Saint Philomena

Saint Philomena

Uncover Hidden Saints meanings

Saint Philomena is the saint of those that are young. Such as babies and the youth. The name is of latin origin. The word "Filla" stands for daughter. This saint is basically the saint of light and is connected to being obedient and the humanity of life. 

The Story of St Philomena

This is a wonderful story. She is believed to be a young virgin martyr of the Catholic Church. Her remains were discovered in the catacombs of Priscilla which were inscribed the name. Various events that followed the discovery of her remains made her very popular in those days, for instance, the saint interested in the healing of Pauline Jaricot and the cure of several people who were cured by the miracles of Saint John Vailey.

She is said to have appeared to a Neapolitan nun in 1833 in which revealed herself as a Greek princess killed for her Christian faith when she was just thirteen. In the time period 1837-1961, her feast was included in the liturgical calendar but wasn’t included in the Roman calendar. However, some years later in 1920, she was mentioned in a popular edition called the Roman Missa in an August 11 edition.

The name was removed from the liturgical calendar by an order from the Holy See on 14th February 1961. A shrine for her relics has been put up in Mugnano Del Cardinale and is quite popular among the pilgrimages. There have been an established Achnon fraternity that honors her just like the various devotions around the world.

Requesting petitions for the following:            

  • Expectant mothers
  • Priests.
  • Overcome enemies.
  • Feast: 11-Aug
  • Day: Saturday
  • Candle/Emblem: Pink or Green. An anchor.
  • Matters Concerning: Expectant mothers, priests, child problems, and unhappiness in the home, the sick, money problems, mental illness, and sterility.


On 31st January 1855, Pope Pius IX made an approval for a mass and office in honor of Saint Philemon which was confirmed by the Etsi Decimo decree.

Father Louis Petit pioneered the Confraternity of St. Philomena on 6th October 1876. The confraternity was based in Paris, France. Pope Leo promoted to Archno fraternity in the year 1886 while it was promoted to Universal Archno fraternity by Pope Pius X.

Saint Philomena was however, not listed in Roman Mythology alongside the other Saints as is the formality after canonization.

Argument about canonization

There have been conflicting debates on the canonization of this saint with some arguing that she was never canonized. In a book written by Mark Miravalle, it has been argued that she was indeed canonized by Pope Gregory XVI. In a conflicting contrast to this, the saint has not been listed on the list of the people that have been beatified and canonized in the popular documentary that is better known as Roman martylogy. Evidence for lack of canonization for this saint is found Michael Williams article America.

Note that the saint was never canonized and this does not mean she cannot be a saint as the practice was introduced many centuries after the church was founded. In fact, many of the saints in the roman rite were not canonized.

The spread of devotion to this saint

There was a quick spread of devotion to this saint in Italy and France after Saint John Vianney erected an honorary shrine for her, the saint also made a large number of references to Saint Philomena and claimed all the power to perform miracles was given to him by the saint. In a famous event, Pauline Jaricot who was nearly dying got miraculously cured at the shrine. In another occasion, the saint’s bone dust increased drastically which allowed the use by several people without getting finished.

By Florance Saul
Aug 17, 2012