Saint Philomena - pray for us!

As I rather expected, there were one or two skeptical comments about my post on St Philomena. It is instructive to see the appalling article in the old Catholic Encyclopedia which illustrates the influence of rationalistic prejudice at the beginning of the 20th century which infected even Catholic circles.

I am indebted to Jason who posted a link in the combox to a comprehensive article by Mark Miravalle on the Present Ecclesial Status of Devotion to St. Philomena.

Two points from his conclusion which seem particularly pertinent:
Nineteen acts of the Holy See during the pontificates of five popes were issued in positive promotion of popular devotion to St. Philomena, in the forms of liturgical cultus, archconfraternities, plenary and partial indulgences

Numerous saints, blesseds, and venerables have testified to the reality and exceptional intercessory power of St. Philomena, including Ven. Pauline Jaricot, Bl. Anna Maria Taigi, St. Peter Julian Eymard, St. Peter Chanel, St. Madeline Sophie Barat, St. Magdalene of Canossa, Bl. Bartolo Longo, Bl. Pope Pius IX, St. Pius X, and especially St. John Vianney.
Frankly, that's good enough for me. She has worked sackloads of miracles and I will pray for more.

You may also have perceived a certain agenda here as well - and you would be right. The cult of Virgin Martyrs has been the object of particular opprobrium during the past century or so. For example, the canonisation of St Maria Goretti was opposed by ugly and distasteful comments from a high-ranking ecclesiastic which I will not repeat.

The challenge of chastity has been one of the defining battles of our time and it is met head-on by the cult of the Virgin Martyrs such as St Agnes, St Philomena, St Joan of Arc, and St Maria Goretti (any other favourites welcome in the combox.) They were all subjected to assaults on their purity and stand for all of us as examples of heroism for our time.

So I shall not desist from invoking the aid of the Vigin Martyr:

St Philomena, pray for us!

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