By Ashley Ambrosi, Student Writer
Saint Philomena, the patron saint of youth and babies, died on Aug. 10, 304, at the age of 13. She was canonized in 1837 and her feast day is Aug.11. An interesting fact is that she died on a Friday at 3 p.m. just like when Jesus did on Good Friday.
Philomena was a Greek princess whose parents converted to Christianity because one of their employees converted them. They were praying to pagan idols to conceive a baby, but it didn’t work. Once they were baptized into the Catholic faith, they conceived a baby girl, Philomena, which means “lover of strength!”
At a young age, Philomena took a vow of chastity. The Roman emperor at the time wanted to marry her but she refused, saying that she saved herself for Jesus. The emperor was not happy with her decision and decided to kill her.
First, he tortured her, then he tried to drown her with an anchor tied to her neck and then she was shot by three arrows. These attempts at death were a failure because she had angels at her side keeping her safe. Eventually she was decapitated.
The reason I chose her for my All Saints Day costume was because her story inspires me. The way she held onto her promise of chastity shows such strength for a 13-year-old girl. Her story is one that I can relate to and I know others will, too.
Life isn’t easy for many, as we all have our own battles and we all struggle at some point in our lives, but it’s not for nothing.
God has a plan for you and it might sound doubtful, but it’s true. He created you for a specific purpose that only you can accomplish. You were chosen by God to guide and help others, to set an example for people, and all those difficult times of your life are for you to know how to help others and guide them through their difficult times.
As a princess, Philomena could have had anything she wanted and she could have married an emperor and be one of the most coveted women in the world, but her promise and faith to God was enough to fill her heart.
God asks for us to trust Him and give up everything for Him because He has greater plans for us than we can ever imagine. She made her story known to us to show us that our battles can be fought and won, and we are not alone. We have angels praying for us and beside us, just like she did. It wasn’t a costume that I wore but it was her living through me.
Ambrosi, 16, won the All Saints Day Costume Contest at her parish, St. Sebastian’s Church, Woodside.