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ST. PHILOMENA STATUE 8.5" Saint Philomena is venerated as a virgin martyr saint of the Roman Catholic Church, said to have been a young Greek princess martyred in the 4th century. Her veneration began in the early 19th century after the archaeological discovery in the Catacombs of Priscilla of the bones of a young woman, which were interpreted as those of a martyr. Nothing else was known about her, but an inscription found at the tomb was taken to indicate that her name was (in the Latin of the inscription) Filumena; corresponding to the English name Philomena. The remains were removed to Mugnano del Cardinale in 1805 and became the focus of widespread devotion, with several miracles credited to the saint's intercession, including the healing of Venerable Pauline Jaricot in 1835, which received wide publicity. Saint Jean Vianney attributed to her intercession the extraordinary cures that others attributed to himself. Accounts of her life and martyrdom circulated on the basis of visions of a Neapolitan nun. Her liturgical celebration was never included in the General Roman Calendar for universal use, but, beginning in 1837, it was approved for some places. The 1920 typical edition of the Roman Missal included a mention of her, under August 11, in the section headed Missae pro aliquibus locis (Masses for some places), with an indication that the Mass to be used in those places was one from the common of a Virgin Martyr, without any collect proper to the saint. On 14 February 1961, the Holy See ordered that the name of Saint Philomena be removed from all liturgical calendars that mentioned her. Accordingly, the 1962 Roman Missal, the edition whose continued use as an extraordinary form of the Roman Rite is authorized by the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum, also has no mention of her. The spread of devotion to her in France as well as in Italy was helped when Saint John Vianney built a shrine in her honour and referred to her often, attributing to her the miracles that others attributed to himself. Another help was the cure of the near-dying Venerable Pauline Jaricot, founder of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, at Philomena's shrine on 10 August 1835 Another miracle accepted as proved in the same year was the multiplication of the bone dust of the saint, which provided for hundreds of reliquaries without the original amount experiencing any decrease in quantity.
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