Text Box: Novena Prayer to St. Philomena
Virgin, Martyr and Wonder-Worker

O faithful virgin and glorious martyr, St. Philomena, who works so many miracles on behalf of the poor and sorrowing, have pity on me. Thou knowest the multitude and diversity of my needs. Behold me at thy feet, full of misery, but full of hope. I entreat thy charity, O great saint! Graciously hear me and obtain from God a favorable answer to the request which I now humbly lay before thee. 
(Here specify your petition.) 
I am firmly convinced that through thy merits, through the scorn, the sufferings, the death thou didst endure, united to the merits of the Passion and Death of Jesus, thy Spouse, I shall obtain what I ask of thee, and in the joy of my heart I will bless God, who is admirable in His saints.
IconText Box: Send a petition by left clicking on the image of St. Philomena. It will be printed and placed at her shrine at the National
Text Box: The National Centre 
for the Archconfraternity 
Of  St Philomena Rochester
Text Box: "Nothing is denied to Saint Philomena."
Mary, Mother of God, during an apparition to Mother Mary Louisa of Jesus 

 St. Philomena is: 
Patroness of babies, barrenness, bodily ills, children, children of Mary, desperate causes, forgotten causes, impossible causes, infants, infertility, lost causes, Living Rosary, newborns, poor people, priests, sick people, sickness, sterility, toddlers, young people, youth.

"My children, Saint Philomena has great power with God, and she has, moreover, a kind heart; let us pray to her with confidence. Her virginity and generosity in embracing her heroic martyrdom have rendered her so agreeable to God that He will never refuse her anything that she asks for us." --

Saint John Vianney

This pious practice, born spontaneously among the Saintís devotees, was approved by the Congregation of Rites on September 15, 1883. Later, on April 4, 1884, Leo XIII enriched it with precious indulgences. It consists in carrying, tied around the body, a cord of wool, linen or cotton, colored white and red to indicate the virginity and martyrdom of Saint Philomena. The devotion is very widely practiced, especially outside Italy, to obtain spiritual and corporal graces. It has been made obligatory for those who carry the Cord to recite each day the following prayer:

Oh Saint Philomena, Virgin and Martyr, pray for us so that through your powerful intercession we may obtain that purity of spirit and heart that leads to the perfect love of God. Amen.


In the early Church virgins wore a cincture or cord as a sign and emblem of purity. That is why the cord has always been considered a symbol of chastity as well as mortification and humility. The wearing of a

cord or cincture in honor of a saint is of very ancient origin, and we find the first mention of it in the life of St. Monica. In the

This devotion happened very simply. On the octave (which is 8 days after the arrival of the sacred body on the 10th August 1805) of the translation of the Reliquary of Saint Philomena to Mugnano, a woman from Avella, full of faith in God, dipped a finger into the oil of the lamp which burned in front of the altar of the Saint, and anointed the eyelids of her blind child with it. The child immediately received sight, to the astonishment of all present.

The saint arrived to the Sanctuary in Mugnano on Sunday, the 11th of August. For nine days the population prayed before the saint, and the ninth day was marked by many portents. The ninth day came, and during High Mass, a poor widow, Angela Guerriero, prayed for those eight days without a

Devotions in Honor of Saint Philomena
The cord of St. Philomena

Middle Ages cinctures were also worn by the faithful in honor of saints, though no confraternities were formally established, and the wearing of a cincture in honor of St. Michael was general throughout France. Later on, ecclesiastical authority set apart special formulae for the blessing of cinctures in honor of the Most Precious Blood, our Lady, St. Francis of Paul, and St. Philomena.

This extraordinary privilege of a cord is shared with other saints, such as, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Thomas Aquinas, and St. Joseph.

The devotion of the Cord of St. Philomena was adopted on account of the innumerable graces obtained through the intercession of the Hidden Saint of the Catacombs. The Cord was first distributed by the saintly Cure of Ars. It was the illustrious Leo XIII who blessed and approved the Cord and attached many privileges and indulgences to its wearing.

Many records tell of the favor granted to those who wear the Cord. We read of striking cures; for instance, when wound about diseased limbs, the Cord has driven out the pain and healed them. There is also the story of the child who fell into a pool of water, but was preserved because of the Cord of St. Philomena around his waist. The Cord itself remained perfectly dry.

Rules For The Cord

The Cord approved by the Sacred Congregation in honor of St. Philomena ought to be made of linen, wool, or cotton of a white and red color, with two knots at one end to honor her double title of virgin and martyr


It is worn under the clothing as a girdle. The cord should be blessed by a priest who has been delegated by Mons Braschi to do so. No ceremony is required in conferring it. When worn out, the new Cord also must be blessed. Children, however young, may receive the Cord.


In putting on the Cord, everyone ought to intend to constantly honor St. Philomena, in order to merit her protection against all evils of soul and body, and also to obtain, through her intercession, perfect chastity, the spirit of faith so necessary in the unhappy times in which we live, and the grace of doing penance so as to lead a Christian life.


Those who wear the Cord are counseled to say every day the following prayer:
O Saint Philomena, virgin and martyr, pray for us that, through thy powerful intercession, we may obtain the purity of mind and heart which leads to the perfect love of God.

Leo XIII, by a rescript dated March 14, 1893, granted 100 daysí indulgence to the faithful who wear the Cord of St. Philomena, and recite the foregoing prayer with devotion and contrition.


Mons Braschi has delegated Fr. Peter Austin to bless the St. Philomena cord.

The Oil of St. Philomena

sign, for the cure of her ten-year-old Modestino, who was crippled and unable to stand. Just as she had bowed her head she heard a slither beside her, and turning round to see if Modestino had fallen she saw him running up the aisle to Philomena to thank her for his cure. After Mass, Modestino had to walk round the town and show everyone his straight legs. Of course, all the bells had to be rung again, and Modestino was followed by all the drums of the local band playing as hard as possible to make up for the fact that they had used up all the gunpowder the previous Sunday.


You can imagine that everyone in the town tried to get into the church for Vespers, but cram as they might, this was not possible. There was one woman who was hampered by a heavy baby of two years old in her arms. He was blind, having lost his sight incurably after small-pox. She pushed and struggled in vain, but during the sermon, when the crowd was standing more or less still, she managed to edge her way, inch by inch, to the shrine. She dipped her finger in the oil of a lamp which was burning before the shrine, and anointed the babyís eyes with it. Instantly and without pain, the scarred eyelids opened, and the eyes beneath them saw the light of the lamp and the baby laughed with joy and made a grab at it.


Each year thereafter, villages from all over Europe brought their Olive Oil from their respective groves as a gift to the Sanctuary to be blessed on this special annual Feast day.


The Holy Oil of Saint Philomena is presented in small red vessels (bottles) and has the official mark of the Sanctuary of Saint Philomena in Mugnano del Cardinale identifying it as official.


Only Oil officially blessed at the Sanctuary of St. Philomena at Mugnano del Cardinale may be used. Any other blessed oil does not have the official approbation of the Sanctuary and should not be used.


To view a video of the highlights of the blessing of the Holy Oil of Saint Philomena Mass, please click here for slow connection (56K), and here for fast connection (DSL or Cable).

St. Philomena Chaplet

The little Chaplet of St. Philomena consists of white beads, a token of virginity, red beads, the sign of martyrdom, and a St. Philomena medal.


There are three white beads in honor of the Blessed Trinity, in whose honor the holy virgin laid down her life. The red beads are thirteen in number and signify the thirteen years St. Philomena lived on earth. This Chaplet is one of the simplest ways of praying to the Saint.


When saying it, we may very properly ask, firstly for the grace of purity, in honor of the virginity of the Saint, who sacrificed life and honor in defense of this angelic virtue. Secondly, we should do well to ask for the strength and courage ever to do our duty, a virtue for which she was so eminently distinguished and which she is so ready to obtain for all her devoted clients.

This great grace alone helps a Christian to arrive at the highest sanctity, in the most practical and easy way.


If you do not have a Chaplet, ordinary rosary beads will suffice, as I am sure God and St. Philomena will honor your heart-filled prayers and devotion.


First: Say the Apostle Creed to ask for the gift of faith.

Then three Our Fathers are said, in honor of the Three Divine Persons of the Blessed Trinity, in thanksgiving for the graces bestowed on Saint Philomena and for all the favours that have been

obtained through her intercession.


The following prayer is then repeated thirteen times to commemorate her thirteen years:

Hail, O holy Saint Philomena, whom I acknowledge, after Mary, as my advocate with the Divine Spouse; intercede for me now and at the hour of my death.
Saint Philomena, beloved daughter of Jesus and Mary, pray for us who have recourse to thee.


The following prayer is said at the end of the Chaplet:

Hail, O illustrious Saint Philomena, who didst so courageously shed thy blood for Christ. I bless the Lord for all the graces He bestowed upon thee during thy life, and especially at thy death. I praise and glorify Him for the honor and power with which He has crowned thee, and I beg thee to obtain for me from God the graces I ask through thy intercession. Amen.


In praying the Chaplet or "Little Crown" as it is called, it is suggested that one ask for the grace of purity in honor of her virginity, who suffered death rather than tarnish this virtue; and secondly, for courage and fortitude to be faithful to the duties of a Christian as she was.

Above is the relic of St. Philomena which resides at the National Centre and is displayed on the Saintís feast days for veneration.


Pause and look into the holy relic and ask the Little Wonder Worker for an answer to your prayer..

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