Miracles of St.Philomena
The night before the arrival of the relics of St.Philomen at Mugnano Italy, a poor man who had been compelled to remain in bed for several months, absolutely unable to work, hearing of the arrival of the remains of the Holy Martyr on the morrow, prayed fervently to the Saint during the night, begging that he might at least be able to see and kiss the precious relic. The Saint seemed deaf to his prayer, for the pains, far from lessening, became more intense. When, however, the bells announced the arrival of the sacred treasure, he dragged himself from bed in spite of his sufferings and made heroic efforts to go and meet the procession. On leaving the house, he was perfectly cured.
For nine days the crowds flocked unceasingly to the church to venerate the relics, the ninth day being marked by notable miracles. A poor widow besought the Saint during Mass to cure her crippled boy who was unable to stand. At the elevation of the Sacred Host, the boy jumped up from where he was and ran to the urn of the Saint’s relics to thank her for his cure. At the conclusion of the Holy Sacrifice, the child walked about the town, to the delight of the admiring throngs, who rang bells and beat drums and finally, seizing the boy, bore him in procession through the streets. The report of this miracle brought still greater crowds to the afternoon devotions.
A poor mother dipped her finger in the oil of the Saint’s lamp and anointed the eyes of her little child who had lost his sight from smallpox and whom the doctors declared incurable. The moment the mother anointed the lids, the child recovered its sight. A freethinker was so profoundly moved at the sight of this new prodigy that he had the blessed light of faith restored to him. He declared himself a believer and gave large donations for the building of a church in honor of the Saint.
Some days later, a lady brought her crippled daughter to the Sanctuary and, cutting off the child’s curls, hung them near the urn of the Saint’s relics, making at the same time a generous offering to the Sanctuary. There was no apparent response at the moment, but on her return home the child, to the amazement and delight of all present, left the carriage and walked into the house. She had regained the perfect use of her limbs.
A blind man came and gave a valuable ring as an ex voto offering, confident that he would be cured. Nothing happened in the Sanctuary, but on reaching home, he recovered the full use of his eyes.
A blind girl, twenty years of age, whom the Neapolitan doctors declared beyond the reach of all human aid, came to Mugnano. Entering the church, she declared that she would not leave it until she was cured. Her faith was put to a rigorous test, for all her prayers seemed in vain. She, on her part, only grew more persistent and refused to leave the church for dinner. In the evening, when the Sanctuary was being closed, she found herself obliged to seek a lodging for the night. Lo! As she was leaving the church, a faint glimmer of sight was given her. Next day she returned and remained the whole day in prayer. Again, on leaving at night, she saw much better, but still imperfectly. On the third day, about noon, she saw more clearly still. At evening time her sight was entirely restored so that she threaded a small needle with the finest thread. Cures of body and mind now began to follow in quick succession, not only in the Sanctuary but at great distances from it.
A young mother was suffering intense pains when giving birth to her child. Unfortunately, she was all alone. A beautiful young girl suddenly appeared by her side and asked if she could do anything to help her. Her presence itself proved enough to allay all pain. When the young girl took her leave, the poor woman asked her name. “I am Philomena; they call me Philomena of Mugnano.” The appearance of the Saint was so natural that it did not awaken the smallest suspicion in the mind of the sufferer of who she really was. On telling a friend of the unexpected visit, she learned that a Saint of that name had come to Mugnano from Rome. When she was better, accompanied by her friend, she made a pilgrimage to the Sanctuary. Glancing at the image of the Saint, she at once exclaimed: “It is she! It is she! Yes, she was my celestial visitor!”
A distinguished lawyer of Naples, Don Allessandro Serio, who had a property near Mugnano, suffered for many years from a dangerous internal illness. He and his wife came to Mugnano to beg for his cure. They followed all the exercises of the novena which was being celebrated. The Saint, however, seemed deaf to their supplications, for on the 8th day of the novena, Don Allessandro was taken ill, and he had to be removed to his lodgings, where he speedily sank into unconsciousness, so that he was unable to make his confession. His wife, in the extremity of her grief, seized a picture of St. Philomena and called on the Saint for help. She only asked that the invalid might be able to confess, for she now despaired of a cure, which in all truth seemed impossible. She promised a marble altar to the Saint if this favor were granted. Scarcely had the prayer been made, when Don Allessandro regained his senses and began his confession, during which he was completely restored to health. Mindful of the promise, the altar was ordered to be made. A new wonder was in store for the happy couple. One of the masons, when giving the last touches to the table of the altar, struck it so roughly that, to the consternation of all, it was broken in two pieces, leaving between the parts a large fissure fully the width of a finger. The unfortunate workman tried to remedy the break with cement, but the Little Saint herself came to the rescue, and the marble became most perfectly joined, leaving only a line or vein as a mark of the prodigy. This wonder was testified to by many witnesses, and an inscription commemorating it was placed in the church.
Louis of Mariconeoit, a Frenchman, married an English girl. The marriage proved to be an ideally happy one. But the joy was short-lived, for after six months, the young bride became seriously ill. She earnestly longed for the happiness of being a mother, but the doctors declared that her state of health made such a thing absolutely impossible. The young couple came to the neighborhood of Naples in the hope of a cure. Unfortunately, any little hope they had entertained was soon rudely dispelled. The patient’s condition grew rapidly worse. Hearing of the marvellous cures wrought at Mugnano, she shut herself up one day in her own room and, falling on her knees, poured forth this short and fervent prayer to St. Philomena: “Since my condition is desperate, from the human point of view, and since I have no earthly hope left, I place all my confidence in you and trust that you will cure me, for you are powerful in Heaven and are good to all who seek your help. Despite my sufferings, I will go tomorrow to visit you in Mugnano, and I will ask you not only to restore me to health but to grant me the blessing of becoming a mother, and I will give my child the name of Philomena. Moreover, I promise to direct all the yearnings of its young heart towards God.” The following day, she visited the Saint’s shrine and made her prayer with great confidence. A year later, she returned in perfect health, the happy mother of a beautiful child. Countless mothers like her have to thank St. Philomena for similar favors.
His Lordship, the Bishop of Lucena, was much in need of a professor of sacred eloquence for his diocesan seminary. The priest on whom his choice fell was Canon Vincent Redago. But the appointment was manifestly impossible, for the Canon was far advanced with consumption and already had frequent hemorrhages. His state was so grave that he was preparing himself for death, which he recognized could not be far distant. What was the good man’s surprise when the Bishop announced his nomination! “What, my Lord!” he exclaimed, “have you the power to cure me?” “No,” replied the Bishop, “I have not, but there is someone else who has. See, I bring you a picture of Saint Philomena. Recommend yourself to her and you will get the health necessary to perform the duties I impose on you.”The Canon took the picture and placed it lovingly on his breast. He was instantly cured and perfectly able to undertake the task placed on him by the Bishop.
A young sculptor lost the use of speech and hearing for close to 20 years. Aware of the prodigies wrought by the dear Thaumaturga [miracle-worker], he made a novena to her during Holy Week. It was in the year 1837. On Holy Thursday night, he seemed to see St. Philomena surrounded by a throng of heavenly spirits and smiling at him. Delirious with joy, he uttered a great cry—he was cured. Shortly afterwards he went to Mugnano to pour out his grateful thanks at the Shrine of his heavenly benefactress.
A good Irish lady was sorely tried by God. To her great grief, four children, one after the other, were born dead. When the fifth was expected, she was filled with consternation and begged her sister, a nun, to pray for her. Her sister replied by recommending a novena to Saint Philomena, in which she herself promised to join. Shortly afterwards, a beautiful child, full of life and health, was born. In accordance with her promise promise she called the child Philomena. A happy home is the reflection of Heaven, and the love which unites the members of a Christian household is a foretaste of the never-ending bliss of the Father’s home above.
The Baron and Baroness of Lepore were blessed by God with supreme happiness. The union and love which bound these two hearts together was indeed enviable. A great trial, however, was in store for the happy couple. The health of the Baroness began to fail, and soon a fatal illness manifested itself. Medical skill proved unavailing. Remedy after remedy failed to check the course of the disease, and soon death became a question of moments. The feast of the Translation of St. Philomena’s relics was being celebrated for the first time in Terlizzi, near the castle where the Baroness lay dying. As life was slowly ebbing away, a friend hastened there with an image of the wonder-working Saint. The Baron eagerly seized it, showed it to the dying lady and touched her with it. She was cured so perfectly that both husband and wife were enabled to start a few days later for Mugnano to thank the dear Little Saint. The devotion spread rapidly all over Italy passing from city to city, from town to town, penetrating even to remote villages. Children received her name in Baptism; the poorest peasants kept lamps burning before her picture: chapels were built, statues erected in her honor; and in whatever town, village or church she was honored, wonderful prodigies and cures were wrought, and the moral condition of the inhabitants speedily underwent a radical transformation. In one church alone, within a few months after the devotion began, 1,200 silver ex votos were offered at her altar, besides many others of gold, jewels and precious stones—an eloquent testimony to the graces bestowed. In another, the cures, conversions and prodigies were so numerous that it was commonly said that nothing more wonderful happened in Mugnano itself.
“Saint Philomena the Wonderworker”