The following is the account of the
life of Saint Philomena as taken
from the official account of Fr.
Di Luciaís Relazione Istorici di
Santa Filomena and subsequent annals
from locutions received by Sr. Luisa
di Gesu in August of 1833, revelations
that received approval by the Holy Office,
(presently the Congregation for the
Doctrine of the Faith) on December 21, 1833.
"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 Emperorís 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 Diocletianís 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 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 fatherís 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. "God and the vow of virginity, I have offered Him, comes
first, before you and 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 with his attractive promises and
threats, all which resulted 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 had inspired me, he came to see me every day and loosened
my chains so that I could eat a small portion of bread and water, I received as food.
He renewed his attacks, in such a way that had it not been for the grace of God, I would
have not been able to resist.
I did not cease to commend my soul to Jesus and His most holy Mother.
My captivity had lasted thirty-seven days, when, in the midst of a celestial
light, I saw holy Mary holding the Divine Child 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 terrible anguish, which I thought would
kill me. "Daughter, have courage," said the Queen of the Heavens, remembering my name
which I had received during baptism, tell me: "you are LUMENA and your Spouse is called Light.
Do not be afraid. I will aid you. At the moment of combat, grace will come to give you strength. The
Angel Gabriel will come to succor you; I will especially commend you and your care to him."
THESE WORDS OF THE QUEEN OF VIRGINS GAVE ME COURAGE.
The the vision disappeared,
leaving the prison filled with a celestial perfume.
What had been announced to me was soon realized.
Diocletian, loosing all hopes of making me meet the promise of my father, took the
decision of torturing me publicly and the first torment was to be scourged.
He ordered that they remove my clothing and be tied to a column in the presence
of a great number of men of the court. He had me scourged with such violence that
my body became bathed in blood, appearing as one open wound. The tyrant, thinking I
was going to faint and die, had me dragged to prison so that I
would die there.
Two angels, brillant with light, appeared to me in the darkness,
and poured a balm on my wounds, restoring within me my strength, which I did not have
before the torture.
WHEN THE EMPEROR WAS INFORMED OF THE CHANGE THAT HAD COME OVER ME,
he had me brought before his presence and tried to make me see that
my healing was owed to Jupiter who desired me to be Empress of Rome.
The Holy Spirit to whom I owed my constancy
in preserving my purity filled me with light and wisdom,
and to all the proofs which I gave of the solidity of our Faith,
neither the Emperor or his court could find an answer.
Then, the frenetic Emperor, ordered that they bury me, with an anchor tied
around my neck into the waters of the Tiber River. The order was executed.
immediately, but God did not allow it to happen. At the moment I was about
to be cast into the river, two angels came to my rescue cutting the rope
that was tied to the anchor, which ended up at the bottom of the river. They
gently transported me back to the shore in full view of the multitude. The
miracle achieved the conversion of a great number of spectators to Christianity.
The Emperor, alleging that the miracle was due to magic
had me dragged through the streets of Rome and order that I
be shot with a shower of arrows. Blood flowed from every part of my body. He
then ordered that once again, I be sent to my prison cell.
Heaven honored me with a new favor.
I entered into a sweet sleep, and when I awoke I was totally cured.
The tyrant, full of rage said: "Have her be pierced with sharpened arrows."
Once again the archers, bent their bows. They gathered all their
strength, but the arrows refused to leave the bows. The Emperor was
present and became furious. Thinking that fire
could break the enchantment, he ordered the arrows to be heated in the furnace and
directed to my heart. He was obeyed, but these arrows, after having travelled
most of the distance towards me, turned in the opposite direction,
returning to injure the archers. Six
of the archers died. Some of them renounced paganism, and the
people began to render public testimony to the power of God that had protected me.
All of this infuriated the tyrant. He determined to
hasten my death by ordering my head to be cut off.
Then, my soul took flight towards my heavenly Spouse, who placed on me the crown of virginity
and the palm of martyrdom. 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."
What is noteworthy from a historical perspective is not only that this revelation
was confirmed by two other individuals unknown to each other (one a priest, the other
an historian), but these other confirmatory historical facts: 1) The Third Century
Roman Emperor was known for executing Christians by the use of arrows, and exemplified
by St. Sebastian; 2) The Third Century Roman Emperor was also known for killing Christians
by tying anchors around their necks and throwing them into the water; 3) The reference
to "Lumena" - the name given to her at birth, "Light" - and then at Baptism, "Fi Lumena",
"Daughter of Light", may explain the arrangement of the tiles found at the grave
("Lumena", her first given name, was on the first tile).
PAPAL DEVOTION TO SAINT PHILOMENA
In our love for Saint Philomena we do well in following the direction and examples of the Roman Pontiffs:
Pope Gregory XVI - January 30, 1837 - solemnly elevates Saint Philomena to the altar granting his complete approbation to her cult in the entire Catholic world and for all eternity. He gives her the title of Patroness of
the Living Rosary.
Pope Pius IX in 1849 names her Patroness of the Children of Mary
Pope Saint Pius X elevates the Archfraternity of Saint Philomena to Universal and names Saint John Vianney her Patron. This Pope and great Saint of the Holy Mother Church solemnly declared: "...to discredit
the present decisions and declarations concerning Saint Philomena as being not permanent, stable, valid and effective, needful of obedience, and in complete effect for all eternity, proceeds from an element that is
null, vain, without merit and authority." (1912)
Pope Leo XIII - before his election to the Papacy he went twice on pilgrimage to her sanctuary. After having been named the Vicar of Christ he gifted a much valued cross to the Sanctuary. He approved the Confraternity
of Saint Philomena and enriched it with indulgences.
Patroness of the Youth with predilection for babies and children.
Comfort of the afflicted and imprisoned.
The solace of the suffering and sick.
Consoler of afflicted mothers who invoke her for material or spiritual help for their children.
Great helper of students and those who take examinations.
Protectress of young married couples, with many times given the joys of motherhood.
Assists and protects expectant mothers.
When invoked she encourages many conversions.
Conversion of sinners and return to the sacraments.
Assists priest in their work.
For all Spiritual and temporal problems.
There is no case too trivial or unimportant to concern her.
She exhibits her greatest patronage towards her devotees by leading them to the love of Our Lord and Our Lady.
Patroness of the Living Rosary
Protectress of the Children of Mary
Mother Luisa of Jesus writing the Life of Saint Philomena
Saint Filomena by Bezzuoli Giuseppe
Saint Philomena - Powerful, Miraculous Trust in God
This site is dedicated to Our Lord Jesus Christ
in the Most Holy Virgin Mary,
for the Glory of God
The Apostolic Blessing by the Holy See in Rome is bestowed (October 28, 2013)
Omnia ad majoren Dei Gloriam!
(All for the greater glory of God)
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