Filomena, Filumena, Philumena, Philomene, Thaumaturga of the Nineteenth Century, Wonder Worker of the Nineteenth Century
Date of Birth:
January 10, 291
Date of Death:
August 10, 304
She was martyred at the age of 14.
Little is known about the life of Saint Philomena except for individual revelations reported upon seeing her remains.
Patron Babies, Infants, and Youth
Saint Philomena is venerated as a virgin martyr saint of the Catholic Church, said to have been a young Greek princess martyred in the 4th century. Her veneration began in the early 19th century after the archaeological discovery in the Catacombs of Priscilla of the bones of a young woman, which were interpreted as those of a martyr. Nothing else was known about her, but an inscription found at the tomb was taken to indicate that her name was (in the Latin of the inscription) Filumena; corresponding to the English name Philomena.
The remains were removed to Mugnano del Cardinale in 1805 and became the focus of widespread devotion, with several miracles credited to the saint's intercession, including the healing of Venerable Pauline Jaricot in 1835, which received wide publicity. Saint John Vianney attributed to her intercession the extraordinary cures that others attributed to himself. Accounts of her life and martyrdom circulated on the basis of visions of a Neapolitan nun (see below).
Her liturgical celebration was never included in the General Roman Calendar for universal use, but, beginning in 1837, it was approved for some places. The 1920 typical edition of the Roman Missal included a mention of her, under 11 August, in the section headed Missae pro aliquibus locis (Masses for some places), with an indication that the Mass to be used in those places was one from the common of a Virgin Martyr, without any collect proper to the saint. On 14 February 1961, the Holy See ordered that the name of Saint Philomena be removed from all liturgical calendars that mentioned her. Accordingly, the 1962 Roman Missal, the edition whose continued use as an extraordinary form of the Roman Rite is authorized by the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum, also has no mention of her.