The Story of St Philomena
There was a King and Queen of a region in Greece who longed to have a child. They converted to Christian faith, praying that when the people of their country saw this they too would convert and God would bless them with a child. Their prayer was answered and God blessed them with a baby girl. They named her Philomena which means the “light of Christ”. She was brought up in the faith and by the age of 10 had promised her life to Christ, like a nun would do. By the time she was 13 years old she was so close to Christ and prayed to him everyday and to show her love to Him vowed that she would never marry and would always be His alone.
Rome which was a powerful country had a big army and wanted to take over this small part of Greece. To try and stop this from happening Philomena’s parents went to Rome, taking their daughter with them. Upon seeing the beauty and light that shone from this young girl, the Emperor of Rome, who was very powerful and could stop the war, said, “lf l can marry your daughter I will not invade your country.” Philomena’s parents, thinking how fortunate they were that such a powerful person wanted to marry their daughter agreed. However, they were not aware that Philomena had such a love for Christ that she would not break her promise.
Philomena refused to marry the Emperor and so the Emperor convinced her parents to let him persuade her by showing her his kingdom and giving her many gifts. The parents agreed to this. The Emperor did this and Philomena would not agree, after seeing all of the worldly things she could have: gold, jewels, servants, anything she wanted she could have. But still, Philomena would not break her promise to Christ.
Finally the Emperor, feeling humiliated and embarrassed at not being able to convince Philomena, had her put in the dungeon of his castle prison. Still this young 13 year old girl would not break her promise to Christ. The people of the empire began to talk about how their Emperor could not convince this young Princess to become his wife because she made a promise to Christ, hence they were eager to know more about Philomena’s God and her Christ – they were now asking who is this girl and who is her God! The Emperor became angry and mad at this and began to torture her.
Philomena’s parents could not get to her now, and the Emperor made sure they where kept far away. She was tortured in many ways and they tried to kill her. During this time as she lay in the prison cell in pain feeling alone and afraid, Our Lady appeared to her and said “It won’t be long now, when you reach forty days you will be taken into heaven.” Our Lady sent the angels to her to heal her injuries. Each morning the soldiers would go to the prison cell and find Philomena well again, and this created more talk in the town about this girl. The Emperor was enraged and commanded her dead.
Two examples of the ways they tried to kill her: the soldiers were lined up with bow and arrows, they shot at her and the arrows came back around and killed the people who shot them.
An anchor was tied to her and she was thrown into the river Tiber in Rome, but the angels lifted her and brought her to the dry land even before the soldiers returned ashore. All of these things convinced the people of the empire how powerful the Christian faith is and how Powerful is God.
People began to covert to Christianity. But this made the Emperor infuriated and he commanded that Philomena be beheaded , because he could not be shown up any more in front of his people.
On the fortieth day Philomena was beheaded , and went to Heaven, just as Our Heavenly Mother had told her.
Now in heaven she hears our prayers, she takes our prayers to our Heavenly Mother Mary for us. This does not mean we can’t pray to Mary ourselves and I think you all should do this every day. What it means is that we have a friend in heaven who is called St Philomena. When we have problems we ask her to help us like we would ask a friend. She is in Heaven and God has given her a special place there close to Him.
St Philomena is very Powerful with God, because God does not refuse her anything, since at a very young age she gave her life for the love of Him.
St Philomena Powerful with God Pray for us.
St Philomena to whom nothing is refused Pray for us.
St Philomena Wonder Worker Pray for us.
St Philomena Prayer Group meets after the 6.15pm Mass on Thursday from 7-8pm in Our Lady’s chapel.