Friday, July 31, 2009


“Chastity means the successful integration of sexuality within the person and thus the inner unity of man in his bodily and spiritual being. Sexuality, in which man’s belonging to the bodily and biological world is expressed, becomes personal and truly human when it is integrated into the relationship of one person to another, in the complete and lifelong mutual gift of a man and a woman. The virtue of chastity therefore involves the integrity of the person and the integrality of the gift.” (1)

Single people and married people are obliged to be chaste. Our Lord warned the Pharisees for their hypocrisy on insisting on the external ritual of washing their hands but neglecting their interior movements of the heart from which come evil things such as adultery and fornication. St. Paul’s letters reminds the Corinthians about the demands of Christian morality as they adjust to their new lives in the Lord. (2)

SAINT FOR AUGUST – St. Philomena


FEAST DAY – AUGUST -various days

Our saint, St. Philomena, martyr and virgin, could have been Joseph Joubert’s inspiration for his thoughts on chastity:
“ Chastity enables the soul to breathe a pure air in the foulest places. Continence makes her strong, no matter in what condition the body may be. Her sway over the senses makes her queenly. Her light and peace render her beautiful.” (3)

St. Philomena had been born in the 3rd Century A.D. to royal Greek parents who were converted to Christianity and soon after they became pregnant with a daughter whom they named Filia luminis, daughter of light. She was the light of faith for them who had been childless. When she was a very young woman, her father had to plead with the Emperor in Rome for help and in exchange for aid, the Emperor asked for his beautiful daughter. She refused Emperor Diocletion who so desired her. She would not sacrifice her virginity to him even for the sake of her parents’ well being, as she had promised herself to the Lord. St. Philomena had to endure foul prisons and the most foul and sensual Diocletion and finally martyrdom.

Her life was partially revealed when her tomb was discovered in 1802 as workers were excavating the Roman catacombs. On her tomb were 3 tiles with the words "Filumena, pax tecum" or "Philomena, peace be with you."

Also were carved the lily and the palm, symbols for virgin and martyr, along with symbols describing her martyrdom: an anchor, a scourge, 3 arrows pointing away from the martyr and one with fire in the tip. She had endured a drowning attempt and a public scourging naked in front of a raucous crowd. She had been shot with arrows, some with fire in them, and finally she was beheaded. (The arrows pointing away indicated that the arrows, miraculously, did not touch the Saint but returned to hit the bowmen.)

Her relics were presented to a priest in a parish in the kingdom of Naples who had asked for them. Before they were given to him, he had been cured of a sudden illness. Other miraculous cures followed. Pope Gregory XVI declared her to be the Wonderworker of the 19th Century. St. John Mary Vianney, the Cure of Ars, called her the New Light of the Church Militant and attributed to her all that he had accomplished.

St. John Mary obtained a small fragment of her relic around 1815 and his devotion to her entered his life and that of his parish. She was his "Beatrice, his ideal, his sweet star, his guide, his comforter, his pure light." His "ardent and almost chivalrous love" was beheld by his flock and the many pilgrims who came for his spiritual direction. He would exhort them to call upon "his dear little saint, his consul, his representative, his agent with God." No doubt he was St. Philomena's knight promoting her cause. (4) (His feast day is August 4.)


Note: Private revelations to Mother Mary Louisa of Jesus from St. Philomena have received the imprimatur, as there is nothing contrary to faith. There is no official acceptance of this private revelation, but they may be circulated as they do corroborate what is seen on St. Philomena’s tomb.

Meditate on the Passion of the Redeemer and compassionate Him who alone suffered intensely. I only suffered a little because Jesus Christ had suffered for us.”

Recite the Creed three times: once for the perseverance of the just, once for the conversion of sinners, and a third time for the return of heretics and infidels to the faith.”

We realize we are before God as so many vases of honor, some larger, some smaller. The vases of our souls dilate according to the desire to love God that we had when we were on earth.” (5)


Excerpts from
St. Philomena, filled with the most abundant graces from your very birth, pray for us
St. Philomena, faithful imitator of Mary, pray for us
St. Philomena, model of virgins, pray for us
St. Philomena, example of strength and perseverance, pray for us
St. Philomena, invincible champion of chastity, pray for us
St. Philomena, scourged like your Divine Spouse, pray for us
St. Philomena, pierced by a shower of arrows, pray for us
St. Philomena, protectress of innocent, pray for us
St. Philomena, patron of youth.

Composed by St. John Mary Vianney (6)


Hail, O innocent Philomena, who, for love of Jesus, preserved the lily of thy virginity in all its brightness. Hail, a illustrious Philomena, who shed thy blood so courageously for Jesus Christ.
I bless the Lord for all the graces He granted thee during thy lifetime, and most especially at the hour of thy death. I praise Him and glorify Him for the honor and power with which He has crowned thee, and I beseech thee to obtain for me from God the graces I request through thy intercession.
Saint Philomena, beloved daughter of Jesus and Mary, pray for us who have recourse to thee! Amen. (7)


1. Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1994, #2337
2. The Catholic Catechism, John Hardon, S.J., Doubleday,1975, page 381
3. The New Dictionary of Thoughts, Standard Book Company, 1960
4. The Cure D'Ars, Abbe Francis Trochu, 1977, Tan Publishers, pages 260-262
5. www.
6. ibid.