Liturgical Living

How St Philomena Helped Our Family (in a huge way!)

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St Philomena statute in church
Beautiful St Philomena statue in our church.

Earlier this year, I shared an update about our family moving to a cattle ranch. But this didn’t happen without a lot of fervent prayer. This is where St. Philomena worked a little miracle for our family.

To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible. – St Thomas Aquinas

This quote is how I can best describe this blog post.

You see, before this move happened, I was searching (for quite awhile) for a better home environment for my family. There were things beginning to go wrong with the home we were living in.

And our family had outgrown it.

I don’t intend to make this post into a space for me to complain. However, I do want to share just a few of those challenges that we faced. Because St. Philomena really pulled through for us in a major way. But more on that later.

Who is St Philomena?

St. Philomena was a young consecrated virgin and daughter of a Greek king, who had converted to Christianity.  She was martyred when she refused to marry Diocletian (Roman Emperor 284-305), who had fallen in love with her.

Before putting her to death, he subjected her to horrific tortures: scourging, from whose effects two angels cured her; drowning with an anchor attached to her (two angels cut the rope and raised her to the river bank).

She was shot with arrows. On the first occasion her wounds were healed; on the second, the arrows turned aside; and on the third, they returned and killed six of the archers, after which, several of the others became Christians.

Image of St Philiomena with two angels on either side
Artwork by Giuseppe Bezzuoli

St. Philomena is Known as a Wonder-Worker

This is because she takes requests to the Blessed Mother. She is known for saying in regards to granting requests: “Have you seen how this was done? I asked the graces from Mary and, through Mary, they were granted to me.”

And for this, she is powerful with God.

Saint Philomena is the patron saint of priests, young children & babies, expectant mothers, the childless, and sailors.

She also helps those with heartache and despair, the afflicted and imprisoned, the suffering and sick, afflicted mothers who turn to her for material or spiritual aid for their children, students and test-takers, young married couples, spiritual and temporal problems, and more. 

She is the Protectress of the Children of Mary. It is said, “There is no case too trivial or unimportant to concern her.”

Our Struggles and Special Requests

This post seems like it is long overdue. However, I have been encouraged to share our story by some of our priest friends. And I have taken some time to think of how I can best make St Philomena known.

When my husband and I were first married, we moved into a small little home with a couple of acres. It was a perfect set up for beginning our marriage and starting a family. We are simple people and don’t have a lot of special needs for living a simple life.

However, the home we were living in was really old and had constant needs and repairs that started to become more than we could keep up with. It was very challenging and frustrating. In addition to these problems, our children just needed more space.

It started to feel desperate.

It may not seem like it would be hard to find a new home for most people. However, we are in a unique situation.

We live very rural and need to stay close to my husband’s family ranch. We have laid down our roots and built a life so that he could help his parents.

Now if any of you are familiar with rural farms and ranches, you will understand how hard it is to find a home locally. Most of them are family owned.

So, opportunities for finding a home nearby are like finding a needle in a haystack. Near impossible.

Shrine of St Philomena in Italy
Shrine of St Philomena in Italy. (Photo credit: Fr. Borja)

Inspired to Turn to St Philomena

But we also know that nothing is impossible with God. So, I began to pray. I offered mass intentions, and prayed a lot of novenas, I made a lot of sacrifices.

I struggled with patience as I waited to see what God’s plan would be for our family.

And then one day, I was inspired to begin a novena to St Philomena. A friend of our family had gone through a similar situation about a year prior. They were in major need of a specific housing situation and they called on St Philomena.

I believe that when we ask God for big intentions, we must be willing to give big in return. We must make sacrifices and be willing to prove our love.

Another priest friend has said that St. Philomena grants big requests and she loves when we give her something big in return.

Inspired by my friend who made the sacrifice to give up coffee for a year in honor of St Philomena, I decided to pray for inspiration on how I could best honor God through her.

I decided that I would offer a year’s worth of masses in her honor and I would use a priest who has a special devotion to her. Then, I made a few other personal promises to her. And I begun a novena.

How St Philomena Worked a Big Miracle For Our Family

When I say that St Philomena came through in a big way, I am not exaggerating. She really worked wonders for our family situation.

In addition to building our own ranch operation slowly, my husband works seasonally for a local ranch during the summer and helps his family’s ranch. He’s a busy guy, but this is all work that he absolutely enjoys.

Well, this seasonal job, gave him a better opportunity and promotion. A lot of new benefits came around that have been a true blessing for our family.

A few things I asked for:

  • We needed more space for our growing family and play area for the kids.
  • I asked St Philomena to help us find a space for all of our animals (cattle, goats, chickens, and ducks).
  • We needed a place for homeschooling the children.
  • And we wanted a place to move our greenhouse and set up a garden.

We moved on to the ranch property. The house has been beautifully updated and has been exactly what our family needed. Although it is not our own home and it is not permanent, this is a perfect place to call home while we begin the work to build our dream house.

Picture of the ranch home and white barn

Many Blessings We Didn’t Expect

St Philomena went above and beyond with helping us achieve these prayer requests.

In addition to some of things I’ve mentioned, like my husband’s promotion and added job benefits. The house we moved into was a huge upgrade.

There was the extra space that we desperately needed. The home is completely updated. No more headaches of repairs that we couldn’t keep up with.

Children playing outside on a playground

There was plenty of room for the children to play, both indoors and outdoors. Our children have an outdoor playground and their own space in the basement with built in storage for their toys & books.

Children visiting goats in a pen

This home has all of the space we needed for our animals. The goats have a new barn and plenty of space in their pen. The chickens & ducks have a coop and run.

We have several acres of pasture for the cattle and a barn to keep a dairy cow when the timing is right. (hint hint, husband)

Dandelions in grassy lawn with white barn in background

There are several garden areas and room to move the greenhouse with a nice deck out back. There has been a lot of nice landscaping work done around the home and several already established fruit trees and berry bushes!

We have a class room and office space!

There are built in desk spaces for our children to do their school work. How perfect that there are the exact amount of space for our number of children! I’ll do a full classroom tour soon.

Built in desks in the classroom

And can we just take a moment to admire this beautiful kitchen.

Bonus points for anyone who can find the statue of St Philomena in the kitchen!

Sink and window view in the kitchen at the ranch home
View of the kitchen in the ranch home

Another priest friend describes the house as a Pinterest dream home. There really was a lot of hard work and love put into the updates of this home.

Do you notice the mudroom in the background? Something we needed that we didn’t even ask for.

Just before it, there’s this amazing walk in pantry with built in storage. A homesteader’s dream. I have big food preservation & storage plans in the future.

Check out the pantry storage here. 

Children in their new bedroom at the ranch home

It has been several months since we first moved into this home and we are grateful for God’s many blessings. So many answered prayers and many thanks to be given.

An Unexpected Blessing

(Update After Originally Posted)

Initially when I began searching for a new home for our family, I wanted our own space. And as I’ve mentioned above it is nearly impossible to find what we need near the family ranch. Which is an ultimate deciding factor.

Last year was a very difficult time filled with many crosses. My father in law suffered terribly with cancer and he passed away at the beginning of this year.

During this time, I was also on bed rest with a high risk pregnancy. My poor husband now had to help take care of our little ones, run the ranch we are living on, and take on his father’s duties at their family ranch.

This was a very difficult time for our family. But there are no rewards without trials. And no crown without the cross.

Many blessings have arisen from these trying times. My father in law died a very well prepared and holy death. I’m very edified by how patiently he suffered and for persevering in the Catholic faith.

Another blessing our family is experiencing is building a new home on the family ranch land. The land has been marked and as soon as the winter weather cooperates, the process begins.

We owe a lot to St Philomena for her intercession with Our Lord. She really interceded in a huge way!

country ranch land
The land site of the future home!

Update: We are now in our new home on the ranch.

 

A Few Ways to Honor St Philomena

If you’re looking for special ways of honoring this powerful Saint, here are a few suggestions to get you started.

A priest friend of ours who has a special devotion to St Philomena received a special little miracle of his own.

While traveling through Italy with senior students, he was given the opportunity of offering mass at the shrine of St Philomena! This is something that is not allowed. But through prayers and her intercession, it was granted to him!

What a special grace and blessing.

She really does work wonders for those who are devoted to her.

Priest offering mass at the shrine of St Philomena
Father offering mass at the shrine of St Philomena in Italy. (Photo credit: Fr. Borja)

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22 Comments

  1. Thanks so much for sharing about St Philomena,I know her for so many years now,she has done so many miracles for me and my family.i am currently spreading her devotion.Thank you so much St Philomena

  2. Thank you St Philomena, your post has inspired me to Start a devotion to St Philomena. Thanks for sharing

  3. I am blessed to have found your blog; I, too, am deeply devoted to St. Philomena and owe her a great deal. I am close friends with Fr. Borja and Sr. Maria Philomena, and I have my own story of St. Philomena’s amazing answers to prayers; I have even heard her 3 Knocks on the Wall in answer to prayers. I sent you a friend request on Facebook to get acquainted and stay in touch; how much do I owe this sweet Saint for all she has done for me! She does a LOT for me, and I am currently putting together a St. Philomena Traveling Statue Devotion together for our parish; Fr. Borja and Fr. Gregory both have St. Philomena Mass Vestments now that I commissioned a Religious Sister to make for them this past Christmas. I want to do more for her; I am really trying to get her to intervene in delivering myself and my daughter (a product of a rape) from the lifelong Abuse and Control Cycle I managed to get myself out of in 2006. Find me on Facebook, and I’ll tell you more; my screen name there is Teresa Mary Philomena (part of my Confirmation Name). Ave Maria!

  4. In a similar situation and stumbled upon your article! I will start a novena/prayers for her intercession Thank You

  5. Your story is very rewarding. I am very happy for you and your family’s blessings and level of faith. I did not know Saint Philomena but with your article and just the story of her life, is very inspiring and I already love her! I will like to start a closer relationship with her. I need her and I hope she can help me as well. I need a miracle in my life! God bless you always
    Sheila

  6. I say St. Philomena prayers daily and I continue to ask for her favors and help with all my concerns and wait for miracles to happen in my life my grandchildren life with their schooling. I thank her everyday for being in my life and helping me along the way. Help me pray for my healing with all my concerns

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