Happy Feast of Saint Philomena!
From the account, given as private revelation to a Dominican tertiary, Venerable Mother Maria Luisa di Gesu:
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 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.”
O Glorious Virgin and Martyr, beloved of God, St Philomena! I rejoice with thee in the power which God gave thee for the glory of His Name, for the edification of 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 the recompense granted to 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 for ever, 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 fervour 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 the Saint 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 thee through thy mediation, so generous with gifts and favours 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
1. Consider that St Philomena, having sacrificed everything in this miserable world for Jesus Christ, received back from Himself in this world more than the hundredfold of what she 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 honour! What tributes of reverence have been paid to her! What an ardent longing to get possession of her relics! Thus precisely does God fulfil 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 favour 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 honour of the Saint. Prepare yourself by a good confession to receive Our Lord, Jesus Christ in a fitting manner in Holy Communion
3. Assist at Holy Mass in her honour and visit one of her statues or pictures if you can do so conveniently.
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 Ghost, livest and reignest, one God, in perfect Trinity, for ever and ever. Amen
Prayer for Lapsed Catholics
Let us pray.
O Almighty Father, who desirest not the death of the sinner, but rather that he be converted and live, pour out upon us Thy mercy and hear the prayers of Thy servants. Soften the hearts of Thy children who have strayed from the true paths, which Thou didst establish for their salvation. They are now forgetful of their duties as Catholics, and pursue only the transitory pleasures of the world. Grant that they may speedily return to the practice of every Christian virtue, so that their lives may shine with the integrity of faith, the fervour of piety and the ardour of charity. Restore all of them to Thy sacraments and to the life of Thy grace, through the merits of the Most Precious Blood of Thy Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ.
Prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary
O Mother of Jesus Christ and our Mother, we pray thee to obtain for us the grace of serving God faithfully in this world that we may have the happiness of loving Him eternally in heaven. Hear the prayers that we address to thee, O Mother. Defend us against the enemies of our salvation, and against our own infirmities. Obtain for us pardon for our sins and perseverance in the determination never to fall away again. We implore thee to take under thy protection those who have abandoned the practice of their Catholic duties. May they be converted again and become faithful servants of thy Son. O Mother of Mercy, be for us all “the cause of our joy” and show unto us Jesus Christ, thy Son, as thy gift to us both for time and for eternity. Amen.
Our Lady of the Atonement, intercede for us.
That there may be fulfilled the prayer of thy Divine Son: “That all may be one.”
Prayer to St. Peter
O glorious St. Peter, Prince of the Apostles and firm foundation of the Church, obtain for us all a lively faith, which we may openly and fearlessly profess in its fullness and purity, even, if need be, to the shedding of our blood. Obtain for us also, a true love of our Holy Mother the Church, and keep us ever zealous in the fulfillment of our religious duties. We pray to thee today to intercede for those who have wandered from the Church which Christ established for their salvation. Through thine intercession, may they receive from God the grace to return speedily to their Father’s house, so that on earth they may enjoy peace and tranquility, and one day attain everlasting happiness in heaven. Amen.
O ye holy Apostles Peter and Paul, pray for us.
That we may be worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us Pray.
O Lord Jesus Christ, most gracious Saviour of the world, we humbly beg of Thee by Thy most Sacred Heart, that all the sheep now wandering astray may be converted unto Thee, the Shepherd and Bishop of their souls. Who livest and reignest from this time forth for evermore. Amen.
St Philomena, pray for us.