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Catholic Youth In Action: Patroness Saint Philomena




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This year’s World Youth Day theme comes from Saint Paul’s exhortation in his Letter to the Philippians: “Rejoice in the Lord always” (4:4). Joy is at the heart of Christian experience. At each World Youth Day we experience immense joy, the joy of communion, the joy of being Christian, the joy of faith. This is one of the marks of these gatherings. We can see the great attraction that joy exercises. In a world of sorrow and anxiety, joy is an important witness to the beauty and reliability of the Christian faith. The Church’s vocation is to bring joy to the world, a joy that is authentic and enduring, the joy proclaimed by the angels to the shepherds on the night Jesus was born (cf. Lk 2:10). Not only did God speak, not only did he accomplish great signs throughout the history of humankind, but he drew so near to us that he became one of us and lived our life completely. In these difficult times, so many young people all around you need to hear that the Christian message is a message of joy and hope!
Source: mes_20120315_youth_en.html



Visit the Vatican’s website for more information on World Youth Day:

Celebrating World Youth Day in the United States. The 27th Anniversary of World Youth Day



The "National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry, Inc." is pleased to present these resources for the U.S. celebration of World Youth Day. Renewing the Vision (USCCB, 1997) challenged those involved in ministry to and with youth to develop a comprehensive approach that integrates young people into the life and mission of the parish community. The National Celebration of World Youth Day, annually celebrated on the 30th Sunday of Ordinary Time in the United States, offers all involved in youth ministry an opportunity to highlight the gifts and joys that young people and youth ministry bring to faith communities across the country. Overview [from Preparing for the National Celebration of the 27th World Youth Day © Center for Ministry Development. Used with permission.]
In 1985, Pope John Paul II invited young people across the world to join him in Rome to observe the United Nations International Year of Youth. Since that momentous occasion, young people from every continent have gathered to celebrate the global church and their Catholic unity. The theme for World Youth Day 2012 as set by the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, comes from St. Paul’s letter to the Philippians, "Rejoice in the Lord always!"
In honor of American young people and the distinctive gifts they share with our faith communities, our bishops declared that U.S. Catholic parishes and schools will observe World Youth Day annually on the 30th Sunday of Ordinary Time (October 28, 2012). This particular Sunday is intended to highlight the presence, energy, and diversity of youth and is an opportunity for the entire faith community to join in affirming the gifts of the young Catholic Church.
This extended event provides Catholic parishes and schools with resources and suggestions for celebrating World Youth Day locally through the celebration of the Eucharist. In preparing for this annual event, young people are invited to collaborate with other parish leaders in the planning, preparing, and participation of this day.
Additionally, parish leaders are encouraged to provide training opportunities for youth to learn skills necessary to serve their communities in the various ministries of the liturgy. Suggestions for Preparation Because World Youth Day is intended to celebrate the gifts of youth in your community, the following suggestions feature young people in the weeks leading up to your parish celebration. Post photographs of youth in a prominent area of your parish such as the church gathering space or community center. List young people’s names and where they go to school, any special skills and talents, and how they may have volunteered in the parish and greater community. Also include a written response from the following quote from each youth, “My joy comes from...” Host a learning session for your parish community on the Renewing the Vision –




A Framework for Catholic Youth Ministry document (USCCB, 1997).

This document provides the guiding vision for youth ministry in parishes in the United States. Introduce the parish community to the themes and components of comprehensive youth ministry presented in Renewing the Vision. Divide participants into smaller groups and have them work on a vision statement for the parish’s ministry with young people. Assist youth in designing a special invitation to be mailed out to the community inviting all to participate in the parish World Youth Day liturgy. Be sure to include the theme for the celebration "Rejoice in the Lord Always!" Ask your pastoral council and other committees if youth may make a brief presentation at their gatherings to promote upcoming retreats, service projects, or other events in their ministry. Likewise, invite members of the pastoral council to present to youth how their ministry fits into the overall pastoral plan for the parish.
Invite the pastor of your community to write an open letter to the youth of the parish describing why they are important ambassadors of faith to the rest of the community. Share this letter in your church bulletin, at the liturgy, or give a printed copy directly to each youth.
Host a "Meet the Youth Night" and invite the parish community to come meet and mingle with the youth of their church. Encourage youth to prepare a video presentation of all the activities of youth ministry from the past year. Invite families to bring potluck dinner items to share.
Create a video that includes interviews of youth from your parish. Capture youth vocalizing the importance of belonging to their faith community and how their participation at church helps them grow in their Catholic spirituality. In keeping with the theme, have youth fill in this sentence: "How my faith gives me joy..." Post this video to your parish website or youth ministry Facebook page. If possible, show the video before or after Masses for the entire community to see. (More suggestions are contained in the resource, click to view/download the acrobat pdf file.)
Visit the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops website for more information on World Youth Day:


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Novena in honor of Saint Philomena V.M.

by Don Francis De Lucia, First Rector of the Sanctuary of St. Philomena, Italy (translated from antique Italian and taken from his book)This should be devoutly recited to prepare for her Feast and to obtain the desired graces.



Purest Young Virgin, most faithful disciple of the Gospel and very powerful Martyr of Jesus Christ, You, who were full of grace and purity, enriched with faith and power in a faithless and corrupted world, and especially in Rome, where the throne of idolatry, tyranny, and every infernal superstition, and the cradle of all the most deforming vices could be found, this idolatrous city was nothing else but a horrible Babylon of prostitution; and you in the center of the capital of the pagan and corrupted world, managed to keep yourself strong in the faith, and pure for your heavenly Spouse until the last breath of your life was sacrificed for the many atrocious martyrdoms; we pray to you for all of your highest merits to implore for us from the throne of the merciful heavenly Father the gift of perseverance of faith, and purity of mind and body, and to let us die with the grace of Jesus Christ. So be it.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be and Creed.



Very powerful Martyr, and most faithful Virgin of Jesus Christ, in order to preserve intact and immaculate the treasure of purity and faith for our God, accepted to be drowned in deep waters with anchor tied around your neck till suffocated, you were freed by heavenly Spouse: we humbly ask your intercession, so that in times of deep suffering, sorrow, and anxiety that continuously surround us, we be strong, and freed from the guilt of our faults, freed from the death of our souls, and avoid being drowned in the waters of temptations. So be it.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be and Creed.



Beloved Bride, and resolute Martyr of Jesus Christ, You that in order to remain permanently virgin and strong in the faith, accepted to be exposed to the eyes of many filthy and wicked pagans in the idolatrous Rome, and in order to defend the virginity and doctrine of the Gospel renounced the delights of the flesh, the pleasures and the pomp of the world, the life of your own perfectly pure body, and exposed yourself to the flogging of leather and metal rings, and so under deluge of cruel lashings you were covered in sores and blood, and became very similar to your divine Loved one; implore for us miserable sinners, the necessary strength to live far from the stain of sins, and to die constant in the faith of the Roman Church, like You, no matter the pain, dishonour and even death itself. So be it.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be and Creed.



Zealous warrior for virginity and faith of Jesus Christ, for the unconquerable and cheerful firmness that you showed by exposing your virginal body three times in Rome to hold fast to the Doctrine of Jesus Christ and true to your purity, you accepted to be pierced by sharp and cruel arrows. In this way you gained many palms and decorations, as many as the mortal wounds that you bore for your Heavenly Spouse: grant us fragile observers of the divine law the strength necessary for our eternal wellbeing, so that with holy patience we tolerate all the suffering and grief of this life, and all the infernal arrows and darts fired against our souls by the temptations of the devil.


Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be and Creed

Final Prayer

Illustrious and Glorious Martyr and Bride of Christ your Heavenly Beloved was not satisfied with the atrocious martyrization that you had to endure so he did not allow death to extinguish your precious life in order that you could continue your sufferings and bitter fight amidst wounds, blood and pain and so by keeping you alive you were ready for fierce attacks and terrifying provocations to grant you more immortal victories, palms, triumphs and wreaths. In this way He made you a more admirable bride before the angels in the Kingdom of his Glory and more distinguished among crowned and triumphant martyrs. For this Heavenly Council you were put in chain and were dragged in front of the tyrants of Rome to be tempted yet again against purity and faith; your inhuman enemies in desperation to bring your pure and faithful heart under submission, condemned you to be beheaded and so, covered in garlands and graces you were taken glorious and triumphant into the reign of your Spouse.

In this Holy Novena we implore you to gaze on us from the greatness of your heart, console us with a sign that you have accepted our humble homage which we have offered you, and grant us the graces for which we ask, only if they will help us in our eternal life, and any other graces which from Heaven you think we may need to free our souls from eternal death, even though we deserve it for all our grave sins. We hope to be consoled by your celestial charity. We bless with profound devotion the holy trinity who on this earth preceded you with blessings of purity, faith, perseverance and of many others that made your life so holy on earth and glorious in heaven where you were taken victorious and triumphant against atrocious enemies and amongst many trials, helping you with His gifts we thank the Immaculate Virgin Mother of Jesus Christ, Queen and Comfort of Martyrs who with her maternal and powerful assistance allowed you to overcome all your mortal torments.

This we hope with the veneration of your merits and the joyful remembrance of your triumphs


Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be and Creed.


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