St. Philomena: Powerful With God

On January 10 the Birthday of St. Philomena was celebrated in Mangnano, Italy in the Sanctuary of St. Philomena. She was just a child when she was martyred and the story of her life is not there for we know little.  We do know that she is powerful with God.  Oh so many miracles have been obtained from prayers to her.  The story of her excavation from the catacombs of Priscilla and the happenings around it are more than marvelous.  God has given us a treasure.  She was Padre Pio’s favorite Saint.  He attributed all his miracles to her. But that is the humility of Padre Pio.  I encourage you to read her story.  You won’t forget her easily.

Blessing of the Oil and the Birthday of Saint Philomena 

Because of the revelations of Sister Maria Luisa di Gesu, a simple holy nun, we celebrate Saint Philomena’s birthday on this day.  Under the guidance of the Sister’s spiritual director, she wrote of the visions which she had received of Saint Philomena.

It was revealed that the birthday of Saint Philomena was January 10.  On December 21, 1833, the Holy Office declared that there was nothing contrary to the Catholic faith in the revelations that Sister Maria di Gesu (1799-1875), a Dominican tertiary from Naples, claimed to have received from the Saint Herself.

Saint Philomena:                                                                                                                                    “My dear Sister, I am the daughter of a Grecian King and my Mother was of royal blood too.  However they did not have children.

They prayed much and offered gifts to their false gods.

There lived with our family a Roman Doctor, whose name was Publius, who is now a Saint in Heaven, although not a martyr.  Touched by their desperation and grieved by the infertility of my poor mother, inspired by the Holy Ghost, he spoke to them of our Faith, and assured them that they would have children if they received holy Baptism.

His words were followed by the grace of God which enlightened my parents minds, and melted their hearts.  They embraced Christianity and soon after, my Mother gave birth to me on the 10th of January.

I was named Lumena, because I was conceived and born in the Light of Faith, to which my parents had become greatly devoted.

Grace was also showered on those who wrote my book in Mugnano – also my sepulchral monument.

They were not aware that in reality they were guided by God’s grace which inspired their minds like the ones who originally wrote on my tomb in Rome.”

Message From the Shrine of Saint Philomena                                                                             It is not important if you choose to believe these visions of this holy servant of God or not, but this is the day we give thanks for the birth of Saint Philomena and her existence in our life and in the world.  It is a wonderful start to our year and is quickly followed by the feast of the Patronage of Saint Philomena during which we have our very special blessing of the oil of Saint Philomena.  This annually takes place  the Sunday following the January 10th.  

Let us begin our year celebrating that we have Saint Philomena, who is Powerful with God, in our lives and we know  with this simple fact that we can conquer anything.  Her Sacred Body is kept here in her Sanctuary in this small northern Italian town of Mugnano del Cardinale, where the church of Our Lady of Grace was waiting to welcome her.  Having Saint Philomena in our life guides us on a straight route to Our Blessed Mother and Our Lord Jesus Christ.” (More on the story of her Sacred Body follows below)

07:30  Mass at the Altar of the Sacred Body of Saint Philomena                                                   17:00  Mass at the High Altar before the external processions

After Mass the external celebration for St. Philomena begins.  Fire crackers and other noisy booms are heard to acknowledge the day she first arrived in Mugnano del Cardinale over 200 years ago.  On that day she was greeted with the sounds of chrch bells and large cannons.  The city made as much noise as they could in their excitement, gratitude and pride of being the home of this great Saint.  Surely their celebration awoke such love in St. Philomena’s heart that she wanted to shower them with graces from God.  And she has!

Information on the “Sacred Body” of St. Philomena, which was, when found, the skeleton of a young girl, and, the extremely exciting and spiritually uplifting story of how the shrine in Mugnana came to be her home is detailed in the book ‘Saint Philomena Powerful With God’ by Sister Marie Helene Mohr, S.C. .    This can be obtained at the Shrine’s Gift Shop along with many other facts.

Sanctuary of Saint Philomena




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