St. Philomena miracle accounts
(Below are several groups of miracle accounts. I will from time to time add new accounts of St. Philomena's miracles to this page).
Devotion Dwindles but Wonders Multiply
The Kingdom of Naples, that is, at that period, the southern half of Italy, was held by the French from 1806 till 1815. "They brought in their train.....irreligion and unbelief. Quarrels, sedition and bloodshed were rife. To avoid the despotic rule of the invaders many fled into the mountain vastnesses, and infested the country as brigands, spreading desolation around. The peaceable peasants trembled in their homes and dared not go abroad. For these reasons the daily concourse to the shrine of St. Philomena dwindled considerably, though it never entirely ceased, as the upper classes continued to frequent it, although the poor could not. And on account of the times, the inhabitants of Mugnano were unable to build the grand chapel to St. Philomena which they intended to do.
Devotion was still spreading by means of little prints,-prayerbook pictures. Miracles had been worked through them, as in the case of a mother who prayed to St. Philomena for her delicate baby, and when, in spite of her prayers, it died, she would not take "No" for an answer, but took the Saint's picture from the wall and, with tears, put it on the child's body. Instantly the child not only moved but jumped up! When one of these prints was taken to the Franciscan Convent at Nola, while the nuns were admiring it, one who was blind said to Philomena: "Shall I alone lose the grace and joy of seeing you, O holy martyr?" At once she saw. And after that nothing would satisfy the nuns but that they must all be taken in a carriage to visit Mugnano.
A Canon was cured of consumption, so that he might continue to us his gift for eloquent preaching. A young woman found herself quite alone when her baby was about to be born. Suddenly she found a beautiful girl beside her, who asked what she could do to help her. At the sound of her voice the baby was born. "Who are you?" "I am Philomena of Mugnano." With that she disappeared. On making inquiries the happy mother found that a saint of that name had recently come to Mugnano. With some of her relations she made a pilgrimage there. On seeing the shrine, the mother ran towards it, saying: "Yes, it was she!"
Another woman, a cripple, was given a print by her relation who knew nothing about the saint except that a well-known preacher at Naples-Don Placido-had preached about her. The cripple took the print in her hands next time the pain was severe, and said: "Saint of Don Placido, I do not know your name, but do help me!" Instantly she was cured. She got up and dressed and went round to Don Placido to find out the name of the saint.
At Monteleone it was desired to put a picture of her in the church, and as a print was not good enough, the priest consulted a young man of artistic taste. He, when he had heard of Philomena, was so impressed that he wished he could paint her picture; but, alas, he had only a feeling for art, but knew nothing about painting. Secretly he got some paints and tried his hand. The brush seemed to do the work by itself, and the result was so beautiful that everyone was delighted with it. The young man declared St. Philomena had painted her own portrait. It seems that she had, for as soon as the picture was put in the church for public devotions, miracles were worked there. But the prints were the chief instrument for miracles. They came to be put up in every house, carried about in their pockets by rich and poor, and taken to people who were sick like a medicine.
Let me finish with the story I like best-of the little boy of seven who died in the presence of his doctor. His mother laid a print of St. Philomena on his body, and at the touch of it he seemed to wake up from a sleep, and began to cry because, he said, he was hungry! "They gave him soup twice; he then called for wine, and fell into a gentle sleep which lasted all night, and he awoke in the morning perfectly well.
History of St. Philomena (1896)
Nicola Palmieri was restored to health from a dangerous illness by the intercession of St. Philomena when only one year old, but it left him humpbacked both in front and back, with arms and legs crossed and motionless, and when his mother tried to move the joints, excess of pain caused him to utter fearful screams. To complete his misfortune, he was blind in both eyes. The joy his father felt on seeing him cured, was changed into poignant grief on beholding his deplorable state; but he redoubled his prayers to obtain perfect health for his unfortunate child. The mother, on the other hand, prayed that he might die or get well. Their prayers were heard, but not until they had persevered in them for five whole years.
At length, during the celebration of the feast of St. Philomena, the thirteenth of August, 1846, the child with his little crutches was left alone in a room where there was a print of the saint; and on turning his eyes towards it to pray to her, he saw the figure of the saint make a sign to him three times as though it were bending its head. The child, in spite of his tender years, understood that the grace had been granted; and, full of faith, throwing aside his crutches, he jumped up, and when his parents returned, he met them walking with a firm step, and with a straight and well-formed body. Their Joy was indescribable; and to testify their gratitude to St. Philomena, they undertook the long journey from Benevento to Mugnano, where they offered a large quantity of wax to the chapel of the saint. During their visit, while the child was kneeling before the shrine of St. Philomena, he begged her to give him the grace to serve her; in allusion to his strong wish for the ecclesiastical state. And the holy martyr again visibly inclined her head twice over, which he ran to tell to his parents with the greatest delight. In 1849 when Pius IX was at Naples, having heard how St. Philomena had favoured this child, he clothed him, and placed him in the Seminary of Benevento, undertaking to defray all the expenses of his education.
History of St. Philomena (1896)
The following miracle was worked in 1892 in favour of a French priest, Father N.. While he was acting as temporary priest at X.. a dreadful sacrilege took place in the church, and this so affected him that an illness was developed of which he already had the germs, namely, gallstones. He did not, however, become seriously ill at once, but was acting as parish priest, elsewhere when it was arranged that he should go to St. Mary's Priory, Stamford Hill, to assist as deacon at High Mass on the feast of St. Philomena, and preach the Panegyric of the saint. Two days before the feast, his illness had progressed so rapidly that a telegram arrived to say that he was at death's door, which was truly the case. He had received the Last Sacraments and made his will, three doctors who were in attendance upon him having given him up; and his sufferings were terrible. On the 17th of August, the Rev. Mother General (Sister Mary Philomena) was told, to her great astonishment, that Father N.. was in the parlour. She hastened to see him and was horrified at his appearance, for he looked like a corpse, and could hardly speak or walk She asked him why he had ventured out in that state. He said that he had heard the sisters were praying to St. Philomena for his recovery, and he had made up his mind to come there living or dying. He dragged himself to the shrine of the saint, and prayed for a short time kneeling on a priedieu. After that he said he already felt a little better and he took some nourishment which he was able to retain for the first time since his illness. After Vespers he paid another visit to the altar of St. Philomena and this time he felt a most extraordinary sensation in his whole system as though an iron bar was passing through him, and he immediately felt himself cured. He went for a walk in the garden and then rested and slept well for a few hours, which he had not been able to do during the last fortnight. At 5.30 he gave Benediction and afterwards ate some supper and told Rev. Mother that all his pains had gone. In the morning he said a Votive Mass of St. Philomena at her altar, after which the sisters sang the Te Deum. He then made a vow to propagate devotion to St. Philomena, and to say a Mass in her honour once every week. The day he was cured was the Octave of her feast. The Rev. Mother had been rather disappointed that the dear saint had not cured the sick priest before her feast, and that instead of preaching in her honour he was literally dying in agonizing pains but it was now evident that she was reserving a greater grace for him. He was so grateful for his cure that he said he almost broke down two or three times during the Mass, with joy and gratitude. The priest is now abroad exercising his ministry.
History of St. Philomena (1896)
St. Philomena is also much honoured at Nantes among the nuns of the Visitation. Her devotion was introduced into their convent by the venerable Mother Marie Antoinette de la Ferronays, their superior about the year 1835. St. Philomena has not been deaf to the prayers that have been addressed to her there, for her chapel is decorated with numerous ex votos, irrefragable testimony to the cures and favours received from the Thaumaturga. And in touching expression of the gratitude of the community for the benefits received from their heavenly protectress, one of the nuns always bears the name of Philomena.