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St Filumena

Saint Filumena

 

Little is known about the life of St. Filumena. However, it is believed she was a Greek princess who became a virgin martyr and died at 13-years-old. Her remains were discovered in May 1802 in the Catacomb of Priscilla. Three tiles enclosing the tomb bore an inscription, Pax Tecum Filumena (“Peace be unto you, Filumena). Her feast day is celebrated on August 11th each year and she is the patron saint of babies, infants and youth.

 

All that is known about St. Filumena's life comes from a Neapolitan nun's vision. Sister Maria Luisa di Gesu claims St. Filumena came to her and told her she was the daughter of a Greek king who converted to Christianity. When Filumena was 13-years-old, she took a vow of consecrated virginity.

 

After her father took his family to Rome to make peace, Emperor Diocletian fell in love with Filumena. When she refused to marry him, she was subjected to torture. Filumena was scourged, drowned with an anchor attached to her, and shot with arrows. These symbols are now often associated with St. Filumena. Each time she was attacked angels took to her side and healed her through prayer. Finally, the Emperor had Filumena decapitated. According to the story, her death came on a Friday at three in the afternoon, the same as Jesus.

 

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