NOTICE: I am a practicing Catholic, active and in good-standing with my local diocese, who professes faith and loyalty to the Church. This ministry - my "little work" - is strictly a personal expression of that faith and loyalty, and not an officially recognized ministry in the Diocese of Honolulu.

~ Peter, Ministry Administrator

Saturday, March 9, 2013

St. Philomena makes another friend!

God and our Saints never cease to astound me.  I've honestly experienced their extraordinary assistance  or  signs  of  their  spiritual presence in  unusual,  but always edifying ways... but what happened to me this morning was a first!
A close friend of mine contacted me yesterday to request prayers for his diabetic father who was hospitalized due to a sore in his leg that had developed into gangrene. So this morning, I spiritually prepared myself  for a hospital visit by attending morning Mass before returning home to pick out a Holy Relic to bring along for the planned pilgrim visitation. Usually, when I'm invited to visit the sick in a hospital or private home, I'm expected to include a relic of a Saint for the spiritual and moral comfort of the sick person, as well as to offer prayers invoking the healing intercession of the Saint.
Back at home, I stared into the large wood/glass cabinet that housed the relics in my ministry's custody. I had several options in regards to which Saint's relic to bring, but in the end, my choices were narrowed between a bone relic of St. Therese the Little Flower  and  an "indumentis" (clothing) relic of St. Philomena.  I was torn between the two, but finally decided on St. Therese because I thought the meekness of her "little way" would have a calming effect on the sick man, who has a somewhat "gruff" disposition. Decision made, I turned to walk away from the cabinet but thought to myself...
"St. Philomena... if it's meant for your relic to go instead, give me a sign
by knocking like how you're said to do at Mugnano."***
I don't really know why I second guessed myself and why those words came to mind, but no sooner did I take a step when I heard a gentle and distinct sound...

"Tap... Tap...."

It emanated from the cabinet beside me!  In complete surprise (and a little fearful, I have to admit), my heart literally stopped beating for a couple of seconds and I quickly turned to face the cabinet's glass window to look at the relic of St. Philomena inside. I quietly waited to listen for more tapping noises but that was it - no more tapping followed. I smiled to myself and thought, "Alright, St. Philomena... I guess it's your relic that's going today!"
The hospital visit that followed went very well and I could see it in the patient's face that the prayers we recited for his recovery brought him a measure of comfort and peace. When I explained the story of St. Philomena to the man, as well as the incident with the tapping sounds, he actually chuckled and took the little statue of the Saint that I also brought with me into his big hands... and pressed it gently to his lips several times.  St. Philomena had touched him.
I think our dear St. Philomena has gained another fan here in Hawaii and I'm not surprised.  She really is a lovable little Saint and her aid is very powerful indeed as her nickname - Powerful with God - suggests.  So now, more than ever, I am strengthened in my devotion to her - in ALL Saints, really.  I know they're alive and active in Heaven with God... and they want nothing more than to cooperate closely with us in bringing souls to the Love and Mercy of our Lord, Jesus Christ.
May God continue to  be praised and glorified through the lives... the works... and the intercession of his holy ones - the Saints!
*** NOTE: It's been reported at St. Philomena's official shrine in Mugnano del Cardinale (Italy), that the Saint sometimes makes her presence known to pilgrims through a knocking sound that originates from her tomb-shrine (above-right photo).

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