St. Philomena seems to have an unusual intercessory style. She has been known to grant a sudden and complete healing, but to leave a faint line to show that a break in the bone was once there, or to save a drowning child who was wearing her “cord,” ( a traditional sacramental of St.Philomena,) leaving the cord completely dry as a sign. All over the world people have reported knocking sounds when they ask for her intercession, or her statues turning rose colored. She is even said to have helped a stone carver who accidentally broke an alter her was making out of marble who sent his panicked entreaties her way, but to have left, to his amusement, a faint outline of the breakage on the alter.
None of that is necessary to obtain her help, and she does not always leave a signature like that. However, these anecdotes do give a little light to us about her playful personality, and her nearness to us when we call.
Perhaps you will feel her prayerful hand on your shoulder in some way today. Keep your eyes open for a surprise from her sometime during this novena.
A reading from the Book of Proverbs
I was beside Him, like a master worker;
and I was daily His delight,
rejoicing before Him always,
rejoicing in His inhabited world
and delighting in the human race.
The Word of the Lord
-Thanks be to God
St.Philomena, as expressed by Holy Wisdom in this passage from Proverbs, you, too, as a Saint in Heaven, are beside God now, working with Him, being His delight, rejoicing in Him, and taking joy also in us and the world we live in. We are thankful for your glory with God, thankful for your intercession, thankful for your playful and miraculous spirit among us. We submit to you our worries, in faith filled expectation, with a sense of wonder at all you have already done in people’s lives from your place in Heaven. [Here, talk to St.Philomena about your petitions, and have faith that she is listening.] Compassionate and wonder working Saint, leave your sweet signature on our hearts. Never let us forget what you have done for us.
Sometimes, Beloved Lord, we are so consumed in our troubles that we forget the joy of belonging to You. St. Philomena’s playful extravagance reminds us that Your yoke is easy and Your burden light, that though we know sorrow, we already possess a joy that can never be taken away. She reminds us that with the faith of a child, we can move mountains; that your love, your gifts, are poured into our laps, into the fold of our garments; good measure, shaken down, and still over flowing, more than enough to share.
Sweet Mother of Our Lord, you yourself came to God as a child presented in the Temple and dancing up the steps before all the priests. When you were St. Philomena’s age you also gave your entire life and future over to the Holy Spirit in saying yes to God with courage, humility and love.
You were poor on earth, but your life with Jesus and Joseph was rich beyond imagining; full and overflowing with love and joy. Help us to remember the joy of Jesus.
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.