Monday, August 9, 2010

St. Philomena

I've been receiving CDs from Lighthouse Catholic Media for about a year and recently I listened to a CD about St. Philomena. It caught my attention because I had never heard of her before and what I found out was that no one had ever heard of her until the early 1800s even though she lived at the end of the 3rd century. What strikes me about her story is that for 1500 years she was an unknown martyr, then it seems God wanted to make her story known to us. Why is it this 13 year old martyr that God has so peculiarly brought to our attention so many years later? One thing is certain, she is a strong intercessor. Many people have been healed by God through her intercession and over the past two hundred years many people who have had a strong devotion to her are now saints, the most famous being St. John Vianney. She holds the distinction of being the only person beatified solely on her intersession, it wasn't until afterward that anything was known about her life other than that she was a martyr at around the age of 13. Through private revelation we now know much more about her life and death and her story is one of great courage and trust in God. Like St. Maria Goretti she is a model for us today in standing up for what is right in the face of strong and violent opposition. St. Philomena consecrated her life to Christ and refused to abandon Him even when everyone was against her, including her parents. I think God revealed this powerful prayer warrior in heaven to us now because our society is becoming more and more secularized like the world that St. Philomena lived in. Christians might make up the majority of the population in powerful nations, but God has been pushed out of the public square and reason and tolerance have taken over. We might not be facing physical death, but we are all called to make sacrifices to stand up for what we know is right.

St. Philomena, pray for us that we may trust in God and have the courage to do His will always.

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