The following is an extract from a book entitled:  History of St Philomena.
Which was edited by Charles Henry Bowden, Priest of the Oratory. (1896).
Pages 149 – 154

St. Philomena's intercession during some exorcisms
But there is another misfortune, more fearful still, which at times afflicts the children of men, namely, possession by an evil spirit. From this also the power of the holy Martyr can deliver them.

In 1830, a young married woman, Mardia Fedele of Sesa, had suffered for some months from what was judged to be hysteria.  But no human remedies had proved of any avail.   She had lost her colour, had grown thin, and was plunged in profound melancholy; the very sight of her moved all to compassion. As her symptoms were becoming worse and worse, her father went to seek consolation from the Arch-priest of the place, who was his near relation.

The later blessed some water with a piece of the shift taken off the figure of St Philomena at her last vesting, reciting some prayers over it to the Most Holy Trinity, and in honour of the martyrdom of the saint.  The poor young woman, who before had always been most exemplary and a devout frequenter of the holy Sacraments, had in reality become possessed by the devil, who had entered into her by means of a charm.

But the sight of the water of St Philomena unmasked the evil one.  As soon as it was brought into her house, she, or rather the demon within her, was filled with horror; she hid herself under the bed, and, in a violent rage, vomited forth blasphemies and other bad language. 

Finding all remonstrance unavailing, and that she drank common water quietly while she trembled and screamed, at the very sight of the water of St Philomena, and uttered every sort of blasphemy against her, and even pulled bricks out of the wall, and gave every sign of possession, the Arch-priest retired to his own house to consult the sacred Ritual on the subject. She meanwhile, without having been told what he was doing, related his every action to those around saying: “That devil of a lame priest is doing nothing but reading books and studying; but he will have some trouble with me!”

The next day he put on his sacred vestments, and, providing himself with some relics of the Saints, went to her house.  As soon as she saw him, she howled, and writhed in agony and fury.  When he commanded her in the name of God and of St Philomena to be silent, she said: “Put down that which you are carrying and then we will see which of us can read and understand the best.”  She then began to reveal many hidden things, and, as they were likely to cause discords and quarrels, he again ordered her in the name of God and of the Saint to be silent; and she ceased.

He then commenced the exorcism, and a long contest ensured, he repeating the words of the ritual, and, she angrily interrupting him with insulting words; and she grew so violent that she had to be held by several strong persons.  But perceiving that the name of Philomena tortured the enemy more than any other, the priest reiterated his commands to him to come forth in the name of this Martyr of Jesus Christ; and, while the Litanies of the Saint were being recited for the poor woman, the evil spirit said by her mouth:  “I will first throw down a wall of the presbytery.” And again: “Since you force me to go, I will first destroy one end of the village.” He afterwards threatened to send a hailstorm to destroy the crops; to pull down the house of the exorcist; and to kill a certain number of the bystanders.  But all was forbidden him.

Those present trembled and invoked the holy Martyr to come to her assistance.  The devil then asked leave to enter into the body of her little child, which was also refused. He then offered to cure the priest of the gout, but was answered that he trusted in God and the intercession of St Philomena if it was expedient for him to be cured.  “But,” replied he, “I will cure you more quickly.” At length he confessed that he could no longer resist the Saint  (who was continually being invoked) and, reduced to despair, he cried in a loud terrible voice, “Come forth, all ye my companions from hell, and thou my prince Lucifer, come forth and help me.  How shameful that our power should be conquered by a devil of a lame man, and by our accursed enemy, St Philomena!”

Finally the poor women threw up much black froth, her body and throat swelled, and the evil spirit issued forth from her under the form of a furious wind which struck all the spectators.

Thus was she saved and restored to herself; and she began at once humbly to kiss the crucifix and the image of St Philomena who had delivered her.  A public document was drawn up by the authorities of the place to attest this fact.

Shortly after, the devil entered into another woman near the same place as though to avenge his defeat, but she also was freed by the holy Martyr, whose picture was observed to, sweat miraculously at the moment of her deliverance.

In another village a man who was possessed was asked, in the name of God, to give them some particulars about St Philomena.  With signs of the deepest aversion, he said the following remarkable words:  “Oh! How great is the holy Virgin and Martyr St Philomena! How sublime are her merits before the Most High!  For this reason He ceases not to glorify her in the world by the daily prodigies which His Omnipotence works in so many parts to make her known and venerated; and the devotion of the people to her is a new and terrible warfare to hell.”  This took place in a village where the Saint was wholly unknown.

Five years later, the devil entered into a gentle and docile youth named Gennaro Gazarra of Naples, aged twelve years, and threw him into violent convulsions, during which he roared like a wild beast.  At times he would speak in unknown tongues, and utter in Hebrew the most horrible blasphemies against the Incarnation of the Word.  In his quieter intervals, when asked to recite some prayers, he showed that he could not do so. 

The Cardinal Archbishop of Naples appointed two priests to exorcise him, and every means prescribed by the Church were employed.  One day when the spirit of darkness was agitating him more than usual, his good mother bethought herself of the many graces and miracles which the Most High dispensed all over the world through the intercession of St Philomena, and she determined to invoke her with faith; and, taking a print of her she applied it to the head, breast, and body of the unhappy youth. 

That very instant his convulsions ceased, he became perfectly calm, and as though beside himself, he held the following conversation:  “Behold! My deliverer has come; she who with her crown and sceptre will help me, will deliver me, will tread underfoot thy head of bronze and thou wilt be driven forth from me.  And thou, O Philomena, when didst thou come? Thou alone canst aid me, thou alone canst defend me.” Then he himself applied the print to the various parts of his body, repeating these words: “Go out of here, go out of me, for my Saint, who defends every one, defends me also.”

After this he remained free and tranquil, and, as though awaking from a deep sleep, he began the hymn of thanksgiving to the Saint, and regained his natural gentleness and peace; for the evil one who had shown himself so invincible, yielding to the power of the holy Martyr, declared himself conquered, and, full of rage, fled away.  It was indeed a touching sight to see the poor boy press the crucifix to his heart, and kiss images, relics and every holy thing that was presented to him.

This prodigy was attested by two learned physicians, the parish priest, afterwards titular Bishop of Bethsaida and Canon of the Cathedral of Naples, and numerous other witnesses.

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