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St. Philomena

Philomena was martyred about the age of 14, but we know little about her. Her remains were found in the catacomb of Saint Priscilla in 1802; the symbols indicated that this was the martyr Philomena. The bones were exhumed and cataloged. Three years later Canon Francis de Lucia was amazed by spiritual joy when he looked at the relics of Philomena; he was eventually allowed to enshrine the remains at a chapel in Mugnano. Many miracles occurred when people prayed to Philomena. The Venerable Pauline Jaricot, foundress of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, was cured of a severe heart ailment. Pope Leo XII granted permission to erect churches and altars in Philomena’s honor and Gregory XVI allowed her public veneration. Philomena is the only saint officially honored based only on the miracles attributed to her intercession without anything being known about her. St. John Vianney had a deep devotion to St. Philomena, and many other canonized saints of the nineteenth century also did. St. Philomena’s name was removed from the official calendar of saints in 1969, since so little is known of her.

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