Weekly News Flash from the Universal Living Rosary Association of Saint Philomena, Wednesday February 25, 2015

ST. PHILOMENA, WONDER-WORKER (continued)

Philomena takes particular care of priests. There was Padre Guida, a Lazarist Father, who came on pilgrimage to Mugnano and saw her face lose its whiteness and flush with so healthful a tint that it seemed as though her statue was alive. He returned the next year, was a witness of the change in its position and expression, and went back to his parish to spread devotion to her. In the Winter of 1833, he was dangerously ill. A novena was begun to ask Philomena for his cure but, by the end of it, nothing had happened. He understood that he was to prepare for death. He lay in a lethargy but, suddenly, he felt a hard blow on his right arm and two lighter ones upon his head. He opened his eyes and saw Philomena in a white robe embroidered with flowers standing by his bed. “How quickly you have given up hope!” she said. “Do you expect death? No, you are not going to die; you are going to labor for God’s Church. Look up and see what is prepared for you!” He looked up in the direction she indicated and saw a Bishop’s mitre. Philomena had disappeared. The good priest did not know what to make of it. Was it all a dream? Or the devil? Or what? He recovered his health. To his astonishment, he heard he had been nominated to the See of Oria. As soon as he was consecrated, he went in great style to Mugnano, walked barefoot to the shrine, offered Mass at Philomena’s altar and publicly told this story.

If you prefer a more modern witness, there is Fr. Paul O’Sullivan who went on pilgrimage to Mugnano in 1909, after which he wrote a book about Philomena. He saw many wonderful things at Mugnano, but here is his own story. “The marvel which made most impression on me during my visit was the following: On the ninth day, I was in a side chapel. The Rev. Mother was speaking with a contractor, higher up in the church, regarding some repairs that were necessary. The church was now cared for by the Sisters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul. One of the Sisters approached me and said quite simply, ‘Father, have you seen the sign?’ ‘What sign?’ I asked. ‘I have seen so many wonders during the days I have been here.’ ‘Oh,’ she said, ‘you haven’t got THE sign?’ ‘If it is anything more wonderful than what I have already seen,’ I replied, ‘I would not dare to ask for it. It would be presumption on my part.’ ‘Oh, no, no,’ she answered. ‘You have come from a long distance and have remained here so many days. The little Saint must give you THE sign.”

Saying this, she pulled me gently towards the altar where the urn containing the miraculous image is placed. She had not given me the slightest idea of what this sign consisted. We knelt in front of the urn and began a short prayer. Suddenly, a sharp report rang out as if the crystal glass had been struck sharply by something hard. The little Sister jumped up, radiant with smiles and said to me, “Now, you have got it!”

The report was so distinct and sharp that the Rev. Mother, higher up in the church, ignorant altogether of what we were about, jumped around and asked, “Who is it for?” “It is for the Father,” replied the Sister. This knock is a well-known sign given, from time to time, to clients of the Saint and is, I am happy to say, looked upon as a special mark of her good pleasure. Surely, it was a harbinger of good for me. Arriving at Rome shortly afterwards, I had a private audience with the saintly Pontiff, Pius X, who manifested the greatest pleasure in hearing of my visit to Mugnano. He gave me several marks of his favor, one of which was the permission to say a votive Mass weekly in honor of the Saint.

We must keep in mind Philomena’s vocation because, far from ending with the life of the body, a vocation often only blossoms out fully after death. Saint Térèsa of Lisieux was a great missionary after her death. St. Francis Xavier’s earthly life was cloistered in failure, as St. Térèsa’s was cloistered in Carmel.

St. Philomena suffered martyrdom, then her work began. After a brief space of seventeen centuries, her particular spiritual genius was needed by the Church Militant. The inhabitants of our poor dusty earth, crippled by their fall from innocence, now stupid, peevish, frightened and quarrelsome, needed a Princess.

“Come, Philomena,” said God the Father,
“Go and do for them all they will allow you to do.”

Philomena returns to the world she once knew. She is a girl; she has never grown up; she is a virgin and a martyr; her vocation, one may guess from her work, is to help priests. She stands in the nineteenth century and looks around her. Scholars are solemnly dissecting historical evidence and coming to many conclusions which the next generation will find utterly worthless.

She came into Byron’s Italy, into the Europe of George Sand and Balzac, and preached virginity, the honor due it and its glories. She came, a realist among the romantics, pointing out that adventure is the privilege of man’s will, not of his body. She came before Victor Hugo and Dumas, before Alfred de Vigny and de Musset to live, after death, a life in the world more romantic, more marvelous than ever they devised. And her life is told with fireworks, not told with bombast. She is explosive like the Neapolitans, to attract necessary attention. You may accuse her, too, of tinsel, but never of pasteboard. She is not only real, she is eternal. She never found it necessary to counteract her laughter with sighs. The soul of a martyr does not bleed and the blood of Philomena’s little body was not a dull stain, but a Christmas tree sparkle.

It is impossible for me to write of her soberly. Must one be sober about Paradise? I try to write of her life at Mugnano and its effect on her times as I would write of any other happening, but she is so distracting. What can one do but laugh? I find her loyal to her adopted country, a Neapolitan among Neapolitans, yet so much more sympathetic with France than Vicenzo Monti could be. Just when France needed her most, she went to France. She had more humor than Manzoni. Philomena had something to say, not only to working men, but to poor mothers, lay-sisters, old priests, little boys who climb steeples and steal apples, and fall accidently down wells; in order to reach out to the whole world, she multiplied books, though she never published any.
No Books, Just Actions!

Philomena is a child among children, liking to have a new dress, to make people laugh, to be kind. She has a child’s dignity and purity. She scolds no one but the impure. Who can be happy when innocence is lost?

It may here be noted that Don Francesco found many girls in Mugnano who were drawn by Philomena’s virginal life to consecrate themselves to imitate it. He founded the Little Sisters of Saint Philomena, who were locally called the Monacelie. They lived under a strict rule, had a uniform habit and led the most holy of lives, not in the cloister of a monastery but within the bosom of their own families. They spread abroad their salutary example wherever they went: in church, in the streets or in the fields. Pope Leo XII was delighted and said these words spontaneously, “This miracle is greater than any other miracle worked by the Saint. In an Age of universal corruption, in a kingdom lately subjected to so many vicissitudes of religion, these pure souls have arisen to tread publicly underfoot the world and the flesh! I now bless them all.” And raising his right hand and making the Sign of the Cross, he repeated, “May they all be blessed!”

Consider for one moment the moral corruption for which these little nuns made reparation. Philomena’s character is based on the two heroic virtues of virginity and martyrdom. Without them, her playfulness would have no point. It is “the liberty of the children of God” that was her gospel. This liberty can only be possessed by those who put all their trust in God and lay up their treasure in Heaven. She pointed the bright but heroic way to regain innocence.

When older people read legends and fairy stories, they find in them clues to philosophy. Anyone who is not content to take Philomena as she is, may look for the theological content of her miraculous life and will find themselves very soon out of their depths. The Doctors of the Church, even Augustine and Bernard, are outstripped when it comes to the mystery of which Philomena is the evangelist. It is the mystery of God ludens in orbe terrárum. It sounds more acceptable in Latin. God playing in the world is a mystery before which the great and wise stand in awe and are afraid. But, Philomena runs to play with Him, beckoning the simple, the children, the Neapolitans to this way of union. And we, tainted with the vileness of self-importance and criticism, look on and hesitate.


Peace Be To You!

In our modern world, we are victims of worry, tension, frustration and nameless anxieties. Nervous tension is higher today than ever before in history. The rise in the number of mental problems today is phenomenal! Over half of the hospital beds in this country are occupied by mental patients. If we had a vibrant faith in the Providence of God and a willing acceptance of His plan for our lives, much of our stress and unhappiness could be eliminated. God’s laws of nature cannot be consistently violated without serious consequences. Disease, poverty, enmities and misery of soul follow the path of sin. One need only count his blessings honestly for the surprise of his life. We may list among them what the world calls misfortunes; sickness, financial loss, unemployment, and worry for these too can be blessings, if we but had the faith to see that whatever God allows has an infinitely wise and infinitely loving purpose. We could find such peace of heart if only we had a well-ordered submission to God’s dealings with us. The fast pace of modern life with its terrific appeal to all the senses and passions of men has become almost an obsession of our Age. In the olden days, people knew how to live quietly, in a relaxed way. They could be satisfied with the simple joys of life. Today, these simple joys are laughed at as ridiculous.

Our modern world has developed the philosophy of pleasure, luxury, comfort and delight as never before in history! It has fabricated synthetic needs which years ago did not exist. These are the source of much of our modern tension. Tremendous desires are built up and the world cannot fulfill them. What is to be done then? What can bring peace to our tortured souls?

St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus has the answer for us as she teaches us her Little Way! Its characteristics are humility, trust, constant self-sacrifice, simplicity and love. She explains: We are so ready to think ourselves somebody! All our knowledge is nothing. We must distrust our knowledge, our views and our methods. If they give us any self-esteem or feeling of wisdom, we must put them aside. The indispensable condition for all real communion between the soul and God is to know we are loved by God and to believe unfalteringly in God’s Love for us. Even though God foresaw sin and all the miseries consequent to it, His Glory is manifest in the compassionate Love He gives us in the face of our utter misery. In the Gospel, Love calls to all those who have no love: the prodigal son, the woman taken in adultery, Mary Magdalene, and even those who crucified Christ: “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”

Christ thirsts to love and the creature thirsts for love! Infinite Love thirsting to give Himself, and poor nothingness thirsting to be filled. Humility consists in turning our eyes away from self and gazing upon God. The Love of God flows freely into the heart that surrenders itself to Him. Holiness is a disposition of heart which places us in the Arms of God, little and humble, conscious of our weakness and trusting blindly in the Father’s Goodness. Love is everything. Love embraces all times and all places.

Love includes all vocations!

To please God must be our whole life. The sanctification of a soul is God’s work and His alone! Only He can fashion a Saint. All that the soul has to do is to surrender itself, in all simplicity, to His action. Picture yourself having climbed to the top limb of a large tree and, then, to your horror, you realize you cannot get a foothold to descend. The starless and black night engulfs you. Nothing can be seen, NOTHING! From below, you hear a voice. It is the voice of God. He beckons you to jump into His Arms. Pitch black and from such a height, have you the confidence and trust in God needed to make that leap into His Arms? Humble, simple and very little, we must make that leap into the loving Arms of Our Father.

God loves us individually with an Infinite Love and has countless ways of bringing good out of evil and balancing inequalities for all eternity! Without supernatural faith and a spiritual outlook, despair is an inevitable outcome.

Christ’s most favorite greeting was, “Peace be to you.” God has complete control and absolutely nothing can happen without His all-wise and all-loving purpose. And this God, Who has all things under His control, genuinely loves us and is concerned about our welfare. If we wish to face pain bravely and suffer with courage, this is the solid rock upon which we must stand: GOD LOVES US!

All our trials, sufferings and temptations have a purpose. They are meant to produce virtue, increase our love and merit, and allow us to atone for our sins. They all add up to a wonderful and gloriously happy ending, if we submit ourselves to the Will of God. When we have done all we can to prudently help ourselves, there is still something more we can do. We can renew our faith in the Wisdom of God, which is infinite!!! We can renew our faith in the Power of God Who holds the entire universe and everything that happens in it, in the Palm of His Hand. We can renew our faith in the Goodness of God, Who never asks a sacrifice that He does not intend to reward a thousand times over. In the spirit of humility, trust and love, we can say from the bottom of our hearts: THY WILL BE DONE!!!


OUR SAVIOR’S LAST APPEAL

The tragic hour the aged Simeon had foreseen in his terrible prophecy came to pass. The Cross stands out against a cloud-filled sky. A dreadful silence resounds through that city liable for the murder of its God. Jesus is expiring. At the foot of the gibbet whereon the great Victim is nailed stands Mary, motionless, silent, engulfed in untold grief, gazing upon her dying God. What created mind could fully understand her suffering? We are familiar with trials: loss of material goods is not fatal and bodily ills make our flesh tremble, yet our minds can remain at peace. Doubts, discouragement and despondency cast shadows on our lives and may make it unbearable, but the greatest suffering springs from the heart when love is wounded.

Mary suffered through the love she bore her Son. Hers was a martyrdom which surpasses that of the martyrdom of blood. To comprehend the intensity of her pain, we would have to comprehend the depth of her love. She gave herself unreservedly to her Son, for original sin had not tarnished her Immaculate Heart. Now, her beloved Son, endures before her very eyes the most cruel, the most unjust, the most ignominious of tortures. Step by step, She follows the somber procession wending its way up Calvary. She witnesses the horrible scene of crucifixion, hears the heavy hammer drive the sharp nails into the adorable hands and feet of her Child, tearing His Flesh as His Precious Blood spills onto the ground. The soldiers jeer and the high priests mock His goodness, His holiness and His very divinity. Not for a moment does She abandon Him, nor does She miss a single moment of His suffering. When Jesus dies, She is at His Feet. There is a phenomenon the medieval philosophers called ecstasy. Love takes the heart, so to speak, of the one who loves and exchanges it with the heart of the beloved. All of Jesus’ sufferings resonated in Mary’s Heart. When the soldier’s lance pierced His Heart, it simultaneously pierced the Virgin Mother’s Soul.

When a heavy cross is laid upon our shoulders, we accuse God of unfairness and uncaring cruelty, and we abandon our faith. “How could a good God do this to us!” Did the Father not love His only Son? Did God not love the purest Virgin whom He had made the Mother of His Son? Yet, God found no more precious gift for His Son and His Mother than suffering! Through suffering, the great work of Redemption is accomplished. God sends suffering to purify us and to save us. When suffering comes, we must trust God, lovingly receive the cross and know that the victory of Easter awaits us. With Mary, let us take courage. We will climb the steep hill of Calvary so that, one day, we may savor the joys of eternal Beatitude.

“The highest veneration, after God, is due to Mary because there is no other being in Heaven or on earth arrayed in so sublime a dignity and so near to God as is Mary, the Mother of the Most High, the Spouse of the Holy Ghost. When Mary was on earth, She was exalted to the pre-eminent dignity of having the Son of God subject to her and, now in her full glorification, shall She behold her dignity lowered and the love of her Divine Spouse and Son, lessened? NO! On the contrary, She shall receive, as a reward for the love She bore her Divine Son on earth, the greatest participation in His Eternal Glory. She shall sit as His beloved Mother on the right Hand side of her Son, upon the throne of glory and majesty so that the whole heavenly court may offer to their Queen the eternal homage due her as the promised Victress over Hell by reason of the Fruit of her virginal body.”

Taken from the SERVITE MANUAL
Nihil Obstat: Rt. Rev. A. Hillebrand, V.G. Prot. Apost., a.i.p.
Censor Librorum, Portland, Oregan – February 2, 1925

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Make haste to enroll your family and friends in the forty days of Holy Masses which prepare our hearts for Good Friday only to open them to the Joys of Easter Sunday!

THE HOLY MASS IS YOUR LIFE!

The rational man needs the Mass to pay Almighty God the debt of homage and adoration he owes Him. The grateful man needs the Mass to pay his debt of thanksgiving. The sinful man, and who among us is without sin, needs the Mass to propitiate God’s Justice and to pay his debt of satisfaction. The needy man needs the Mass, that praying with Jesus Christ and through Him, he may offer a prayer that is worthy of being heard and, thus, discharge his duty and debt of petition.

At the hour of death, the Masses you have heard will be your greatest consolation. Every Mass will go with you to judgment and plead for pardon. At every Mass, you can diminish the temporal punishment due to your sins. Assisting devoutly at Mass, you render the Sacred Humanity of Jesus, the greatest homage. He supplies for many of your negligences and omissions. He forgives you all the venial sins you are determined to avoid. He forgives you all the unknown sins you have never confessed. The power of Satan over you is diminished.

By hearing Mass, you afford the Souls in Purgatory the greatest possible relief. One Mass heard by you, during life, will be of more benefit to you than many offered for you after death. Holy Mass preserves you from many dangers and misfortunes that would otherwise befall you. You shorten your Purgatory by every Mass and win for yourself a higher degree of glory in Heaven. At Mass, you kneel amidst the multitude of Angels who are present at the adorable Sacrifice with reverential awe. You receive the priest’s blessing which Our Lord Himself ratifies in Heaven. You are blessed in your temporal goods and affairs.

Nihil Obstat: P. L. Biermann, Censor Librorum.
Imprimatur: + George Cardinal Mundelein, Archbishop of Chicago

The names you send for individual enrollment for the Sacred Masses during the Lenten Season and Easter Octave will be placed upon the Altar. Fr. Ivan Kolodiy and all the priests you have helped in Ukraine will offer these Masses. Suggested donation for each enrollment is $5. Mass cards will be provided for the persons enrolled. Please PRINT the names CLEARLY:

1.                                                       7.

2.                                                        8.

3.                                                        9.

4.                                                        10.

5.                                                        11.

6.                                                        12.

Make your payment online through PAYPAL / CREDIT CARD at: WWW.PHILOMENA.ORG

If payment by Check / Money Order / Cash, please mail it directly to the address below:

THE LIVING ROSARY, P.O. BOX 1303, DICKINSON, TX 77539, USA

Click here to download and print this information.


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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