A very import part of St. Philomena’s relationship with Jesus was the vow of virginity she had made at the age of 13. When the Romans arrested Christian girls, knowing their chastity was sacred to them, their modesty and sense of purity was often a particularly targeted as punishment or a way to break them down. St. Philomena was no exception, according to private revelation about her life. She endured being stripped down and whipped in public, and the attempted unwanted attentions of the Emperor, and even being begged by her parents to give up her vow to save her life, but she stayed strong in her faith and personal commitment to Christ.
St.Philomena has been held up as “Patroness of Purity for Youth” because of her resolve in the face of torment and humiliation, and because of her consecration.
A Reading from the Song of Songs
The Bridegroom: A garden enclosed, my sister, my bride,
garden enclosed, a fountain sealed!*
Your branches are a grove of pomegranates,
with fruits of choicest yield:
Henna with spikenard,
spikenard and saffron,
Sweet cane and cinnamon,
with all kinds of frankincense;
Myrrh and aloes,
with all the finest spices;
A garden fountain, a well of living water,
streams flowing from Lebanon.
Bride: Awake, north wind!
Come, south wind!
Blow upon my garden
that its perfumes may spread abroad.
Let my love come to his garden
and eat its fruits of choicest yield.
St. Philomena, you drew joy and strength from your intense inner relationship with Jesus, and to Him, your soul was His beautiful garden enclosed, His fountain, His place of rest. You were completely consecrated to Him. Nothing could take that away from you, and nothing could change it, and you wouldn’t have given up that inner garden for anything at all. Help us to tend the gardens of our souls that we each be a beautiful place for Jesus to be, in exactly the way our hearts we created to live.
Beloved Lord, may the scent of the perfume of our lives and our offerings of love rise up to you like incense.
Mary, Queen of Virgins, we dedicate and consecrate ourselves to you. We give into your hands for Jesus, everything that we have, and everything that we are. Humbly we lay our souls in the light of your purity, with St. Philomena.
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.