4. St. Philomena and the Cure of Ars
An important reason why the devotion to Saint Philomena is praiseworthy and highly recommended for every one of us is because this devotion has even been e practised by numerous great saints, one of them was the saintly Saint John Marie Vianney (otherwise known as the Cure of Ars).
Saint John Marie Vianney first learnt about the power and greatness of Saint Philomena through his friend, Pauline Jaricot. The latter was miraculously and completely cured of a life-threatening illness by Saint Philomena’s intercession . This miracle so completely stunned Catholic Europe that even the Pope called for an immediate inquiry into the cause of Saint Philomena. Indeed, Saint John Vianney was enraptured with a burning love of Saint Philomena when his good friend Pauline recounted to him her miraculous recovery – thanks to Saint Philomena’s intercession. Subsequently, Saint John Vianney embraced Saint Philomena’s relic that Pauline bestowed on him and promptly called for a chapel dedicated to Saint Philomena to be installed in his parish. From then on, Saint John Vianney regarded this virgin martyr as his Celestial Patroness and constantly invoked her in all his necessities.
It is a well-known and documented historical fact that countless conversions at Ars where Saint John Vianney was were attributed to the powerful intercession of Saint Philomena. One notable conversion story was the case of Monsieur Massiat of Lyon who was miraculously converted when he visited Saint John Vianney in his parish and was struck by an unspeakable force that urged him to eventually confess all his sins of his past life to Saint John Vianney. The saintly Cure exhorted a penitent Monsieur Massiat to give thanksgiving to Saint Philomena for Massiat’s miraculous conversion.
Also significant is the fact that Saint John Vianney himself was miraculously cured of a fatal illness that seemed to cripple every ounce of life in him – again, thanks to his Celestial Patroness Saint Philomena. It was said by observers that the Cure of Ars was mumbling the holy name of Saint Philomena and most likely had a vision of the glorious virgin martyr.
To all who would like to learn more about Saint Philomena and her glorious attributes, the Cure of Ars has written a beautiful litany to Saint Philomena for the edification of souls and the Glory of God.