Weekly News Flash from the Universal Living Rosary Association of Saint Philomena, Wednesday February 4, 2015

Dear Apostles and Benefactors of the Living Rosary,We give thanks today for the beautiful Season of Christmastide. The three Kings have come, Christ is baptized in the River Jordan and the Marriage Feast at Cana all take place as a public manifestation of the God-head of Christ. What does it really mean to be a Christian? It is not simply to abstain from murdering or plundering our neighbor; it is not simply to be a good father, husband, son, workman or mother. To escape being a villain and to be an honest man is not to be a good Christian. To attend Holy Mass, judge fairly, be mortified and go to Confession are excellent, but they do not make us a true Christian. A Christian is a baptized soul, who believes with his whole heart all that is taught in the name of Jesus Christ by the Church, which has been entrusted by the Savior to spread the Christian religion throughout the world. A man who observes, as far as humanly possible, all the Commandments of God and the Laws of the Church, and earnestly strives to the best of his power to imitate Jesus Christ, his Lord and Savior, is not necessarily a Good Christian.

A Christian is a man who loves God above all things and who would suffer anything rather than offend God. He detests sin. He is a man who battles constantly and perseveringly with his evil passions to remain pure and humble, patient and merciful, indulgent to the faults of others; a man who is resigned and patient in misfortune. A Christian is a man who is constant in prayer. He pardons his enemies and goes about doing good. He loves all men. In poverty and suffering, he is calm and full of hope, remembering that the suffering of Calvary leads to the joy of the Resurrection.

Make haste to be good Christians: Pray, frequent the Sacraments, seek in the confessional a remedy for the past and, in frequent Communion, strength for the future. Life passes quickly. Let us work while it is still day. At Bethlehem, the gold of the Magi expressed the divinity of the Babe; at the River Jordan, the Descent of the Holy Ghost and the Voice of the Eternal Father proclaimed Jesus to be the Son of God; at Cana, Jesus Himself acts to change the water into wine. He raised up our human nature making us partakers of the divine nature; He gave us the power to love Him, to be united with Him, to form that One Body of which He is the Head, that Church of which He is the Spouse. From all Eternity and with such tender Love, He came down from Heaven to celebrate His nuptials with us. We must strive to love God with all our hearts and wills, and to draw others to Him through our example and prayers. As we journey toward the Pascal Mystery, let us remain mortified, generous and open to the veritable flood gates of God’s Mercy.

During the New Year, all of you will be remembered at the Holy Altar: your families, your suffering loved ones and the departed members of your family.

I impart to all of you, my priestly blessing:

In the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Amen.

With the prayers and respect,

Byzantine Rite, Greek-Catholic Church, UKRAINE



In 1816, Don Carlos won back the throne of Naples and Sicily. This United Kingdom once more had a Catholic ruler. But revolutionary ideas cannot be cast out as easily as the man who permitted them to flourish. It was not a job for the King, but for the Princess of Mugnano. Philomena needed to get the attention of those who had ceased to be mindful of the supernatural. I would like you to notice how simple and perfect was her method. She did something which those who called themselves rationalists could not explain – something that caught the eye, which made the faithless observer perplexed and uneasy, and which worked miracles; something that stumped the unbelievers because they saw it and couldn’t explain it, and could not deny it or imitate its effect.

Shortly after her arrival in Mugnano, the Archbishop of Naples donated a beautiful wood-carved statue. Around the neck of this statue hung a ribbon adorned with her relic. Annually, the statue is carried in procession on the Feast of her Translation.

This year, the crowds couldn’t help but notice that the bearers found the statue very heavy. They were heard to declare that, in the 18 years they had carried it, never before had it felt so heavy. There must have been people present who recalled the arrival of the relics when the shrine became heavy on the road to Cimitile. At last, it was evident they really could not support the statue. Strong villagers came to the rescue, but even with their help, though the statue could be supported, it seemed almost impossible to get it back to the church. The crowd began to point out to each other the rosy color in the face of the statue which had not been there earlier. It looked as though Philomena was getting warm struggling against the powers of evil on behalf of her Mugnano!

Three of the visitors found they could not get to the shrine because the sacristans were busy taking down yesterday’s decorations. They knelt before the statue. After awhile, one of the visitors pointed out a drop, like purest dew, hanging from the chin, sparkling in the light of the brilliant August morning. With affectionate faith, he thought he would put his finger in it as though it were holy water, and bless himself and his companions with it. Drawing near, he beckoned the others to see how the lower part of the face was running with this liquid which flowed down the neck in two little streams meeting on the breast. The face of the statue was still rosily flushed as it had been yesterday, but now the eyes shone with a heavenly brilliance. The whole expression suggested that the statue was alive.

It did not take long for the news to spread that something strange was happening in the church. Don Francesco had the statue lifted down from its place above the altar, to be more closely examined. He had it guarded so that it would not be touched. The liquid was found to be a kind of crystalline manna. The broad red ribbon which held the relic around the statue’s neck was soaked with the manna.

Don Francesco and a companion watched the statue all night to see when the miraculous sweat would cease. It continued to exude all that night, all the next day and nearly all the following night. Then, it ceased. The liquid on the statue remained moist for four days. But, when the manna was taken off the statue, it dried on the finger or on the linen in a few minutes. Another remarkable point was that the manna exuded only from the right side of the face. The statue was not damp and had been carried in procession under a blazing sun on the previous day. Other statues in the church were examined and were found to be perfectly dry.

A public attestation of this happening was carefully drawn up by Don Francesco, who liked everything to look legal. This statement was witnessed, sealed and placed in safekeeping. The same phenomena had occurred many times with Saint Philomena paraphernalia.

Philomena was made patroness of a home for poor girls at Ancona. A novena was made to her. At the end of it, when all who had taken part were leaving the chapel, the Saint called them back by a most beautiful melody which issued forth from her picture. It filled their hearts with love and thanksgiving.

The vial containing the blood of Saint Philomena rests at her feet in a crystal reliquary. Even today, it is seen to take on the appearance of rubies, emeralds, diamonds and other precious colored stones.

Now, really, this is too much! We have heard of instances of a statue becoming heavier, of its changing color, shedding manna, of music being heard as though coming from a picture of the Saint, and of blood taking on the appearance of jewels. This is a good deal to believe. Many of the instances are fully documented. We have, in fact, as much evidence for these instances as we have for half the instances in history. Is not the whole thing much more like a Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale than the writing of a saint’s life? A Princess in a glass coffin who blushes, smiles and moves! And now her blood turns into jewels! Excuse me, if I smile. Dear Neapolitans, we are so glad you have your story of the Sleeping Beauty to console you in these years of trouble and hardship! She is a darling. We do believe in her.

Cardinal Ruffo Scilla made this statement: “We have seen her blood changed into several brilliant little precious stones or various colors, also into gold and silver.”

Fr. Paul O’Sullivan who spent nine days at Mugnano in 1909 said: “The blood is not in a liquid state, but quite dry and in appearance resembles ashes. It is preserved in a small crystal vase which allows the visitor to see it as perfectly as though it lay on the palm of one’s hand. I had the happiness of examining this priceless treasure as many as thirty or forty times. Each time, without fail, I saw the blood change most marvelously. The transformation was so clear and distinct as not to allow room for the smallest doubt or misconception. Precious stones, rubies and emeralds, pieces of gold and particles of silver appeared mingled with the blood. One might shake the reliquary, again the precious stones appeared, not always in the same way, but still clearly and distinctly. At times, too, small black particles appear which are supposed to indicate some cross or affliction or foretell impending evils. These particles were very noticeable when the great Pontiff, Pius IX, venerated the blood of the Saint and were supposed to be prophetical of the sorrows in store for the Holy Father. These extraordinary transformations are witnessed daily by the crowds who flock to the Sanctuary and have been verified and declared authentic by the highest ecclesiastical authorities.”

If you and I were sitting at a sidewalk cafe in Mugnano on a warm spring evening after Mass, talking about Philomena, we would be forced to conclude that her fairy-tricks contain a message. Isn’t she trying to tell us that we cannot find security in our good health, our nice little savings, our respectability, our professional skill and our well-balanced judgment? These are only temporary realities, to be used until death. Philomena teaches us the value of purity, pure following of God’s Will, and of sufferings. She teaches us to lean on Divine Providence and to value eternal realities. If we carefully arrange our lives to win the maximum of material security and prosperity, we shall lose our LIFE. But, if we give it away to God, we shall keep it unto life eternal. How great are virginity and martyrdom when Philomena shows them to us as set against our bank book and our pleasures! If we love being alive, wouldn’t we like to live so intensely that there is vitality in our dust and bones, and our very picture could smile and heal the sick! “Enjoy yourself, for you will be dead a long time!” says the pagan. The Christian laughs like a boy who is going home for the holidays, “I shall be alive a mighty long time!” he says.

Dear PattiGreetings! We had a great celebration on Saturday in honor of Saint Philomena, at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, in Seaside, California. Our pastor, Fr. Michael Volk, celebrated a High Mass in her honor! We were so pleased! Then, we had a gathering in the parish hall to honor her. People could hardly believe that all the religious articles and brochures were for free. It was such a blessing! Thank you again. I am attaching some pictures from the celebration.

I am sending a check out for one box to Tanzania and one box which you sent me this month. I have also included $15 for one box, and would appreciate if you send me another box. When you ship boxes to Tanzania, please let me know so that I can tell the recipients to look out for them. Thanks again and may God continue to bless your ministry.

< Sister Benedicta Wasonga, IHSA – CA, USA >

Subject: My Pastoral Work in the Parish Mission

I come from the eastern region of Kenya where the pastoral work is difficult due to the climate of the area. The region surely is ever hot and dry. I am in the second year in the seminary and in the first year of philosophy studies. I have about ten more years to go in the seminary. My language is known as MWAKI, which means Fire. Each village has its Saint name, and the village name. They do meet once a week. Men, women, youth and children pray the Rosary, sing hymns and do the Liturgical reading for the coming Sunday. They pray the evening prayers and end with a hymn. There are different villages meeting on different days. They visit different homes, especially where there are the sick and the aged people. Here, there are many old people who are very poor; many Christians in my native region are poor which means they cannot do much for their poor aged old people. The best gift they do offer is prayers.

How do I relate or help the priests in the Apostolate? In my mission, Kangangukuzi, I am the only youth from the eastern region in the seminary. Our village is NOT near the mission church. It is about three to four hours walk to the mission. In the parish, there are only two priests. One is now 56 years and many times he is sick. There is only one car in the whole parish, which covers a big vast area. So, we do walk from the mission to the villages to meet our Christians. The centers are at a good distance from each other, the roads are very bad and, in some places, there are NO roads. At times, the priest leaves the car and walks because there are no roads.

When I am on vacation, I do help the Christians in the small communities and we pray together. I help them to understand the Holy Bible, teach them about the Saints, the Sacraments, the Holy Mass, and about the Catholic Church Catechism. I do hold meetings with the youth and the small children in the village. Here, the Christians DO NOT have the Holy Mass every Sunday. The priest CANNOT cover such vast areas on one Sunday as there is no car. So, some do stay for two and half months without the Holy Mass. I serve two centers every Sunday. From one center to the next, it is a long distance. During the vacations, I do a lot of work even painting in the mission so that I can get my transport back to the seminary. I do many other duties in the mission.

Our region is full of the natural predicaments. The pastoral work here is a very difficult one. But, I am very much happy to do it with a lot of determination and help from Divine Providence. I received my secondary school Education through the help of the Late Rev. Fr. Paul Steel, who was from Vienna, Austria. Though he died, I will not forget him. We did a lot with him while setting up the mission. Without his help, I could not have gone to the Seminary. I taught him our native language.

Since then, I think you are now the second person to write from such far place. Fr. Paul Steel was buried in the mission. Here, we pay for sending and receiving E-Mails and walk about 30 min. to the stall shops. Please keep me in your prayers. Pass my greetings to all your friends and tell them about the Catholic Church in Africa, mostly in Kenya. I feel that my mission is just beginning. My mission is to make Christ known and loved as I love the Church.

Thank you so much for your reply to my E-Mail.

I remain yours in Christ,

< Daniel – Eastern Kenya – East Africa >

Dearest Patti Melvin,By the merits of the Presentation of the Child Jesus in the Temple, may you be blessed specially! May Mary, the Mother of God and Our Mother, present your needs to Jesus!

With heartfelt gratitude, I acknowledge the long awaited parcel which arrived on January 30, 2015. Thank you immensely for the wonderful enriching spiritual materials such as Rosaries, Miraculous Medals, Scapulars, St. Philomena cord and oil, and wrist cords, Agnus Dei, Calendars, various prayers cards and pamphlets, Novena to the Holy Spirit, Wonder Worker and Newsletters carrying news from around the world, even from Cameroon, To Jesus Through Mary booklets. Thank you so much for including us and for all that you do for us. I am praying for you and all our benefactors. May God bless and reward each one of you!

Attached is a picture of St. Philomena’s Youth for Purity in Repaccol Nkar, Cameroon with promoter Sr. Theodosia, taken during their consecration. They are all touched by the life of St. Philomena and have decided to commit themselves to imitate her in their own state.

St. Philomena, we thank you! St. Philomena, pray for us!

Happy feast of the Presentation! God bless you!

< Sister Mary Florence Angwe, St. Joseph’s Convent Shisong, Cameroon – West Africa >

Dearest Patti,Warm greetings from Butete Parish, Ruhengeri Diocese and Happy New Year 2015. It is a pleasure for me to find this opportunity to give you the latest update of the Living Rosary in Rwanda.

I am sending you a list of 450 people who joined the Living Rosary. We are explaining the Living Rosary to the Christians of Butete parish, especially children so that they may grow spiritually and physically. Many are interested. This means that we will need the cords of Saint Philomena, medals, oil, Rosaries, and Kinyarwanda booklets in this new land so that they may know more about the life of Saint Philomena. We have enough Decade cards with us. Saint Philomena, Pray for us. May the Almighty God bless your work!

< Fr. Longin, Butete Parish, Ruhengeri Diocese – RWANDA >

Share Your Gift of Faith

For centuries, our cherished Catholic faith has been passed from person to person, parent to child, etc. Each of us carries in our heart a special memory of how God first graced us with the knowledge of the faith and how Our Blessed Mother, Saint Philomena, Venerable Pauline Jaricot and other saints changed our lives and brought us closer to Christ.

In our work in the Universal Living Rosary Association, we see first hand how millions of souls are currently living without that knowledge of God and are living outside of His grace. We have been given a beautiful opportunity to carry out Christ’s work and pass on our faith and blessings to others who would otherwise never be introduced to Our Lord, the Savior of all mankind. Just as we pray for the souls in Purgatory who have no one to pray for them, we should also make it a part of our life’s mission to pass on our faith to as many souls as possible who have no one else to pass it on to them, who don’t know Our Lord and His promise of salvation.

This is the box we send out to the foreign Missions $77.95. It contains Rosaries, Scapulars, Miraculous Medals, Cord & Oil, Newsletters, Calendars, Catechism books, 2 TAN books, large color prints, lists and encouragements for our Promoters.

This is the box we send out to the foreign Missions $77.95. It contains Rosaries, Scapulars, Miraculous Medals, Cord & Oil, Newsletters, Calendars, Catechism books, 2 TAN books, large color prints, lists and encouragement for our Promoters.

Please Click here to Share Your Gift of Faith

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