Painting of St. Philomena unveiled at St. John Vianney Parish
By Susan Evangelista
Artist Mic Carlson was commissioned to paint this lovely painting of Saint Philomena. Saint Philomena is a saint who has received extraordinary honor in the Church from popes, bishops, saints, and mystics. Pope Gregory XVI referred to her as the “wonder-worker” of the nineteenth century. Bl. Pope Pius IX declared her the “Patroness of the Children of Mary.” St. John Vianney attributed all of his miracles to her, stating, “I have never asked for anything through the intercession of my Little Saint without having been answered.”
In 1802, excavators working in the ancient Catacombs of St. Priscilla in Rome discovered a tomb with three terra-cotta slabs reading PAXTE; CUMFI; LUMENA which means “Peace Be With You, Filumena.” The slabs were marked with a lily, arrows, an anchor and a palm, indicating virginity and martyrdom. Inside were the remains of a girl of about thirteen years of age, along with a vial of her dried blood which signified that this was indeed a Martyr who died for the love of Christ and Christianity.
The Relics were transferred to the Treasury of the Rare Collections of Christian Antiquity in the Vatican where they remained for three years. In 1805, a priest from Mugnano del Cardinale, Don Francesco De Lucia, traveling to Rome with his newly appointed Bishop, requested and eventually received the relics of this Martyr “Filumena” to enshrine in his village church in Mugnano del Cardinale, Av, Italy. To this day, miracles are numerous and brilliant.
Mic was given holy oil from St. Philomena’s Sanctuary in Mugnano, Italy and he mixed the holy oil with his oil paints used to paint her! Father Mike Alber cried as he unveiled Mic’s painting.
The wife of the man who commissioned Mic to paint this saint has been diagnosed with an incurable melanoma cancer on the inside of her body. After talking to his parish priest Fr. Mike Alber of St. John Vianney’s Church, the man decided to dedicate a painting to St. Philomena who has been known to heal tough causes. Since that day, his wife has amazingly been in somewhat of a remission…something that has not happened since she was diagnosed.
There was a private unveiling last evening, Wednesday, August 4th for the family that commissioned Mic…who wish to remain anonymous…followed by a mass and unveiling for the church. It was so touching.
There was a testimony by Rosario Rodriguez, a young lady who was shot a year ago in an armed robbery…the bullet just missed her heart by 1 cm..and after much time in surgery and many prayers to St. Philomena for intercession in her healing…she lives. She said St. Philomena, who is constantly by her side, helped intercede in saving and healing her.
Needless to say, it was an emotional, beautiful ceremony…St. John Vianney’s Church on Clyde Park in Grand Rapids, MI is the permanent home for Mic’s painting. I am so proud.
~Mass was beautiful and as for the painting of St. Philomena… she’s absolutely GORGEOUS!!!! Seriously stunning! It is truly her. Mic Carlson did an incredible job! ~Rosario Rodriguez
For more photo’s of the unveiling check out this photo gallery: http://gallery.me.com/chaylupita/100176