Virgin, Martyr and Wonder Worker
I first learned about St. Philomena in high school. Her story touched me, and I would ask for her intercession here and there over the years. My devotion to St. Philomena has become more passionate since I was reacquainted with her last year. After I had been shot someone brought a pamphlet of information about the little saint, which included a litany, a novena and several other prayers to my hospital room. When my family arrived three days later my dad saw the pamphlet of St. Philomena. He exclaimed how he knew that I had a devotion to her and from then on he prayed the entire contents of the pamphlet every day kneeling at my hospital bed. When my family left my friends who took care of me continued to pray those prayers to St. Philomena every day at my bedside. Now that I am able to pray those prayers on my own I do so daily.
St. Philomena has been at my side ever since. She has been my constant companion throughout this entire journey. You will find her story, prayers, novenas, paintings & pictures below. For more information on St. Philomena, visit the Official website, The Sanctuary of St. Philomena
“Pray to Saint Philomena, What ever you ask from her, She will obtain for you.”
-Pope Gregory XVI
“To Philomena, Nothing is refused”
After 1500 years of obscurity in the catacombs, the precious relics of St. Philomena, Virgin and Martyr, were discovered on May 24th and revealed on May 25th 1802. So numerous and striking were the miracles obtained through her powerful intercession that, within 35 years of her discovery, this young Grecian Princess was raised to the Altar and proclaimed the Wonder Worker of the 19th century. Shrines, altars, and monuments were erected world wide in honor of St. Philomena, Powerful with God!
“My children, St. Philomena has great power with God. Her virginity and generosity in embracing heroic martydom has rendered her so agreeable to God that He will never refuse anything that she asks for us.” -St. John Vianney, the Curé of Ars
Her story as revealed to the Foundress of the Oblates of Our Lady of Sorrows, Mother Maria Luisa di Gesù, a Dominican Tertiary.
My dear Sister, I am the daughter of a Prince who governed a small state in Greece. My mother is also of royal blood. My parents were without children. They were idolaters. They continually offered sacrifices and prayers to their false gods.
A doctor from Rome named Publius lived in the palace in the service of my father. This doctor professed Christianity. Seeing the affliction of my parents, by the impulse of the Holy Spirit, he spoke to them of Christianity, and promised to pray for them if they consented to receive Baptism. The grace which accompanied his words enlightened their understanding and triumphed over their will. They became Christians and obtained the long desired happiness that Publius had assured them as the reward of their conversion. At the moment of my birth, they gave me the name of “Lumena,” an allusion to the light of Faith of which I had been, as it were, the fruit. The day of my Baptism they called me “Filumena,” or “Daughter of Light,” because on that day I was born to the Faith. The affection which my parents bore me was so great that they had me always with them.
It was on this account that they took me to Rome on a journey that my father was obliged to make on the occasion of an unjust war with which he was threatened by the haughty Diocletian. I was then thirteen years old. On our arrival in the capital of the world, we proceeded to the palace of the Emperor and were admitted for an audience. As soon as Diocletian saw me, his eyes were fixed upon me. He appeared to be pre-possessed in this manner during the entire time that my father was stating with animated feelings everything that could serve for his defense.
As soon as Father had ceased to speak, the Emperor desired him to be disturbed no longer, to banish all fear, to think only of living in happiness. These are the Emperor’s words, “I shall place at your disposal all the force of the Empire. I ask only one thing, that is the hand of your daughter.” My father, dazzled with an honor he was far from expecting, willingly acceded on the spot to the proposal of the Emperor.
When we returned to our own dwelling, Father and Mother did all they could to induce me to yield to Diocletian’s wishes and theirs. I cried, “Do you wish, that for the love of a man, I should break the promise I have made to Jesus Christ? My virginity belongs to him. I can no longer dispose of it.” “But you were young then, too young,” answered my father, “to have formed such an engagement.” He joined the most terrible threats to the command that he gave me to accept the hand of Diocletian. The grace of my God rendered me invincible, and my father, not being able to make the Emperor relent, in order to disengage himself from the promise he had given, was obliged by Diocletian to bring me to the Imperial Chamber.
I had to withstand for some time beforehand a new attack from my father’s anger. My mother, uniting her efforts to his, endeavored to conquer my resolution. Caresses, threats, everything was employed to reduce me to compliance. At last, I saw both of my parents fall at my knees and say to me with tears in their eyes, “My child have pity on your father, your mother, your country, our country, our subjects.” “No! No,” I answered them. “My virginity, which I have vowed to God, comes before everything, before you, before my country. My kingdom is heaven.”
My words plunged them into despair and they brought me before the Emperor, who on his part did all in his power to win me. But his promises, his allurements, his threats, were equally useless. He then flew into a violent fit of anger and, influenced by the Devil, had me cast into one of the prisons of the palace, where he had me loaded with chains. Thinking that pain and shame would weaken the courage with which my Divine Spouse inspired me, he came to see me every day. After several days, the Emperor issued an order for my chains to be loosed, that I might take a small portion of bread and water. He renewed his attacks, some of which would have been fatal to purity had it not been for the grace of God.
The defeats which he always experienced were for me the preludes to new tortures. Prayer supported me. I did not cease to recommend myself to Jesus and his most pure Mother. My captivity had lasted thirty-seven days, when, in the midst of a heavenly light, I saw Mary holding the Divine Son in her arms. “My daughter,” she said to me, “three days more of prison and after forty days you shall leave this state of pain.” Such happy news made my heart beat with joy, but as the Queen of Angels had added that I should quit my prison, to sustain, in frightful torments a combat far more terrible than those preceding, I fell instantly from joy to the most cruel anguish; I thought it would kill me. “Have courage, my child,” Mary then said to me; “are you unaware of the love of predilection that I bear for you? The name, which you received in baptism, is the pledge of it for the resemblance which it has to that of my Son and to mine. You are called Lumena, as your Spouse is called Light, Star, Sun, as I myself am called Aurora, Star, the Moon in the fullness of its brightness, and Sun. Fear not, I will aid you. Now nature, whose weakness humbles you, asserts its law. In the moment of combat, grace will come to lend you its force, and your Angel, who was also mine, Gabriel, whose name expresses strength, will come to your aid. I will recommend you especially to his care, as the well beloved among my children.” These words of the Queen of virgins gave me courage again, and the vision disappeared, leaving my prison filled with a celestial perfume. I experienced a joy out of this world. Something indefinable.
What the Queen of Angels had prepared me for was soon experienced. Diocletian, despairing of bending me, decided on public chastisement to offend my virtue. He condemned me to be stripped and scourged like the Spouse I preferred to him. These are his horrifying words. “Since she is not ashamed to prefer to an Emperor like me, a malefactor condemned to an infamous death by his own people, she deserves that my justice shall treat her as he was treated.” The prison guards hesitated to unclothe me entirely but they did tie me to a column in the presence of the great men of the court. They lashed me with violence until I was bathed in blood. My whole body felt like one open wound, but I did not faint.
The tyrant had me dragged back to the dungeon, expecting me to die. I hoped to join my heavenly Spouse. Two angels, shining with light, appeared to me in the darkness. They poured a soothing balm on my wounds, bestowing on me a vigor I did not have before the torture.
When the Emperor was informed by the change that had come over me, he had me brought before him. He viewed me with a greedy desire and tried to persuade me that I owed my healing and regained vigor to Jupiter, another god, that he, the Emperor, had sent to me. He attempted to impress me with his belief that Jupiter desired me to be Empress of Rome. Joining to these seductive words promises of great honor, including the most flattering words, Diocletian tried to caress me. Fiendishly, he attempted to complete the work of Hell which he had begun. The Divine Spirit to whom I am indebted for constancy in preserving my purity seemed to fill me with light and knowledge, and to all the proofs which I gave of the solidity of our Faith, neither Diocletian or his courtiers could find an answer.
Then, the frenzied Emperor dashed at me, commanding a guard to chain an anchor around my neck and bury me deep in the waters of the Tiber. The order was executed. I was cast into the water, but God sent me two angels who unfastened the anchor. It fell into the river mud, where it remains no doubt to the present time. The angels transported me gently in full view of the multitude upon the riverbank. I came back unharmed, not even wet, after being plunged with the heavy anchor.
When a cry of joy rose from the debauchers on the shore, and so many embraced Christianity by proclaiming their belief in my God, Diocletian attributed my preservation to secret magic. Then the Emperor had me dragged through the streets of Rome and shot with a shower of arrows. My blood flowed, but I did not faint. Diocletian thought that I was dying and commanded the guards to carry me back to the dungeon. Heaven honored me with a new favor there. I fell into a sweet sleep, and I found myself, on awaking, perfectly cured.
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 red 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.
“Saint Philomena, Powerful with God, Pray for us!”
Novena Prayer to St. Philomena
O Faithful Virgin and glorious martyr, St. Philomena, who works so many miracles on behalf of the poor and sorrowing, have pity on me. Thou knowest the multitude and diversity of my needs. Behold me at thy feet, full of misery, but full of hope. I entreat thy charity, O great Saint! Graciously hear me and obtain from God a favorable answer to the request which I now humbly lay before thee… (Here specify your petition.) I am firmly convinced that through thy merits, through the scorn, the sufferings and the death thou didst endure, united to the merits of the Passion and death of Jesus, thy Spouse, I shall obtain what I ask of thee, and in the joy of my heart I will bless God, who is admirable in His Saints. Amen.
Prayer to St. Philomena
O, Saint Philomena, Virgin and Martyr, whom God glorifies by so many miracles; whom the Vicar of Jesus Christ has named the Protectress of the Living Rosary and the Children of Mary, manifest more and more plainly from the heights of Heaven that a voice holy as thine cannot be denied, and that we have the right to rely upon thine aid. Obtain for us the grace to be faithful to Jesus Christ, even to death. Amen.
Novena to Saint Philomena
O, great Saint Philomena, glorious Virgin and Martyr, wonder-worker of our age, obtain for me purity of body and soul, purity of heart and desire, purity of thought and affection.
Through thy patience under multiplied sufferings, obtain for me a submissive acceptance of all the afflictions it may please God to send me, and, as thou didst miraculously escape unhurt from the waters of the Tiber into which thou were cast by order of thy persecutor, so may I pass through the waters of tribulations without detriment to my soul.
In addition to these favors, obtain for me, O faithful Spouse of Jesus, the particular intention I earnestly recommend to thee at this moment. (Here specify your petition) O pure Virgin and holy Martyr, deign to cast a look of pity from Heaven on thy devoted servant, comfort me in affliction; assist me in danger; above all come to my aid in the hour of death.
Watch over the interests of the Church of God, pray for it’s exaltation and prosperity, the extension of the faith, for the Sovereign Pontiff, for the clergy, for the perseverance of the just, the conversion of sinners, and the relief of the souls in purgatory, especially those dear to me. O great Saint, whose triumph we celebrate on earth, intercede for me, that I may one day behold the crown of glory bestowed on thee in Heaven, and eternally bless Him who so liberally rewards, for all eternity, the sufferings endured for His love during this short life. Amen
Feast Days of Saint Philomena
January 10th: Birthday of the Saint
Sunday after Jan 10th: Patronage day of the Saint
May 25th: Celebration of the finding of the Holy Body of the Saint
August 10th: Celebration of the Translation of the Holy Body and the Martyrdom of the Saint
August 11th: Liturgical feast day in honor of the Saint
August 13th: Celebration of the name of Saint Philomena
Second Sunday of August: Solemn festivities in honor of the Saint
Prayer to St. Philomena
O, most pure Virgin, glorious Martyr, Saint Philomena whom God in His eternal power has revealed to the world in these unhappy days, in order to revive the faith, sustain the hope, and enkindle the charity of Christian souls, behold me prostrate at they feet. Deign, O Virgin, full of goodness and kindness, to receive my humble prayers and to obtain for me that purity for which thou didst sacrifice the most alluring pleasures of the world; that strength of soul which made thee resist the most terrible attacks; and that ardent love for Our Lord Jesus Christ which the most frightful torments could not extinguish in thee, so that, wearing thy holy cord and imitating thee in this life, I may one day be crowned with thee in Heaven. Amen
Litany of St. Philomena
(Composed by St. John Vianney, the Curé of Ars)
Lord, have mercy on us. Lord, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us. Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ hear us. Christ, graciously hear us.
God, the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God. have mercy on us.
Holy Mary, Queen of Virgins pray for us.
St. Philomena, filled with abundant graces from your birth, pray for us.
St. Philomena, faithful imitator of Mary, pray for us.
St. Philomena, new light of the Church Militant, pray for us.
St. Philomena, model of virginity, pray for us.
St. Philomena, temple of the most perfect humility, pray for us.
St. Philomena, inflamed with zeal for the glory of God, pray for us.
St. Philomena, victim of the love for Jesus, pray for us.
St. Philomena, example of strength and perseverance, pray for us.
St. Philomena, invincible champion of chastity, pray for us.
St. Philomena, mirror of most heroic virtues, pray for us.
St. Philomena, firm and intrepid in the face of torments, pray for us.
St. Philomena, scourged like thy Divine Spouse, pray for us.
St. Philomena, pierced by a shower of arrows, pray for us.
St. Philomena, consoled by the Mother of God when in chains, pray for us.
St. Philomena, miraculously healed in prison, pray for us.
St. Philomena, comforted by the Angels in thy torments, pray for us.
St. Philomena, who preferred torments and death to the splendors of a throne, pray for us.
St. Philomena, who converted the witnesses of thy martyrdom, pray for us.
St. Philomena, who wore out the fury of thy tormentors, pray for us.
St. Philomena, protectress of the innocent, pray for us.
St. Philomena, patroness of youth, pray for us.
St. Philomena, refuge of the unfortunate, pray for us.
St. Philomena, health of the sick and weak, pray for us.
St. Philomena, who confounds the impiety of the world, pray for us.
St. Philomena, who rejuvenates the faith and courage of the faithful, pray for us.
St. Philomena, whose name is glorious in Heaven and feared in Hell, pray for us.
St. Philomena, made illustrious by the most splendid miracles, pray for us.
St. Philomena, powerful with God, pray for us.
St. Philomena, who reigns in glory, pray for us.
Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world; spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world; graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world; have mercy on us.
V. Pray for us, O Worker of Wonders, St. Philomena,
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us pray.
We implore Thee O Lord, through the intercession of St. Philomena, Virgin and Martyr, who is ever most pleasing in Thy eyes by reason of her eminent purity and the practice of all the virtues, pardon our sins and grant us all the graces we need _______________ (add your special intention), through the same Christ, Our Lord. Amen.
ST. PHILOMENA CHAPLET
This chaplet or Little Crown of Saint Philomena is made up of three white beads; a token of her virginity and purity and thirteen red beads to signify her martyrdom.
On the medal say the Apostles’ Creed to ask for the grace of faith.
On each of the white beads say an Our Father in honor of the three Divine Persons of the Blessed Trinity in thanksgiving for all favors obtained through her intercession.
On each of the red beads, which are thirteen in number to commerate the thirteen years that St. Philomena spent on earth, say the following prayer:
Hail, O holy St. Philomena, whom I acknowledge, after Mary, as my advocate with the Divine Spouse, intercede for me now and at the hour of my death.
St, Philomena, beloved daughter of Jesus and Mary, pray for us who have recourse to
In conclusion say:
Hail, O illustrious St. Philomena, who shed so courageously your blood for Christ! I bless
the Lord for all the graces He has bestowed upon thee during thy life, and especially at
thy death. I praise and glorify Him for the honor and power with which He has crowned
thee, and I beg thee to obtain for me from God the graces I ask through thy intercession.
NOVENA PRAYER TO
We beseech Thee, O Lord, to grant us the pardon of our sins by the intercession of Saint Philomena, virgin and martyr, who was always pleasing in Thy sight by her eminent chastity and by the profession of every virtue. Amen.
Illustrious virgin and martyr, Saint Philomena, behold me prostrate before the throne whereupon it has pleased the Most Holy Trinity to place thee. Full of confidence in thy protection, I entreat thee to intercede for me with God, from the heights of Heaven deign to cast a glance upon thy humble client! Spouse of Christ, sustain me in suffering, fortify me in temptation, protect me in the dangers surrounding me, obtain for me the graces necessary to me, and in particular (Here specify your petition).
Above all, assist me at the hour of my death. Saint Philomena, powerful with God, pray for us. Amen.
O God, Most Holy Trinity, we thank Thee for the graces Thou didst bestow upon the Blessed Virgin Mary, and upon Thy handmaid Philomena, through whose intercession we implore Thy Mercy. Amen.