A wonderful conversion through the intercession of St. Philomena the Wonder Worker

This story comes from Sydney, Australia.  It is related by the mother of the boy, who is the recipient of the favour.

When one of our teenage sons began drinking heavily, smoking pot and being involved with a heavy metal rock band, my husband and I decided to give him over to the care of Saint Philomena, who we had heard was a patron saint of youth and a wonder worker.  We had heard her story and had been impressed by the many miracles which had been attributed to her intercession.

We prayed a novena and went to our first Mass in her honour.  As the Saturday night binges progressed to the whole weekend and then to week nights we decided to pray the novena continuously, imploring Saint Philomena desperately as our son’s condition continued to worsen. By this stage he would come home from work and prowl around restlessly until the phone rang and then he was out again. His pores oozed the sweet/stale smell of beer continuously.

Usually he was very gentle – even when he was drunk, but he became more agitated, blaming us for filling him with all the “God stuff” as he was growing up.  This occurred on the Saturday night of the August Mass in honour of Saint Philomena. The week that followed was very distressing.  He went off to work on the Friday at 5am as usual and I was surprised when he came home at 1.15 p.m. – his usual home time on Fridays, but lately he had gone straight to the pub and we were lucky to see him all weekend.  My son came out of his room and put a broken CD into the bin. I was again surprised and so had a look at the title of the CD. He had dozens of heavy metal CDs. It was named “Diabolos Music.” I said, as I had often said, that means Devil’s music and that it was dangerous.  Usually he would laugh if off, but this time he said “I know mum.”

He brought out the printed lyrics of the song and said that the words to this song kept going through his mind and that he felt that he was going mad, but that he was at peace now. I was almost too scared to ask him why? how?  when? I just asked if he had called on God and he said “Yes.”  At work that morning he had experienced an overwhelming sense of peace and love. A feeling of great burden had lifted off him.  He felt the presence of a woman.  He looked around but there was no one there.

My son still had the music filling his head – so I gave him a much better tape to listen to. When his mate rang that night, before he left, he asked us to pray for him and said that he would not be

late. After a couple of Rosaries and Divine Mercy Chaplets, we were disappointed as the night wore on, because our son did not turn up.  Finally around 2 to 3am he came in.  My husband hurried out and I started another Rosary – hoping that my husband wouldn’t ruin the obvious start that my son had made.  When my husband finally came back to bed a few hours later, he said that they had been talking and praying the Rosary together.

My son had waited back to make sure that his friends got home safely. He wanted to go and tell them about his experience. They were not interested and as he listened to them, all he would hear was “hate” in their talk. That morning August the 15th was the feast of the Assumption.  He went to the Sacrament of Confession and afterwards he shed many tears.  Our eyes were also filled with tears of joy. He went to three of the four Masses that weekend and did so for many months after.

He has never drunk alcohol, smoked pot, nor has he listened to heavy metal rock music since that time.  He threw out all his CDs and heavy metal T-shirts.  His conversion was sudden. We felt that it was miraculous. He now has a great love for Jesus and Mary, for Saint Philomena, the Pope and for the Catholic Church.

Looking back now we can see the strong spiritual battle that was going on for him in those last few weeks.  He even said a couple of times that he was tempted to go and kill someone.  We continue to pray the novena to Saint Philomena for our son for his continuing conversion and thanksgiving and “with joy in our hearts, we will bless God who is admirable in His Saints.” Our son attended the World Youth Day in Rome.  (M.W.)

Editor’s note: This conversion took place in the late nineties and is still going strong today.

This is one of the many story in my book entitled: Help from Heaven (Answers to Prayer), which can be read free on-line by clicking here.

Please pop over and have a look.  I promise that you will not be dissappointed.

Help the Holy Souls in Purgatory and read inspiring testimonies of their  powerful intercession for their benefactors

and then teach this devotion to others, so that they will pray for the Holy Souls in Purgatory as well.

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St Anthony’s bread

True son of St Francis that he was St Anthony had a great love for the poor and even now he still continues to help them by encouraging the devotion known as St Anthony’s bread. This is a very old devotion too and it had its origin in Padua as the result of another miracle.  

 

A little child whose parents lived near the Basilica, which was then being built fell into a vessel of water and drowned. The poor mother was heart broken but great as was her grief she had a greater confidence in the power of St Anthony. She begged him to help and give her back her babe promising that if her prayers were heard she would give the child’s weight in grain to the poor. Towards midnight while the bereaved mother was still praying the child rose up as if from sleep. After this miracle the practice developed of promising alms to the poor in return for favours received through the intercession of the saint. Today this practice is widespread and in most of our churches boxes are provided to receive alms for the poor from those who have been assisted by this great friend of the poor. 

 

Great impetus was given to this devotion by a simple incident that occurred towards the end of the last century. A pious French girl Louise Bouffier who owned a small linen store in Toulon, found difficulty, one morning, in opening the door of her shop. After repeated efforts she sent for a locksmith, whose assortment of keys proved useless. Deciding that the lock must be forced, the man departed to get tools for the purpose. While he was away, Louise prayed earnestly to St. Anthony, promising him bread for his poor if the door was opened without injury to the lock. When the locksmith returned she asked him to try his keys once more, telling him of her promise to the Saint. The man did as she asked, and with the first key he tried, opened the door without any difficulty. 

 

This incident greatly strengthened Louise Bouffier’s confidence in St. Anthony.  She increased her devotion to him, always promising bread to the poor.  Her friends followed her example with the result that, in a short time the rear of her store became a centre for St. Anthony’s Bread in Toulon. People of all ranks and conditions came there to pray before the statue of St. Anthony which had been erected.  

 

Alms of bread arrived in great quantities, until the task of distributing it became too difficult. Then it was decided to accept money offerings for the poor, who were thereby enabled to purchase not only food, but clothing and other necessities. The thank-offerings also took the form of alms for the education of poor boys for the Priesthood

 

More customs in honour of St Anthony

 

A tip from my dentist

Gargling with hot salt water can reduce gum disease. My daughter who is a dental nurse told me that she sees many people with beautiful white teeth, but terrible gum disease because they brushed their teeth well, but did not know that the gums needs brushing too, so they will lose those beautiful white teeth soon. Important note: Discuss this with your dentist, in case he has special advice on the matter for you. (Only use one teaspoon of salt, any more than that could leach and cause other problems for you including blood pressure).

Two more hints:  If you have a dental problem pray for and to the   Holy Souls in Purgatory and to St Appollonia to help you, as well as doing all that you can regarding the problem.