NOVENA TO ST. PHILOMENA 4 ----- THE LEGION OF ST. PHILOMENA
The most solid yet least used practice of showing honor and devotion to the saints is that of imitating their virtues, thereby rendering ourselves worthy of their intercession and favors, and of the enjoyment of eternal good. We wish to share in their joy without sharing in their suffering. Being most anxious to interest Saint Philomena in our cause, let us meditate on her life, contemplate her sufferings and reflect on the heroism of her death. Beg of her the light and grace to apply to our state the virtues which she championed. Let us take courage and uproot from our hearts the vices and defects which oppose her virtues, while practicing the habits which perfect them and for which she is eternally honored.
Saint Philomena lived in the world. I also live in the world. Ah, but what a vast difference between my life and her life! She was entirely detached from the world; I am chained to its maxims, its laws, its impure and ridiculous usage's. Am I not anxious to please worldlings ----- to acquire their esteem? Let me resolve then to give up all pleasures which are a danger to my soul, and make the sacrifice today of some lawful pleasure. Prayer for Each Day.
PRAYER FOR EACH DAY OF THE LEGION
Hail O holy Saint Philomena, whom God glorifies by so many miracles, whom the Vicar of Jesus Christ has named protectress of the Living Rosary and the Children of Mary, manifest more and more plainly from the heights of Heaven, that a voice holy as thine cannot be denied and that we have the right to rely upon thine aid. Obtain for us the grace to remain faithful to Jesus Christ, even unto death. AMEN.
I have a thousand means of sanctification of which Saint Philomena was deprived, in order to rendermore easy the practice of virtue. Can I bear the comparison between myself and the saint? May God forgive me the abuse of so many graces! How often have I questioned the will of God, His providence and even His personal love for me? How weak is my faith and absent my trust and confidence in God! How often have I failed to be grateful for His blessings and His favors? Saint Philomena obtain for me the singular grace to have absolute trust in God. Let me resolve today and every day to thank God over and over for the small details of life. Prayer for Each Day.
Saint Philomena made a vow of virginity. She annihilated the pleasures of the flesh and the hopes that flatter. This vow stripped life of its brightest jewel for her, a royal crown. "But what does it matter," she reflected, "the whole world is nothing compared to one degree of perfection that my soul will attain through this sacrifice. It is better always to belong entirely to God." What generosity, what sacrifice, what nobleness of sentiment! Do I realize the valuable treasure of purity? Am I still a virgin? There are so many enemies of this virtue, visible and invisible, that seek to deprive me of it. Have I made for it a rampart by humility, by modesty, by prayer and by frequenting the Sacraments? If I have entered the sacred union of marriage, have I due respect for the august elevation of this sacrament? Today I will redouble my watchfulness of this virtue through modesty of dress and custody of eyes. I will offer three Hail Mary's and ask Our Lady to keep me pure in body, heart and soul. I will examine my wardrobe for any fashions which offend against this virtue for which Saint Philomena gave her life. Prayer for Each Day.
Saint Philomena renounced the most attractive advantages of the world. She truly comprehended the words of Solomon, "Vanity of vanities". Not satisfied with comprehending it, she reduced it to practice at the most difficult but most glorious moment of her life. My God! How she confounds the maxims of the world. By sacrificing all, Saint Philomena obtained EVERYTHING! How miserable I am. By seeking after all, I have deprived myself of the good things which alone deserve to be esteemed. I have believed that world, poor as it is, has wherewithal to enrich those who serve it and that its ignominy can lead me to honor. I have believed that satisfying my senses can bring me true happiness. Foolish being!
My error exposes me to the greatest danger, for is it not written that the friends of the world are the enemies of God? It is time to change my dark vision and see the world for what it is, to use it as if I use it not, to despise what it esteems, and attach myself to nothing it loves. Forgive me, O my God, my past folly! Help me, Saint Philomena, to rectify my judgment, to break off my attachments and even to consent, cheerfully, to sacrifice everything, if God should be pleased to demand so much from me. Practice today patience in all that frustrates your desires and disrupts your schedule. Take a minute to help someone in need. Prayer for Each Day.
Saint Philomena suffered cruel torments for God. She was young, delicate, of royal blood and exempt from suffering of any kind. She had only to conceal her religion and break a vow made in youth in order to preserve her life and be protected from the rage of Dioclesian; her life, that of her parents and their kingdom would have been spared through this denial of God. What do I think of heroism like hers? Have I even a germ of it in my heart? Perhaps I am obedient to God now because it costs me little. When the price I must pay for this obedience becomes great, will I rationalize by creating a delusion that I can compromise? And can I really believe that conducting myself in this manner, I shall come to a happy end? Such a thing is impossible. If I am a Christian, I must appear so; and I can neither be or appear to be a Christian, if I do not faithfully follow Jesus Christ, bearing my cross as He carried His Let me then willingly suffer; let me fulfill my daily duties no matter how disagreeable they may be; let me trample on human considerations; let me show myself always and in every place, a generous and faithful Child of Mary! Today I will make a public profession of my faith by doing one or all of the following; openly making the Sign of the Cross, speaking of God to a stranger or a friend, visiting and praying with the sick, wearing openly and devoutly my Holy Rosary, a chain or Crucifix. Grant me, O my God, I beseech Thee, through the merits of Saint Philomena, the grace to accomplish my resolution. Prayer for Each Day.
Philomena remained unshaken under the fiercest tortures. Many begin but do not persevere. Saint Philomena pursued her course to its termination. She had no concern for self, no hesitation; she had neither regret, complaint or reproach. It was the fiat, "Let it be done," of Our Lady at the Annunciation and her Saviour in the Garden of Olives. This it was that secured forever her election and her vocation. Am I constant in my plans of sanctification, or am I of the number that live an hour for God and a day for the world and myself? If I do not persevere my combats will be not followed with victory. A thousand times I have begun with the spirit, and as often ended with the flesh. The moment I bid adieu to the world, I have stretched out to it again my hand; and almost as soon as I have trampled on its vanities, I have bound myself again in its chains. Deplorable inconsistency! Worthless desire! O my God, remove from me this fickleness of heart. Saint Philomena, obtain for me perseverance in good. Today I will make a resolution to refrain from one word of complaint about anything or any one. I also resolve to find something good to say of one whom I have injured in the past. Prayer for Each Day.
Saint Philomena was powerfully aided by God in her combats. God will help us in our temptations and difficulties if we ask. He will send Jesus Himself, in the arms of His mother, Mary ----- the holy Angels ----- and the Spirit of Strength, into our hearts that we might conquer all of His enemies and our own selves. Though I shall see whole legions united against me, I will still hope. Saint Philomena passed with fearless courage through torments and death. Am I not God's child? Will God not do for me what He did for Saint Philomena? Alas, why do I have such doubts, why do I fear to be abandoned? Has not God said: "Ask and you shall receive?" Do I believe that morning after morning God gives me His own Body and Blood in the Holy Eucharist, and then fail to trust and hope in Him when I ask a small favor? Away then with these unjust fears! In my tribulations I will call upon God with unshaken confidence. O, holy protectress, Saint Philomena, strengthen me in sentiments. Beg God today for every grace you need to attain eternal salvation and be at peace. Prayer
Saint Philomena withstood the attacks made upon her. It was death to self on the battlefield that procured for her eternal blessedness. She overcame shame and suffering; both of which united in vain subdue her. Glory covers her like a garment. Raise thy voice, illustrious martyr! Reproach now thy proud enemies. What become of their sting! Saint Philomena died and now she lives; was conquered and now she triumphs; she was dragged to scaffold and now, behold, she is glorified in heaven! Humiliation is the forerunner of glory; the cross our pledge of eternal happiness. Have I comprehended this? Do I wish to come to the practice of it. If I had to engage the most terrible enemies and offer myself in combat of blood, how long would I last? What sort of fight would it be? A moment, a slight contest, almost nothing; and then, a weigh of glory and a boundless eternity of beatitude and happiness! O my heart, expand thyself at this hope. Not only will this make m resigned in my different trials, but I will carry them with joy. Let my tears flow since to them is promised so valuable a consolation. Sorrows avoid me not, as after you the sweetest joys will come! Yes I desire to suffer in order to enjoy; I wish to fight, in order t conquer. I wish to humble myself and to be humbled, that my Go may exalt me; I wish to die to the world, to sin and to myself, that may live in God and with God for all eternity.
Saint Philomena draw me after you and aid me by thy intercession. Animate an enlighten me by your example. Obtain for me the grace to follow ii Make the sacrifice today of one meal or at least a cup of water when you are hungry or thirsty. Mortify your flesh in some small way in reparation for choosing self in place of God so often in the past an' in preparation for death. Prayer for Each Day.
Saint Philomena is the New Light of the Church Militant. She exercises today a glorious apostolate. The works of the just do not perish, they are seeds that remain buried for a time. The winter I is past. The lovely brilliancy of her virtue we behold and proclaim. come, O holy and dearly beloved soul! Take thy place in the midst of us. God shows forth His gratitude by a marked abundance new graces through thy intercession; a dew, as it were, of visible and invisible benedictions. Are not thy merits still living, though many ages have passed? What has Saint Philomena done to acquire glory? She has loved justice and hated iniquity. Her heart, d with love for the "Law of God," was fed with it day and night. Everything she undertook was crowned with success. Let me begin last to follow her. I will now set about sowing my ground with acts of virtue. The more abundant the seed, the greater will be the harvest. I will endeavor to obtain the treasures of piety, patience, charity, and obedience and of all Christian virtues. I will seek only God in my actions. I will not let any opportunity for grace be ignored.
With thy help, O Princess of Paradise, Virgin and Martyr, I will amass treasures for the Church Suffering, the Church Militant and the Church Triumphant! What I do for God, I do for myself, for the angels, for the saints, for the just and for sinners. Let me make haste; let me not lose a moment. Aid me, O Saint Philomena, be my anchor of Hope. Thou who has been given the most glorious title of PATRONESS OF THE CHILDREN OF MARY by Pope Pius IX, obtain for me a tender and true devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary.
CONCLUDING PRAYER"O faithful Virgin, and glorious Martyr, whose faith triumphed over all the attacks of the world and of hell, I bless God for thy triumphs; I praise Him and I give Him glory for the victorious strength He communicated to thee. Blessed be thou, O holy God! O God admirable in thy saints! O just God! O powerful God! O God of infinite mercy. AMEN."
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