A Greek princess who lived during the time of the Roman Empire, Philomena was a physically beautiful woman. Not much is known about Philomena’s life. She was martyred by Diocletian in Rome in 304 AD around the age of 13 or 14. She is a virgin and a martyr. She is the patron saint of the Children of Mary, of youth, and of babies.
St. Philomena became more well-known once her relics were discovered. Her tomb was found in St. Priscilla’s catacombs. Philomena also has a particular practice now, where she will knock to let you know of her presence. When her relics were being transported in a carriage, the driver heard a knocking noise coming from beneath the carriage where her relics were being stored. He realized St. Philomena was trying to get his attention and that she did not care to be stored beneath the carriage. She preferred to be inside the carriage instead.
Many attest to the fact that Philomena’s intercession is powerful before God. Many great saints have had a devotion to Philomena, including St. John Marie Vianney, St. Padre Pio, and St. John Neumann. St. Padre Pio thought of her as the “Princess of Heaven.” Philomena is one of those miracle-worker saints, such as St. Jude or St. Rita. One can go to Philomena in any need-especially for the conversion of sinners, sterility, healthy pregnancies, real estate, mental illness, broken bones, heart conditions, or in any need. As singles, go to her and ask help in finding the spouse God has in mind for you. Ask her for help in growing in the virtue of chastity. Ask her for whatever you need. Philomena is a saint of the impossible.
What are the ways singles can imitate St. Philomena?
1. PRAY FOR MORE FAITH
Philomena had great faith. We all need to grow in the virtue of faith. Ask St. Philomena to intercede for more faith for you. She was able to endure difficult situations in her life and keep her eyes fixed on heaven as her ultimate goal. She will help us to do the same.
2. THINK OF THE SAINTS AS YOUR FRIENDS
Pope Gregory XVI said this about Philomena, “Whatever you ask from her, she will obtain for you.” St. Philomena, like all the saints, is now in heaven. She, like all the saints, loves us and wants to help us with our needs here on earth. It has even been revealed that she likes to hang out with other saints as well when she is interceding for a particular need of ours. So if you make several concurrent novenas, say for example to St. Philomena and St. Therese, St. Philomena loves it! Apparently, the saints even love to work on our problems as a team! So ask them for graces, for solutions to problems, for miracles.
3. LOVE THE VIRTUE OF CHASTITY
Philomena was a virgin martyr. She prized her chastity and would rather face death than commit a sin. Many have a devotion to her now and if you ask her to, she will help you grow in the virtue of chastity. Many people practice the devotion to the Cord of St. Philomena. This is a blessed cord that is worn around the waist. A prayer for Philomena’s intercession accompanies this practice. Wearing the Blessed Cord of St. Philomena will help you live the virtue of chastity in your life.
We can also grow in chastity by directly asking Our Lord for this virtue. An especially powerful time of grace to ask Our Lord to help you grow in the virtue of chastity is after you receive the Eucharist. And the Lord will help you live this virtue. He wants you to be a saint even more than you want to be one. Married people are called to live conjugal chastity so this is a virtue you need to work at for your entire life. When you live gospel chastity, you will notice a deep joy in your life that comes from living this virtue.
4. ENJOY FIESTAS
St. Philomena is one of those saints who has an abundance of feast days. There are feast days for her birth, for her death, for the day her relics were discovered, etc. Her birthday is celebrated on January 10th, the finding of her body is celebrated on May 25th, the commemoration of her death is celebrated on August 10th, and her major feast day is celebrated on the 13th of August.
There is even a St. Philomena month from July 1st to August 10th. According to a private revelation, Philomena spent forty days in jail. This month commemorates that event. Some say it is because she is a teen that she loves to celebrate life with so many parties and feast days.
Our Catholic Church is a Church with many rich traditions. We have many wonderful feast days throughout the year. We as Catholics love life! Enjoy the feast days, especially those of Our Lord, Our Lady, the saints, and the angels. Celebrate with family, a good meal, a rich dessert, perhaps a nice glass of wine. St. Philomena would definitely approve as she loves a good party! Philomena might even say, “Opa!” This is a Greek expression used often during celebrations in Greece.
Little St. Philomena, powerful before God, pray for us!