One of the most famous healings recorded at the tomb of St. Philomena aside from that of Venerable Pauline Jaricot, is the healing of a blind girl, and a change of heart in a non-believer who was present, who later gave money to build the shrine where St. Philomena’s body still rests today. Eight days after Philomena’s body was moved from Rome, and settled in the Italian town of Mugnano, in 1805, there was a large crowd of people gathered for evening prayer in the church. Miracles and healings had already been taking place, so a mother had brought her blind child. The little girl, about two years old, had been blind since she had contracted small pox. She dipped her hand into the oil from the oil lamp before St. Philomena’s coffin, and applied it to her child’s eyes. The girl was instantly healed, both mother and daughter started to shout with joy and excitement. All eyes were on them, and an un-believer present, as mentioned earlier, was moved to give the money to build the shrine to house St.Philomenas’ relics. Through St. Philomenas’ physical presence, two miracles happened in moments: the opening of the eyes of a blind child, and the opening of the eyes of a heart closed to Jesus, that both might see in the way each needed the most.
God seems to show us that He loves to share his grace and glory with His holy ones, even and maybe especially after their deaths, by His miracles through their physical presence.
A reading from the Second Book of Kings
As they were burying a man, behold, they saw a marauding band; and they cast the man into the grave of Elisha. And when the man touched the bones of Elisha he revived and stood up on his feet.
The Word of the Lord
-Thanks be to God
St. Philomena, we come into your spiritual presence with our needs and pressing burdens, our longing for healing, for change of heart, for truth, for new life, for help with our difficulties. In spirit, we bring our broken hearts before the lamp at your tomb in Mugnano as we pray with faith. [Here express your petitions and needs to St. Philomena.] Dear compassionate and miraculous friend, we trust in your intercession. Your name, Philomena, means “Daughter of Light.” May God pour over us the brightness of His light through you, His dearly beloved saint.
Holy Virgin Mary, you have shown that St. Philomena was especially close to you when your brilliant light came into her prison cell and healed her of her wounds from being whipped, her humiliation from being punished in public, and the sorrow she felt about her family and her impending suffering and death. You showed her the Child Jesus, and your encouraged her with the hope of Heaven. Visit us now and protect us from evil and despair, that we might be encouraged and filled with new hope.
Radiant girl, courageous and free of heart, our friend and guide, protect us, lead us, for the glory of God.
St. Philomena, be blessed and pray for us.