I would say that I am pretty blessed. I have been blessed with enough that sometimes I wonder why it is so. I am a regular person like anyone else. No significant talent to share with the world, no special gifts. But my life as it is now seems complete. And I cannot thank anybody else but God.
I was blessed with people in my life who support me and understand me despite my arrogance at times. I have a wonderful family who loves me. Though not truly perfect, I can say for sure that they got my back. I have been fortunate to know some true friends as well who would be there for me if ever I needed them. I hope to be able to do the same for them when they need me.
I was thinking about all of these today as I made my way to New York City to celebrate my brother’s 65th birthday. Yes. I am the youngest of 10 children. I grew up in a very religious family. I was raised Catholic and to this day, I still consider myself a practicing Catholic. I try to go to mass every Sunday (it is the highest form of praise – in case you didn’t know) and I try to follow church teachings as much as I could.
A friend of mine introduced me to a saint named St. Philomena. I did not know her before and I used to read books about saints all the time. She became very dear to me just recently because of a favor that was granted through her intercession. I was invited to join a 40-day novena to St. Philomena. In turn, I invited a friend of mine to join us as well.
Unfortunately, I missed a couple of days and then some more until I got so far behind, I was not able to complete the novena. But the friend whom I invited to pray with us carried on because of a favor she was praying for. At the end of the forty days, she sent me a message on Viber thanking St. Philomena for a favor she asked that was answered. I was so happy for her and the blessing that she received from praying the novena.
That story led me to read up on the life of St. Philomena. Hence, the photo of the cross, the arrow, and the anchor. If you came upon this blog post by chance and there is something you are asking for, try asking St. Philomena.
Here is a short version of the novena that you may pray for 9 consecutive days. Also, try reading about her online. You will understand why the cross, anchor, and arrow is very significant. Ask St. Philomena.
Novena to St Philomena (composed by St John Vianney)
O great St Philomena, glorious virgin and martyr, Wonder-Worker of our age, I return most fervent thanks to God for the miraculous gifts bestowed on thee, and beseech thee to impart to me a share in the graces and blessings of which thou hast been the channel to so many souls.
Through the heroic fortitude with which thou didst confront the fury of tyrants and brave the frowns of the mighty rather than swerve from thy allegiance to the King of Heaven, obtain for me purity of body and soul, purity of thought and affection.
Through thy patience under multiplied sufferings, obtain for me a submissive acceptance of all the afflictions it may please God to send me, and as thou didst miraculously escape unhurt from the waters of the Tiber, into which thou wert cast by order of Thy persecutor, so may I pass through the waters of tribulation without detriment to my soul.
In addition to these favours, obtain for me, O faithful spouse of Jesus, the particular intention I earnestly recommend to thee at this moment.
(state your petition)
O pure virgin and holy martyr, deign to cast a look of pity from Heaven on thy devoted servant, comfort me in affliction, assist me in danger, above all come to my aid in the hour of death. Watch over the interests of the Church of God, pray for its exultation and prosperity, the extension of the Faith, for the clergy, for the perseverance of the just, the conversion of sinners, and the relief of the souls in Purgatory, especially those dear to me. O great Saint, whose triumph we celebrate on earth, intercede for me, that I may one day behold the crown of glory bestowed on thee in Heaven, and eternally bless Him Who so liberally rewards for all eternity the sufferings endured for His love during this short life. Amen.
Oh St Philomena, virgin and martyr, pray for us so that through your powerful intercession we may obtain that purity of spirit and heart that leads to the perfect love of God. Amen.