Why pray the Rosary every day for a year?

Each time the Blessed Virgin has appeared-- whether it be to Saint Bernadette Soubirous at Lourdes; to Lucia, Jacinta, and Francisco at Fatima; or to Mariette Beco at Banneux-- she has asserted the importance, saving grace, and power of praying the Holy Rosary on a daily basis. Based upon her words, the Rosary is penance and conversion for sinners, a pathway to peace, an end to war, and a powerful act of faith in Jesus Christ. Pope Paul VI presented the Rosary as a powerful means to reach Christ "not merely with Mary but indeed, insofar as this is possible to us, in the same way as Mary, who is certainly the one who thought about Him more than anyone else has ever done."

To show us how this is done, perhaps no one has been more eloquent than the great Cardinal Newman, who wrote: "The great power of the Rosary consists in the fact that it translates the Creed into Prayer. Of course, the Creed is already in a certain sense a prayer and a great act of homage towards God, but the Rosary brings us to meditate again on the great truth of His life and death, and brings this truth close to our hearts. Even Christians, although they know God, usually fear rather than love Him. The strength of the Rosary lies in the particular manner in which it considers these mysteries, since all our thinking about Christ is intertwined with the thought of His Mother, in the relations between Mother and Son; the Holy Family is presented to us, the home in which God lived His infinite love."

As Mary said at Fatima, "Jesus wants to use you to make Me known and loved. He wishes to establish the devotion to My Immaculate Heart throughout the world. I promise salvation to whoever embraces it; these souls will be dear to God, like flowers put by Me to adorn his throne."

August 11: Saint Philomena

Posted by Jacob

“Nothing is denied to Saint Philomena.” – Our Blessed Mother, during an apparition to Mother Mary Louisa of Jesus

Today, August 11, we celebrate the feast day of Saint Philomena (died 304), child Martyr of the Church, and patron saint of babies, infants, and youth. Little is known about the life of Saint Philomena, and that which is known was made known through private revelation to holy men and women. The Church, however, has recognized her sanctity and authorized devotion to this pious girl, and many saints and martyrs have been especially devoted to her throughout Church history. Saint John Vianney himself called Philomena the New Light of the Church Militant, and had a strong and well-known devotion to her. Others with known devotion to her include Saint Anthony Mary Claret, Saint Euphrasia Pelletier, Saint Francis Xavier Cabrini, Saint John Nepomucene Neumann, Saint Madeline Sophie Barat, Saint Peter Chanel, Saint Peter Julian Eymard, Blessed Anna Maria Taigi, and Venerable Pauline Jaricot.

Saint Philomena's history has been revealed by the Saint herself to three persons. These revelations were made known in answer to the prayers of these three individuals, who had asked the Saint to let them know who she was, and how she met her martyrdom. From their mystical encounters with Saint Philomena, we have learned that she was the daughter of a king of a small state in Greece. Her parents, practicing pagans, desperately wished to conceive a child, but were unable to do so. Following many sacrifices and prayers to the pagan gods, their doctor-- a Christian man—persuaded them to embrace Christianity, promising their prayers would be answered. This they did, and following their baptisms, conceived and bore a daughter who they named “Philomena”—daughter of light.

Philomena was chaste and pious from birth, making her First Communion at five, and consecrating herself in virginity to the Lord at eleven. A beautiful girl, she was a model of Christian virtue, inspiring all she encountered with her love and charity. When Philomena had reached her thirteenth year, the Roman Emperor Diocletian threatened to declare an unjust war on the Grecian state in which she lived. Hoping to make peace, her father went to Rome to see the Emperor, and as he could not bear his daughter out of his sight, he took her and the Queen with him.

Diocletian was quite transfixed with young Philomena upon her arrival in Rome, and promised her father to suspend all warlike activities, if he were to give Philomena to him for marriage. Her parents accepted this offer, but Philomena refused on the account of the vow of chastity she had taken the year before. She was, she asserted, already married to the Lord, her Divine Spouse being Jesus.

Diocletian ordered her before him, and questioned her, trying to persuade her to renounce her faith and her vow, if for no other reason than to save her parents and her homeland. She was, however, resolute in her convictions, and refused his every promise, threat, and entreaty. Eventually, overcome by anger, Diocletian ordered her to be bound hand and foot with heavy chains and thrown into the dungeon under the Imperial Palace, hoping by this means to compel her to marry him. He visited her every day, in attempts to persuade her, but every day she refused. Over time, her food rations were decreased, the weight of her chains increased, and her already horrible conditions made worse. All the same, she clung to her beliefs and her faith for thirty-seven days. During these days, she spent her time in prayer, and on the thirty-seventh day, Our Blessed Mother appeared to Saint Philomena, cradling the infant Jesus in her arms. Mary promised the young saint that she would only be imprisoned for three more days, an on the fortieth day, would be freed from her sorrow.

Philomena was overjoyed at hearing this, but became frightened when Our Blessed Mother informed her that when she left the prison, she would undergo cruel torture for the love of Jesus Christ. Mary offered her strength and comfort, saying gently: "Besides your Angel Guardian, you will have at your side the Archangel Gabriel, whose name signifies 'The Strength of the Lord.' When I was on earth, he was my protector. I will now send him to her who is my beloved daughter."

Three days later, foretold, Philomena's tortures began. Diocletian had her tied to a pillar and cruelly scourged, and then returned to prison to die of the inflicted wounds. However, God sent two angels who ministered to her, completely restoring her health by the following day. Astonished, Diocletian attempted to again persuade her to marry him, but she resisted. More infuriated than before, he an iron anchor to be tied round her neck, and commanded that she should be thrown into the River Tiber, to be drowned and lost to sight. Once again, angels were sent to assist her, who, cutting the cord, carried her back to the bank without a drop of water having touched her clothes, much to the astonishment and admiration of the bystanders, several of whom were converted on seeing this miracle.

Diocletian commanded she be dragged through the streets of Rome, convicted as a sorceress, and shot to death with arrows. However, the arrows refused to fly from the bows of the archers. After several more attempts, he ordered her quickly beheaded. Saint Philomena was martyred in this way. Numerous miracles—then and more recently—are attributed to her holy intercession.

In 1802, her remains were found in the catacombs of Saint Priscilla on the Via Salaria in Rome. Covered by stones, the symbols carved indicated that the body was that of a young martyr named Philomena. An inscription near her tomb read "Peace be with thee, Philomena", along with drawings of 2 anchors, 3 arrows and a palm. 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 easily determined that Philomena was a virgin and a martyr. The bones were exhumed at that time, catalogued, and subsequently forgotten as so little was known about the saint in question.

In 1805, the relics were rediscovered in the Vatican Treasury of Relics by Canon Francis de Lucia of Mugnano, Italy. When he reached the relics of Saint Philomena he was suddenly struck with a spiritual joy, and requested that he be allowed to enshrine them in a chapel in Mugnano. After some disagreements, settled by the bodily cure of Canon Francis following prayers to Philomena, he was allowed to translate the relics to Mugnano. Shortly thereafter, miracles began to be reported at the shrine including cures of cancer, healing of wounds, and the Miracle of Mugnano in which Venerable Pauline Jaricot was cured of a severe heart ailment overnight. At that time, Philomena became the only person recognized as a Saint (proclaimed by Pope Gregory XVI) solely on the basis of miraculous intercession as nothing historical was known of her except her name and the evidence of her martyrdom.

Since that time, the information about her life and martyrdom has been mystically revealed. One of the most well-known recipients of these revelations was the Foundress of the Oblates of Our Lady of Sorrows, Mother Maria Luisa di Gesù, a Dominican Tertiary.

We beseech Thee, O Lord, to grant us the pardon of our sins by the intercession of Saint , virgin and martyr, who was always pleasing in Thy sight by her eminent chastity and by the profession of every virtue. Amen.

Illustrious virgin and martyr, Saint Philomena, behold me prostrate before the throne whereupon it has pleased the Most Holy Trinity to place thee. Full of confidence in thy protection, I entreat thee to intercede for me with God, from the heights of Heaven deign to cast a glance upon thy humble client! Spouse of Christ, sustain me in suffering, fortify me in temptation, protect me in the dangers surrounding me, obtain for me the graces necessary to me.

Above all, assist me at the hour of my death. Saint Philomena, powerful with God, pray for us. Amen.

O God, Most Holy Trinity, we thank Thee for the graces Thou didst bestow upon the Blessed Virgin Mary, and upon Thy handmaid Philomena, through whose intercession we implore Thy Mercy. Amen.

Year 2: Day 223 of 365
Prayer Intentions: Lives committed to the Lord; Belief in the miraculous history of the Church; Chastity and Piety.
Requested Intentions: Recovery and health of a mother (J); For a family to grow closer to the Church, salvation for all children (D); Successful employment (L); Successful employment (S); Renewal of faith life (A); Support for an intended marriage, health for friend and aunt (J); Mental health assistance for son (G); Freedom from illness (S); Successful employment (C); Financial assistance and employment (B); For a family’s intentions (T); Successful examination results (B); Healing of a friend with cancer, for all those who help others (B); Healing and love (L); Grace and healing (V); Healing of a heart, consecration of a marriage (M); Health of a family, intentions of apostolate (H); For repentance (J); For a family in trouble (R); Healing, successful relationships for son, financial success (J); Success of a company (L); For a religious society (J); Healing of a husband, strength as a faithful caregiver (D); Healing of a son (T); Financial security, Healing and guidance (M); Healing of a heart and relationship (V); Employment for daughter (J); For a marriage that glorifies the Lord (K); Resolution of family situation, parents’ health (A); Positive results (C); For a son’s employment, faith, and relationships (S).


  1. Anonymous said...

    please pray for financial help for mortages on our hose. please help us. thank you.

  2. Anonymous said...

    Please pray for my special intentions that I am bringing to St. Philomena! She knows what they are!

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