St. Philomena was a second century girl whose remains were discovered in 1802 in an ancient catacomb in Rome.
In Latin the tomb read, “Pax tecum, Filumena”, which translates “Peace be with you, Philomena”. It also contained a vile of her dried blood and bone relics.
Several years later Philomenia’s remains were enshrined in a village in Mugano, Italy and there begins the interventions and unusual events surrounding this girl of fourteen or fifteen. So great were here intersessions and miracles, that many religious and lay people began following her spirit.
Painting of Philomena at Saint Philomena Roman Catholic Church in Lansdowne, Pennsylvania (Philadelphia).
She was made a saint in 1837 by Pope Gregory XVI. She is the only person recognized as a saint based solely on her intersessions, since little is know of her otherwise. On the spirituality side, Philomena revealed her story to Mother Maria Luisa di Gesu, Foundress of the Oblates of Our Lady of Sorrows on August 3, 1833. Here is what St. Philomena said to Mother Maria Luisa di Gesu of her background.
“Dear Sister, August the tenth was the day of my rest, my triumph, my birth into Heaven, my entering into the possession of such eternal goods as the human mind cannot possibly imagine. That is why my Heavenly Spouse disposed, by His most high decrees that my coming to Mugnano should be on the day which had seen my coming to Heaven! He prepared so many circumstances which should make my arrival at Mugnano glorious and triumphant; giving joy to all the people, even though the priest who brought me had absolutely decided that my translation should take place on the fifth of the month very quietly in his own house. My omnipotent Spouse impeded him with so many obstacles that the priest, although he did all he could to carry out his plan, could not do so. And so it came about that the said translation was made on the tenth, the day of my feast in Heaven.” – Mother Maria Luisa di Gesu
St. John Neumann while bishop of Philadelphia, was a true promoter of St. Philomena. He said of Philomena, “to whom God denies nothing for whoever invokes her.”
St. Frances Xavier Cabrini carried a small statue of Philomena on her numerous journeys. The Blessed Pius IX (1792-1878) also had a deep and sincere devotion to St. Philomena.
St. Padre Pio called Philomena the “Princess of Heaven”. Padre Pio used to reply to those who doubted 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.”
The Universal Archconfraternity of Saint Philomena, with the National Center for the United States, is headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
“My children, St. Philomena has great power with God. Her virginity and generosity in embracing heroic martyrdom has rendered her so agreeable to God that He will never refuse anything that she asks for us.” by St. John Vianney, the Curé of Ars.