Tag Archives: St. Philomena

Celebrating Justice!

I received an email from the District Attorney regarding Friday’s court hearing. They were there on the defense motion for a new trial, and he spent a considerable amount of time arguing the claims raised by the defense. Then the judge DENIED the motion for a new trial and the defendant was sentenced! She received Life + 30 years in state prison.


Praise God, it is over! Justice has been served!

Receiving this news brings great relief and closure. I’m so grateful to everyone who has worked on my case: the first responders, the police officers and detectives who worked tirelessly to find the woman who shot me and arrest her, and all the attorneys who have put in many hours to see this through. The attorney who presented my case at the preliminary hearing has continued to follow the case and even appeared at some of the trial hearings to support me. I have seen similar kindness from many others throughout this ordeal and am truly moved by it. I am grateful that God placed so many incredible people in my life to help me through such a difficult time.

I am grateful for the intercession of Our Lady of Guadalupe, St. Filomena, St. Antonio of Padua, Bl. Anacleto and Josh Gonder. I know the Lord heard their prayers on my behalf. And I am especially grateful to all of you who continued to follow my journey and unceasingly offered your prayers and encouragement. This is your celebration, too!

Please continue to pray for the woman who shot me, that she may come to know the incredible Love, Mercy and Forgiveness of our Lord Jesus Christ.

God is Sovereign! ~Rosario Rodriguez


Filed under General, Trial, Update

When Forgiveness is Hard

Here’s an interview I did with Pat Gohn for the “Among Women” Podcast. In this interview I share about my story of Forgiveness as well as details from surviving a robbery &  shooting!

When Forgiveness is Hard

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My cousin… a Brother! Whaaaaat?!? Gonna have a monk in the family!!!

St. Andrew's Benedictine Abbey in Cleveland, OH

My cousin Ronn has been accepted to enter St. Andrew’s Benedictine Monastery this January!!! He’s been praying and discerning his vocation for several years and after searching out different orders, meeting and visiting the Benedictines he’s finally found where he feels called to lead a life of a monk!

I’ve been blessed to be a part of this journey with him and remember the day he called me and told me he was thinking of the religious life. I’ve been praying for him, asking St. Philomena’s intercession for him & his vocation and trying to encourage and support as much as I could. Then this past August I visited St. Andrews Abbey with him. I saw how joyful he was to be there and it  gave me a lot of peace and joy.  To experience this with him has been an incredible blessing and I have learned a lot about praying, discerning and trusting in God’s plan for my life from Ronn.

He’s been a great friend and support to me and I’m going to miss him a lot! Especially our silly phone calls late at night, hanging out quoting Joe vs the Volcano and mostly our annual fishing trips up at the cabin! But I couldn’t be more happy for him. In fact I’m sooo giddy with excitement, it’s ridiculous!!!

Ronn, I’m so proud of you for saying yes to God’s call in your life! I  love you A TON cuz and am crazy happy for you!


My cousin Ronn doing what he loves most... Fishing!

PS  His name is really spelled Ron but I spell it Ronn… because the second n is silent! 😉 …A long lasting joke between he, my sisters and I. Someday, if God Will’s it he will no longer be Ronn but Brother…??? I’ve already picked out several GREAT names but that’s another post!

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Pre-Trial is this Thursday…. Here we go Again!

This Thursday (Oct 7th) is a Pre-Trial. The defendant is being retried after one of the counts she was charged with resulted in a hung jury. Please continue to pray that justice be served and that the defendant comes to know the great love, mercy & forgiveness of Our Lord.

Special prayers for her please as this day is the Feast of Our Lady of The Rosary! (My name day!) Thanks!

Depending on the outcome of the pre-trial I could be flying back out to LA soon to testify at the trial. I arrived back home late Monday evening and am still suffering from jet lag which isn’t at all usual for me. I very rarely am jet lagged but I think it’s because of all the emotion and stress from the trip that has my head spinning and heavy and I am completely exhausted.

I’m  also still waiting to hear from the District Attorney when the sentencing hearing will take place from the charges she was found guilty on. I really want to attend the sentencing and address the judge and the defendant. Unfortunately, I can’t afford it so please pray that God will provide me with the means to attend and be heard. Thanks!

(I’m completely exhausted & my head is spinning so if I sound short or incoherent, that’s why!)

Our Lady of The Rosary, Pray for us!

Our Lady of The Rosary

St. Philomena, Pray for us!

St. Philomena


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Filed under Prayer, St. Philomena, Trial, Update

Novena of Masses to St. Philomena!

I have to admit I was a bit hesitant to post this just because I feel as though I’m constantly pounding on your doors asking for prayers with novena after novena.  But then after a kind, mini lecture from a family member I realized that it’s out of my control that the preliminary hearings and trial dates keep changing.  And each time the new trial date begins to arrive it’s once again very emotional and stressful for me and I need your prayers! I was also reminded how scripture tells us to be persistent in our prayers. (Which is why we pray a novena for nine days – to show persistency!) So, for those who would like to join me in praying once again….

Beginning Friday August 27 – Saturday September 4th there will be a Novena of Masses said at The Sanctuary of St. Philomena in Mugnano, Italy for two intentions.

They are being said for:

-The defendant who shot me and who is charged with attempted murder. For her conversion & that she plead guilty.

-And for a special intention.

*If you can’t make it to Mass everyday for the next nine days you could pray a novena prayer to St. Philomena (You can find a novena on my St. Philomena – My Patroness Page) & make a Spiritual Communion.

I really do appreciate all your prayers! And please know that I pray for everyone who’s praying for me and that I’ve been experiencing a lot of grace & peace as a result of your intercession. Thanks!


Filed under Catholicism, Prayer, St. Philomena, Trial

Painting of St. Philomena Unveiled!

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

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Novena Prayer To St. Philomena

St. Filomena statue carried during a procession

Today, August 3 we begin a novena to St. Philomena that will end on her feast day August 11th.

Novena Prayer to Saint Philomena

(Composed by St. Jean-Marie Vianney, Cure d’ Ars)

Prayer for Each Day during the Novena.

O Glorious Virgin and Martyr, beloved of God, Saint Philomena! I rejoice with thee in the power which God gave thee for the glory of His Name, for the edification 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 thy recompense granted to thy merits. I resolve to follow 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 forever, 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 fervor 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 thy mediation, so generous with gifts and favors 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

FIRST DAY 1. Consider that St. Philomena was a virgin… A virgin in such a world and in such an age… A virgin in spite of persecution… A virgin until death… What an example! Can I meditate upon it without blushing? What is the cause of my confusion? What is the remedy for it? 2. Humiliate yourself many times for the reason that has made you blush, remembering Her virginal purity. 3. Assist at Holy Mass in Her honor and visit one of Her statues or pictures, if you can do so conveniently.

SECOND DAY 1. Consider that St. Philomena was and did not cease to be a virgin… Because she knew how to control the corrupt desires of the flesh… How to preserve, in the use of Hersenses, the modesty of Jesus Christ, holding aloof from a deceitful world and from dangerous occasions. Do you imagine Her in all that? What are the sources of your temptations… of your weaknesses… of your anxieties… of your falls? Try to eliminate these sources. 2. Fly from everything that has injured you. Practice what you have had the misfortune to neglect with regard to purity. 3. As on the first day.

THIRD DAY 1. Consider that St. Philomena preserved and increased the love which she had for chastity by means of prayer which is the abundant source of spiritual life… by means of the Sacraments, wherein the soul is washed in the Blood of Jesus Christ, and is nourished with His Sacred Body, divine gem of Christian chastity… by remembering that Her members were the members of the Body of Jesus Christ, and that Her body was the temple of the Holy Ghost… It is not true that you have these same means at your disposal? What use do you ask of them? 2. Redouble the fervor of all your prayers… Say to yourself from time to time. My members are those of Jesus Christ… the temple of the Holy Ghost. 3. As on the first day.

FOURTH DAY 1. Consider that St. Philomena was a Martyr… that she had to suffer… to suffer much… to suffer even unto death, and that she showed an invincible patience in these torments…Are suffering and patience invariably found together in you? You have to suffer rarely… to suffer a little… never to suffer to the extent of dying from it. Now whence is the reason for so much weakness on your part? Do you not want to remedy that weakness? What sort of remedy will you choose? 2. Suffer patiently those few sorrows oppositions and pains which the Lord may be pleased to send you this day. 3. As on the first day.

FIFTH DAY 1. Consider that St. Philomena suffered martyrdom for Jesus Christ… thy wanted to wrest Her Faith from Her… thy wanted to make Her violate Her Baptismal vows, to persuade Her to follow the example of idolaters and apostates. And what does the devil, the world; the flesh and your own heart want from you on so many occasions but the same sort of unfaithfulness? All forms of it are an offence against God. Are these not vain fears, indeed, which make you lacking something in your duties, or which cause you to betray your faith?… O my God, what a shameful slackness!…Take courage at last… 2. To overcome human respect, say to yourself from time to time: It is better to please God than men. 3. As on the first day.

SIXTH DAY 1. Consider that St. Philomena, is dying for Jesus Christ, had to put into practice the maxim of the Savior. “He who does not despise his Father, his mother and even his own life for the love of Me, cannot be called disciple.” She did not hesitate… She sacrificed everything, no matter how Her blood and Her nature raised their voices in protest. In far less difficult circumstances do we show ourselves to be worthy of Jesus Christ. If at some juncture we were called upon to choose between God and creatures, between grace and nature, between the love of God and the affection of creatures, to whom would we give our preference?… Oh! in the future let us no longer fall away from our dignity as sons of God and disciples of Jesus Christ. 2. Let us endeavor during this day to please only God, or to please creatures solely for God’s sake. Let us remove far from us all disordered affection. 3. As on the first day.

SEVENTH DAY 1. Consider that St. Philomena, in dying for Jesus Christ, had to endure the jeers, the sarcasms, the outrages of Her persecutors, of Her executioners and of the majority of the witnesses to Her torture… She was none the less generous, none the less constant, none the less joyous in the public confession of Her faith… If the world gave you a similar chalice to drink would you have enough courage to drain the bitterness of it with the same kind of sentiments? Oh! What do the jokes, the scorn, or the most unjust or bloodiest persecution of the world matter?… Can anything ever dishonor a soul that is honored by God? Fear nothing… Follow out your road… It is leading straight to the possession of eternal glory. 2. Do not allow your heart to be changed if abrupt words are spoken to you, or rough, biting and offensive words, are hurled at you. 3. As on the first day.

EIGHT DAY 1. Consider that when Saint Philomena died, for love of Jesus Christ, to all the things of this wretched world, she entered into the joy of eternal life… Yes I am certain, she said in Her heart: “the supreme Judge will give me the crown of justice which He has promised me in return for all the fleeting goods which I sacrifice to His Love.” She dies… and behold Her in the tabernacle of God, with the Saints who follow the Lamb… Are these the thought which I try to have when I find myself confronted with some sacrifice?… What impression do thy make on my spirit?… To what side do thy make the balance fall?… Ah! in order to gain all, the Saints used to say: “Let us lose it all”… and what shall I say? 2. To-day let us decide on some voluntary sacrifice… Let us do readily and with a good heart everything in connection with our duties. 3. As on the first day.

NINTH DAY 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 He 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 honor. What tributes of reverence have been paid to Her! What an ardent longing to get possession of Her relics! Thus precisely does God fulfill 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 favor 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 honor of the Saint. Prepare yourself! By a good Confession to receive Our Lord Jesus Christ in a fitting manner in Holy Communion 3. As on the first day.

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, liveth and reigneth one God, in perfect Trinity, for ever and ever. Amen.

The Sanctuary of St. Filomena

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