – Leo XIII, promotes the feast of Saint Philomena to second class rite for the whole Diocese of Nola.

  1. The popular Devotion in the pontificate documents

a – Leo XII, with re-script of the Sacred Congregation of Indulgence, on May 10, 1826, declares the altar of Saint Philomena as daily privileged.

b – Gregory XVI promotes Saint Philomena to Patroness of the Living Rosary.

c – Pius IX more than once grants indulgences, both plenary and partials, and other privileges to the Sanctuary of Saint Philomena with proper decrees bearing the following dates: 16.10.1849; 4.5.1852; 4.1.1853; 31.12.1853; 18.3.1859; 26.6.1863; 3.7.1863.

d – Leo XIII, on December 15, 1883, approves the devotion of the “Cord of Saint Philomena” and on April 4, 1884 he enriches it of precious indulgences.

e – Leo XIII, on September 24, 1889, grants to France alone, the title and privilege of Archconfraternity to the work of Saint Philomena.

f – Pius X, on May 21, 1912, extends to the whole Church the Archconfraternity of Saint Philomena. This Pius association is proclaimed Universal Archconfraternity. In the Brief Apostolic, with regard to the historical authenticity of Saint Philomena, ordains that: “The current statements are and remain always fixed, valid and effective; in this way it has to be regularly judged; and if it is proceeded in another way, it will be null and void, whatever its authority”.

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Fig. 17 – Ferdinand II of Bourbon (1840-1859), great King of Naples. He first married Marie Christine of Savoy, then Marie Theresa of Austria. In the Sanctuary Treasury there are their precious “ex voto”. The whole Royal Family was very devoted to Saint Philomena and very munificent toward her Sanctuary. With Ferdinand II, the Neapolitan Kingdom excelled for prestige, power and wealth. The Army and military fleet were the best ones in Italy. The mercantile one was one of the most important in the world. Ferdinand II strengthened agriculture, commerce and industry. Sharp and dynamic, he was open to culture and progress. The money circulation in the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies was double of all the other Italian States put together! He protected the Church and Pius IX. He died prematurely, was succeeded by his son Francis II (1836-1894) from whom the sceptre will quickly be removed, originating the decline of the whole glorious and flourishing South of Italy.

Papal Devotion

Introduction

The importance of the cult of Saint Philomena is evident not only from the official Church documents, but also from the personal devotions that Popes that have had towards our Martyr.

Nearly all the Popes, from 1802 to 1940, have shown a great veneration for Saint Philomena (fig. 18). Some of them have visited the Sanctuary of the Saint when they were Cardinals of The Holy Roman Church. Pius IX, apart from having been miraculously cured by the Saint and spreading her devotion in the diocese of Imola of which he was Pastor, as a Pope he visited the Sanctuary in Mugnano to venerate the sacred body of Philomena the martyr. The devotion of the Popes toward our martyr was great, as shown by their many recognitions, privileges and ex voto. It follows below, beside their names, the period of their pontificate.

2. The Popes’ devotions

a – Pius VII (1800-1823). He accomplished the greatest act, donating to Mugnano the body of Saint Philomena. As previously mentioned, the finding of the martyr’s body occurred on the 25th of May 1802, the second year of his pontificate. It was not easy for a priest or even a bishop to obtain the body of a martyr, especially if the name was known. Mons. Bartolomeo De Cesare, new Bishop of Potenza, expressed to the High Pontiff the desire and the zeal of Don Francesco De Lucia: Pius VII was moved and donated the body of Saint Philomena.

b – Leo XII (1823-1829). On the 7th of December 1827, he received from Mons. Filippo Ludovici the second edition of Relazione Istorica (Historic Relations) from Don Francesco De Lucia: The Pontiff, who had already heard from different places the echo of the miracles performed by Saint Philomena, wanted immediately to look through the book, and, full of admiration, he exclaimed: “She is a great Saint!”.

c – Gregory XVI (1831-1846). Because of his decrees, promulgated with the greatest caution, he can be considered the Pope that most promoted the cult of Saint Philomena. It is with his decree of 1837 that the re-script of the Congregation of Rites of 1834 was solemnly confirmed. The Pope himself wanted to donate to the Sanctuary of Saint Philomena a precious medallion with his effigy, a big silver lamp with golden decorations and a golden chalice, which are kept in the Sanctuary Treasury.

d – Pius IX (1846-1878). He was a great devotee of Saint Philomena. This devotion began even before he was ordained priest, which is when he was cured from his epilepsy by the intercession of our Saint. When he was Bishop of Imola, even his secretary, Don Joseph Stella, was cured in 1834 by intercession of Saint Philomena. At the same time, the day in which the Oratorians displayed to public veneration a picture of Saint Philomena on the main altar of their Church, he decided to celebrate in person the Holy Mass.

When he became Pope, at his own expense, he helped a poor young man to become a priest; he was called Palmieri and had been cured by Saint Philomena. Struck by cholera, he had been left blind and was miraculously cured by the Saint on the 11th of August 1849. Afterwards, in front of the great urn of Saint Philomena, he expressed the desire to become a priest.

During his stay in the Royal Palace of Portici, Pius IX, accompanied by Ferdinand II of Bourbon and the royal family, on November 7, 1849 came in pilgrimage to the Sanctuary of Mugnano, where he celebrated the Mass at the altar of Saint Philomena (fig. 19).

Amongst the liturgical privileges granted by him and described in chapter V, we certainly must remember the concession of its own Office with Mass, a rare honor.

A few weeks before his death, the Pope sent to Mugnano the Superior of the Holy Spirit, to donate to the Saint the splendid chalice that the Confederation of the Catholic Clubs of Belgium had donated to him in occasion of his 50th episcopacy (August 24, 1877). The chalice is kept in the Sanctuary Treasury.

e – Leo XIII (1878-1903). He came in pilgrimage to the Sanctuary of Mugnano when he was still Archbishop of Benevento. The Pontiff of the great social encyclicals, the sociologist Pope, as he was known, never forgot the Saint of Mugnano. According to the testimony of the Abbot Petit, director of the Work of Saint Philomena in Paris, who was more than once received in audience, every time that somebody mentioned Saint Philomena, the face of Leo XIII would break into a sweet smile.

On December 15, 1883, Leo XIII approved the use of a red and white cord in honor of the Saint. Furthermore, on September 24, 1889 he granted the title of Archconfraternity (solely to France) to the Work of Saint Philomena, and in 1902 he wanted to celebrate in Rome, in Priscilla’s Catacombs, the first centenary for the finding of the saint martyr’s body. Furthermore, he sent two gifts to the Sanctuary in Mugnano: in 1888 a nice pastoral and on the May 25, 1902, on the centenary of the finding of the relics, a wonderful missal. These gifts are kept in the Sanctuary Treasury.

f – St Pius X (1903-1914). He is the Pope that in 1905 proclaimed Blessed the Curate of Ars, on the first centenary of the translation of Saint Philomena’s Body from Rome to Mugnano. The pope wanted to participate from afar in our feast. On the 8th of August, three days before the celebrations in Mugnano, he instructed P. Remer, a fervent devotee of Saint Philomena, to bring to our Sanctuary one of his golden rings to offer to Saint Philomena. On this occasion Mons. Agnello Renzullo, Bishop of Nola, authorized the papal delegate to open the urn, and he slipped the precious ring on the finger of the wax effigy that contains the Saint’s bones.

Pius X loved Saint Philomena very much and he was truly saddened by the Philomenian question about the originality of the stones found in front of her tomb. All of this results from the report that the Abbot Petit wrote about the audience granted to him by Pius X on June 16, 1907. On that occasion Petit offered the Pope a relic of the Curate of Ars and he personally read the enclosed dedication that, of course, referred to Saint Philomena. Petit recounts that when the Pope reached the name of the young Saint, and the well known question came up, he vigorously exclaimed:

“Ah, Saint Philomena! I am very saddened by what is written regarding this topic. How can they possibly write these things?”. And he vigorously displayed his sorrow and disappointment, regarding the “Philomena Question”, in these terms: “How come they do not realize that the big argument in favor of the cult of Saint Philomena is the curate of Ars? Through her, in her name, thanks to her intercession, he has received countless graces, continuous prodigies. His devotion towards her was very well known by everybody, he continuously recommended her […]. It is ascertained, it is clear by now that the soul that formed these sacred remains was a pure and saintly soul that the Church has declared of a virgin and martyr. This soul has been so loved by God, has been so appreciated by the Holy Spirit, that it has obtained the most marvellous graces for those that recurred to her intercession […]”.

The Pope spoke with ardent conviction. We admire his veneration and confidence for Saint Philomena.

Saint Pius X, on the May 21, 1912, extended to the whole Church the Archconfraternity of Saint Philomena: the highest tribute from a pope who became Saint to a great Saint!

g – Benedict XV (1914-1922) and Pius XI (1922-1939). There are no detailed records about the devotion towards Saint Philomena by the Popes after Pius X (fig. 20). Looking through the ex voto present in the Treasury of the Sanctuary, however, the names of Benedict XV and Pius IX do stand out.

The first one gifted the Sanctuary a “silver Lamb for peace”, the second a golden chalice.

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Fig. 18 – The bronze portal of the Sanctuary of Saint Philomena in Mugnano, work of the sculptor Guglielmo Savini.

At the bottom are represented the High Pontiffs who have favoured the great propagation of the cult of our Saint.

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Fig. 19 – Pope Pius IX. On November 7, 1849, accompanied by King Ferdinand II of Bourbon and the Royal Family, he came in pilgrimage to the Sanctuary of Mugnano del Cardinale, where he celebrated the Holy Mass at the altar of Saint Philomena.

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Fig. 20 – Some of the Popes who were devoted to Saint Philomena and were propagators of her cult.

Many Pontiffs have sent gifts to the Sanctuary of Mugnano del Cardinale, some of which are listed below:

  1. Gregory XVI: medallion with his effigy
  2. Pius IX: chalice Confederation of Catholic Clubs of Belgium
  3. Leo XIII: pastoral and missal
  4. Pius X: stole
  5. Benedict XV: “silver Lamb for peace”
  6. Pius XI: chalice

Devotion of Saints and Great Devotees

1. Introduction

The Saints, in the economy of salvation, have the purpose of being witnesses to the faithful of the light of Christ. The greatness of a Saint is measured also by the number of devotees that, following his/her steps, have taken the road to perfection.

Tertulliano used to affirm that the martyrs’ blood represents the seed for the birth of many more Christians. In this instance Philomena’s blood has become a powerful instrument of salvation for countless faithful of every social class. Apart from Popes, even Saints, Blessed and Venerable of the Church have venerated the Virgin and Martyr of Mugnano del Cardinale: a true record!

Only a few of them will be talked about here for the glory of God and Saint Philomena, our Saint.

2. Saints that have been devotees of Saint Philomena.

a – Saint Pius X (1835-1914).

The devotion of this Pope for the Saint has been dealt with in the chapter of the devotions of the Popes and the ex voto offered by them to the Sanctuary of Mugnano. Here we just have to add that the great devotion and respect of Pius X for the Curate of Ars, highly devoted to Saint Philomena, brought him to love our Martyr with deeper intensity.

b – Saint John Marie Vianney, Curé of Ars (1876-1859).

Amongst all the admirable souls, ardent with devotion for Saint Philomena, the first place belongs to the saint Curate of Ars.

It was Pauline Jaricot who talked to him about the Saint of Mugnano and introduced her to him. It was she that gifted him with one of her relics. There is not a biography of the Curate of Ars where our Saint is not mentioned.

In France he was the greatest promoter of the devotion towards the Saint of Mugnano. He had a statue of Saint Philomena placed in his parish church, and then built a Basilica in her honor in Ars. This Basilica, built in the same style of the one in Fourvière, which dominates over Lyon, was terminated after the death of Saint John Marie Vianney (fig. 21).

The saint Curate attributed to the intercession of our Saint, all the numerous miracles performed in Ars.

c – Saint Peter Louis Marie Chanel (1803-1841).

Saint Peter Louis Marie Chanel was born in Cuet in the Diocese of Belley, to which Ars belongs. He was missionary and first martyr (April 28,.1841) of the mysterious and wild Oceania.

His mutual devotion for Saint Philomena came from the Curate of Ars. When he embarked in 1836 for the Archipelago of Tonga, he had in his breviary three pictures: Our Lady, Saint Joseph and Saint Philomena. To the young Saint of Mugnano he would turn in the difficult moments of his apostolate amongst the mistrustful and hostile indigenous. Although not expert in constructions, he started building, trustful in “a Saint for whom he harbors a great devotion”. In honor of the Saint he recited a novena every year in the period of her feast. To one of the first baptized he gave the name Marie Philomeno.

d – Saint Peter Julian Marie Eymard (1811- 1868).

His greatest merit was the foundation in 1856 of the Congregation of the Most Blessed Sacrament. He was a very close friend of the Curate of Ars whom he visited regularly. He was also a disciple and friend of Father Colin. Like him, he had a great devotion towards Saint Philomena. He loved to kneel down in front of the Saint’s reliquary. In 1854 he was cured by the martyr, after a novena recited in her honor.

e – Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat (1779-1865).

Great devotee of Saint Philomena, she founded in 1802 the Society of the Sacred Heart. In the difficult times of her life and her religious order, Mother Barat invoked with faith the Saint of Mugnano.

In her biography she states that on the 11th of September 1846 one of her novices, Miss Monestrol, needed to undergo surgery. While the doctors were preparing the surgical instruments, Barat asked the novice to make a vow to leave for the Americas and she placed her hands on the affected area. The doctors afterwards ascertained that the patient was healed and, stunned, stated that what had just happened was unexplainable according to science. Barat attributed her healing to Saint Philomena, whom she had invoked.

f – Saint John Nepomucene Neumann (1811-1860).

Saint John Nepomucene Neumann was born in Bohemia on the 28th of March 1811. He finished his theological studies, but for a series of circumstances, he could not be ordained priest. He then decided to go to France and from there he embarked for the United States reaching Manhattan in 1836.

After his arrival in America he was received by Bishop John Dubois and ordained priest in the same year. In 1840 he joined the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, founded by Saint Alfonso Maria de Liguori. He dedicated himself to the missionary activity in the States of New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and in Christian education for youth, founding many parish catholic schools.

In 1844 during his first appointment as Superior of the Order of the Redeemer and of Rector of the old Church of Saint Philomena in Pittsburgh, he committed himself with great zeal to the building of the new church in honor of Saint Philomena. The old one, called the “Farm Church” had been situated in an abandoned industrial building which had been demolished. Trustful of the help of the Martyr, “to whom God denies nothing for whomever invokes her” and without worrying about the money, he completed the building of the new Church of Saint Philomena in 1846. This was an accomplishment thought impossible and of great religious advancement.

When appointed Bishop of Philadelphia in 1852, he intensified his missionary and pastoral work and built five more churches and began building the Philadelphia Cathedral. After a saintly and industrious life, he left this earth for Heaven in 1860. Thanks to his pastoral work and his missionary zeal, the devotion to our Saint grew solid roots in Pennsylvania.

g – Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini (1850-1917).

Saint Francesca Cabrini was born in Sant’Angelo Lodigiano (Milan) on the 15th of July 1850 into a deeply catholic family.

In 1880, possessed by a strong zeal for a missionary life, she founded the Institute of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Cotogno (Milan). In 1896 she went to Rome and in the Church of Jesus made a vow to go east as a missionary where she founded the Mother House of the Institute.

Urged by Pope Leo XIII, she left for New York in 1889 with other sisters to begin missionary activity helping Italian emigrants.

On her numerous journeys, especially the ones from New York to Buenos Aires and through the Andes, she always carried with her a small statue of Saint Philomena. We can say that Cabrini, and the Bishop of Philadelphia Mons. Neumann, had the merit of promoting the devotion of the Saint in America more than anyone else. . Saint Francesca died in Chicago in 1917. Her body is kept in the City of New York. Important relics can be found in Chicago and Cotogno. Pius XII declared her Universal Patroness of the Emigrants.

h – Saint Pio of Pietrelcina (1887-1968).

For Saint Pio of Pietrelcina, Saint Philomena was the “Princess of Heaven”. His devotion for the Saint began within his family, where his sister was given her name.

The devotion was strengthened at his novitiate place in Morcone, where at the end of July, the feast of Saint Philomena was celebrated with great solemnity. This feast is continuing today in the Convent of San Giovanni Rotondo (Foggia) in the Capital of the Cappuccini where the Saint was highly venerated. After the liturgical reform of 1961, Father Pio used to imperatively reply to whoever dared to doubt the existence of the Saint: “for the love of God! It might well be that her name is not Philomena!, but this Saint has performed many miracles and it is not the name that did them”. This is the wisest reply: who wants to understand, will understand!

i – Saint Maddalena Gabriella of Canossa (1774-1835).

Maddalena Gabriella Marquis of Canossa was born in Verona on the 1st of May 1774. In 1808, no longer tied by family commitments, she founded the Order of the Canossians (Work of the Charity daughters), an institution of great religious and human advancement.

This religious order dedicated itself to the teaching of catechism, the education of poor young girls and the assistance of the sick in hospitals. Mother Madeleine continuously urged her religious sisters towards the love of Christ and the Virgin of Sorrows, and she entrusted them to the patronage of Saint Philomena (cfr. l’Epistolario della Beata Maddalena di Canossa (the Letters of the Blessed Madeleine of Canossa)).

In a letter she urged Rose Polli, Vice Superior in Milan, to pray to Saint Philomena, “by God distinguished with such miracles that in Romagna she is now called the Thaumaturge.” Superior (letter of July 14, 1834): testimony of love and faith towards our Saint. Many other passages invoke the patronage of Saint Philomena when required by her sisters. They are collected in volume III/5 of her letters. She died in 1835.

l – Saint Hannibal Marie Di Francia (1851-1927).

A native of Messina, he is unanimously recognized as the Apostle of the prayer for vocations, and Father of the poor and orphans. He founded two religious families (Rogationists and the Daughters of the Divine Zeal). Referring to Saint Philomena he used to say: “Saint Philomena has become famous for the great miracles that the Lord has worked through her.”

m – Saint Damien de Veuster (1840 – 1889).

Father Damien, Belgian missionary of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts, spent his life spiritually assisting and curing the lepers relegated to the isle of Molokai in the Hawaiian archipelago. A great devotee of Saint Philomena, he dedicated to her the first chapel he built in the leper colony (cfr.: F. TROCHU, op. cit., p. 200).

Consumed himself by the horrible disease, he died at 49 years of age, leaving hell for Heaven. He fought stoutly against discrimination of the lepers, and his bright testimony generated important results. In the same year of his death (1889) an Association for the fight against leprosy was founded in London. Many more initiatives followed all over the world in remembrance of this heroic Father of the lepers. In 2009, Pope Benedict XVI promoted this martyr to the glory of the Altars for his love towards the most unlucky and marginalized sons of God.

3. Blessed devotees of Saint Philomena

a – The Blessed Bartolo Longo (1841-1926).

Even the Blessed Bartolo Longo, founder of the famous Sanctuary of Pompeii and of its other works, was a great devotee of Saint Philomena. In 1896 he wrote “Life of Saint Philomena Virgin and Martyr”. It was based on the “revelations” of the mystic Neapolitan Sister Marie Louise of Jesus,

On the June 9, 1896, the Lawyer Bartolo Longo with his consort countess Mariana De Fusco, came in pilgrimage to the Sanctuary of Saint Philomena. He served at a Mass and before leaving wrote in the visitors’ registry: “Today, June 9, 1896, I have had the ineffable consolation of offering to the renowned Virgin and Martyr Saint Philomena a sample of my writings with “children of prisoners”, which together with my little orphans and the works of Pompeii I have placed under the patronage of the great Preacher of Christ, Saint Philomena”.

Furthermore, in the June 1902 issue of “The Rosary and the New Pompeii” (p.204), Bartolo Longo published a brief work called The first centenary of the invention and translation of the body of Saint Philomena V. and M., where it can be read amongst other things: “On May 25th of this year was the first solemn centenary of the invention of the body of Saint Philomena V. and M. in Rome […] grateful to the illustrious Virgin and Martyr for favours which I received, I decided to give my homage and pay my respects, by writing about her ‘Life’ in a booklet edited by the Typography School of the Prisoners’ Sons”.

b – The Blessed Anne Marie Taigi (1769-1837).

The Blessed Anne Marie Taigi was a fervent devotee of Saint Philomena and often personally experienced her powerful intercession. Amongst other things, she received the healing of one of her young nieces. The Jesuit P. Gabriel Bouffier affirms that this admirable mother invoked the young Martyr from the Catacombs every night and made her family invoke her also. She had her image displayed in her house and on death’s door, like a good Christian mother, after having given the last recommendations to her sons, she placed them under the special protection of Saint Philomena, of whom she had always propagated the cult.

c – The Blessed Pius IX (1792-1878).

This Pope’s devotion was deep and sincere throughout his whole life. In 1849 he visited the Sanctuary. His name can be read in every chapter of this book: he is present in the miracles chapter (he, when young, was healed by intercession of the Saint); he is present in the liturgical and devotional documents chapter; he is present in the ex voto and the devotion of the Popes for the Saint chapter. Amongst other things, he proclaimed her Second Patron in the vast Neapolitan Kingdom.

  1. Venerable and Servants of God devotees of Saint Philomena

a – The Venerable Pauline Marie Jaricot (1799-1862).

Pauline Marie Jaricot, founder of the Living Rosary and the Society for the Propagation of the Faith was highly appreciated by Pope Gregory XVI who wanted to personally receive her when she passed through Rome. She had been directed to Mugnano to invoke her healing to our Saint. The astonishing miracle of her healing, which he verified in person, induced Pope Gregory XVI to sign the well known decree of 1837.

It was she that gave the relic of Saint Philomena to the Curate of Ars and she was one of the promoters of Philomena’s devotion in Lyon and in the whole of France.

b – The Servant of God Sister Marie Louise of Jesus (1799-1875).

Originally known as Marie Carmela Ascione, she wore the cloth of the Dominican sisters by age 18, taking the name of Sister Marie Louise of Jesus. Later on, intent on spreading of the cult of Saint Philomena and by the echoes of her miracles in the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, she founded the religious family of the “Oblates of Our Lady of Sorrows and Saint Philomena”. From her written work and her autobiography transpires simplicity and clarity of style, together with a deep ascetic doctrine.

Her devotion for our Saint was deep and sincere. However, her “revelations” on the life and martyrdom of Saint Philomena (fig. 22) although answering the need to know more about her life, has effectively brought our Saint towards the legend, detaching her from history. In truth the cult of Saint Philomena did not start from her revelations, nor has it been divulged through them.

The Church, in all the official acts in relation to the cult of our Martyr, has never taken it into account. There is however the sincere devotion of Sister Marie Louise and the beneficial influence that her written work has given to the veneration of Saint Philomena.

 

c – The Venerable Marie Christine of Savoy (1812-1836).

Born in Cagliari in 1812, the Venerable Marie Christine of Savoy – first wife of King Ferdinand II and mother of Francis II, last King of Naples – was a Christian and charitable heroine in the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. She had a great devotion to Saint Philomena. With her husband Ferdinand II, she came for the first time to the Sanctuary of Mugnano on April 11, 1835. The Pius Queen had been married for three years, but she was not fruitful. Immediately after her visit to the Sanctuary, the happy news about the conception of the heir to the throne was announced. The Queen attributed her pregnancy to the intercession of Saint Philomena. As a sign of recognition, she decided to have a female orphanage built in Mugnano dedicated to the Saint, which was built by her august consort. She actually came ten times to Mugnano and her ex voto are kept in the Sanctuary Treasury. She left this earthly life for Heaven on the 31st of January 1836. She was just over twenty-three years old and she had been a Queen for just three years. After the solemn funerals, her body was buried in the Neapolitan Basilica of Saint Clare, where she rests today. The death of the young sovereign generated great mourning and increased the fame of her sanctity. People rushed to pray at the tomb of the “Saint Queen”. Many prodigies happened through her intercession. Pius IX in 1853 proclaimed her as Venerable and Pius XI in 1937 declared heroic her virtues. In numerous biographies the great devotion of Marie Christine of Savoy (fig. 23) towards Saint Philomena is highlighted.

d – The Servant of God, Julie Colbert (1785-1864).

Julie Colbert, Marchioness of Barolo, imposed herself as one of the most extraordinary figures of the nineteenth century. She was very devoted to Saint Philomena and greatly attached to her Sanctuary. She promoted the devotion of the Saint in the city of Turin.

At Napoleon’s court she met the Count Carl Tancredi Falletti who became her husband in 1814. Not having any children, she dedicated herself to charity work and prisoner rehabilitation. She dedicated herself to this work of social and Christian promotion and donated all of her huge wealth to them. She founded the Daughters of Jesus Good Pastor. The Marchioness of Barolo visited the Sanctuary of Saint Philomena in January 1834 and in February 1852, at which time she left a silver heart with a letter for the grace received. Barolo entitled a small, beautiful hospital for sick and crippled young girls to the saint.

e – The Servant of God Andrew Filomeno Garcia (1800-1853).

Amongst the devotees of Saint Philomena there is the Servant of God Brother Andrew Filomeno Garcia who, for his simplicity, calls to mind the Curate of Ars.

Native of the Canary Islands (1800), emigrated to Montevideo when he was about twenty-three years of age, became mendicant friar at the Franciscans of Santiago. For many years he travelled through the cities and the countryside of Chile, carrying in one hand a small box for offerings, in the other a big picture of Saint Philomena that he would show to everybody. To the ones who would stop to listen to him, Friar Garcia would tell about the miracles of the small Saint, leaving them enriched.

He also composed prayers and hymns in honor of Saint Philomena. He died in Santiago in 1853. Two years later, his body, found in pristine condition, was buried in the Church of his monastery, at the altar of Saint Philomena.

f – The Venerable Father Vito Michael Di Netta (1787-1849).

Vito Michael Di Netta, known as the Apostle of the Calabries, was born in Vallata (Avellino) on February 26, 1787. He was a missionary heroic figure of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer founded by Saint Alphonsus Maria de Liguori, Doctor of the Church, whose preaching in Nola has remained memorable.

He was called by God after having terminated his studies at the Seminar of Saint Angelo of the Lombards. He joined the novitiate of the Father Redeemers of Saint Angelo at Cupolo, near Benevento. He was ordained priest on the 30th of March 1811 and was sent to the Calabries where he preached popular missions, covering the region by land and by sea. He worked mainly in Catanzaro and Tropea where in 1822 he became Rector of the Monastery of the Father Redeemers and where he died in an air of purity on the 3rd of December 1849. He was declared Venerable by Pope Pius XI in 1935.

Father Di Netta nurtured a great devotion towards Saint Philomena whom he always invoked in times of the danger he faced as a missionary. The testimony of his fervent devotion towards Saint Philomena is as follows:

“Once he was with Father De Blasio and Ilario at sea, heading for a mission, when suddenly they were surprised by a terrible storm, finding them face to face with death. Only he remained calm, while the others were crying dismayed. He then said: ‘Sons, do not fear, we will survive; let us make a vow to Saint Philomena to celebrate in Her honor the Mass, as soon as we reach the beach, and nothing bad will happen to us.’ ”

After pronouncing the promise, the storm died and everything went calm, and his friends stated to have seen beside him, during the danger, a young girl with an angelic face, whom they believed was Saint Philomena”.

g – The Venerable Jean Claude Colin (1790-1875).

Father J.C. Colin was a great devotee of Saint Philomena. Orphaned at the age of fourteen, he joined the Seminary of Saint-Jodard. He then moved on to the ones of Alix, Verrières and finally Saint Irénée of Lyon, where he completed his theological and philosophical formation. Ordained priest in 1816, he founded the Society of Mary. On April 29, 1836 Pope Gregory XVI approved the Marist Congregation and in 1837 Colin was elected its General Superior.

The Marists, following his guidance, dedicated themselves to the education of the young in local and foreign missions, especially in the remote Oceania. They reaped great results of religious and human promotion. Father Colin used to turn to Saint Philomena with the same love and trust of the Curate of Ars. In Belley, in an old Capuchin Monastery, he founded an oratory dedicated to the Immaculate Conception, in which he placed a statue of Saint Philomena.

  1. Distinguished and common faithful, devotees of Saint Philomena.

a – Mother Mary Theresa (1809-1863).

Mother Mary Theresa, foundress of the Congregation of the Healing Adoration, owes her vocation to Saint Philomena. This religious woman, previously known as Théodelinde Dubouché, young happy and light-hearted, used to study painting. It was through this road that God led her towards the most beautiful heights. While painting a picture of Saint Philomena, which is now in the Cathedral of Bayeux, Mlle. Dubouché received her vocation and conversion.

 

b – The Abbot Louis Petit (1852-1914).

After the death of Don Francesco De Lucia (1847), of John Marie Vianney (1859) and of Pauline Jaricot (1862), another great apostle of Saint Philomena distinguished himself. He was the Abbot Louis Petit (fig. 24), who worked in Paris. Born in Colombey-Les-Deux-Églises on June 15, 1852, he cultivated within his family the love for Saint Philomena. He was a seminarian when his parents moved to Paris, living in the area of the parish church of Saint-Gervais. This church was the only one in the capital with the cult of Saint Philomena well established. In 1872 he founded the periodical L’Echo de Sainte Philoméne, which he managed to publish for two years. Not yet a priest, he also published Histoire du culte de Sainte Philoméne, “History of the cult of Saint Philomena.”

He was ordained in 1879 and two years later joined the Congregation of Saint Vincent de Paoli, where he was director of the Messager de Sainte Philoméne until his death. The purpose of his life had been the spreading of the cult of Saint Philomena and he created a center from which to radiate it.

In the Parisian district of High Vaugirard, he built the lovely chapel of Saint Philomena in Rue Dantzig. From here his written work and his Messager reached France and the rest of the world. In 1883 he received the approval of the Cord of Saint Philomena from the Sacred Congregation of Rites and spread its devotion through his periodical.

Louis Petit also had the inspiration to found the Work of Saint Philomena, with the intention of giving Christian education to the working classes. He joyfully witnessed this pious association become a Universal Archconfraternity with an official act of Pius X on May 21, 1912.

The first century of the finding of Saint Philomena’s bones was solemnly celebrated in Rome in 1902. He had the honor of closing these celebrations with a sung Mass.

When the Abbot Petit came to Mugnano to venerate Saint Philomena in 1883 and 1902, he uses the wonderful missal donated by Pope Leo XIII for the celebration of the Sacred Mass. He died in Paris in 1914, full of merits towards our Saint whom he deeply loved and venerated.

c – An endless list.

In the whole world, countless individuals of every social condition have venerated Saint Philomena. Here are mentioned only a few:

Father Joseph Varin, one of the restorers of the Society of Jesus in France, used to pronounce at least forty times a day the name of the Saint and celebrated a mass in the Sanctuary dedicated to her.

Father O’Sullivan spread the cult of Saint Philomena in Portugal, Ireland, and USA.

Many writers and artists have had admiration and devotion towards the Saint:

  • Michael De Saint Pierre, French catholic novelist, in his biography about the Curate of Ars highlights great fondness for Saint Philomena;
  • Jean Dupré consecrated to Saint Philomena the first fruits of his works;
  • the Italian poets Joseph Borghi and Sylvius Pellico wrote hymns in honor of the “Pure Virgin” and the “Invincible Martyr”.

Many Cardinals, Archbishops and Bishops, from all over the world have come to give homage to Saint Philomena in Mugnano and have left their ex voto:

  • Card. Louis Ruffo Scilla, Archbishop of Naples, who wanted to donate a statue of Saint Philomena to the Sanctuary; the English Cardinal Thomas Weld;
  • Card. James Philip Franzoni, Prefect of Faith Propaganda;
  • Card. Louis Lambruschini, Secretary of Pius IX; Card. Angelo Mai, Prefect of the Vatican Library; Card. Gabriel della Gerga Sermattei;
  • Card. Philip Judge Caracciolo, Archbishop of Naples.
  • In 1837 the Archbishop of Cesarea, went to Mugnano.
  • In 1852 the Sanctuary was visited by: the Bishop of Chicago, Mons. John James Oliviero Vande Velede; Mons. Vincent Spaccapietra, Archbishop of Smirne, John Hilary Bost, Bishop of Merida in the Venezuelan Republic.

Rightfully Ippolito writes: “The Sanctuary of Saint Philomena in Mugnano has by now become renowned for the continuous visits and pilgrimages of foreigners who expressly come from the most remote corners of the earth. Ecclesiastics, noblemen, ladies, and people of every class and condition of all nations have all been seen here and they still pour into that fortunate village to venerate the sacred body of the undefeated Heroine, in gratitude for the graces received, imploring her patronage.”

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Fig. 21 – The Basilica of Saint Philomena in Ars, France. The Curate of Ars, to gather the considerable funds required for its building, in 1859 wrote this: “I will pray to the good God for those that help me to build a nice church to Saint Philomena. Jean Vianney, Curate of Ars.” The Basilica, splendid result of his great love for our Martyr, was finally completed in 1881.

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Fig. 22 – The martyrdom and the cult of Saint Philomena in printings of the nineteenth century.

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Fig. 23 – The pious Queen Marie Christine of Savoy, wife of Ferdinand II, King of the Two Sicilies. She often visited the Sanctuary in Mugnano, near which she decided to build a female orphanage. The Queen attributed the birth of her only son, Francis II, last King of Naples, to the intercession of Saint Philomena. She died young and was mourned by everyone. In 1853 Pope Pius IX proclaimed her as Venerable.

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Fig. 24 – Father Louis Petit. In 1902, by his initiative, Rome became for one day Philomenian City. Near Priscilla’s Catacombs the celebrations for the First Centenary of the finding of Saint Philomena’s body were held. In 1883 and in 1902 he visited Mugnano.

Chronology of the Devotion

Monthly Calendar Regarding the Most Significant Events about the Devotion of Saint Philomena

1. Introduction

The purpose of this work is to offer a solid reference point to the many faithful who venerate Saint Philomena. This chapter, in particular, is to note chronologically all the main events during the year which have characterised the cult of the Saint and its spreading.

2. Historical events and important recurrences during the year

a – January.

  • 1st, 1841 – Gregory XVI, with decree of the Sacred Congregation of Rites, promotes the Office of Saint Philomena to double rite of second class without Octave in her own Church in Mugnano.
  • 8th, 1905 – Saint Pius X affirms that “the greatest argument in favour of the cult of Saint Philomena is the Curate of Ars” (cfr. – J.M. Martinez, Luz y fuerza).
  • 11th, 1855 – Pius IX, with decree of the Sacred Congregation of Rites, approves and grants to the clergy of Mugnano, the new own Office with its own Mass in honor of Saint Philomena Virgin and Martyr, with double rite of second class.
  • 14th, 1896 – Leo XIII grants the Patronage Feast of Saint Philomena.
  • 15th, 1857 – Pius IX, with decree of the Sacred Congregation of Rites, on request of Mons. Joseph Formisano Bishop of Nola, extends to the regular and secular clergy of the diocese of Nola the permission to celebrate with double minor rite its own Office with the Mass in honor of Saint Philomena V. and M., already approved and conceded to the clergy of Mugnano and other dioceses.
  • 30th, 1837 – Gregory XVI solemnly approves the decree of the Sacred Congregation of Rites of September 6, 1834, with which it was granted to the secular and regular clergy of the Diocese of Nola to recite on August 11 the Office with the Mass de Comm. Virg. Et Mart., primo loco with the fourth Lesson in honour of Saint Philomena V. and M.
  • 31st, 1866 – the Abbot Monnin, one of the greatest experts of the Curate of Ars’ life, visits the Sanctuary in Mugnano and celebrates the Mass at the Saint’s altar

b – February. There are no events.

c – March.

  • 15th, 1826 – Leo XII, with decree of the Sacred Congregation of Rites, grants the authorization to celebrate only the solemn Mass of “de Communi Virginum et Mart.” on the day of the feast of Saint Philomena in her Sanctuary in Mugnano del Cardinale, as long as it was not on a fixed Sunday, which would necessitate double Office of first class.
  • 16th, 1965 – the devoted Mary Mulcahy, received a private audience by Paul VI, and handed to him approximately six thousands requests of the Irish faithful asking to reconsider the decree of 1961.
  • 23rd, 1965 – The Secretary of State,His Holiness Pope Paul VI informs Miss Mulcahy that the Pope has passed on to the Sacred Congregation of Rites the petition made by the Irish devotees for a re-examination of the decree of 1961.

d – April.

  • 2nd, 1859 – the Curate of Ars, to find the funds required to build the Basilica in honor of Saint Philomena, wrote – “I shall pray to the good God for those who will help me build a nice church for Saint Philomena. Jean Vianney, Curate of Ars”. The church was completed in 1881, after the Curate’s death.
  • 9th, 1847 – the death of Don Francis De Lucia.
  • 11th, 1835 – Queen Marie Christine of Savoy, with her husband Ferdinand II, King of Naples, came to Mugnano to beg for the grace of fertility.
  • 16th, 1839 – Gregory XVI,. with decree of the Sacred Congregation of Rites, grants the clergy of Mugnano the authorization to recite the Office of Saint Philomena V. and M. on her feast with double major rite.

e – May.

  • 21st, 1912 – Pope Pius X extends to the whole Church the Archconfraternity of Saint Philomena.
  • 24th, 1802 – the finding by the fossors in Rome of a tomb in Priscilla’s Catacombs with martyrdom symbols. The communication of its discovery to Don Philip Ludovici, second caretaker of the catacombs. The tomb contained bones and a vial with some blood. It was sealed by three stones bearing the writing – “Pax Tecum Filumena” and the representation of the martyrdom symbols – the anchor, the arrows, the palm, and the lily.
  • 25th, 1802 – the finding of the body of Saint Philomena in Priscilla’s Catacombs, in the presence of Don Philip Ludovici and many more witnesses.
  • 31st, 1835 – Mons. Anselmo Basilici visits the Sanctuary in Mugnano and gives the Rector Don Francis De Lucia the certificate of the multiplication of Saint Philomena’s relics.
  • 1843,
    month of May – miraculous healing of Saint John Marie Vianney, Curate of Ars.
  • 1843, month of May – miraculous healing in Ars of an ecclesiastic of Moulins, suffering from consumption disease in its last stage.

f – June.

  • 6th, 1907 – Pope Pius X, receiving the Abbot Louis Petit, affirms – “The great argument in favour of Saint Philomena is the Curate of Ars.”
  • 8th, 1805 – donation of the body of Saint Philomena to Mons. Bartolomeo De Cesare, who in turn donated it to his friend, Don Francis De Lucia.
  • 9th, 1896 – Bartolo Longo and his consort visit the Sanctuary. The Blessed Bartolo Longo serves the mass on the altar of the Saint.
  • 14th, 1906 – Pope Pius X personally writes a blessing for the members of the Work of Saint Philomena.
  • 16th, 1835 – Pope Gregory XVI receives Mons. Anselmo Basilici, who updates him on the miracles of Saint Philomena and especially about the multiplication of the relics.
  • 17th, 1835 – the Vice Prefect of the Congregation of Rites examines the miracle of the relics’ multiplication. The result is positive. The miracle is officially verified.
  • 30th, 1805 – Episcopal consecration in Rome of Mons. Bartolomeo De Cesare, newly appointed Bishop of Potenza, thanks to whose intercession through Pope Pius VII, Don Francis De Lucia received in donation the relics of Saint Philomena.

g – July.

  • 1st, 1805 – Don Francis De Lucia and the Bishop Bartolomeo De Cesare leave Rome taking with them the sacred remains of Saint Philomena.
  • 2nd, 1805 – The sacred remains of Saint Philomena arrive in Naples, they are received in the house of the bookseller Antonio Terres.
  • 21st, 1827 – Pope Leo XII donates to the Sanctuary of Saint Philomena the three slabs that sealed the tomb of Saint Philomena. On August 4th these are displayed for public veneration.

     

h – August.

  • 9th, 1836 – building of the chapel at Saint Gervais in Paris in honour of Saint Philomena.
  • 10th, 1805 – transfer of the relics of Saint Philomena to Mugnano del Cardinale.
  • 10th, 1835 – healing of Pauline Jaricot, founder of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith and of the Living Rosary.
  • 11th, 1823 – sweating of the statue of Saint Philomena donated to the Sanctuary by Cardinal Louis Ruffo Scilla.
  • 1814 – healing of the lawyer Alexander Serio and prodigy of the miraculously repaired crack in the altar marble.
  • 1872 – first national pilgrimage to Ars and La Salette, promoted by the Abbot Thédenat.

i – September.

  • 6th, 1834 – Gregory XVI grants permission to sing the Mass even on a Sunday, as long as the feast falls on August 10th, day of the Translation of the Saint’s body.
  • 9th, 1886 – Leo XIII approves the patronage feast for Saint Philomena (January 14).
  • 19th, 1772 – birth of Don Francis De Lucia.
  • 19th, 1796 – ordination of Don Francis De Lucia.
  • 11th, 1846 – healing of the novice Monestrol, of the Order of Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat, by intercession of Saint Philomena.
  • 24th, 1889 – Leo XIII grants France the title and privilege of Archconfraternity for the work of Saint Philomena.
  • 25th, 1983 – Don Giovanni Braschi joins the Sanctuary of Saint Philomena as Rector.
  • 29th, 1805 – definitive translation of the sacred relics to St. Philomena’s chapel in Our Lady of Grace in Mugnano.

j – October.

  • 1871 – the Abbot Thédenat, of the dioceses of Paris, received the inspiration to start the movement of the national French pilgrimages to Ars and to Our Lady of Salette (fig. 25) while praying on the tomb of the Venerable J.M. Vianney, in proximity of the altar of Saint Philomena.
  • 16th, 1887 – Leo XIII blessed the flag that Father Louis Petit used in the pilgrimages to Paray le Monial, Ars and La Salette.

     

k – November.

  • 7th, 1849 – Pius IX goes to the Sanctuary of Mugnano to celebrate Mass on the altar of the Saint.
  • 1854 – Pius IX, on request of Ferdinand II, King of Naples, proclaims Saint Philomena Second Patroness of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, after Saint Januarius.
  • 29th, 1963 – the archaeologist, Jesuit Father Anthony Ferrua, re-examines positively the epitaph on the tomb of the Saint.

l – December.

  • 1833 – miraculous healing of the dying Franciscan sister Mary Jesualda Garelli.
  • 9th, 1859 – Pius IX, with Brief Pontificate, grants temporarily to the Rector of the Sanctuary of Saint Philomena in Mugnano the privilege to use the pontifical insignias to accomplish all the sacred functions in the Sanctuary.
  • 15th, 1883 – Leo XIII approves the pious practice of the Blessed Cord of Saint Philomena and grant indulgences to whoever carries it.
  • 21st, 1833 – Imprimatur (Publication) of the Holy Office to the “Revelations” of Sister Marie Louise of Jesus.
  • 25th, 1970 – the periodical “La Campana (The Bell)” printing organ of the Diocese of Nola carries the article of November 29, 1963, written by the Jesuit Fr. Anthony Ferrua, in which the results of the re-examination of the epitaph on the tomb of the Saint are detailed.

3. Other important events worth noting.

  • 1819 – the future Pius IX is healed of epilepsy by intercession of Saint Philomena.
  • 1824 – first edition of the work of Don Francis De Lucia, Historic Relation of the translation of the Body of Saint Philomena, Virgin and Martyr from Rome to Mugnano del Cardinale. It was printed an additional six times and translated in many different languages.
  • 1835 – the image of Saint Philomena is displayed for the first time in the Church of Saint Gervais in Paris (fig. 26).
  • 1837 – the Holy Curate of Ars builds an altar in honor of Saint Philomena.
  • 1880 – Arnard Doncoeur first and, then later, the abbot Louis Petit and Father Joseph Bonavenia, following accurate studies, dates the burial niche of Saint Philomena to the post-apostolic period.
  • 1890-1910 – De Waal and Marucchi show doubts.
  • 1906-1907 – Bonavenia challenges the two archaeologists.
  • 1961 – the Congregation of Rites removes the feast of Saint Philomena from the liturgical Calendar.
  • 1964 – Mons. Luigi Esposito, Rector of the Sanctuary of Mugnano, with the visto from Msgr. A. Binni, Bishop of Nola, submits a question, asking about the authentic interpretation of the disposition “Festum autem S. Philumenae…” and precisely if with that disposition had been removed only the liturgical cult or also every kind of cult. The answer was – “The liturgical cult has been removed, the popular cult has remained unchanged. The Saint can be venerated and honored even by the Local Council with the external feast and the Mass.”.
  • 1964 – Dante Balboni underlines the theological aspect.
  • 1971 – Mons. Luigi Esposito publishes the book “Saint Philomena Roman Virgin. Historic news.”
  • 1981 – publication of G.J.E. Mautner Markhof’s “Das un-bequeme Wunder”, Poseidon Press, Vienna 1981.
  • 1983 – on September 25, Don Giovanni Braschi is nominated Rector of the Sanctuary of Saint Philomena, with decree of H. E. Mons. Joseph Costanzo, Bishop of Nola.
  • 1985 – Don Giovanni Braschi publishes the book “Saint Philomena”, reprinted in 1992, 1996, 1999 and 2003.
  • 1987 – institution of the Philomenian Centers in the world, wanted by Rector Braschi; promotion of the Universal Archconfraternity of St. Philomena and of the Living Rosary in USA and Canada.
  • 1989 – beginning of restoration work at the Sanctuary of Saint Philomena.
  • 1990 – Rector Giovanni Braschi founds the Agency “Lumena Travel” in Boston for the pilgrimages of USA – ITALY, with compulsory visit to the Sanctuary.
  • 1990 – Rector Braschi promotes the official publication of the periodical “Philomena” for Switzerland, in the German language, edited by the Theresia-Verlag (CH).
  • 1992 – Conference of Philomenian Studies with Chairman H. E. Mons. Umberto Tramma, Bishop of Nola. Coordinator Prof. Don Giovanni Ariano. Speaker and vaticanist Mons. Dante Balboni. Many were the participants and vast the contents.
  • 1994 – conclusion of the partial restoration of the Sanctuary – artistic panelled ceiling of the seventeenth century, new Martyrs hall and House of the Pilgrim; installation of bells in the bell tower.
  • 1996 – a year rich with pilgrimages to the Sanctuary of Saint Philomena, pilgrims coming from the USA, Germany, Australia, Angola, Guatemala, Ukraine and Hungary.
  • 1997 – publication of the book Ismeretlen Ismeros in Hungarian, promoted by the Rector Braschi, written by Dr. Golenszky Kandid O. Cist. (Budapest). Inauguration and blessing of a new statue of Saint Philomena in Kecskemét, attended by the Rector of the Sanctuary.
  • 1999 – donation of a painting by the famous artist Festzy Masa by the Association of Saint Philomena in Hungary. This was made possible on initiative of the responsible Horvàth Gyongyi of Budapest.
  • 1999 – Regional Conference in the Sanctuary of Saint Philomena for the Centenary of the birth of P. Jaricot, Foundress of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith and of the Living Rosary.
  • 2000 – Marie Burns of Glasgow Scotland UK is appointed acting Director General of the Archconfraternity by the Rector Msgr. Braschi.
  • 2000 – First Archconfraternity of Saint Philomena meeting in Navarre, Ohio, USA, coordinated by Rector Msgr. Braschi and Marie Burns, acting Director General, of the Philomenian Center of Glasgow (Scotland, UK). Hosted by Fr Robert Gibas.
  • 2000 – realization of the bronze main entrance of the Sanctuary, the work of artist William Savini. Donated by the Local Council of Mugnano del Cardinale and blessed by Cardinal Louis Poggi on the12th of December, with the participation of H. E. Abp. Benjamin Depalma, Bishop of Nola.
  • 2001 – 18th May – first official pilgrimage to stay in the newly restored Pilgrim Center, within the Sanctuary, from Scotland UK. Included the young, old, disabled and children. Led by Fr. Peter Lennon of Glasgow Scotland UK, great promoter of St. Philomena and the Cure d’Ars. Rosemary Campbell, Marie Burns and Michael Malley R.I.P. Welcomed by the Rector of the Sanctuary Msgr. Braschi and the Mayor of Mugnano along with prestigious council committee members. The first of many Scottish and worldwide pilgrimages staying in the new pilgrims centre and continue to do so.
  • 2002 – painting restoration of the Sanctuary and of the old Sacristy. Building of the chapel of the Crucifix, annexed to the altar of Saint Philomena. All on initiative of the Rector Mons. Giovanni Braschi. The restoration of the wooden Crucifix and the realization of the polychrome stained glass window were assigned to the artist Luigi Falco.
  • 2002 – donation of an artistic and monumental statue, the work of the sculptor Peratoner of the Ortisei School (Bolzano). Donated by a group of devotees from Austria and Bavaria (Germany).
  • 2002 – celebration of the bicentenary for the finding of the Sacred Body of Saint Philomena. Pilgrimage to Priscilla’s catacombs in Rome –promoted by the Rector of the Sanctuary and with the participation of the International Centers and of the citizens of Mugnano.
  • February 27-29, 2002 – recognition of the Sacred Relics of Saint Philomena on the occasion of the bicentenary of the finding on May 25, 1802 in Priscilla’s catacombs. The recognition was carried out, with maximum discretion and scientific scrupulousness in the presence of a board of studies delegated by H. E. Abp. Benjamin Depalma, Bishop of Nola and the Rector Mons. Giovanni Braschi.
  • 2003 – Permanent appointment of Marie Burns of Glasgow, Scotland UK as Director of the Universal Archconfraternity of St Philomena. Appointed by Msgr. Braschi, Rector.
  • 2003 – visit of the Rector Giovanni Braschi to the house of the Ven. Pauline Jaricot in Lorette and to her tomb in the Church of Saint-Nizier in Lyon. On this occasion he also visited the Sanctuary of Ars.
  • 2003 – launching a comprehensive new website by webmaster.
  • August 9, 2003 – Conference of the Rector Mons. Giovanni Braschi on television (Rai 1, program Mattina Uno) on the subject “The miracles of Saint Philomena”.
  • February 2004 – official visit of the Rector Mons. Giovanni Braschi to the Archconfraternity of Saint Philomena center in the Ivory Coast.
  • May 2004 – visit of the Rector Mons. Giovanni Braschi to the Archconfraternity center of Scotland, with Mass and a meeting with devotees at Carvin Grotto in Motherwell, Scotland UK.
  • November 2004 – official visit of the Rector Mons. Giovanni Braschi to the various centers and churches of the United States. Eight states were visited – Indiana, Georgia, Wisconsin, New Jersey, Washington, Arizona, Nevada and California. While in Arizona, Marie Burns, Director of the Archconfraternity of Saint Philomena, joined Father Braschi in meeting with new webmaster, who introduced Fr. Braschi
    and Mrs. Burns to Arizona Governor, Janet Napolitano.
  • January 2005 – restoration work on the tomb of Don Francis De Lucia. Realization of a bas-relief in bronze, which was the work of Prof. Silvano Muollo. The work was inaugurated during the feast of Saint Philomena’s Patronage. Inauguration of new benches in the Sanctuary. The benches were donated by an anonymous devotee from the United States.
  • February 2005 – beginning of the restoration works of the Sacred Altar of Saint Philomena.
  • April 9, 2005 – Conference of Philomenian Studies promoted by Msgr. Braschi, Rector of the Sanctuary and coordinated by the Prof. Fr. Giovanni Ariano. Held in the Basilica of St. Sylvester in Rome near Priscilla’s catacombs. Participation included various heads from the International Philomenian Centers and well known scholars. Discussed the “Philomena Question” in knowledgeable, lucid, and exhaustive detail. Conference presenter and webmaster reported that the Sanctuary’s website was receiving more than a million visitor hits a month, thus demonstrating the great renewal in the devotion to Saint Philomena in the 21st Century. In memory of the Michael Malley of Glasgow (Scotland UK) who was due to attend but died just before, his hand painted banners exquisitely made where presented to the Sanctuary of St Philomena and Archconfraternity Centres of Aruba, Ivory Coast, Australia and USA to commemorate the occasion.
  • May 2005 – official visit of the Rector Mons. Giovanni Braschi to various centers and churches of England, Scotland, Ireland and Northern Ireland. Participation of the Rector in a meeting and solemn Mass in the Sanctuary of Knock, Ireland.
  • August 10, 2005 – celebration for the bicentenary of the translation of the Body of Saint Philomena from Rome to Mugnano del Cardinale. Display and procession of the Sacred Body of the Saint. The
    unveiling of a shell with the effigy of Saint Philomena (high-relief in bronze realized by the artist Prof. Silvano Muollo) in remembrance of the bicentenary.
  • March 10, 2007 – second official visit of the Rector Mons. Giovanni Braschi to the Philomenian Center of Budapest, Hungary.
  • June 2008 – official visit of the Rector Mons. Giovanni Braschi to the Philomenian center at the in Scottsdale, Arizona, USA. Also to commemorate the death of Fr James Swenson R.I.P., a great benefactor of the Sanctuary, who donated the elevator, at the Church of St. Bridget’s in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.
  • July 4, 2008 – centenary of the coronation of Our Lady of Graces with solemn celebration in Umberto I square, Mugnano del Cardinale.
  • September 25, 2008 – 25th Rectorate Anniversary for Mons. Giovanni Braschi at the Sanctuary of Saint Philomena.
  • February 2009 – official visit of the Rector Mons. Giovanni Braschi to the various centers and churches of the United States. The journey was organized for the inauguration of the new statue (by the sculptor Gioacchino Cennamo) of Saint Philomena in the Church of Saint Peter Chanel in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
  • January 2011 – Sister Bertilla’s death in Mugnano.
    A very special tribute must be paid to our late Sister Bertilla. Sister Bertilla, originally known as Maria Giuseppina Ecclesiastico, was sent to Mugnano del Cardinale on August 5, 1986 by H. E. Mons. Joseph Costanzo, Bishop of Nola. With admirable dedication for nearly a quarter of a century, she carried out her mission in our Sanctuary, fully devoted to the divine cult, the glory of Saint Philomena and at the service of the very many faithful.
  • April 2011 – A new website for the Archconfraternity of Saint Philomena is launched by webmaster.
  • For several years now, on the last Sunday of August, at the request of Msgr. Giovanni Braschi, Mugnano del Cardinale is gladdened by the Alfonsian Chorus and by the Alfatern Orchestra. The much anticipated concert is conducted by the authoritative Maestro Father Paolo Saturno and is the expression of the creative talent of composer Father Alfonso Vitale. There has been an excellent and constructive relationship for some time between the Sanctuary of Saint Philomena and the Fathers of the Congregation of the SS. Redeemer, founded by Saint Alphonsus de Liguori.

061013_2212_CHAPTERVIII2

Fig. 25 – The statue of
Saint Philomena which stands out in the scenery of La Salette, France near the famous Marian Sanctuary, a destination of many pilgrimages.

061013_2212_CHAPTERVIII3

Fig. 26 – The first effigy of Saint Philomena displayed in the Church of Saint Gervais in Paris (1835). Devotion to the Martyr spread quickly in France.

Prayers and Devotions

The Novena is a powerful means to obtain graces and heavenly favours. The devotees can recite the Novenas composed by Don Francesco De Lucia, by Saint John Marie Vianney, Cure of Ars, or the Litanies for nine consecutive days. When the intention is very important, during the Novena, it is appropriate to participate every day in the Holy Mass. Marvellous spiritual results can be equally achieved having a Novena of Holy Masses celebrated at the Sanctuary of Saint Philomena in Mugnano del Cardinale. Many devotees living abroad, not being able to visit our Sanctuary, send us their Prayer Petitions which we, with every care, lay down at the Altar of our young Martyr, the great Saint Philomena.

Novena in honour of Saint Philomena V.M.

written by Don Francis De Lucia.

This has to be devoutly recited to prepare for her Feast and to obtain the desired graces.

Supplication
Purest Young Virgin, most faithful disciple of the Gospel and very powerful Martyr of Jesus Christ, You, who were full of grace and purity, enriched with faith and power in a faithless and corrupted world, and especially in Rome, where the throne of idolatry, tyranny, and every infernal superstition, and the cradle of all the most deforming vices could be found, this idolatrous city was nothing else but a horrible Babylon of prostitution; and you in the center of the capital of the pagan and corrupted world, managed to keep yourself strong in the faith, and pure for your heavenly Spouse until the last breath of your life was sacrificed for the many atrocious martyrdoms; we pray to you for all of your highest merits to implore for us from the throne of the merciful heavenly Father the gift of perseverance of faith, and purity of mind and body, and to let us die with the grace of Jesus Christ. So be it.
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be and Creed.

Supplication
Very powerful Martyr, and most faithful Virgin of Jesus Christ, in order to preserve intact and immaculate the treasure of purity and faith for our God accepted, to be drowned in deep waters with Anchor tied around your neck till suffocated, you were freed by heavenly Spouse: we humbly ask your intercession, so that in times of deep suffering, sorrow, and anxiety, that continuously surround us, we be strong, and freed from the guilt of our faults, freed from the death of our souls, and avoid being drowned in the waters of temptations. So be it.
Our Father, Hail Mary, Gory Be and Creed.

Supplication
Beloved Bride, and resolute Martyr of Jesus Christ, You that in order to remain permanently virgin and strong in the faith, accepted to be exposed to the eyes of many filthy and wicked pagans in the idolatrous Rome, and in order to defend the virginity and doctrine of the Gospel renounced the delights of the flesh, the pleasures and the pomp of the world, the life of your own perfectly pure body, and exposed yourself to the flogging of leather and metal rings, and so under deluge of cruel lashings you were covered in sores and blood, and became very similar to your divine Loved one; implore for us miserable sinners, the necessary strength to live far from the stain of sins, and to die constant in the faith of the Roman Church, like You, no matter the pain, dishonour and even death itself. So be it.
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be and Creed.

Supplication
Zealous warrior for virginity and faith of Jesus Christ, for the unconquerable and cheerful firmness that you showed by exposing your virginal body three times in Rome to hold fast to the Doctrine of Jesus Christ and true to your purity, you accepted to be pierced by sharp and cruel arrows in this way you gained many palms and decorations as many as the mortal wounds that you bore for your Heavenly Spouse: grant us fragile observers of the divine law the strength necessary for our eternal wellbeing, so that with holy patience we tolerate all the suffering and grief of this life, and all the infernal arrows and darts fired against our souls by the temptations of the devil.
Amen
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be and Creed

Final Prayer

Illustrious and Glorious Martyr and Bride of Christ your Heavenly Beloved was not satisfied with the atrocious motorisation that you had to endure so he did not allow death to extinguish your precious life in order that you could continue your sufferings and bitter fight amidst wounds, blood and pain and so by keeping you alive you were ready for fierce attacks and terrifying provocations to grant you more immortal victories, palms, triumphs and wreaths. In this way He made you a more admirable bride before the angels in the Kingdom of his Glory and more distinguished among crowned and triumphant martyrs. For this Heavenly Council you were put in chain and were dragged in front of the tyrants of Rome to be tempted yet again against purity and faith; your inhuman enemies in desperation to bring your pure and faithful heart under submission, condemned you to be beheaded and so, covered in garlands and graces you were taken glorious and triumphant into the reign of your Spouse.

In this Holy Novena we implore you to gaze on us from the greatness of your heart, console us with a sign that you have accepted our humble homage which we have offered you, and grant us the graces for which we ask, only if they will help us in our eternal life, and any other graces which from Heaven you think we may need to free our souls from eternal death even though we deserve it for all our grave sins. We hope to be consoled by your celestial charity. We bless with profound devotion the holy trinity who on this earth preceded you with blessings of purity, faith, perseverance and of many others that made your life so holy on earth and glorious in heaven where you were taken victorious and triumphant against atrocious enemies and amongst many trials, helping you with his gifts we thank the Immaculate Virgin Mother of Jesus Christ, Queen and Comfort of Martyrs who with her maternal and powerful assistance allowed you to overcome all your mortal torments.

This we hope with the veneration of your merits and the joyful remembrance of your triumphs
Amen
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be and Creed.

Novena in Honour of Saint Philomena Virgin and Martyr

composed by Saint Giovanni Maria Vianney Cure of Ars.

PRAYER
(to be recited every day of the novena)

Glorious Virgin and Martyr greatly loved by God, Saint Philomena, I rejoice with you for the power that God has given you for the glory of His name, for the building of His church and to honour the merits of your life and your death. I delight in seeing you so pure, so generous, so faithful to Jesus Christ and to his Gospel, so magnificently rewarded in heaven and on earth, drawn by your example to practise virtue, full of hope because of all the rewards conceded to your merits I propose to imitate you by avoiding sin and obeying God completely. Help me o Great Saint by your powerful intercession. Grant me above all an inviolable purity for ever, an indomitable spirit against all evil, the generosity to deny nothing to deny no sacrifice to God and a love as strong as death for the faith of Jesus Christ for the holy Roman Catholic Church and for the Pope, the Father of all the faithful, Shepherd of shepherds and of sheep, vicar of Jesus Christ throughout the world, to these graces that I now ask for with all the ardour of my soul O Saint Philomena, I add even more graces, which I am confident that through your powerful intersession will be granted me.

(State with simplicity, trust and humility that graces that you desire from the Saint)

No, the good God for whom you shed your blood and gave your life, the good God who is so lavish with you, and through you of his gifts and favours the good God who loved me so much as to die for me, and who gives himself to me through the Eucharist, no, he will not say no to your prayers to my wishes, he surely feels the need to help us. I fervently hope so; I put all my trust in him and in you.
Amen.

FIRST DAY

Consider that Saint Philomena was a virgin. A virgin in this world… a virgin despite persecution… a virgin until death. What an example! What is the reason of my confusion? What is the remedy?
Humiliate yourself often for what has caused you shame, pondering on her virginal purity.
Assist at Holy Mass in her honour and pray to one of her statues or pictures.

SECOND DAY
Consider that Saint Philomena was and remained a virgin… because she repressed the corrupt desired of the flesh…, she retained the modesty of Jesus Christ she avoided the deceiving world and dangerous occasions. Do you imitate here in all these ways? What are the causes of your temptations…of your weaknesses… of your unease…of your downfall? Try to eliminate them.
Shun what has harmed you; practice what you have neglected to do in regards to chastity.

THIRD DAY
Consider that Saint Philomena maintained and increased her love for virginity with prayer, a great source of spiritual life; with the sacraments; the soul is washed with the blood of Christ, and is nourished with his sacred body, divine origin of Christian virginity considering that her members were the members of Jesus Christ and her body was the temple of the holy spirit. Have you not all these means also? What use do you make of them?
Double the fervour of your prayers, every now and them repeat to yourself: my members are those of Jesus Christ the temple of the Holy Spirit
(Holy mass etc.. as first day)

FOURTH DAY
Consider that Saint Philomena was a martyr… that she suffered… she suffered a lot… suffered until death, and she showed in these moments of torment and invincible patience…are suffering and patience inseparably connected in you? Do you rarely suffer…suffer very little…never enough to die because of it…where does this weariness come from? Would you not like to make some changes?… in which way would you obtain this?
Accept with patience the few discomforts, obstacles and difficulties that it pleases the lord to send you today.
Assist at Holy Mass in her honour and pray to one of her statues or pictures.

FIFTH DAY
Consider that Saint Philomena was a martyr for Jesus Christ …they wanted for take her faith away…they wanted her to transgress her Baptismal vows…induce her to follow the examples of the idolaters and apostate. What does the devil, the world, the flesh and your heart want from you if not the same unfaithfulness? They are offensive to God… is it not vain fear that makes you betray your faith, stops you from fulfilling your duties? My God what disgraceful laxity! Find the necessary courage…
Gain the respect of a fellow human being, say to yourself occasionally it is better to be pleasing to God rather than to a Man.
Assist at Holy Mass in her honour and pray to one of her statues or pictures.

SIXTH DAY
Consider that Saint Philomena when she died for Jesus Christ followed this rule made by our Saviour: “if you do not love me more that your father and your mother, even more than you love yourself then you cannot be my disciple.” She did not hesitate… she sacrificed everything, even though blood and nature made themselves heard. In less difficult situations are we worthy of Jesus Christ? If at times when we have to choose between God and Man, Between Grace and Nature, who do we choose? Oh! Let us in the future respect our dignity as children of God and disciples of Jesus Christ.
Let us try today to please only god or other beings, always and solely for God. Keep far from confused affections.
Assist at Holy Mass in her honour and pray to one of her statues or pictures.

SEVENTH DAY
Consider that Saint Philomena when she died for Jesus Christ had to tolerate the mockery, the abuse of her persecutors, of her executioners and most of the spectators of her torture. She was very generous very constant, very cheerful when publicly declaring her faith… if the world offered you a similar chalice to drink would you have enough courage to devour the jestings the scorn the most unjust persecutions,.. can he who is honoured by God be dishonoured? Have no fear…follow your path…it will end with the gaining of eternal glory.
Do not allow anger into your heart, if something is said abruptly, coarsely, sharply, insultingly etc…
Assist at Holy Mass in her honour and pray to one of her statues or pictures.

EIGHTH DAY
Consider that Saint Philomena by dying for love of Jesus Christ entered eternal life full of joy “yes I am certain” she would say form the bottom of her heart ” that the supreme Judge will give me in exchange for the worldly good that I have sacrificed to his love, the Crown of justice that he had promised me.” She dies…and here she is in the tabernacle of God with the Saints to follow the Lamb… are these the thoughts that I try to have when I have to make a sacrifice? What impression do they make on my soul? To which side do the scales tilt? Ah! The Saints to obtain all would say: let us leave all what will I say?
Let us decide on a voluntary sacrifice for today…Let us with pleasure fulfil all our duties etc…
Assist at Holy Mass in her honour and pray to one of her statues or pictures.

NINTH DAY
Consider that Saint Philomena in this unworthy world sacrificed all for Jesus Christ, receiving in return in this world directly from him a hundred fold of what she had renounced to. What power! What Glory! How much grandeur humiliated at her feet, how many pilgrims at all her sanctuaries. How many festivities in her honour. What tributes of veneration are offered to her, what agitated zeal to collect her relics. In this way God fulfilled his promises. Eh! If only we kept our promises to him with such faithfulness! But by taking away his Glory do we not deprive ourselves of many favours and merits in this world and in the next? So courage…be loyal…so that God will be loyal with you.
Today perform and act of mercy in honour of the Saint. Prepare yourself with a good confession to receive Our Lord Jesus Christ worthily.
Assist at Holy Mass in her honour and pray to one of her statues or pictures.

PRAYER

Oh God among the miracles of your power you also donated to the weaker sex the victory of martyrdom help us who celebrate the birth of the blessed Philomena your virgin and martyr with her examples to you we come.
Through Christ Our Lord
Amen

Novena Prayer to St. Philomena

This can be recited for 9 successive days

O faithful virgin and glorious martyr, St Philomena, who works so many miracles on behalf of the poor and sorrowful, have pity on me. Thou knowest the multitude and diversity of my needs. Behold me at thy feet, full of misery, but full of hope. I entreat thy charity o great Saint. Graciously hear me and obtain from God a favourable answer to the request which I now humbly lay before you (here specify your petition). I am firmly convinced that through thy merits, through the scorn, the sufferings and the death thou didst endure, united to the merits of the Passion and Death of Jesus thy Spouse, I shall obtain what I ask of thee and in the joy of my heart I will bless God, who is admirable in His saints. Amen

Prayer for a Novena to Saint Philomena

Faithful Virgin and distinguished Martyr
Saint Philomena
I rejoice in your glory and
I am exultant with joy
When I see you glorifying God,
Particularly with miracles
in favour of the poor
and of those with simple hearts.
I pray that His Divine Majesty designates
your name to more and more people,
that he reveals your power
and increases your servants.
O dear and good Saint Philomena
here I am at your feet
full of misery
but still full of hope,
I invoke your charity,
bless me and help me in my moment of need,
and do not abandon me ever!
O great and lovable Saint,
protect me from the enemies of salvation
and always pray to our Lord Jesus
that he grant me the grace
to serve him in this world
and then to belong to him for eternity.
Amen

Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory be

Prayer for Special Intentions

Prostrate at your feet O great and glorious little Saint, I humbly come with my fervent desires the prayer of my heart; accept it benignly and grant me the graces which I request

Saint Philomena pray for me

Glory be to the Father etc.

My heart is in turmoil I feel the pain grief is crushing me, I am in need of grace, help me, grant me my request

Saint Philomena pray for me

Glory be to the Father etc.

Weary without comfort deprived of hope alone overburdened by affliction I trust in you to answer my prayer

Saint Philomena pray for me

Glory be to the Father etc.

I realise that the cause of my many misfortunes were my grave sins, obtain for me the pardon which I need, instil in me the love for Jesus

Saint Philomena pray for me

Glory be to the Father etc.

Gaze on my home O Saint, turn your eyes on my family, look with your sweet smile upon your devout followers, dry the tears of everyone, put in my heart a ray of hope, give everyone peace, health and providence.

Saint Philomena pray for me

Glory be to the Father etc.

See how many graces I need, do not abandon me, you who are all powerful in God, keep me from sorrow and affliction let my heart be peaceful, free me from danger and ruin. Bless my home my family your followers and grant me my desired grace. ( ask for the grace).

O lovely Saint do not abandon me and pray for me.

Glory be etc.

Through the virtue of your martyrdom may God have pity on us

Glory be etc. 3 times

Monsignor Michele Camerlengo, Bishop of Nola

O Philomena!

Favourite daughter of the Queen of the heavens,
Your mother delights
In your beauty;
she glories in your graceful virtue
and she rejoices for the flowers and offerings
made to you by all nations.
O Philomena!
The nations applaud you
for the continuous benefits received,
and your name has rekindled
in many souls the sweetest hope.
Amiable Saint,
manifest your power
and come to our aid.
Help us o generous Virgin and fearless Martyr
To meditate the mysteries of the Faith
And to remain like you, faithful to Jesus Christ until death.

Amen.
Ven. Pauline Marie Jaricot

Litany To Saint Philomena

(composed by the Cure of Ars)

Lord have mercy on us, Lord have mercy on us.

Christ have mercy on us, Christ graciously hear us

Lord have mercy on us, Lord have mercy on us

God the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.

God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.

God the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.

Holy Trinity one God, have mercy on us.

Holy Mary, Queen of Virgins, pray for us.

Response: pray for us!

Saint Philomena

Saint Philomena, filled with the most abundant graces from your very birth

Saint Philomena, faithful imitator of Mary

Saint Philomena, model of Virginity

Saint Philomena, temple of the most perfect humility

Saint Philomena, inflamed with zeal for the Glory of God

Saint Philomena, victim of the love of Jesus

Saint Philomena, example of strength and perseverance

Saint Philomena, invincible champion of chastity

Saint Philomena, mirror of the most heroic virtues

Saint Philomena, firm and intrepid in the face of torments

Saint Philomena, scourged like your Divine Spouse

Saint Philomena, pierced by a shower of arrows

Saint Philomena, consoled in chains, by the Mother of God

Saint Philomena, miraculously healed in prison

Saint Philomena, comforted by angels in your torments

Saint Philomena, who preferred torments and death to the splendours of a throne

Saint Philomena, who converted the witnesses of your martyrdom

Saint Philomena, who wore out the fury of your executioners

Saint Philomena, protectress of the innocent

Saint Philomena, patroness of youth

Saint Philomena, refuge of the unfortunate

Saint Philomena, health of the sick and the weak

Saint Philomena, new light of the church militant

Saint Philomena, who confounds the impiety of the world

Saint Philomena, who stimulates the faith and courage of the faithful

Saint Philomena, whose name is glorious in Heaven and feared in Hell

Saint Philomena, made illustrious by the most striking miracles

Saint Philomena, all powerful with God

Saint Philomena, who reigns in glory

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.

V. Pray for us, Saint Philomena,

R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ

Let us pray

We implore Thee, O Lord, by the intercession of Saint Philomena, Virgin and Martyr, who was ever most pleasing to Thy eyes for her eminent purity and the practice of every virtue, pardon us our sins and grant us all the graces we need ( name any special grace you may require). Through Christ our Lord. Amen

Prayer for the Bicentenary of the translation of the sacred body
Of Saint Philomena from Rome to Mugnano del Cardinale (1805- 2005)

O glorious Saint Philomena
Courageous martyr of Christ,
chaste flower of virtue and grace,
accept the humble prayer of all
who invoke your protection
and your potent intercession
through the heart of the Most High.

Wonderful model of hope and strength,
faithful follower of the Gospel
grant us that through the shedding of your blood
for the love of Jesus
the faith of our community grows and improves
with peace and tranquillity reigning in the families devoted to you.

Docile and humble servant of the Lord,
help us to thank God every day
for his kindness
as an affectionate and merciful Father.
May your unshakeable perseverance
help us with the trials of life,
in times of sorrow, in grief
and when we are tempted to stray from
the Holy Spirit’s loving protection.

You who found strength and comfort
in the words of the divine Master
and in the Eucharist, his body,
help us to be hungry for the Bread of heaven
and for every word spoken by God.

You who although innocent have forgiven those
Who caused you suffering
And unspeakable pain, make us merciful
to those who cause us distress and suffering,
help us to retain the beatitude of gentleness
and good-will in our hearts.

Protect our children and our young.
Comfort the oppressed and the sick.
With the light of your martyrdom inspire
The apostles of the Gospel and the witnesses of charity.
Rekindle the faith of those who hesitate in the path of rectitude.
Intercede for peace and justice between peoples.
For those who are torn by doubt grant them the light of truth.
And let the divine grace shine upon us all.
Amen

Archbishop Msgr. Beniamino Depalma
Bishop of Nola

Prayer composed for the Bicentenary of the translation of the sacred body of
Saint Filomena from Rome to Mugnano del Cardinale (1805-2005)

Philomena, witness to the light of Christ
and to the Mystery of the greatness of God.
I thank God the Father for bringing you into existence.
I thank Jesus, Son of God,
who gave you the honor of shedding
your blood for Him, as He shed His for us.
I thank the Holy Spirit
Who for many centuries
kept hidden from us the might of your faith,
abandoning your sacred body
in the cold darkness of the catacombs of Priscilla.
I thank God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit
for making you a miracle worker
performing all over the world many miraculous
healings through your intercession,
and also for making you into a loving sister
for many saints for the blessed and for all good people
who have offered their lives for the spiritual and physical needs
of their brothers and sisters.
I thank God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit
for allowing doubts about your existence and saintliness
even by ministers of the church,
this strengthens my belief that God is truly a Father,
when I feel his hand that consoles me or that brings me suffering.
Stay at my side I beg you while I pray to
God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit
to help the pope the bishops and the priests
to be diligent witnesses to the word of God,
that they take the many problems of the modern world and use them
for the progress of mankind.
Stay at my side I beg you while I pray to
God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit
that heads of state and peoples, husbands and wives, parents and children,
rich and poor, researchers and operators
be like God who caresses but also causes pain
so that all men may strive for their own happiness and that of their brothers.
Stay at my side I beg you while I pray to.
God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit
save me from physical and spiritual suffering which frightens me,
if this is not possible, help me to face them
with the same strength and serenity that you showed
in the hour of your martyrdom,
helped like you by the maternal presence
of Mary queen of martyrs.
Amen

Msgr. Giovanni Braschi

O Philomena

O Philomena, dwell in my heart, my mind, my thoughts, my life.
Help me to be pure like you, guide me closer to Christ.
O Philomena, pray for the souls in purgatory,
please help your lost children with whatever they may need.
O Philomena, thank you for being in my life,
for guiding me, and helping me. Amen.

Benjamin Escobar, Age 13, San Antonio, Texas USA
Moved to write this after an encounter with the Saint during a dream
June 2011

Mass in Honour of Saint Philomena

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    Fig 36 – From the precious missal donated to our Sanctuary by S.S. Pope Leo XIII

Archconfraternity

The Universal Archconfraternity of Saint Philomena

Click here to visit the website

Devotions

The Cord of Saint Philomena

The devotion to the Cord of Saint Philomena is the spontaneous result of the mercy of the faithful towards the Thaumaturgy. Its use was approved on 15 December 1883 by Pope Leo XIII, with the relevant indulgences.

In consideration of the countless graces received by intercession of the Saint, the desire of being under her powerful patronage blossomed. Everyone wanted to wear, in her honor, the blessed Cord in order to be protected in all the eventualities of life. The marvelous fruits of this devotion made her very famous.

The Saint Cure of Ars, who had many times experienced the Saint’s powers, loved seeing the faithful wearing the precious Cord and he would suggest this pious practice to everyone.

This pious devotion is a powerful aid not only to receive healings of the body, but in particular it is a defense against impure spirits. Regarding this, we wish to point out how the belts of some religious orders and the sacred parameters of the Mass are a symbol of chastity.

In this way, Saint Philomena will preserve, chaste and pure, safe from temptation, those who honour her virginal purity with this holy livery. Many steeped in the new rationalism of our days, find it hard to understand how a simple cord of thread can have the virtue of healing sickness of body and spirit. But these people are short on religious education, and do not realize that a Blessing from the Holy Church can deliver extraordinary virtues even to the simplest of souls. The hand of the blessing Priest, transmits to the substances healthy virtues for the body and the spirit, thanks to the merits of Jesus Christ’s Redemption.

Saint Ignazio of Loyola, in his Exercises, insists on the necessity of having at heart all the observances approved by the Church, even if originated by popular devotions.

Therefore, if the Church approves the devotion of the Blessed Cords in honor of the Saints, we can be sure, in practicing it, to be in right Faith and to accomplish meritorious actions.

The Cord of Saint Philomena is made with threads of cotton or wool of white and red colour. In one of the extremities it has two knots to remember the Virginity and Martyrdom of the Saint. This is worn under ordinary clothes like a belt.

The Cord of Saint Philomena is both a Symbol and a Prayer. A Symbol, because with it we wish to tie ourselves with the Saint with sincere devotion; a Prayer, because, holding it, we pray Saint Philomena to constantly offer us her protection.

Click here to visit our online shop to get your cord

Purpose of this devotion is therefore to obtain, by intercession of Saint Philomena, the effective means to:

• preserve chastity, everyone according to their state;

• fight the constantly increasing disbelief and strengthen oneself in faith and spirit;

• profess a constant and a particular love to the Saint Thaumaturge, in order to merit her favours in the fight against sickness of the body and soul.

The practise of the Cord is accomplished by:

• carrying with devotion the blessed Cord as a distinctive sign of the commitment taken, under the auspices of Saint Philomena and in her honor, to preserve the sacred purity and to defend the Faith;

• applying ourselves in prayer, in imitation of Saint Philomena’s model of chastity and Faith, to preserve one and the other, for the merit of her constancy in bearing the martyrdom;

• avoiding with great care all the dangerous situations regarding chastity, avoiding rigorously books and shows capable of staining purity, and of darkening the sacred light of the Faith;

• solemnizing the feast of Saint Philomena, receiving the Sacred Sacraments in those days, and that is: on the 10th of January, recurrence of her birth; the 25th of May, recurrence of the finding of her precious Body; the 10th of August, recurrence of her glorious death, and of the translation of the Body to Mugnano del Cardinale; the 13th of August, main feast of Saint Philomena, according to the decree of the High Pontiff;

• making the “Month of Saint Philomena,” from 1st of July to 10th of August, in memory of the 40 days that the Martyr spent in jail, according to the revelations made to Sister Marie Louise of Jesus;

• having the picture of Saint Philomena in our home, paying her a tribute of honour every day and, if possible, say the evening prayer, together, in front of her picture.

061013_2325_devotionals1Any priest, authorized by the Rector of the Sanctuary, has the faculty to bless the Cord of Saint Philomena using the Roman Ritual formula. The people who wear the Cord of Saint Philomena normally recite every day the following prayer:

Prayer for those who wear the Cord

Oh Saint Philomena Virgin and Martyr, pray for us,

so that through your powerful intercession,

we may receive the purity of spirit and heart,

which leads to the perfect Love of God.

Amen.

The Oil of St. Philomena

In 1805 when the Sacred Body of Saint Philomena was enshrine in Mugnano del Cardinale, it was the custom to burn an oil lamp in front of the body of a Martyr or Saint. As the word spread rapidly of this Virgin Martyr who had a arrived in Mugnano del Cardinale many people came to the church to pray.

One such woman was from a local town, full of faith in God, she dipped her finger in the oil lamp and anointed the eyelids of her blind child. To the astonishment of all present, the child’s sight was immediately restored. This miracle took place 8 days after her body arrived in Mugnano, August 18th 1805, and has been recorded as the first Miracle of the oil from the lamp which burns in front of the Sacred Body of St Philomena.

The tradition of the blessing of this oil, which is a sacramental of the Sanctuary of St. Philomena, has been handed down through generations. Each year in January, the local Bishop and the Rector of the Sanctuary participate in the blessing of the oil of Saint Philomena. Pilgrims come in procession to the Sanctuary, donating the oil, placing it in front of the Sacred Body, where it is then blessed and distributed worldwide in the familiar red container bearing the name of the Sanctuary. The Sacred oil is a sacramental and comes only from the Sanctuary of St. Philomena where her sacred Body rests. . This

Blessed Oil of St. Philomena, which may not be replicated outside the shrine, are provided to Official Archconfraternity Centres throughout the world for distribution to devotees who request it

The blessing with the Oil of St. Philomena as a devotion may be given by a priest as well as a lay devotee, as long as its use is within the prayerful intention of the Church as a sign of divine blessing and an expression of faith. The anointing may be given on the forehead and the following prayer may be recited.

061013_2325_devotionals2Prayer to St. Philomena for use with her blessed oil

O St. Philomena,
Virginal bride of Jesus and daughter of Mary Immaculate,
As we bless ourselves with your holy oil,
we invoke your powerful intercession
for heroic purity of heart
and the perfection of Christian love.
May its use strengthen our souls and heal our bodies
according to God’s perfect will.
Dear St. Philomena, model of purity and icon of courage,
especially for the youth of today,
pray for us that God may grant to our hearts
a martyrs courage under persecution,
A holy purity of mind and body,
And a heroic love for Jesus,
our divine Lord and Master.

Amen

The Chaplet of Saint Philomena

The chaplet also known as the rosary or Little Crown of St. Philomena was founded by the Holy Curé of Ars and consits of red beads to signify Her martyrdom and white beads a token of Her Virginity and Purity.

This Rosary is one of the simplest ways of praying to the Saint. First the creed is recited on the Crucifix or medal of Saint Philomena to ask for the gift of Faith. Three Our Fathers on each of the white beads to thank the Blessed Trinity for the gifts given to the Holy Virgin, for in whose honour, laid down Her life. The red beads are thirteen in number and signify the 13 years our Martyr lived on earth and this prayer is recited on each bead:

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Chaplet Prayer

Hail, O holy Saint Philomena, my dear patroness.

As my advocate with thy Divine Spouse,

intercede for me now and at the hour of my death.

Saint Philomena, beloved daughter of Jesus and Mary,

pray for us who have recourse to Thee.

This prayer may be substituted for 13 Hail Mary’s each followed by: Saint Philomena, pray for us!

Our Lady of Prompt Succor (8 January)

French Ursulines arrived in New Orleans in 1727 and established the oldest school for girls currently operating in what is now the United States. During a per iod of crisis after a large group of nuns left New Orleans for Cuba in 1803, Mother St. Andre Madier, one of the seven nuns who remained, appealed to her cousin, an Ursuline in France whom the reign of terror had forced to leave her monastery at Pont-Saint-Espirt. She was Mother St. Michel Gensoul, a remarkable woman of great talent and interior piety, who, during the exile in Montpellier, opened a boarding school for girls there. Fearing for the flourishing school, Bishop Fournier refused to request her leave, saying that only the Pope, then a prisoner of Napoleon, could give such a permission. One day while praying before a statue of the Blessed Mother, she was inspired to say, “O most holy Virgin Mary, if you obtain a prompt and favorable answer to my letter, I promise to have you honored in New Orleans under the title of Our Lady of Prompt Succor.” The situation was near impossible. But this did not discourage Agathe, who immediately wrote a letter to Pope Pius VII, but after three months, she was still without means to send it.

She not only found a way to send the letter a few days later, but the Pontiff replied within a month! He granted his permission, blessing her new undertaking, which surprised the bishop who asked to bless the statue that Mother St. Michel had carved to take with her to New Orleans.

Since the end of  December 1810, when Mother St. Michel, her companions and the statue arrived in New Orleans, devotion to Our Lady of Prompt Succor has grown in New Orleans and Louisiana, and has spread through the United States and even beyond. In the late 19th century, Pope Leo XIII granted the solemn crowning of the statue, an honor carried out splendidly by Archbishop Janssens on November 10, 1895. In 1912 this devotion was officially approved by Rome.
From conversations, letters, contributions, requests for Masses of thanksgiving and similar sources, generations of Ursulines and friends of Our Lady of Prompt Succor have learned about many of the favors granted through the intercession of  Our Lady in response to pleas for quick and favorable help. We will never know them all. But those we know are a source of encouragement and hope to all who count on Our Lady’s help.
Among them, two interventions of Our Lady in particular come from early New Orleans as important to the city and its people. The first has to do with one of the great fires which periodically threatened the city, the Ursuline Convent included. Frightened residents joined the sisters in the convent chapel, begging Our Lady to save them and their homes from the raging wind and flames. Finally, as the blaze drew too near, the Superior ordered all to evacuate the building. Before leaving, one of the sisters put a small statue of Mary with her Son into a window facing the approaching fire, with the prayer “Our Lady, unless you hasten to save us we are lost!” Then she followed the others to safety. Within minutes, the wind turned back on itself, and in a short time, the fire had lost its momentum and burned out, leaving the remainder of the city unharmed.
The second well-known intervention of Our Lady of Prompt Succor concerns the Battle of New Orleans, January 8, 1815. During the night of January 7, Andrew Jackson and his relatively small, little-prepared and ill-equipped band of soldiers organized their defenses against the large, very well equipped British army which would attack the city before dawn. At the same time, many citizens not directly involved in the army joined the Ursuline Sisters in an all-night vigil in their chapel on Chartres Street, imploring Our Lady of Prompt Succor to give the victory to Jackson for the United States, saving the city of New Orleans from British control. During the night, the Superior, Mother Ste. Marie Olivier de Vezin, promised Our Lady that if Jackson and his men won, a Mass of thanksgiving would be sung every year in memory of her saving help to the city on that day. As dawn was breaking, Fr. DuBourg began a Mass for the same intention. At the very moment of Communion a courier rushed into the chapel announcing that Andrew Jackson and his men had won the victory, and the Mass ended with the joyous singing of the Te Deum.
(The photograph above depicts the statue after her coronation and the Battle of New Orleans. The Solemn Mass of Thanksgiving is celebrated each year on January 8. Below: the statue in her current home at the National Shrine of Our Layd of Promt Succor on State Street in New Orleans, Louisiana.)
Mary’s help has been sought from the shrine ever since, both in time of war [the Battle of New Orleans] and during the threat of hurricanes, a persistent peril on the Gulf Coast.
The internet address for one of the shrines in New Orleans is: The URL for the convent shrine was inactive at the time this page was uploaded, that is the one provided by our resource was no longer on line.

http://www.neworleanschurches.com/promptsuc/promptsuc.htm

There is a slightly different version of the Our Lady of Prompt Succor which adorns various chapels: Our Lady’s crown is more elaborate and she wears the traditional white and blue gown. The image on the left is the one most seen in the United States and is thought to be the oldest image of Our Lady in the United States. If you would like a replica of this gold-tone one:

The Rosary House does not carry this statue but can order it.

Rosary House Inc.
P.O. Box 9668
New Iberia, Louisiana 70562-9668
(337)-364-5401
email:
[email protected]
DEVOTIONS

Litany of Our Lady of Prompt Succor

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.

Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.

God the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us.

Holy Mary, pray for us.

Mother of the Infant Jesus, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor of all who invoke you with confidence, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor of all who are devout toward the Infant Jesus, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor for obtaining a lively faith, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor for sustaining the hope of Christians, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor for obtaining and persevering in charity, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor for observing the law of God, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor for observing perseverance in virtue and good works, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor in every spiritual necessity, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor against the revolt of self-will, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor in the occasion of sin, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor in every temptation, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor against the evil spirit, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor for obtaining contrition, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor of those wishing to re-enter the path of salvation, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor for the conversion of sinners, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor in every temporal necessity, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor in every affliction, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor of afflicted families, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor of the sick and the poor, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor against contagious diseases and epidemics, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor in every accident, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor against destruction by fire, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor against lightning and tempest, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor against destruction by flood, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor of travelers, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor of navigators, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor of the shipwrecked, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor against the enemies of our country, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor in time of war, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor of those aspiring to the holy priesthood and the religious life, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor of laborers in the Lord’s vineyard, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor of missionaries who spread the faith, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor of our Holy Father the Pope, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor for those searching for the faith, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor against the enemies of the Church, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor at the hour of death, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor for the deliverance of the Souls in Purgatory, pray for us.
Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.

V: Our Lady of Prompt Succor, pray for us.
R: That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.O Almighty and Eternal God, Who sees us surrounded by so many dangers and miseries, grant in Thine infinite goodness that the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Thy Divine Son, may defend us from the evil spirit and protect us against all adversities, that always and with prompt succor she may deliver us from every evil of soul and body, and safely guide us to the kingdom of Heaven, through the merits of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who lives and reigns with Thee in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.

Traditional Nine Day Novena

Short Novena

    O Almighty and Eternal God, seeing us surrounded by so many dangers and miseries, grant in Thy infinite goodness that the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Thy Divine Son, may defend us from the evil spirit, protect us from all adversities, obtain for us mention your request here and safely guide us to the kingdom of Heaven. This we ask of Thee through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who lives and reigns with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, forever. Amen.

O Mary, Mother of God, amid the tribulations of the world, watch over the people of God and be to us truly Our Lady of Prompt Succor. Make haste to help us in all our necessities, that in this fleeting life you may be our succor. Obtain for us mention your request here Help us to gain life everlasting through the merits of Jesus, thy Son, our Lord and Redeemer. Amen.

    Our Lady of Prompt Succor, hasten to help us. (Three times.)

Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory be

Longer Novena

Our Lady of Prompt Succor, thou art after Jesus our only hope. O Most Holy Virgin, whose merits have raised thee high above angel choirs to the very throne of the Eternal and whose foot crushed the head of the infernal serpent, thou art strong against the enemies of our salvation. O Mother of God, thou art our Mediatrix most kind and loving. Hasten, then, to our help, and as thou didst once save thy beloved City from ravaging flames and our Country from an alien foe, do now have pity on our misery, and obtain for us the graces we beg of thee. Deliver us from the wiles of Satan, assist us in the many trials which beset our path in this valley of tears, and be to us truly Our Lady of Prompt Succor now and especially at the hour of our death. Amen.

      • Our Lady of Prompt Succor, hasten to help us. (Three times.)

Say an Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory be then the Litany of Our Lady of Prompt Succor [below] after the prayer “O Mary, Mother of God”.

O Mary, Mother of God, who amid the tribulations of the world, watches over us and over the Church of thy Son, be to us and to the Church, truly, Our Lady of Prompt Succor; make haste to help us in all our necessities, that in this fleeting life thou may be our succor, and obtain for us mention your request here Help us to gain life everlasting through the merits of Jesus, thy Son, Our Lord and Redeemer. Amen.

The Infant Jesus of Prague (Feast Day 14 January)

ORIGIN & DEVOTION TO THE INFANT JESUS OF PRAGUE

Devotion to the Infant of Jesus of Prague is devotion to the Child Jesus. It is veneration of the Son of God, who in the form of an infant chose a stable for a palace, a manger for a cradle, and shepherds for worshippers. Our Savior grants special graces to all who venerate His sacred Infancy.

The image of the Child Jesus known as the “Infant Jesus of Prague” was in reality of Spanish origin. In the 17th century, this beautiful statue was brought by a Spanish princess to Bohemia and presented to a Carmelite monastery. For many years this statue has been enshrined on a side altar in the Church of Our Lady of Victory in the city of Prague. It is of wax, and is about nineteen inches high. It is clothed in a royal mantle, and has a beautiful jeweled crown on its head. Its right hand is raised in blessing; its left holds a globe signifying sovereignty.

So many graces have been received by those who invoke the Divine Child before the original statue that it has been called “The Miraculous Infant Jesus of Prague.” We read the following in an old book printed in Kempt: “All who approach the miraculous statue and pray there with confidence receive assistance in danger, consolation in sorrows, aid in poverty, comfort in anxiety, light in spiritual darkness, streams of grace in dryness of soul, health in sickness, and hope in despair.”

In thanksgiving for the numerous graces and cures received, the miraculous statue at Prague was solemnly crowned on the Sunday after Easter, in 1665.

What is said of the original statue may be applied also to the images of the “Little King” which are venerated all over the world. From small beginnings, this devotion has grown to great proportions. The Divine Child attracts an ever increasing number of clients who appeal to Him in every need.

Origin of the Devotion

As previously mentioned, the statue of the Infant of Jesus of Prague was brought to Bohemia by a Spanish princess, whose mother had given it to her as a wedding gift. This noble lady, in turn, presented the image to her daughter. When the latter’s husband died, in 1623, she resolved to spend the remainder of her days in works of piety and charity.

She was particularly generous to the Carmelites of Prague who, after Emperor Ferdinand II, their founder, had removed his residence to Vienna, fell into such utter destitution that at times they had scarcely enough to eat. Accordingly, she presented her beloved statue to the religious with these prophetic words: “I hereby give you what I prize most highly in this world. As long as you venerate this image you will not be in want.”

Her prediction was verified. As long as the Divine Infant was venerated, God showed Himself a kind helper, through His Son, and the community prospered both spiritually and temporally. But when the devotion to the Infant was relaxed, God’s blessing seemed to depart from the house.

The statue was set up in the oratory of the monastery, and twice a day special devotions were performed before it. Here the religious sought relief in their bitter need from Him who for love of mankind had become poor.

The novices were particularly devoted to the Holy Infant. One of them, Cyrillus a Matre De, who was most devoted to the Holy Infant, found sudden relief from interior trials through this devotion.

FORGOTTEN

However, the devotion to the Divine Infant was short-lived. On account of the disturbances of the Thirty Years’ War, the novitiate was removed to Munich, Germany, in 1630. With Brother Cyrillus and the other novices, the most fervent worshipers of the Infant of Prague had departed. The special devotions held before the image were gradually neglected. The prosperity of the community declined, and need and distress were again felt.

Then, King Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden, the inveterate foe of Catholicism, invaded Germany. Many inhabitants fled from Prague, among them all but two of the members of the Carmelite monaster.

On November 15, 1631, the enemy took possession of the churches of the city. The Carmelite monastery was plundered, and the image of the Infant of Prague was thrown upon a heap of rubbish behind the high altar. Both hand were broken off by the fall, but, though made of wax, it was otherwise undamaged. Here the Miraculous Infant lay for seven years, forgotten by all. During this period the monastery suffered many reverses.

 

FOUND

One the feast of Pentecost, 1637, Father Cyrillus a Matre Dei, the very one who, while a novice, had been delivered from a most annoying dryness of soul through his fervent devotion to the Holy Infant, returned to Prague. Unfortunately, Prague was again overrun by hostile armies. The distress was indescribable. In this extremity the prior assembled the community to offer humble prayers to appease God’s wrath.

Father Cryillus now remembered the favors formerly received through the Infant of Prague, and with the prior’s consent searched the monastery, until he found the long-lost treasure, almost buried in dust. Full of joy and gratitude, he kissed the disfigured statue and then placed it on an altar in the oratory. The long-forgotten devotions were now revived with renewed vigor. The religious disclosed their needs to the Divine Infant, and with Him they found strength and consolation.

 

VENERATION REVIVED

As in former years, Father Cyrillus was the most zealous disciple of the Holy Infant. One day, when praying before the statue, he distinctly heard these words: Have pity on Me, and I will have pity on you. Give Me My hands, and I will give you peace. The more you honor Me, the more I will bless you.

Father Cryllius was awestruck at these words, for he had not noticed that the hands of the Divine Infant were missing, owing to the mantle in which the figure was clad. Hastening to the prior he begged him to have the image repaired. But the prior considered the community too poor to incur this seemingly needless expense.

Then Father Cryllius, through the Blessed Virgin, begged the Heavenly Father to send sufficient alms to have the statue repaired. His confidence was rewarded. Three days later, he was called to the sickbed of a wealthy man, to whom he related the history of the remarkable statue. The sick man at once gave a generous sum of money for the purpose of having it repaired. The prior, however, decided to but an entirely new statue. But the Divine Infant soon manifested His displeasure. Scarcely had the new statue been put in place when it was shattered by a fallen candlestick. The old and mutilated image was destined to continue as an object of veneration in the monastery.

The prior’s successor, Father Dominic of St. Nicholas, owing a lack of funds found it impossible to fulfill the wish of Father Cyrllius. Again the disappointed Father Cyrillus, through the Mother of God, begged the Divine Infant to send his superiors the necessary funds to repair the image.

One day a woman gave him a large sum of money. When he wished to thank her, she had disappeared; no one had seen her come or go. The happy friar then knelt before the altar of Our Lady of the Scapular and offered gratitude to heaven.

The prior, however, assigned to him only a very small part of the sum for the repairing of the statue. This proved to be insufficient, and Father Cyrillus found himself as far as ever from attaining his object. Once more he took his troubles to the Divine Infant. On this occasion he heard these words: “Place Me near the entrance of the sacristy and you will receive aid.” He did so and returned to his room, filled with hope, recommending all to his Heavenly Mother. Soon a stranger came to the sacristy, who offered to have the image repaired at his own expense. The prior accepted his offer and in a few days the repaired statue was exposed for veneration in the church. The Infant richly repaid the stranger for this good deed.

Meanwhile, new afflictions visited the community. A pestilence broke out in the city. The prior, too, became dangerously ill. When his attention was called to the Divine Infant, he vowed to say Holy Mass before the image for nine successive days, if he recovered. At once he felt relief and in a few days was completely restored to health. He fulfilled the vow and from that time forward fervently promoted veneration of the Miraculous Infant.

Some time later there again was great need in the monastery. The prior then led prayers to the Divine Infant, in which all the members of the community took part. After three days, a generous donation was given to them unexpectantly. The statue of the holy Infant was then removed to the church so that the people could also venerate the miraculous image.

In 1641, a woman donated a large sum of money to the monastery, expressing the desire that an altar be erected to the Most Holy Trinity. This was done, and the miraculous image was placed in a magnificent gold-plated shrine for public veneration.

In 1642, a noble woman had a chapel built for the Divine Infant. This chapel was dedicated on the feast of the Holy Name in 1644, and Mass was then celebrated in it for the first time. The feast of the Holy Name of Jesus thus became the principle feast of the Miraculous Infant of Prague.

Devotion to the Holy Infant has continued to spread throughout the world. Favors are continually reported.

THE SAINTS AND THE INFANT JESUS

Devotion to the Infant Jesus of Prague is, as was said, devotion to the Child Jesus, to the Son of God who became man for our salvation. This devotion was particularly popular in the Middle Ages with great saints like Bernard of Citeaux and Francis of Assisi. Their own tender love for the humanity of our Lord found outlet in hymns, poems, songs, and sermons that attracted others to this devotion.

Closer to our own day, St Therese of Lisieux had a great love for the Infant Savior. She is known as Saint Therese of the Child Jesus, the name she took at her religious profession. A statue of the Infant was her special charge in the Carmel. Her ‘little way’ is based on the simplicity and trust of a child in our relationship with God. Among the prayers she composed is this one: “O eternal Father, Your only Son, the dear Child Jesus, is mine, since You have given Him to me. I offer You the infinite merits of His divine childhood, and I beg You in His name to open the gates of heaven to a countless host of little ones who will forever follow this divine Lamb.”

 

Novena to the Infant Jesus of Prague in Urgent Need

(To be said for nine days or nine consecutive hours)

O Jesus, Who said, “Ask and you shall receive, seek and you shall find, knock and it shall be opened to you,” through the intercession of Mary, Your most holy Mother, I knock, I seek, I ask that my prayer be answered. (Mention your request)

O Jesus, Who said, “All that you ask of the Father in My Name He will grant you,” through the intercession of Mary, Your most holy Mother, I humbly and urgently ask Your Father in Your Name that my prayer be granted. (Mention your request.)

O Jesus, Who said, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My word shall not pass,” through the intercession of Mary, Your most holy Mother, I feel confident that my prayer will be granted. (Mention your request) Amen.

 

Prayer of Thanksgiving for graces received from the Infant Jesus

I prostrate myself before your holy image, O most gracious infant Jesus, to offer you my most fervent thanks for the blessings you have bestowed on me. I shall incessantly praise your ineffable mercy and confess that you alone are my God, my helper, and my protector. Henceforth my entire confidence shall be placed in you! Everywhere I will proclaim aloud your mercy and generosity, so that your great love and the great deeds which you perform through this miraculous image may be acknowledged by all. may devotion to your most holy infancy increase more and more in the hearts of all Christians, and may all who experience your assistance persevere with me in showing unceasing gratitude to your most holy infancy, to which be praise and glory forever, Amen.

Prayer to the Miraculous Infant Jesus of Prague

Prayer Revelated by Our Lady To the Venerable Father F. Cyril OCD

O Infant Jesus, I have recourse to You and ask You through the intercession of Your Holy Mother to help me in my need, ( mention it here) for I firmly believe that Your Divinity can help me.

I hope, in complete trust, to obtain Your holy grace. I love You with all my heart and with all the strength of my soul. I am truly sorry for all my sins, and beg You, O good Jesus, to give me strength to conquer them. I shall never offend You and I am ready to suffer rather than to cause You pain.

From now on I want to serve with complete faithfulness and for love of You, O Divine Child, I will love my neighbour as well as myself. Omnipotent Child, Lord Jesus, again I implore You, help me in this need of mine (mention it).

Grant me the grace of possessing You eternally, with Mary and Joseph and of adoring You with the holy angels in Your heavenly court. Amen

 

Prayer to Be Said By a Sick Person

[May be used for a Novena]

O MERCIFUL Infant Jesus! I know of Thy miraculous deeds for the sick. How many diseases Thou hast cured during Thy blessed life on earth, and how many venerators of Thy Miraculous Image ascribe to Thee their recovery and deliverance from most painful and hopeless maladies.

I know, indeed, that a sinner like me has merited his sufferings and has no right to ask for favors. But in view of the innumerable graces and the miraculous cures granted even to the greatest sinners through the veneration of Thy holy infancy, particularly in the miraculous statue of Prague or in representations of it, I exclaim with the greatest assurance: O most loving Infant Jesus, full of pity, Thou can cure me if Thou willest! Do not hesitate, O Heavenly physician, if it be Thy will that I recover from this present illness; extend Thy most holy hands, and by Thy power take away all pain and infirmity, so that my recovery may be due, not to natural remedies, but to Thee alone.

If, however, Thou, in Thy inscrutable wisdom have determined otherwise, then at least restore my soul to perfect health, and fill me with heavenly consolation and blessing, that I may be like Thee, O Jesus, in my sufferings, and may glorify Thy providence until, at the death of my body, Thou doth bestow on me eternal life. Amen.

 

CHAPLET OF THE INFANT JESUS OF PRAGUE

This chaplet consists of 3 Our Fathers in honor of the Holy Family, and 12 Hail Mary’s in memory of the 12 years of the Sacred Infancy of our Divine Saviour. To this chaplet of 15 beads is attached a medal of the Infant Jesus [of Prague].

 

Chaplet of the Holy Infant Jesus

“The More You Honor Me The More I Will Bless You”

On the medal the following invocation is said:

Divine Infant Jesus, I adore Thy Cross and I accept all the cross Thou wilt be pleased to send me. Adorable Trinity, I offer Thee for the glory of Thy Holy Name of God, all the adorations of the Sacred Heart of the Holy Infant Jesus.

Each Our Father and Hail Mary is preceded by the aspiration:

“And the Word was made flesh and dwelt amongst us.”

On finishing the chaplet say:

Holy Infant Jesus, bless and protect us.

This devotion owes its origin to the zeal of Sister Marguerite, a Carmelite religious, who died in France in 1648. She was distinguished for her devotion to the Holy Child Jesus.

Directed by heavenly guidance, Venerable Sister Marguerite of the BI. Sacrament (1619-1648), a Carmelite nun, fashioned the Infant Jesus Chaplet. Because its recitation pleases Him so very much

Jesus promised Sister Marguerite that the faithful who recite it in memory of His Birth, His Flight into Egypt, and His Hidden Life at Nazareth, will not only be granted the special graces of purity of heart and innocence, but in addition will be unfailingly assisted by His Divine Help in all their spiritual and temporal wants. Moreover, to encourage the use of this Holy Chaplet, P. Pius IX granted a 100 days indulgence for each recitation, also applicable to the Poor Souls (Aug. 9, 1855).

Feast of the Miraculous Medal (27 November)

From: MIRACULOUS MEDAL: ITS Origin, History, Circulation, Results by Rev Aladbel

When Sister Catherine was favored with these apparitions of the Blessed Virgin she related by word of mouth to her Director, what she had seen and heard, and he, though apparently attaching little importance to her communications, carefully took note of them. The Sister never thought of writing them, she judged herself incapable of doing so, and, moreover, in her opinion, it would have been contrary to humility.

In 1856, when events had confirmed the truth of her predictions, M. Aladel told her to commit to writing all she could recollect of the supernatural visitations of 1830. She obeyed, despite her repugnance, and sketched an account of her vision of St. Vincent’s heart, which we have already read, and that of the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin.

In obedience, she again wrote in 1876, an account of these same apparitions.

Finally, another copy, not dated, was found among her papers after death.

These three narrations accord perfectly in the main, yet differ sufficiently in detail to prove that one was not copied from the other.

To these manuscripts, in which no change has been made, except a correction of faults in style and orthography, are we indebted for the following account of the apparitions.

It is to be regretted that M. Aladel’s notes should have been almost entirely destroyed; no doubt they contained very interesting details, but what portion of them remains, is of little importance.

Before quoting Sister Catherine’s own narration, we must remark, that the first vision, having little reference to anything but the Sister herself and St. Vincent’s two Communities, M. Aladel did not deem it advisable to have published; also, that although the account of the vision of the medal in the first editions of the notice, seems to differ notably from that related by the Sister, we will see later how these discrepancies can be explained, and that in the main the two versions are identical.

FIRST APPARITION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN
To Sister Catherine Labouré, Daughter of Charity. After a picture painted from instructions given by Sister Catherine.

Sister Catherine, already favored with celestial visions, ardently desired, with all the simplicity of her nature, to see the Blessed Virgin. To obtain this grace, she invoked her good Angel, St. Vincent, and the Blessed Virgin herself.

On the 18th of July, 1830, eve of the Feast of St. Vincent de Paul, the Directress of the Seminary gave an instruction on devotion to the Saints and the Blessed Virgin; this but inflamed our Sister’s pious desire. Fully imbued with the thought, she retired for the night, recommending herself to her blessed Father, St. Vincent, and confidently believing that her prayers would be answered.

About half-past eleven o’clock, she hears her name, “Sister Labouré,” distinctly called three times; suddenly awaking, she opens her curtain on the side whence the voice proceeds, and what does she perceive? A little child of ravishing beauty, four or five years of age, dressed in white and enveloped in the radiant light beaming from his fair hair and noble person. “Come,” said he, in a melodious voice, “come to the chapel, the Blessed Virgin awaits you.” But, thought Sister Catherine (she slept in a large dormitory), the others will hear me, I shall be discovered. “Have no fears,” said the child, answering her thought, “it is half-past eleven, everybody is asleep, I will accompany you.”

At these words, no longer able to resist the invitation of her amiable guide, Sister Catherine dresses hastily and follows the child, who walks always at her left, illuming the places through which he passes; and everywhere along their path, to the Sister’s great astonishment, does she find the lamps lighted. Her surprise redoubles, on seeing the door open at the child’s touch, and on finding the altar resplendent with lights, “reminding her,” she said, “of the midnight Mass.”

The child conducts her into the sanctuary; here she kneels, whilst her celestial guide remains standing a little behind at her left.

The moments of waiting seem long to Sister Catherine; at last, about midnight, the child says to her: “Behold the Blessed Virgin, behold her!” At that instant, she distinctly hears on the right hand side of the chapel, a slight noise, like the rustling of a silk robe; a most beautiful lady enters the sanctuary, and takes her seat in the place ordinarily occupied by the Director of the Community, on the left side of the sanctuary. The seat, the attitude, the costume (a white robe of a golden tinge and a blue veil), strongly resemble the representation of St. Anne in the picture adorning the sanctuary. Yet it is not the same countenance, and Sister Catherine is struggling interiorly against doubt. Can this indeed be the Blessed Virgin? she asks herself. Suddenly, the little child, assuming the voice of a man, speaks aloud, and in severe words asks her if the Queen of Heaven may not appear to a poor mortal under whatever form she pleases.

Her doubts all vanish, and following only the impulses of her heart, the Sister throws herself at the Blessed Virgin’s feet, familiarly placing her hands upon the Blessed Virgin’s knees, like a child beside its mother.

“At this moment,” said she, “I felt the sweetest emotion of my life, it would be impossible for me to express it. The Blessed Virgin told me how I must act in all my trials; and pointing with her left hand to the foot of the altar, she told me it was there I must come and lay open my heart, adding that it was there I would receive all needful consolation. Then she also said to me: ‘My child, I am going to charge you with a mission; you will suffer many trials on account of it, but you will surmount them, knowing that you endure them for the glory of the good God. You will be contradicted, but you will be sustained by grace, do not fear; with simplicity and confidence, tell all that passes within you to him who is charged with the care of your soul. You will see certain things, you will be inspired in your prayers, give an account to him.’

“I then asked the Blessed Virgin for an explanation of what she had already shown me. She answered: ‘My child, the times are very disastrous, great trials are about to come upon France, the throne will be overturned, the entire world will be in confusion by reason of miseries of every kind.’ (The Blessed Virgin looked very sad in saying this.) ‘But come to the foot of this altar, here graces will be shed upon all—upon all who ask for them with confidence and fervor.

“‘At a certain time the danger will be great indeed, it will seem as if all were lost, but do not fear, I shall be with you; you will acknowledge my visit, the protection of God and that of St. Vincent upon the two Communities. Have confidence, do not be discouraged, you are in my especial keeping.

“‘There will be victims in other Communities.’ (Tears were in the Blessed Virgin’s eyes as she said this.) ‘Among the clergy of Paris there will be victims, Mgr. the Archbishop will die.’ (At these words her tears flowed anew.) ‘My child, the cross will be despised, it will be trampled under foot, our Lord’s side will be opened anew, the streets will flow with blood, the entire world will be in tribulation.'” (Here the Blessed Virgin could no longer speak, grief was depicted in her countenance.) At these words Sister Catherine thought, when will this take place? And an interior light distinctly indicated to her in forty years.

Another version, also written by her own hand, says forty years, then ten, after which, peace. In connexion with this M. Aladel said to her:

“Will you and I see the accomplishment of all these things?” “If we do not, others will,” replied the simple daughter.

The Blessed Virgin also entrusted her with several communications for her Director concerning the Daughters of Charity, and told her that he would one day be clothed with the necessary authority for putting them in execution. After this, she said again: “But great troubles will come, the danger will be imminent, yet do not fear, St. Vincent will watch over you, and the protection of God is always here in a particular manner.” (The Blessed Virgin still looked very sad.) “I will be with you myself, I will always keep my eye upon you, and I will enrich you with many graces.” The Sister adds: “Graces will be bestowed, particularly upon all who ask for them, but they must pray, they must pray.——

“I could not tell,” continues the Sister, “how long I remained with the Blessed Virgin; all I can say is that, after talking with me a long time, she disappeared like a shadow that vanishes.”

On arising from her knees, Sister Catherine perceived the child just where she had left him, to throw herself at the Blessed Virgin’s feet. He said: “She has gone,” and, all resplendent with light as before, he stationed himself anew at her left hand, and conducted her back to the dormitory by the same paths as they had come.

“I believe,” continues the narration, “that this child was my Guardian Angel, because I had fervently implored him to procure me the favor of seeing the Blessed Virgin…. Returned to my bed, I heard the clock strike two, and I went to sleep no more.”


What has just been recounted was only a part of Sister Catherine’s mission, or rather a preparation for a future mission to be given her as a pledge of the Immaculate Mary’s tenderness for the human race.

In the month of November of this same year, 1830, Sister Catherine communicates to M. Aladel a new vision; but it is no longer that of an afflicted Mother weeping over the evils menacing her children, or the martyrdom of her dearest friends. This vision recalls the rainbow appearing in a sky still black with storms, or the star shining through the tempest to inspire the mariner with confidence—it is the Virgin Queen, bearing the promise of benediction, salvation and peace.

M. Aladel relates this to the Promoter of the diocese, and we find it inserted in the verbal process of the investigation, dated February 16, 1836, as follows:

“At half-past five in the evening, whilst the Sisters were in the chapel taking their meditation, the Blessed Virgin appeared to a young Sister as if in an oval picture; she was standing on a globe, only one-half of which was visible; she was clothed in a white robe and a mantle of shining blue, having her hands covered, as it were, with diamonds, whence emanated luminous rays falling upon the earth, but more abundantly upon one portion of it.

“A voice seemed to say: ‘These rays are symbolic of the graces Mary obtains for men, and the point upon which they fall most abundantly is France.’ Around the picture, written in golden letters, were these words: ‘O Mary! conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!’ This prayer, traced in a semi-circle, began at the Blessed Virgin’s right hand, and, passing over her head, terminated at her left hand. The reverse of the picture bore the letter M surmounted by a cross, having a bar at its base, and beneath the monogram of Mary, were the hearts of Jesus and Mary, the first surrounded with a crown of thorns, the other transpierced with a sword. Then she seemed to hear these words: ‘A medal must be struck upon this model; those who wear it indulgenced, and repeat this prayer with devotion, will be, in an especial manner, under the protection of the Mother of God.’ At that instant, the vision disappeared.”

According to the testimony of Sister Catherine’s Director, this apparition appeared several times in the course of a few months, always in the chapel of the Mother House of the Daughters of Charity, either during Mass or some of the religious exercises. M. Aladel adds that he was not certain as to their number, but he knows they were repeated thrice, at least, the Sister having mentioned it three different times.

Here is the account written by the Sister’s own hand:

“The 27th of November, 1830, which was a Saturday and eve of the first Sunday in Advent, whilst making my meditation in profound silence, at half-past five in the evening, I seemed to hear on the right hand side of the sanctuary something like the rustling of a silk dress, and, glancing in that direction, I perceived the Blessed Virgin standing near St. Joseph’s picture; her height was medium, and her countenance so beautiful that it would be impossible for me to describe it. She was standing, clothed in a robe the color of auroral light, the style that is usually called à la vierge—that is, high neck and plain sleeves. Her head was covered with a white veil, which descended on each side to her feet. Her hair was smooth on the forehead, and above was a coif ornamented with a little lace and fitting close to the head. Her face was only partially covered, and her feet rested upon a globe, or rather a hemisphere (at least, I saw but half a globe). Her hands were raised about as high as her waist, and she held in a graceful attitude another globe (a figure of the universe). Her eyes were lifted up to Heaven, and her countenance was radiant as she offered the globe to Our Lord.

SECOND APPARITION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN
To Sister Catherine Labouré.

“Suddenly, her fingers were filled with rings and most beautiful precious stones; the rays gleaming forth and reflected on all sides, enveloped her in such dazzling light that I could see neither her feet nor her robe. The stones were of different sizes, and the rays emanating from them were more or less brilliant in proportion to the size.

“I could not express what I felt, nor what I learned, in these few moments.

“Whilst occupied contemplating this vision, the Blessed Virgin cast her eyes upon me, and a voice said in the depths of my heart: ‘The globe that you see represents the entire world, and particularly France, and each person in particular.’“I would not know how to express the beauty and brilliancy of these rays. And the Blessed Virgin added: ‘Behold the symbol of the graces I shed upon those who ask me for them,’ thus making me understand how generous she is to all who implore her intercession…. How many favors she grants to those who ask. At this moment I was not myself, I was in raptures! There now formed around the Blessed Virgin a frame slightly oval, upon which appeared, in golden letters, these words: ‘O Mary! conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!’

“Then I heard a voice which said: ‘Have a medal struck upon this model, persons who wear it indulgenced, will receive great graces, especially if they wear it around the neck; graces will be abundantly bestowed upon those who have confidence.’

“Suddenly,” says the Sister, “the picture seemed to turn,” and she saw the reverse, such as has already been described in the previous account of the investigation.

Sister Catherine’s notes do not mention the twelve stars surrounding the monogram of Mary and the two hearts. Yet they are always represented on the medal. It is morally certain that she communicated this detail, by word of mouth, at the time she related the apparitions.

Other notes in Sister Catherine’s own hand-writing complete the account. She adds, that some of these precious stones did not emit rays, and when she expressed her astonishment at this, she was told that they were a figure of the graces we neglect to ask of Mary. On a hasty perusal, our Sister’s account of the vision appears to differ from M. Aladel’s. We were struck with this, and had to study these interesting and authentic documents attentively, in order to decide whether the visions differed essentially or were really the same.

 

SECOND APPARITION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN
To Sister Catherine Labouré.

According to M. Aladel’s testimony in the investigation, the apparitions relative to the medal were always similar, and Sister Catherine, before her death, confirmed this assertion. As we have just learned from our Sister’s own words, the Blessed Virgin always appeared with the terrestrial globe under her feet, and at the same time in her virginal hands, pressing it and warming it, as it were, against her maternal heart, and offering it to her Divine Son in her quality of Advocate and Mother, with an ineffable expression of supplication and love.

This is what the Sister saw. Was it all? No, after the first act of sublime intercession, after this most efficacious prayer of our divine Mediatrix, her hands are suddenly filled with graces, under the figure of rings and precious stones, which emit such brilliant rays that all else is invisible, Mary is enveloped in them, and her hands are bent beneath the weight of these treasures. Her eyes are cast upon the humble Sister whose ravished glances can scarcely support this celestial effulgence. At the same time, an oval frame is formed around the vision, and a voice directs the Sister to have a medal struck according to the medal presented. The medal is a faithful reproduction of this picture, at the moment the symbolical part disappears in the sheaves of light.

Sister Catherine being asked if she still saw the globe in the Blessed Virgin’s hands, when the luminous sheaves issued from them, answered no, there remained nothing but the rays of light; and that when the Blessed Virgin spoke of the globe, she meant that under [62]her feet, there being no longer any question of the first. Hence, we may conclude, that Sister Catherine’s description of the apparition and M. Aladel’s agree perfectly. The small globe which the Blessed Virgin holds in her hands, and the large one on which she stands, are both inundated with the same dazzling rays, or enriched with the same graces. The august Mary seems to indicate by the small globe merely a figure of the world, imperfectly represented beneath her feet, thus reminding us that she is the all merciful Queen of the human race.

There is yet another variation in the description of the two apparitions. M. Aladel, in conformity with the popular belief, that white and blue combined constitute the Blessed Virgin’s livery, as emblems of purity, celestial purity, gives the mantle an azure tint. Sister Catherine expresses the same idea several times in her notes, saying: “White signifies innocence, and blue is the livery of Mary.” However, the blue mantle is not mentioned in the notice of the apparition, Sister Catherine speaks only of the robe and veil of auroral light.

When questioned as to a more definite description of this color, she replied that it was a deep white, tinted with the mild, beautiful radiance of dawn, thus wishing, no doubt, to give some idea of the celestial hue of the robe and veil. It is this hue that tortures the artist, for he feels his pencil powerless to depict the beauties of another sphere.

We can understand from the above, how M. Aladel could have mistaken some details furnished by Sister Catherine, or have confounded the apparition of the medal with the visions of July 18th and 19th, in which the Blessed Virgin’s apparel was white and blue.

However, the accessories of the mantle and its indescribable hue, in no wise affect the reality of the apparition.

 

St Rita ~ 22 May Feast Day

Saint Rita was born Margherita Lotti in Roccaporena, Italy in 1381. The day after her baptism, Rita was surrounded by a swarm of white bees, which went in and out of her infant mouth without hurting her. Rather than being alarmed, her family believed she was marked to be virtuous and devoted to God.

At an early age, she begged her parents to allow her to enter a convent but was instead arranged to be married to a cruel man named Paolo Mancini. Young Rita became a wife and mother at only twelve years of age and her husband was a man of violent temper. In anger, he often mistreated Rita verbally and physically. He was also known to pursue other women and he had many enemies.

Paolo had many enemies in Cascia, but Rita’s influence over him eventually led him to be a better man. He even renounced a family feud between the Mancinis and Chiquis. Unfortunately, the feud between the Mancini and Cascia family grew turbulent and one of Paolo’s allies betrayed and killed him.

Following her husband’s death, Rita gave his murderers a public pardon, but Paolo’s brother, Bernardo, was still angry and encouraged Rita’s two sons, Giovanni Antonio and Paulo Maria, to join the feud. Under their uncle’s leadership, each boy became more and more like their father had been before Rita married him, and they wanted to avenge their father’s murder.

Rita attempted to stop them, but both of her sons were determined to revenge their slain father. Rita prayed to God, asking Him to take her sons before they lost their souls to the mortal sin of murder. One year later, her prayers were answered when both of her sons fell prey to dysentery and died.

Following the deaths of her sons, Rita attempted to enter the monastery of Saint Mary Magdalene in Cascia, but she was not allowed to join. Though Rita’s character and piety were recognized, her husband’s association with the family feud was greatly feared.

When Rita persisted, the convent told her she could join if she could find a way to mend the wound between the Chiquis and Mancinis.

After asking John the Baptist, Augustine of Hippo, and Nicholas of Tolentino to help her in her task, she attempted to end the feud.

The bubonic plague had been spreading through Italy at that time, and when Bernardo Mancini became infected, he finally abolished the feud with the Chiqui family.

Once the conflict was resolved, Rita was allowed to enter the monastery at the age of thirty-six. It is said that she was transported into the monastery of Saint Magdalene through levitation at night by the three patron saints she appealed to.

While at the monastery, Rita performed her duties faithfully and received the sacraments frequently. Rita had a great devotion to the Passion of Christ, and one day, when she was sixty-year-old, she asked, “Please let me suffer like you, Divine Saviour.”

After her request, a wound appeared on her forehead, as if a thorn from Christ’s crown had pierced her. It left a deep wound, which did not heal, and it caused her to suffer until the day she died.

It is said that as she neared the end of her life, Rita was bedridden from tuberculosis. It was then that she asked a cousin who had come to visit for a rose from the garden in her old home. As it was January, her cousin did not expect to find any roses, but there was a single rose in bloom, which was brought back to Rita at the convent.

She passed away four months later, on May 22, 1457.

Following her death, she was buried at the basilica of Cascia, and was later discovered to be incorrupt. Her body can be found today in the Saint Rita shrine at Cascia.

Rita was beatified by Pope Urban VIII in 1627 and canonized by Pope Leo XII on May 24, 1900.

Saint Rita is often portrayed in a black habit, which is historically inaccurate as the sisters at the Saint

Magdalene monastery wore beige or brown. She is also often shown to hold a thorn, a large Crucifix, or a palm leaf with three thorns to represent her husband and two sons.

In some images, Saint Rita is shown to have a wound on her forhead, holding a rose, or to be surrounded by bees.

Short Prayer to Saint Rita
“God, through the prayer of St. Rita, may we learn to bear our crosses in life in the same spirit in which she bore hers. Amen.”


Chaplet

A chaplet is a series of beads strung together on which prayers are counted as they are recited. The best known of these is the five decade Rosary. The Rosary is a series of five decades (One Our Father, the Title of the Decade, One Gloria and Ten Hail Marys in succession) under a single Title (There are three Title Combinations; The Joyous Mysteries, The Sorrowful Mysteries and the Glorious Mysteries. All of which depict certain episodes in the life of the Blessed Mother Mary.
The combinations of fewer beads for aspirations honoring certain saints are also called chaplets. The nine beads of the Chaplet of St. Rita are blue.
Chaplet of St. Rita
O Holy St. Rita, exemplary Augustinian Sister, we honor you for your devotion to the Passion of Christ. Although your early life was filled with disappointment, frustration, and unceasing tragedy, you never lost faith and trust in God. For this you are the patroness of the impossible, and our inspiration and advocate in desperate circumstances.
Say 3 Our Fathers, 3 Hail Marys, and 3 Glorias.


St. Rita Prayer of the Roses
O Blessed Saint Rita, my powerful advocate, behold me prostrate before thy Divine Spouse, Jesus, thy Lord, thy God, and thy All. Behold me recalling His favors to thee, that thou mayst plead for me. May this blessed Rose, sweet with the memories of thy daily acts of love before the image of the Crucified Savior, and of the wonders wrought for thee in thy dying moments, give me confidence that thou in Heaven wilt plead that I, too, may share in the good things God has in store for thy clients. Saint Rita, mystical Rose of every virtue, pray for us.


prayer to st rita of cascia
Dear Rita, model wife and widow, you yourself suffered in a long illness showing patience out of love for God. Teach us to pray as you did. Many invoke you for help, full of confidence in your intercession. Deign to come now to our aid for the relief and cure of (name). To God all things are possible; may this healing give glory to the Lord. Amen.


St. Rita Prayer
Holy Patroness of those in need, Saint Rita, you were humble, pure and patient. Your pleadings with your divine Spouse are irresistible, so please obtain for me from our risen Jesus the request I make of you: (mention your petition). Be kind ot me for the greater glory of God, and I shall honor you and sing your praises forever. Glorious Saint Rita, you miraculously participated in the sorrowful passion of our Lord Jesus Christ. Obtain for me now the grace to suffer with resignation the troubles of this life, and protect me in all my needs. Amen.


Prayer to St Rita of Casica
Prayer of Petition:

All: Glorious St. Rita, patroness of those in need/ your intercession with our Lord is most powerful./ Through the favors obtained by your prayers/ you have been called Advocate of hopeless and even impossible cases./ St. Rita, humble and pure; patient and compassionate lover of Christ Crucified!/ We have confidence that everyone who has recourse to you, will find comfort and relief./ Listen to our petitions and show your power with God in our behalf./ Obtain our petitions for us/ if they are for the greater honor of God, and for our good./ We promise, if our petitions are granted,/ to make known your favor, and to glorify God for His gift./ Relying on your power with the merciful Savior, we ask of you . . .

(here mention your request in silence)
By the singular merits of your childhood, ALL: obtain our request for us
By your perfect union with the Divine Will, …
By your acceptance of troubles in your married life, …
By the anguish felt at the murder of your husband, …
By the surrender of your children, rather than have them offend God, …
By your miraculous entrance into the convent,
By your daily penance and fasting, …
By your courage and joy in bearing the mark of the Crucified Savior, …
By the Divine Love which consumed your life,
By your devotion in receiving the Blessed Sacrament, …
By the happiness you felt in leaving this life for union with Christ, …
By the example you have given to people of every state of life, …

Pray for us, St. Rita, ALL: That we may be worthy of the promises of Christ.

Leader: Let us pray.
All: Heavenly Father! In Your infinite love and mercy/ You heed the prayer of Your beloved servant, Rita./ You graciously grant favors through her intercession,/ which are considered impossible to human skill and effort./ Relying on her compassionate love, we ask You to assist us in our trials and difficulties./ Let unbelievers know/ that you are the helper of the humble,/ the defender of the weak, and the strength of those who trust in You. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.


A Litany is a form of prayer consisting of a series of petitions or requests sung, chanted or spoken by a priest, deacon or leader to which people offer fixed responses.

Litany of Saint Rita

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us, Christ hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God, the Father of heaven, have mercy on us.
God, the Son, Redeemer of the world, ….
God, the Holy Spirit, …
Holy Trinity, One God, …
Immaculate Mary, Mother of God, pray for us.
Holy Mary, Mother of pure love, …
Holy Mary, Comforter of the afflicted, …
Holy Mary, Queen of all the saints, …
Holy Mary, Model of life for Saint Rita, …
St. Rita, our advocate and protectress, …
St. Rita, beloved by the Lord, …
St. Rita given special grace from heaven, …
St. Rita, remarkable in childhood, …
St. Rita, model of obedience to God’s Will, …
St. Rita, of untiring patience, …
St. Rita, model of Christian mothers, …
St. Rita, mirror for Christian spouses, …
St. Rita, heroic in sacrifice, …
St. Rita, generous in forgiving, …
St. Rita, martyr in penitence, …
St. Rita, embracing humility and poverty, …
St. Rita, exemplary as a widow, …
St. Rita, prompt to answer the divine call, …
St. Rita, patient in suffering, …
St. Rita, mirror of religious observance, …
St. Rita, mystical rose of every virtue, …
St. Rita, enamored of the Passion of Christ, …
St. Rita, pierced with a thorn, …
St. Rita, in ecstasy before the Blessed Sacrament, …
St. Rita, consumed with Divine Love, …
St. Rita, received into heaven with joy, …
St. Rita, incorrupt in your chaste body, …
St. Rita, advocate of impossible cases, …
St. Rita, persevering in prayer, …
St. Rita, help of those in need, …
Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world, Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world, Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world, Have mercy on us.
Leader: Lord, you have signed your servant, Rita.
All: With the marks of Your love and Passion.

Leader: Let us pray. O God, Who bestowed on St. Rita such grace that she loved her enemies, and bore in her heart and on her forehead the mark of Your love and Passion, grant us, we beseech You, through her merits and intercession, a love for our enemies. Through our contemplation of Your sufferings and Passion, may we merit the reward promised to the meek and the suffering. You live and reign forever. Amen

May 25th – Celebration of the finding of the Holy Body of Saint Philomena

Novena to St Philomena for the feast of the finding of her relics

Novena Prayer to Saint Philomena

The Solemn Novenas are from 17th to 25th May, 3rd to 11th August, 7th to 15th December. The Monthly Novena begins on 3rd and ends on 11th of each month.

 

Prayer for Each Day during the Novena.

 

O Glorious Virgin and Martyr, beloved of God, Saint Philomena! I rejoice with thee in the power which God gave thee for the glory of His Name, for the edification His Church, and to reward the merits of thy life and death. I rejoice to see thee so great, so pure, so generous, so faithful to Jesus Christ, and to His Gospel, and so splendidly rewarded in Heaven, and on earth. Attracted by thy example to the practice of solid virtue full of hope at the sight of thy recompense granted to thy merits. I resolve to follow thee in avoiding all evil and in fully obeying what God commands. Help me, O great Saint by thy powerful intercession. Obtain for me particularly, a purity inviolable forever, a strength of soul always invincible in every kind of assault, a generosity which denies no sacrifice to God, and a love as strong as death for the Faith of Jesus Christ, for the Holy Roman Church and for Our Holy Father, the Father of all the Faithful, the Shepherd of shepherds and of their flocks, the Vicar of Jesus Christ over all the world.

 

With all the fervor of my soul, I implore these graces from thee, and, in addition, I ask these other benefits from thee with equal confidence in obtaining them through thy powerful intercession. (Here tell Saint Philomena what you need, with simplicity, confidence and humility).

 

Surely that God so good for Whom thou didst give thy blood and thy life that God so good Who is so generous to thee and through thy mediation, so generous with gifts and favors to us, that God so good Who has loved me even unto dying for me, even unto giving me Himself under the Eucharistic appearances, surely He will never be deaf to thy prayers, nor to my appeals, unless it be that He Himself is in some different way seeking to do me good. Full of confidence, I place all my trust in Him and in thee. Amen

 

FIRST DAY

1. Consider that Saint Philomena was a virgin… A virgin in such a world and in such an age… A virgin in spite of persecution… A virgin until death… What an example! Can I meditate upon it without blushing? What is the cause of my confusion? What is the remedy for it?
2. Humiliate yourself many times for the reason that has made you blush, remembering her virginal purity.
3. Assist at Holy Mass in her honor and visit one of her statues or pictures, if you can do so conveniently.

 

SECOND DAY

1. Consider that Saint Philomena was and did not cease to be a virgin… Because she knew how to control the corrupt desires of the flesh… How to preserve, in the use of her senses, the modesty of Jesus Christ, holding aloof from a deceitful world and from dangerous occasions. Do you imagine her in all that? What are the sources of your temptations… of your weaknesses… of your anxieties… of your falls? Try to eliminate these sources.
2. Fly from everything that has injured you. Practice what you have had the misfortune to neglect with regard to purity.
3. As on the first day.

 

THIRD DAY

1. Consider that Saint Philomena preserved and increased the love which she had for chastity by means of prayer which is the abundant source of spiritual life… by means of the Sacraments, wherein the soul is washed in the Blood of Jesus Christ, and is nourished with His Sacred Body, divine gem of Christian chastity… by remembering that her members were the members of the Body of Jesus Christ, and that her body was the temple of the Holy Spirit… It is not true that you have these same means at your disposal? What use do you ask of them?
2. Redouble the fervor of all your prayers… Say to yourself from time to time. My members are those of Jesus Christ… the temple of the Holy Spirit.

 

FOURTH DAY

1. Consider that Saint Philomena was a Martyr… that she had to suffer… to suffer much… to suffer even unto death, and that she showed an invincible patience in these torments…Are suffering and patience invariably found together in you? You have to suffer rarely… to suffer a little… never to suffer to the extent of dying from it. Now whence is the reason for so much weakness on your part? Do you not want to remedy that weakness? What sort of remedy will you choose?
2. Suffer patiently those few sorrows oppositions and pains which the Lord may be pleased to send you this day.
3. As on the first day.

 

FIFTH DAY

1. Consider that Saint Philomena suffered martyrdom for Jesus Christ… They wanted to wrest her Faith from her… they wanted to make her violate her Baptismal vows, to persuade her to follow the example of idolaters and apostates. And what does the devil, the world; the flesh and your own heart want from you on so many occasions but the same sort of unfaithfulness? All forms of it are an offence against God. Are these not vain fears, indeed, which make you lacking something in your duties, or which cause you to betray your faith?… O my God, what a shameful slackness!…Take courage at last…
2. To overcome human respect, say to yourself from time to time: It is better to please God than men.
3. As on the first day.

 

SIXTH DAY

1. Consider that Saint Philomena, is dying for Jesus Christ, had to put into practice the maxim of the Savior. “He who does not despise his father, his mother and even his own life for the love of Me, cannot be called disciple.” She did not hesitate… She sacrificed everything, no matter how her blood and her nature raised their voices in protest. In far less difficult circumstances do we show ourselves to be worthy of Jesus Christ. If at some juncture we were called upon to choose between God and creatures, between grace and nature, between the love of God and the affection of creatures, to whom would we give our preference?… Oh! in the future let us no longer fall away from our dignity as sons of God and disciples of Jesus Christ.
2. Let us endeavor during this day to please only God, or to please creatures solely for God’s sake. Let us remove far from us all disordered affection.
3. As on the first day.

 

SEVENTH DAY

1. Consider that Saint Philomena, in dying for Jesus Christ, had to endure the jeers, the sarcasms, the outrages of her persecutors, of her executioners and of the majority of the witnesses to her torture… She was none the less generous, none the less constant, none the less joyous in the public confession of her faith… If the world gave you a similar chalice to drink would you have enough courage to drain the bitterness of it with the same kind of sentiments? Oh! What do the jokes, the scorn, or the most unjust or bloodiest persecution of the world matter?… Can anything ever dishonor a soul that is honored by God? Fear nothing… Follow out your road… It is leading straight to the possession of eternal glory.
2. Do not allow your heart to be changed if abrupt words are spoken to you, or rough, biting and offensive words, are hurled at you.
3. As on the first day.

 

EIGHT DAY

1. Consider that when Saint Philomena died, for love of Jesus Christ, to all the things of this wretched world, she entered into the joy of eternal life… Yes I am certain, she said in her heart: “the supreme Judge will give me the crown of justice which He has promised me in return for all the fleeting goods which I sacrifice to His Love.” She dies… and behold her in the tabernacle of God, with the Saints who follow the Lamb… Are these the thought which I try to have when I find myself confronted with some sacrifice?… What impression do they make on my spirit?… To what side do they make the balance fall?… Ah! in order to gain all, the Saints used to say: “Let us lose it all”… and what shall I say?
2. To-day let us decide on some voluntary sacrifice… Let us do readily and with a good heart everything in connection with our duties.
3. As on the first day.

 

NINTH DAY

1. Consider that Saint Philomena, having sacrificed everything in this miserable world for Jesus Christ, received back from Himself in this world more than the hundredfold of what He had given! What renown! What power! What glory! What greatness humbled at her feet! What throngs of pilgrims to her different Shrines! What festivities in her honor. What tributes of reverence have been paid to her! What an ardent longing to get possession of her relics! Thus precisely does God fulfill His promises. Ah! If only we maintained our promises to Him with the same fidelity! But when we deprive Him of His glory, do we not perhaps deprive ourselves of great merit and favor both in this world and in the next?… Courage, therefore… Be faithful in order that God may be faithful with you.
2. Today do some little work of mercy in honor of the Saint. Prepare yourself! By a good Confession to receive Our Lord Jesus Christ in a fitting manner in Holy Communion
3. As on the first day.

Let us Pray

O God, who in Thy great might didst raise up martyrs even from among the weaker sex, grant, we beseech Thee, that we who celebrate the feast of Thy blessed Virgin and Martyr, Philomena, may be led by her example and brought by her to thee: Through Our Lord Jesus Christ Who, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, liveth and reigneth one God, in perfect Trinity, for ever and ever. Amen.