Dear Family of Saint Philomena Member,
Today, we celebrate the feast of a great saint whose family had a deep devotion to Saint Philomena. He is the only Saint who was also a priest and was given the stigmata (the wounds of Jesus Christ). The name of this saint is Padre Pio!
From an early age he experienced a unique relationship with his guardian angel, the Blessed Virgin Mary and with our Lord Jesus! In fact, when he was in the eighth grade, he was confounded when having a conversation with his classmates about his guardian angel and their only response was one of bewilderment! Visions of his guardian angel were so frequent that as an adolescent he thought everyone shared such a relationship with their own guardian angel.
When asked by Ms. Mary Philomena Mulcahy if Saint Philomena was an authentic Saint, Padre Pio affirmed that Saint Philomena, to whom he had a great devotion, "was indeed in heaven and that any confusion about her was the work of the devil because Saint Philomena was a source of faith to many." Padre Pio’s family was very devoted to Saint Philomena and, in fact, his sister was named Philomena.
Besides visions, he was given the grace of tears as a teenager. This grace enables a person to undergo purification through the experience of an intense compunction of heart. This intense psychological and spiritual pain oftentimes manifests itself through the copious shedding of physical tears. Padre Pio was not in need of purification from vice, so much as an emptying of himself and a deepened awareness of the spiritual.
Associated with these experiences were perturbations by the devil and intense physical sufferings and ailments. Spiritual scholars and writers have stated that demonic assaults and physical suffering are used by God as goads to aid the soul to enter into a deeper relationship with Him, wherein the soul abandons itself to His love and relies on Him alone!
At the age of thirty, while alone in his assigned Friary, he was praying before a Crucifix. Jesus’ corpus came alive, descended the cross, walked towards Padre Pio with His arms extended and rays of light from Jesus’ wounds shot out and touched the corresponding locales of Padre Pio’s body. This is how Padre Pio received the gift of the stigmata.
Many people believed in the sanctity of Padre Pio and went to him for favors and to ascertain information from heaven. All of Padre Pio’s predictions came true! To cite one such example, he informed a mother that her son, a navy officer during World War I, whom she hadn’t heard from in three months, was not dead. She received a letter from him within five days, as Padre Pio predicted.
Thousands of souls heard Padre Pio recount their sins to them in the Confessional, even sins they had forgotten. On multiple occasions he read and responded to letters in languages he had never heard or read. He told a fellow friar that his guardian angel instructed him in these matters.
Despite all the suffering he endured physically and from those who were incredulous of the grace given him by God, Padre Pio remained cheerful and joyous, which was also a sign of God’s grace. A psychologist once told Padre Pio that the wounds of Christ manifested themselves on his body because he was thinking about Jesus on the crucifix for too long. He responded to the psychologist by telling him to see if he grows horns after thinking to himself that he is a bull! We see from his experiences that God’s grace built on Padre Pio’s nature and transformed it in such a way to make it receptive to His communications and capable of responding to them and even prompting them.
Padre Pio personally dubbed Saint Philomena the “Princess of Heaven”! Lastly, when confronted by people who swore that Saint Philomena was not a Saint and if she was, her name couldn’t have been Philomena, Padre Pio rebutted them stating, “for the love of God! It might well be that her name is not Philomena, but this Saint has performed many miracles and it is not the name that did them!”
Let us not anger two Saints of God or God Himself for that matter, by doubting the existence of this miracle working Saint! Let us foster devotion to the “Princess of Heaven” and thank St. Padre Pio for defending her honor and the honor of those who entrust their petitions to her intercession!
Sending you a blessing from the Altar of the Sacred Body of Saint Philomena,
Msgr. Giovanni Braschi
Rector of the Sanctuary of Saint Philomena
Custodian of her Sacred Body
Sunday Breakfast 07:30 - 08:30am
08:30 depart for Shrine of the Eucharistic Miracle for a tour and Mass.
11:00 depart for (approx. 2hrs) St. Pio at San Giovanni Rotundo no formal tour.
15:30 depart for (approx. 30mins) St Michael at Monte San Angelo and the Cave St. Michael appeared in.
17:30 depart for (approx. 2hrs) Sanctuary of Saint Philomena
20:15 evening prayers at the Altar of St. Philomena
20:30 evening meal in the dining room (refectory) 1st floor
Monday Breakfast 09:00 -10:00
08:30 Mass at the Altar of the Sacred Body of St. Philomena
10:00 depart for Sorrento
18:00 depart for Sanctuary of Saint Philomena
19:45 evening prayers at the Altar of St. Philomena
20:00 evening meal in the dining room on the 1st floor
Tuesday Breakfast 07:00 - 08:00
08:00 depart for (approx. 1hr) St. Benedicts Monastery at Montecassino for Mass at 10:00
13:30 depart for Tour of St. Peters Basilica and the Basilicas of Rome
18:30 depart for Tour of Rome by night and dinner
Support the Sanctuary of Saint Philomena
The Sanctuary of Saint Philomena is not a parish Church. We do not have parishioners who support this place of worship on a weekly basis. We are completely dependent on the love and generosity of you, the world-wide devotees, to keep the doors of the earthly home of Saint Philomena open.
We pray at the Sanctuary for the devotees of Saint Philomena to recognize and provide the means to pay our monthly utilities of gas and electricity. We also pray for the means to install a lift at the Sanctuary to enable physically challenged pilgrims to experience the entire home of their beloved Saint.
In order to ensure the Sanctuary is able to keep our doors open to you and to continue to offer God continual praise and to be the focal point through which our prayers are received by Saint Philomena and interceded for before God at the Sanctuary, you may donate in the following ways:
- Direct to the Sanctuary:
- By personal check payable to the "Sanctuary of Saint Philomena." For security reasons, please send your donation through registered or express mail to the Sanctuary's address at the bottom of this newsletter.
- Online - Go to our Support Page, Click Here
- By bank transfer to the Sanctuary's Bank account: BANCA UNICREDIT MUGNANO DEL CARDINALE(30525) BANK ACCOUNT:N° 000400102946 SWIFT CODE:UNCRITM1E94 IBAN:IT18D0200875790000400102946
- U.S.A. Tax-Deductible Donations may be sent to the new non-profit set up in the United States:
- Online - Go to our Support Page, Click Here
- Postal mail donations can be made to: Saint Philomena Sanctuary Support Fund, Inc. P.O. Box 4114 Bergheim, Texas 78004, U.S.A.