Little is known of the life of St. Philomena before the discovery of her celebrated tomb in the Catacombs of Priscilla in Rome. An inscription near her tomb read “Peace be with thee, Philomena.” Near her bones was discovered a small glass vial, containing the remains of blood. Because it was a popular custom of the early martyrs to leave symbols and signs such as these, it was determined that St. Philomena was a virgin and a martyr. She was venerated by other saints such as St. John Vianney, St. Madeleine Sophie Barat, St. Peter Eymard, and St. Peter Chanel.
After hundreds of miraculous cures and other miracles, she was beatified in 1837. St. Philomena, whom the pope named as the Patroness of the Living Rosary and the Patroness of the Children of Mary, is the only person recognized as a saint solely on the basis of her powerful intercession, although revelations regarding her life have been recorded.
Her feast day is celebrated on August 11, with St. Clare.
Prayer for the intercession of St. Philomena:
Illustrious Virgin and Martyr, Saint Philomena,
Behold me kneeling in spirit before you.
Full of confidence in your protection,
I beseech you to intercede for me.
From heaven, please look upon us.
Spouse of Jesus Christ,
console me in my troubles,
strengthen me in temptations,
protect me in the dangers which surround me;
obtain all the graces necessary for me,
especially [your intentions],
and assist me at my death.
Other Saints We Remember Today
St. Beatriz da Silva (1490), Virgin, Foundress of Conceptionists
St. Hyacinth (1257), Priest, Religious, Apostle of Poland, invoked against drowning