As we are already in Passion Week of 2019 and nearing Holy Week, here are some quick reflections to help our preparation for Good Friday and Easter. Let us consider how our dear little Saint Philomena can help us poor sinners here on earth to better prepare for the excruciating Passion and Death of Our Lord Jesus Christ in 3 simple ways:
1) Her Imitation of the Mother of God, Mary Most Holy
As all the saints say, the only and surest road to Jesus Christ is through His Mother Mary. True enough, our dear little St. Philomena, tortured brutally and thrown into prison to die, never ceased to have recourse to the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God, Mary our Mother. Our good Mother Mary graciously appeared to our dear little child-saint and comforted her physically and spiritually. The graces dispensed by Mother Mary,the Mediatrix of Graces, to St. Philomena were crucial in helping our martyr-saint face her painful execution at the very end, before her heavenly reward in Paradise.
Likewise, if we were to follow St. Philomena’s example and have recourse always to the Mother of Perpetual Help in joys and in sorrows, Our Lady will definitely give us the grace to bear our trials with patience and resignation, especially during this period of Lent. Our Lady will also teach us how SHE bore patiently with and meditated on the Sorrowful Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Her Divine Son. When we consider Our Lord Jesus Christ and His immense sufferings for us poor sinners, our tiny sufferings pale in comparison to what Jesus the God-Man suffered for us.
2) Her Chastity/Purity
Purity, the angelical virtue, as we all know, is something everyone of us can and should strive for. For God is Purity Himself and cannot bear the sight of one single stain of sin or imperfection. St. Philomena understood this truth very well despite being a girl of thirteen. She resolved to keep her chastity till the very end of her life, choosing martyrdom over riches as a result. Thus, if we want to know God and grow closer to Him, we have to work harder towards concrete steps to overcome impurity, such as prayer, fasting and a great devotion to the Virgin Mother of God.
3) Her Focus On Heaven
St. Philomena was a princess. The pagan Emperor even proposed to her, promising her wealth and honor in his kingdom in exchange for her hand in marriage. But did our dear little Saint accept the proposal wide-eyed and happily? No, she rejected the Emperor outright, choosing her own Spouse, Our Lord Jesus Christ on the Cross, instead. Hence St. Philomena was condemned by an irate Emperor to a similar fate as her Divine Spouse – a painful death. Yet, this brave child-saint endured all the unspeakable scourging, just as her Divine Spouse did, all for the love of God and His Holy Mother Mary. Heaven was St Philomena’s only goal. There were no short-cuts or compromises. And God certainly did not disappoint His faithful servant and took her to Heaven upon her death.
St. Philomena, Powerful With God, pray for us!