Sightings - Ars, France

The following series of slide shows were sent to us with descriptions written by Henry Bludau Link Out. These were taken on his pilgrimages to Ars Link Out, La Salette Link Out, Loreto Link Out, Lyon Link Out, Mugnano Link Out, Paris Link Out and Rome Link Out.

Ars, France

First pic is one of a stone statue of St. Philomena I bought in the giftshop run by the nuns. I carried this for two weeks in my suitcase and, after getting stung by overweight baggage on the first leg of my trip home, I took it out and carried it in my lap home the rest of the way. It's approximately 13 inches tall.

Second pic is of interior design on wall of basilica. It is the Greek letter that is St. Philomena's first initial, as she is a Greek princess. The basilica, if I remember it correctly, is officially called the Basilica of St. Philomena and St. Jean Vianney.

The murals are from just below the dome inside the basilica. They depict the events of Philomena's heroic suffering & martyrdom, her burial, and glorification in Heaven.

The chapel containing the incorrupt remains of St. Jean Vianney, the Cure of Ars. The gold statue atop his glass-sided casket is of St. Philomena.

The exterior of an entrance into the basilica. The sculpture above the door depicts (left) the Cure's patron saint, John the Baptist, then (center) the Cure himself, kneeling and presenting the basilica to St. Philomena (right), seated upon a throne.

In the old rectory, inside the Cure's bedroom, I didn't notice until I was viewing my video later, but a small doll-like figure of St. Philomena in a glass-sided urn, as she appears at her shrine in Mugnano, sits atop the Cure's dresser.

Inside the original parish church of Ars, unchanged since the Cure's days there: These are all views into the side chapel that the Cure dedicated to St. Philomena. Notice all the 19th-century crutches left behind as votive offerings by the afflicted who came to Ars seeking healing and who were told so often by the Cure to "Go to Philomena." The painting depicts the miraculous cure of the Cure himself by St. Philomena who came to him when he was given only two hours to live by the doctors. He went onto live another ten years instead. And then there's the statue provided by the Cure of St. Philomena herself, above the altar. On the left side of the altar you can kneel directly in line of sight of the eyes, and pray, in probably the exact same spot the Cure prayed, the very prayers he himself wrote. It is possible to walk directly from the old church into the basilica.

Not far from the basilica and old church is the Heart Chapel, where the relic of the heart of St. Jean Vianney is kept. The relic is sometimes sent to various parts of the world for veneration in the churches named for him. Above the door of this freestanding chapel, on the inside, is a depiction of the painted tiles that originally covered the shelf tomb in the Catacomb of St. Priscilla in Rome where St. Philomena was discovered in 1802.

Down by the highway in this village is a dead-end street named for St. Philomena.

Not far away, where the main road of the village meets the highway, is a large Bronze statue of St. Philomena upon a tall pedestal. She points the way to the basilica.

In side the old rectory of the Cure, a museum exhibits shows one of the flyers of the time promoting Ars. St. Philomena appears on the left of the picture of the Cure.




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The Universal Living Rosary Association of Saint Philomena

Patti Melvin, Director

Universal Living Rosary Association

P.O. Box 1303, Dickinson, Texas 77539, U.S.A.

Fax: (281) 337-3722 / (281) 309-9821