Many saints have found themselves drawn to devotion to St. Philomena: John Vianney, Padre Pio, Frances Cabrini, Damien of Molokai, John Neumann, Peter Julian Eymard, Anna Maria Taigi. Once you meet St. Philomena, you likely will seek her out, too!
St. Philomena herself revealed her life story to Venerable Mother Maria Luisa di Gesù in the 1800s. The daughter of converts to the Catholic faith, she traveled with her parents to Rome for an audience with Emperor Diocletian, who was instantly smitten with her and demanded to marry her. She refused due to her consecration to God, despite the pleadings of her parents. Imprisoned for 40 days, consoled all the while by visits from the Blessed Virgin Mary, Diocletian resorted to having her lashed. Next, Philomena suffered an attempted drowning with an anchor in the Tiber River, but angels released her from the weight. Finally, in a rage, Diocletian commanded a team of archers to complete the murder. This beautiful, devoted Bride of Christ enjoys the splendors of heaven after a tortuous short existence on earth.
Philomena is the patroness of infants, babies, youth, priests, the imprisoned, young married couples, and distressed mothers. Her feast day is August 11.