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St Philomena

 

St PhilomenaI don’t have a particularly strong devotion to Saint Philomela, but I do invoke her intercession from time-to-time. And seemingly go to Saint Philomena on odd occasions. I do seem to have a natural connection with the saint coming from the greater New Haven area where there are plenty of older Italian women with the name of Philomela, though most go by “Phil.”

Over the years, however, Saint Philomela’s name surfaces, as it did today. One of the notes about the saint read thus,

“In 1802 the remains of a young woman were found in the catacomb of Saint Priscilla on the Via Salaria, Rome, Italy. It was covered by stones, the symbols on which indicated that the body was a martyr named Saint Philomena. The bones were exhumed, cataloged, and effectively forgotten since there was so little known about the person.

“In 1805 Canon Francis de Lucia of Mugnano, Italy was in the Treasury of the Rare Collection of Christian Antiquity (Treasury of Relics) in the Vatican. 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 cure of Canon Francis following prayers to Philomena, he was allowed to translate the relics to Mugnano. 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 a severe heart ailment overnight. Philomena became the only person recognized as a Saint solely on the basis of miraculous intercession as nothing historical was known of her except her name and the evidence of her martyrdom.

Our Catholic devotion to Saint Philomela:

• Pope Leo XII granted permission for the erection of altars and churches in her honor
• Pope Gregory XVI authorized her public veneration, and named her patroness of the Living Rosary
• The cure of Blessed Pius IX, while archbishop of Imola, was attributed to Philomena; in 1849, Pope Pius named her patroness of the Children of Mary
• Pope Leo XIII approved the Confraternity of Saint Philomena, and raised it to an Archconfraternity
• Pope Pius X raised the Archconfraternity to a Universal Archconfraternity, and named Saint John Vianney its patron
• Saint John Vianney himself called Philomena the New Light of the Church Militant, and had a strong and well-known devotion to her

And as Providence would have it, there is a grammar school near the Benedictine Abbey of St Gregory the Great and Portsmouth Abbey School, Portsmouth, RI, named for the Saint, Saint Philomena School.

 

Priest killed by ISIS

Father HamelPrayers for the soul of Father Jacques Hamel, killed today in France by ISIS terrorists. At 84, Father gave his life to the Lord while offering the Sacrifice of the Mass in the Church of Saint Etienne. He becomes for us a martyr of the faith. Father was a priest of the Archdiocese of Rouen.

“The faith of the martyrs has been proved, and their blood is the witness to it. The martyrs have paid back what was spent for them, and they have fulfilled what Saint John says: Just as Christ laid down his life for us, so we too should lay down our lives for the brethren.”

“How could the martyrs ever conquer, unless that one conquered in them who said Rejoice, since I have conquered the world? The emperor of the heavens was governing their minds and tongues, and through them overcoming the devil on earth and crowning the martyrs in heaven. O, how blessed are those who drank this cup thus! They have finished with suffering and have received honor instead.”

– St. Augustine’s Sermon 329 (Sermo 329, 1-2: PL 38, 1454-1455)

The Eucharist in the now, and transcends time

The Eucharist is indelibly marked by the event of the Lord’s passion and death, of which it is not only a reminder but the sacramental re-presentation. It is the sacrifice of the Cross perpetuated down the ages.

The Church has received the Eucharist from Christ her Lord not as one gift – however precious – among so many others, but as the gift par excellence, for it is the gift of himself, of his person in his sacred humanity, as well as the gift of his saving work.

Nor does it remain confined to the past, since “all that Christ is – all that he did and suffered for all men – participates in the divine eternity, and so transcends all times”.

When the Church celebrates the Eucharist, the memorial of her Lord’s death and resurrection, this central event of salvation becomes really present and “the work of our redemption is carried out”

—EE 11

Is anger sinful?

St. John Chrysostom

“Only the person who becomes irate without reason, sins. Whoever becomes irate for a just reason is not guilty. Because, if ire were lacking, the science of God would not progress, judgments would not be sound, and crimes would not be repressed.

Further, the person who does not become irate when he has cause to be, sins. For an unreasonable patience is the hotbed of many vices: it fosters negligence, and stimulates not only the wicked, but above all the good, to do wrong.” (St. John Chrysostom, Homily XI super Matheum, 1c, nt.7)

St. Thomas Aquinas

“Ire may be understood in two ways.

In one way, as a simple movement of the will that inflicts punishment not through passion, but by virtue of a judgment of the reason: and in this case, without a doubt, lack of ire is a sin. This is how Chrysostom understands ire when he says: ‘Ire, when it has a cause, is not ire but judgment. For properly speaking, ire is a movement of passion. And when a man is irate with just cause, his ire does not derive from passion. Rather, it is an act of judgment, not of ire.”

In another way, ire can be understood as a movement of the sensitive appetite agitated by passion with bodily excitation. This movement is a necessary sequel in man to the previous movement of his will, since the lower appetite naturally follows the movement of the higher appetite unless some obstacle prevents it. Hence the movement of ire in the sensitive appetite cannot be lacking altogether, unless the movement of the will is altogether lacking or weak. Consequently, the lack of the passion of ire is also a vice, as it is the lack of movement in the will to punish according to the judgment of reason.” (St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, II, II, q. 158, art. 8)

Novena to the Holy Spirit

Pentecost 12th centBeginning today, we need to make  the petition to the Holy Spirit through a Novena asking that the Holy Spirit to bestow onus His seven gifts and the twelve fruits. The seven gifts of the Spirit: “wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord. They belong in their fullness to Christ, Son of David” (Catechism, 1831).

And, “The [12] fruits of the Spirit are perfections that the Holy Spirit forms in us as the first fruits of eternal glory. The tradition of the Church lists twelve of them: ‘charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self-control, chastity’” (Catechism, 1832).

The prayers:

ACT OF CONSECRATION TO THE HOLY SPIRIT

On my knees before the great multitude of heavenly witnesses I offer myself, soul and body, to You, Eternal Spirit of God. I adore the brightness of Your purity, the unerring keenness of Your justice and the might of Your love. You are the Strength and Light of my soul. In You I live and move and am. I desire never to grieve You by unfaithfulness to grace and I pray with all my heart to be kept from the smallest sin against You. Mercifully guard my every thought and grant that I may always watch for Your light and listen to Your voice and follow Your gracious inspirations. I cling to You and give myself to You and ask You by Your compassion to watch over me in my weakness. Holding the pierced Feet of Jesus and looking at His Five Wounds and trusting in His Precious Blood and adoring his opened Side and stricken Heart, I implore You, Adorable Spirit, Helper of my infirmity, so to keep me in Your grace that I may never sin against You. Give me grace, O Holy Ghost, Spirit of the Father and the Son to say to You always and everywhere, “Speak, Lord, for Your servant hearth.” Amen.

PRAYER FOR THE SEVEN GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

Christ Jesus, before ascending into heaven, You promised to send the Holy Spirit to Your apostles and disciples.

Grant that the same Spirit may perfect in our lives the work of Your grace and love.

Grant us the Spirit of Fear Of The Lord that we may be filled with a loving reverence toward You.

the Spirit of Piety that we may find peace and fulfillment in the service of God while serving others;

the Spirit of Fortitude that we may bear our cross with You and, with courage, overcome the obstacles that interfere with our salvation;

the Spirit of Knowledge that we may know You and know ourselves and grow in holiness;

the Spirit of Understanding to enlighten our minds with the light of Your truth;

the Spirit of Counsel that we may choose the surest way of doing Your will, seeking first the Kingdom;

Grant us the Spirit of Wisdom that we may aspire to the things that last forever; Teach us to be Your faithful disciples and animate us in every way with Your Spirit.  Amen.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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