Today, we celebrate the Feast of Saint John Vianney. Saint Vianney attributed all his miracles to Saint Philomena. He built his church in Ars France in her honor. The carving over the entrance shows Saint Philomena handing Saint Vianney his church. Inside the dome of that church is a fresco, telling the story of Saint Philomena. Hanging on one of the walls in that church is a painting Saint Vianney commissioned of Saint Philomena. He said that she appeared to him many times, so, the painting is a very close likeness of her. As close as the artist could get based on Saint Vianney’s description. As you enter the town of Ars, there is a large bronze statue of Saint Philomena, pointing towards the church.
On August 4, we observe the memorial of St. John Vianney (1786-1859). Pope Benedict XVI has declared this 150th anniversary of the saint s death to be the Year for Priests (June 19, 2009 June 19, 2010). He has also named St. John Vianney long the patron saint of parish priests the patron saint of all priests. This is a special time to pray for our priests and for vocations to the priesthood.
The venerable Pauline Jaricot introduced Saint John Vianney to Saint Philomena. Pauline Jaricot founded the Propagation of the Faith (a Roman Catholic Church institution very important to us to this day) She also founded the Living Rosary Association.
Saint John Vianney, Saint Philomena and the venerable Pauline Jaricot are connected like no other three people. The “Great Miracle of Mugnano” of Jaricot is what led to Philomena being named a saint. It was her cure in the church where the sacred remains of Saint Philomena took place.
The very chair Venerable Pauline Jaricot sat in where her great miracle occured
Pope Gregory XVI raised Philomena to the status of Saint and also named her the Patroness of the Living Rosary Association and Pope Pius IX granted to her the glorious title: Patroness of the Children of Mary.
The Living Rosary Association founded by Pauline Jaricot in Lyon, France was approved and richly indulgenced by Pope Gregory XVI and accorded official canonical status on January 27, 1832.
On January 13, 1837, Pope Gregory XVI named Philomena, Patroness of the Living Rosary Association and declared her to be the "Thaumaturga," the "Great Wonder-Worker of the Nineteenth Century."
The Confraternity of Saint Philomena was founded by Fr. Louis Petit in Paris and on November 30, 1886, and his Holiness, Pope Leo XIII, raised this Confraternity of Saint Philomena to the rank of Archconfraternity.
On June 16, 1907, the Supreme Pontiff Pius X, receiving in audience Fr. Petit, exclaimed: "...the great argument in favor of devotion to Saint Philomena is the Curé of Ars. By her, in her name, and through her intercession, he obtained innumerable graces and continual prodigies."
Saint Pope Pius X named St. Jean Vianney, Patron of the Archconfraternity of Saint Philomena.
In an apostolic brief on May 21, 1912, Saint Pope Pius X extended the Archconfraternity of Saint Philomena to the entire Church, by raising it to the status of Universal. He stated "All the decisions and declarations of his predecessors regarding Saint Philomena should in no way be altered."
Sending you a special Feast Celebration 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
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.