Sanctuary of Saint Philomena in Mugnano del Cardinale – see her Prayer and Image

Santuario Di S.Filomena, Piazza Umberto I, Mugnano del Cardinale, Province of Avellino, Italy

Website of the Sanctuary

+39 081 825 7294

Sanctuary of Saint Philomena

International Shrine of Saint Philomena wherein rests her Sacred Body of Saint Philomena. The heart of the worldwide devotion to St. Philomena.

The Principal shrine of St. Philomena is in Mugnano, Italy (Sanctuary of St. Philomena, Mugnano del Cardinale, Avelino, Italy) The bones of the saint have been placed in a waxen figure which rests in a magnificent case, the front of which consists of a crystal plate, allowing visitors to see the image clearly.

Sanctuary of Saint Philomena in Mugnano del Cardinale - see Prayer and Image

This shrine is on the left side of the church in front of the chapel where the blood of the saint is preserved. The figure is clothed in silken robes. On one finger is seen a very large gold ring, set with a giant topaz, one of the several gifts of Pope St. Pius X.

The Shrine also known as the Sanctuary holds:

  • the Sacred Body of St. Philomena,
  • the tiles from her tomb,
  • the Miraculous Altar,
  • the Miraculous Statue which exuded oil,
  • the chair that Ven. Pauline Jaricot was sitting on when she received her miracle.

See our Top 15 catholic shrines around the world.

See more Italian Catholic shrines and Basilicas

See more European Catholic Shrines and pilgrimages

St Philomena’s most illustrious pilgrim was Pope Blessed Pius IX, who celebrated the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass at her Altar on November 7, 1849.

St. Philomena

There are no biographic records of Saint Philomena. Her life, as a matter of fact, begins with the finding of her body and with the beginning of the signs to her devotees.

Therefore, the first records about the Saint are the ones that start with the finding of her tomb in Priscilla’s catacombs, to the translation of her body to Mugnano del Cardinale and the beginning of her providential influence in Church life.

Sanctuary of Saint Philomena in Mugnano del Cardinale - see Prayer and Image

The attempt to write a resounding biography of Philomena has to be considered as an inspired devotional act by the ancient passions of real or presumed martyrs of the early Christian period.

Her arrival at Mugnano will give birth to a season of graces and miracles, confirmed by pontifical documents, from Leo XII to Pius XI, who will accompany the spreading of her cult.

In this way the XIX century is enriched by yet another supernatural intervention that will strengthen the ecclesiastic life projected into the third world in the company of martyrs and confessors.

Symbols on the tomb
On the three stones that sealed the tomb, as well as the inscription
LUMENA – PAX TE – CUM FI
there were the following symbols: two anchors, three arrows, a palm, a lily

What’s striking is the richness of the symbology. The first terracotta tile was walled in the wrong order, altering the exact inscription which is PAX TECUM FILUMENA 

Finding of the body

The finding of Saint Philomena’s body happened on May 25, 1802, which was the second year of Pius VII’s pontificate.

On May 24, 1802, the fossors who worked to free Priscilla’s catacombs from materials and rubble built up over the centuries had reached its centre, not far from the Greek Chapel, very close to the skylight.

One of them, who remains unknown, when removing the soil from one of the tunnels, hit some tiles which had kept a niche closed.

On these tiles, in a perfect state of preservation, there was drawn a palm, one of the signs or symbols of martyrdom.

Following the instructions received by Mons. Ponzetti, the worker stopped and went to report his finding to Fr. Filippo Ludovice, a second caretaker.

Sanctuary of Saint Philomena in Mugnano del Cardinale - see Prayer and Image

On May 25, 1802, Ludovici, accompanied by many witnesses, one of whom was another priest, went down in the catacombs and, under his supervision, the fossor kept digging, finding the funeral stone of a small tomb which looked like one of an adolescent.

The venerable relics were carefully wrapped in five wrappers and stored in a duly authenticated wooden box.

They were transferred with the usual formalities to the Relics Treasury in Rome, while the tiles were transferred first to the College Massimo of the Jesuits in Rome and then to the Museum of the Christian Antiquities in the Vatican.

Sanctuary of Saint Philomena in Mugnano del Cardinale - see Prayer and Image

Pray to Saint Philomena

“Whatever you ask from her, She will obtain for you.” -Pope Gregory XVI

Credited with countless miracles and intercessions since discovery of her tomb in the most ancient catacombs of St. Priscilla in Rome in 1802,
St. Philomena is prayed to by people of diverse ages, culture and social standing around the world.

The young virgin who was martyred at age 13, willingly traded her earthly life for heavenly salvation and continues her work today promoting the virtues of purity and sanctity among the world’s youth and bringing the faithful closer to our Blessed Mother and Jesus Christ.

It would seem she was held in quiet reserve by God for nearly seventeen centuries and summoned at a time when so much uncertainty and absence of faith abound.

The shrine

The church was built 1580-1600 in honor of Our Lady of Grace. Her statue is situated above the high altar and dates back to around 1750, the face of Our Lady and the Baby Jesus has never been restored.

The ceiling of the church depicts the story of Our Lady, which has been restored in 1717 and again in 1995. The Sanctuary of St Philomena, Virgin Martyr and Wonder-worker, was following the translation of her sacred relics in 1805.

From the very beginning the Sanctuary became a place of pilgrimage. Devotees of the Saint flocked to this shrine in order to pray before her relics.

The Ven. Pauline Jaricot, founder of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, came on pilgrimage in 1835 and was cured of a fatal illness while at the Shrine.

A 30-year restoration program was begun by the present Rector, Msgr. Giovanni Braschi, the beautiful Sanctuary Church been sympathetically redecorated, a comfortable pilgrimage centre has also been created for the spiritual life of the Sanctuary.

It is now able to provide accommodation for devotees who wish to spend some time at the feet of St Philomena.

Sanctuary of Saint Philomena in Mugnano del Cardinale - see Prayer and Image

The construction of the Sanctuary of Saint Philomena or the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie was begun in 1617 and completed around 1630 thanks to funds raised from cutting the woods of Vallicelle.

The church was built in the shape of a Latin cross with a nave, an elegant dome, Renaissance style and an altar adorned with precious and rare marbles.

Dome

The church was built in the shape of a Latin cross with a nave, an elegant dome, Renaissance style and an altar adorned with precious and rare marbles. Depincted inside the dome are the 4 evangelists, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John

Doors

The bronze door of the Sanctuary of Saint Philomena was sculpted by William Savini and donated by the municipality of Mugnano del Cardinale. The portal consists of 6 panels in bas-relief depicting the history of the Sanctuary.

The first panel of the door on the left shows the construction of the Church of the Madonna delle Grazie. In the central panel depicts the translation of the sacred body of St. Philomena, while in the third panel is reproduced Cure of Ars that promotes the glories of Saint Philomena.

The first panel on the right shows Saint Philomena protecting the country of Mugnano del Cardinale. In the central panel depicts the miracle of Pauline Jaricot occurred on 08th august of 1835. In the last panel at the bottom there Saint Philomena with the royal family of Naples and the Popes wishing the hope of peace for the family of Saint Philomena.

the base of the portal shows the year of construction and the symbols of Saint Philomena and the symbol of the city of Mugnano Cardinal.
The portal was blessed by Cardinal Luigi Poggi in the jubilee of 2000.

Museum

Finished 1995 to represent the martyrdom of saint Philomena by the Rector. Statues from 1850’s existed in the sanctuary

Ceiling

The central hall of the shrine is surmounted by a wooden plank in Baroque style of the early 1600 (XVII century),the author is unknown. The lacunar is made of 9 panels including 3 central and 6 lateral.

The three central panels represent the glory of Mary: the first panel depicts the dormitio, the central Mary’s Assumption into heaven, and the third the coronation. The six lateral panels represent the most important moments of Jesus’ and Mary’s life. In other rectangular panels are shown the theological virtues.

The dresser has been restored in 1717 by De Pascalis.

The Oil of Saint Philomena

In 1805 when the Sacred Body of Saint Philomena was in shrine in Mugnano del Cardinale, it was the custom to burn an oil lamp in front of the body of a Martyr or Saint. As the word spread rapidly of this Virgin Martyr who had a arrived in Mugnano del Cardinale many people came to the church to pray.

One such woman was from a local town, full of faith in God, she dipped her finger in the oil lamp and anointed the eyelids of her blind child. To the astonishment of all present, the child’s sight was immediately restored. This miracle took place 8 days after her body arrived in Mugnano, August 18th 1805, and has been recorded as the first Miracle of the oil from the lamp which burns in front of the Sacred Body of St Philomena.

Prayer to St. Philomena for use with her blessed oil

O St. Philomena,
Virginal bride of Jesus and daughter of Mary Immaculate,
As we bless ourselves with your holy oil,
we invoke your powerful intercession
for heroic purity of heart
and the perfection of Christian love.
May its use strengthen our souls and heal our bodies
according to God’s perfect will.
Dear St. Philomena, model of purity and icon of courage,
especially for the youth of today,
pray for us that God may grant to our hearts
a martyrs courage under persecution,
A holy purity of mind and body,
And a heroic love for Jesus,
our divine Lord and Master.
Amen

Feast Days

Celebrated at the Sanctuary

  • January 10th – Celebration of the Birthday of St. Philomena with local external celebration and fireworks.
  • Second Sunday – Feast of the Patronage and the Annual Blessing of the Oil. Morning procession to the 10 am Mass and Blessing of the Oil with the Bishop.
  • May 25th – Discovery of the body of Saint Philomena in the Catacombs of St. Priscilla in Rome.
    Solemn Mass at 10 am and 7 pm
  • June – Second Sunday – Feast Celebration of St. Anthony. Weekend of external festivities with Solemn Mass Celebrations.
  • July – Second Sunday – Feast Celebrations of Our Lady of Grace. Weekend of external festivities with Solemn Mass Celebrations.
  • August – St. Philomena Feast Celebrations all month.
    • Feast celebrations begin on the 10th through the second Sunday. With external festivities, processions and Solemn Mass celebrations.
    • 10th – Liturgical Feast of St. Philomena within the local diocese of Nola. Translation of the Sacred Relics from Rome to Mugnano.
    • 11th – Worldwide Feast day of St. Philomena.
    • Second Sunday – Principle Feast Celebrations.
    • Morning of Battenti processions – not to be missed! Afternoon procession of the Miraculous Statue throughout the town, ending with solemn Mass.
    • 13th – Celebration of the name of Philomena within Italy. Known as “Onomastico.”
    • Last Sunday – Consecration of children to St. Philomena, continuously throughout the day

Source: philomena.it

The Oil of Saint Philomena

In 1805 when the Sacred Body of Saint Philomena was enshrine in Mugnano del Cardinale, it was the custom to burn an oil lamp in front of the body of a Martyr or Saint. As the word spread rapidly of this Virgin Martyr who had a arrived in Mugnano del Cardinale many people came to the church to pray.

One such woman was from a local town, full of faith in God, she dipped her finger in the oil lamp and anointed the eyelids of her blind child. To the astonishment of all present, the child’s sight was immediately restored. This miracle took place 8 days after her body arrived in Mugnano, August 18th 1805, and has been recorded as the first Miracle of the oil from the lamp which burns in front of the Sacred Body of St Philomena.

Feast Days

Celebrated at the Sanctuary

  • January 10th – Celebration of the Birthday of St. Philomena with local external celebration and fireworks.
  • Second Sunday – Feast of the Patronage and the Annual Blessing of the Oil. Morning procession to the 10 am Mass and Blessing of the Oil with the Bishop.
  • May 25th – Discovery of the body of Saint Philomena in the Catacombs of St. Priscilla in Rome.
    Solemn Mass at 10 am and 7 pm
  • June – Second Sunday – Feast Celebration of St. Anthony. Weekend of external festivities with Solemn Mass Celebrations.
  • July – Second Sunday – Feast Celebrations of Our Lady of Grace. Weekend of external festivities with Solemn Mass Celebrations.
  • August – St. Philomena Feast Celebrations all month.
    • Feast celebrations begin on the 10th through the second Sunday. With external festivities, processions and Solemn Mass celebrations.
    • 10th – Liturgical Feast of St. Philomena within the local diocese of Nola. Translation of the Sacred Relics from Rome to Mugnano.
    • 11th – Worldwide Feast day of St. Philomena.
    • Second Sunday – Principle Feast Celebrations.
    • Morning of Battenti processions – not to be missed! Afternoon procession of the Miraculous Statue throughout the town, ending with solemn Mass.
    • 13th – Celebration of the name of Philomena within Italy. Known as “Onomastico.”
    • Last Sunday – Consecration of children to St. Philomena, continuously throughout the day

Feast Days

Celebrated at the Sanctuary

  • January 10th – Celebration of the Birthday of St. Philomena with local external celebration and fireworks.
  • Second Sunday – Feast of the Patronage and the Annual Blessing of the Oil. Morning procession to the 10 am Mass and Blessing of the Oil with the Bishop.
  • May 25th – Discovery of the body of Saint Philomena in the Catacombs of St. Priscilla in Rome.
    Solemn Mass at 10 am and 7 pm
  • June – Second Sunday – Feast Celebration of St. Anthony. Weekend of external festivities with Solemn Mass Celebrations.
  • July – Second Sunday – Feast Celebrations of Our Lady of Grace. Weekend of external festivities with Solemn Mass Celebrations.
  • August – St. Philomena Feast Celebrations all month.
    • Feast celebrations begin on the 10th through the second Sunday. With external festivities, processions and Solemn Mass celebrations.
    • 10th – Liturgical Feast of St. Philomena within the local diocese of Nola. Translation of the Sacred Relics from Rome to Mugnano.
    • 11th – Worldwide Feast day of St. Philomena.
    • Second Sunday – Principle Feast Celebrations.
    • Morning of Battenti processions – not to be missed! Afternoon procession of the Miraculous Statue throughout the town, ending with solemn Mass.
    • 13th – Celebration of the name of Philomena within Italy. Known as “Onomastico.”
    • Last Sunday – Consecration of children to St. Philomena, continuously throughout the day

The shrine

The church was built 1580-1600 in honor of Our Lady of Grace. Her statue is situated above the high altar and dates back to around 1750, the face of Our Lady and the Baby Jesus has never been restored.

The ceiling of the church depicts the story of Our Lady, which has been restored in 1717 and again in 1995. The Sanctuary of St Philomena, Virgin Martyr and Wonder-worker, was following the translation of her sacred relics in 1805.

From the very beginning the Sanctuary became a place of pilgrimage. Devotees of the Saint flocked to this shrine in order to pray before her relics.

The Ven. Pauline Jaricot, founder of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, came on pilgrimage in 1835 and was cured of a fatal illness while at the Shrine. A 30-year restoration program was begun by the present Rector, Msgr. Giovanni Braschi, the beautiful Sanctuary Church been sympathetically redecorated, a comfortable pilgrimage centre has also been created for the spiritual life of the Sanctuary. It is now able to provide accommodation for devotees who wish to spend some time at the feet of St Philomena

The construction of the Sanctuary of Saint Philomena or the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie was begun in 1617 and completed around 1630 thanks to funds raised from cutting the woods of Vallicelle.

The church was built in the shape of a Latin cross with a nave, an elegant dome, Renaissance style and an altar adorned with precious and rare marbles.

Dome

The church was built in the shape of a Latin cross with a nave, an elegant dome, Renaissance style and an altar adorned with precious and rare marbles. Depincted inside the dome are the 4 evangelists, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John

Doors

The bronze door of the Sanctuary of Saint Philomena was sculpted by William Savini and donated by the municipality of Mugnano del Cardinale. The portal consists of 6 panels in bas-relief depicting the history of the Sanctuary.

The first panel of the door on the left shows the construction of the Church of the Madonna delle Grazie. In the central panel depicts the translation of the sacred body of St. Philomena, while in the third panel is reproduced Cure of Ars that promotes the glories of Saint Philomena.

The first panel on the right shows Saint Philomena protecting the country of Mugnano del Cardinale. In the central panel depicts the miracle of Pauline Jaricot occurred on 08th august of 1835. In the last panel at the bottom there Saint Philomena with the royal family of Naples and the Popes wishing the hope of peace for the family of Saint Philomena.

the base of the portal shows the year of construction and the symbols of Saint Philomena and the symbol of the city of Mugnano Cardinal.
The portal was blessed by Cardinal Luigi Poggi in the jubilee of 2000.

Museum

Finished 1995 to represent the martyrdom of saint Philomena by the Rector. Statues from 1850’s existed in the sanctuary

Ceiling

The central hall of the shrine is surmounted by a wooden plank in Baroque style of the early 1600 (XVII century),the author is unknown. The lacunar is made of 9 panels including 3 central and 6 lateral.

The three central panels represent the glory of Mary: the first panel depicts the dormitio, the central Mary’s Assumption into heaven, and the third the coronation. The six lateral panels represent the most important moments of Jesus’ and Mary’s life. In other rectangular panels are shown the theological virtues.

The dresser has been restored in 1717 by De Pascalis.

There are no biographic records of Saint Philomena. Her life, as a matter of fact, begins with the finding of her body and with the beginning of the signs to her devotees.

Therefore, the first records about the Saint are the ones that start with the finding of her tomb in Priscilla’s catacombs, to the translation of her body to Mugnano del Cardinale and the beginning of her providential influence in Church life.

The attempt to write a resounding biography of Philomena has to be considered as an inspired devotional act by the ancient passions of real or presumed martyrs of the early Christian period.

Her arrival at Mugnano will give birth to a season of graces and miracles, confirmed by pontifical documents, from Leo XII to Pius XI, who will accompany the spreading of her cult.

In this way the XIX century is enriched by yet another supernatural intervention that will strengthen the ecclesiastic life projected into the third world in the company of martyrs and confessors.

Symbols on the tomb
On the three stones that sealed the tomb, as well as the inscription
LUMENA – PAX TE – CUM FI
there were the following symbols: two anchors, three arrows, a palm, a lily

What’s striking is the richness of the symbology. The first terracotta tile was walled in the wrong order, altering the exact inscription which is PAX TECUM FILUMENA 

Posted in Europe and Italy