Archive for the ‘Philomena’ Category

Universal Living Rosary Association of Saint Philomena News, March 2011

March 29, 2011
Monday, March 28, 2011
Dear Director Melvin,

Greetings from the ULRA Leyte!

We have just received intact two forex boxes coming from you last February.
Thank you so much for the beatiful rosaries and other materials for the
mission. We will send you as soon as possible the other registration forms
comimg from the different arch/dioceses of the Philippines. I keep on giving
talks and other inputs about St. Philomena to our promoters especially our
new members of the association. Until now we don’t have yet an Archdbishop
in our Archdiocese since Pope Benedict named Archbishop Jose S. Palma, DD.,
a new Archbishop of the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Cebu. We have our new
Archdiocesan Administrator named Rt. Reverend Msgr. Jaimie S. Villanueva,
H.P. We will have also to plan activities for the coming feast of our Patron
Saint Philomena. Many of our devotees requesting for the Holy Chord and OIL
of St. Philomena, I hope you can give us little of it for us especially for
the sick members.

Archdiocese of Palo – B. Gelson D. Abecia. MMC
Archdiocese of Jaro – S. Monica Pisuena
Diocese of Naval – S. Bonifacia Sevilla
Diocese of Novaliches – S. Mariette Hererra
Diocese of Malolos – S. Elsa Manalili
Diocese of Calbayog – S. Gloria Balaga

This are the Arch/Dioceses having ULRA devotions through the combined
efforts of our active volunteer promoters. Thank you so much to Our LORD,
Blessed Mother MARY, St. Philomena and Blessed Marie Jaricot.

In St. Philomena,


Dearest Mamma Patti

I take these photos during my preaching of the Living Rosary in the school
of Jbeil in Lebanon, it is a poor school, they were very encouraged to take
the scapular Brown, the Miraculous Medal, and to enroll in the Living Rosary
and the scapular Brown.

Your son, slave of the Immaculata
John Kayrouz

Saturday, March 26, 2011
Dearest Patti,

Please here comes a TESTIMONY from one of our Leaders, MRS. PAULINA AGYAPONG,
– B/A., GHANA, and I quote:-

My daughter got some strange swelling on her leg. The pain from the swelling
increased almost every minute. Everyone believed the sickness could only be
cured by Native Doctors because the pain increased so severely. Though she
received series of medical treatment, the pain and swelling persisted. I
applied St. Philomena Holy Oil on the swollen spot while my daughter was
still receiving treatment at the hospital on admission, by invoking St.

One midnight in a vision, my daughter said, a very young beautiful Lady
visited her bed, picked the Holy Oil on her locker and anointed the swollen
spot. The young Lady then moved from bed to bed and anointed all the other
patients in the ward. The Lady put the container back on the locker, and
then picked my daughter's Rosary lying by her side and placed it on my
daughter's Chest and finally disappeared from the ward.

In the morning total healing was experienced by all the Sick in the ward and
wonderfully all of them were discharged from the hospital the same day. Even
the Doctors and the Nurses in charge were taken by surprise. Yes, the
swelling which people thought could only be cured by Native Doctors alone
got completely healed. The young Lady, we believe is ST. PHILOMENA. Thanks
to GOD!!!

Anthony Foster Oduro

Dear Patti Melvin,

With heartfelt gratitude I acknowledge the packet of 22nd.February 2011. I
am really overwhelmed by the spiritual treasures that came out from this
packet. It contains two DVDs, Rosaries, Scapulars, Oils of St. Philomena,
Pray the Rosary Daily ,St. Philomena Booklets, Daily Duty, Sheltering the
Divine Outcast, nice pictures of St. Philomena, Holy Cards etc, and above
all the love you have for us cannot really be expressed. Thanks so much for
your love, and for praying for me. I do feel the power of it daily. Rest
assured that I am praying for you.

Since I got the DVDs I have watch it five times, and I feel as to watch it
every day because it is really spiritually refreshing and enriching. It has
made a great impart in my spiritual life. It has deepened my faith in the
Eucharist. Some of my Sisters have watched it and more will still watch it
especially the young people. I have given one to a priest to watch and to
show his parishioners. I will send one to the College so that the Students
can also watch and be spiritually enriched; there is a lot there to be
learned. I had never heard of the miracle of Lanciano until now. Thanks be
to God for the gift of St. Philomena to the Church, and for the gift of Ven.
Marie Pauline Jaricot of Jesus Christ, and for the gift of you Dearest Patti
Melvin to us, for continuing with this great mission of the propagation of
the Catholic Faith. Our immense thanks to you and the producer. May God
bless and continue to inspire you of new ways of drawing souls to Jesus and
the Mother Mary.

It is a pity on our own part that we are not able to contribute financially
due to poverty and unemployment that is in our Country. There are families
who are not able to sponsor their children in Schools. So, I continue to
pray for those men and women of good will who are contributing financially
on our behalf. May God bless and reward them.

Sr. Mary Florence Angwe
St. Joseph's Convent Shisong
North West Region
West Africa

I am happy to inform that we held a St. Philomena's novena on 21/03/2011 at
Bandirippuwa, Sri Lanka. This was the first novena held here with the
association of 10 Universal Living Rosary Association of Saint Philomena
(ULRA) members. we have 45 members at Bandirippuwa and rapidly growing. I
should thank to Fr. Andrew Udayadas for assisting us. He does such a great
job to promote living rosary in Sri Lanka. God Bless.

Ranja Fernando.
Sri Lanka

Thursday, March 24, 2011
Dear All,

I have been reading about the miracles attributed to the Miraculous Medal
and would like to share my own wonderful experience with you.

I am a mother of three, current ages 23, 22, 16, from London, England.

My parents were lapsed Catholics who had me Christened and then apart from
family weddings didn’t attend church at all. I married a Catholic man and
although we both held deep belief and faith in Catholicism we were not

Like my own parents, we had our children baptised but were otherwise
completely lacking in our attendance to Mass. When our two eldest children
reached the age for first Holy Communion we began to regret our negligence
to their spiritual welfare and approached our local church for them to
attend classes to prepare them. They were welcomed with open arms by the
Catechist who gave all five of us a medal on a thread of blue cotton.

We had no idea of the history of the medals but we put them around our necks
One night my 8 year old son was unwell with a cold and a mild temperature.
He climbed into our bed so my husband went off into our son’s room. I awoke
in the early hours of the morning to go to the bathroom and returned to my
room. As I climbed back onto my bed I was astonished to see a beam of white
light, about the width of a pencil and about 4 feet in length, radiate from
the medal around my little boys neck. At the end of the light, appearing to
be almost suspended from the light was a perfect, miniature hand. This tiny
hand was approximately the size of a babies hand but had the appearance of
an adult hand. Draped over the hand was a miniature red rosary.

I knelt on my bed, afraid to blink or move and just stared until the vision
disappeared in about 30 seconds.

At that point in my life I had never before said the rosary, I had been
given one once when I was a teenager, but I had no idea how to pray with it
and I had lost it.

This was a turning point in all our lives and all of us have such faith that
I cannot describe.

I wanted to share this with you because I know the truth of The Miraculous
Medal and hope that you will keep up the work you doing by distributing

God Bless
Steve Menozzi
United Kingdom

Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Dearest Patti,

I ask my son to write this short news to thank you, your Staffs, and
benefactors for the Sacramentals you sent many months ago.

I also would like to let you know that I'm still alive and the spreading of
the Universal Living Rosary Association of Saint Philomena (ULRA) is going
on well in Timor. Priests and lay people do need more the holy Oil, MM,
rosaries, scapular, and if possible some Agnus Dei.

I'd also like to let you know that last week I got the worst stroke of my
right hand and now I'm still being treated at the hospital. Please pray for
me for my speedy recovery. I've asked some priests to pray for me in
celebrating The HOLY Mass .One of them came to hospital and blessed me. I
used Saint Philomena Oil and I do thank to St Philomena for her kind
intercession I'm still alive.

Please send us some more small and big bottles of our lovely Saint Philomena
Oil as now it is out of stock here. If possible, could I and family ask you
for some financial help? The medicine for stroke is very expensive. I and
family will be very thankful for your kind help. That is all for now, all
the best to you, staffs and all benefactors of ULRA.

Lots love and prayers,

Melikior Kari and Family

Dear Patti,

Thank you very much for your email. I have sent you a list of new devotees
especially from our new places like Pallisa with our promoter, Bruno and
others….a picture on Pallisa is attached to this note. The other box i got
the contents went off very quickly as many of the new devotees had been
waiting…so the Sacramentals you’ve promised will be very welcome.

I am doing very well. And glad to hear the Dedicated Decades magazine is
ready, meaning also our sister Patricia could now look into the pending tray
of ateso translations. Indeed i am blind as to what is received? Could dear
Patricia Frances update me…particularly i am waiting for way of the
cross…erot emusalaba, garment of grace, (anapito nak ajokusio), miraculous
medal (emidalit lok aumonokinata) and Litany To Immaculate Heart Of Mary (etau
lo meduk…) A scan for this is attached here.

I had asked for enlightenment on world happenings, and requesting for old
newspapers if available. You see dear Patti, apart from radio ESP b.b.c. Am
blank….thank you for the books you have been sending. Our members depend
on our centre for clarification

Lawrence Esiangu
Living Rosary Centre
East Africa

Click, here to see
document >>>

Mrs. Patti Melvin

Your Reverence;

Ave Maria !

Thank you so much !

We are very, very glad to receive the FOREX box that you sent us. I had just
informed Fr. John about it and he is very glad. I asked him to continue
recruiting for ULRA and send some pictures to you as soon as he can.

Sancta Maria,

Sem. Jose Enrique (Bro. Jose Maria) Gauzon

Makati City

Thursday, March 17, 2011
Dear Patti;

Greetings to you in the name of the Lord Jesus, whose suffering and death on
the cross we are remembering during this Lenten session may he, grant us the
grace to persevere in the work he has entrusted in our care.

I wish to very much appreciate your dedication and total self giving to
serving the people of God and drawing them closure to him through the
provision of the Sacramental especially Lira people who have been
traumatized by the attacks of the Lords Resistant Army (LRA). I have
received the Parcel and have given them, they send their appreciations and
prayers of thanks giving to you, and promised to keep you and the entire
association in prayer.

May the good Lord bless you abundantly.

I wish you a blessed Lenten season.

Yours in Christ and Mary.

From Sr.Celestine Lindrio
Missionary Sisters of Mary
Mother of the Church

Dear Patti;

Greetings to you in the name of the Lord Jesus, whose suffering and death on
the cross we are remembering during this Lenten session may he, grant us the
grace to persevere in the work he has entrusted in our care.

I wish to very much appreciate your dedication and total self giving to
serving the people of God and drawing them closure to him through the
provision of the Sacramental especially Lira people who have been
traumatized by the attacks of the Lords Resistant Army (LRA). I have
received the Parcel and have given them, they send their appreciations and
prayers of thanks giving to you, and promised to keep you and the entire
association in prayer.

May the good Lord bless you abundantly.

I wish you a blessed Lenten season.

Yours in Christ and Mary.

From Sr.Celestine Lindrio
Missionary Sisters of Mary
Mother of the Church

Good lord bless you mum, Patti! I sent many names and photos today! Bravo!!

I am just back from the Universal Living Rosary Association of Saint
Philomena (ULRA) mission in eldoret and it was wonderful! I preached the
whole Saturday night on Santa Filomena and enrolled them and prayed with
them and some of them are from Uganda and were happy!

I am going to Gilgil to the soldiers for consecration to the Immaculata 25th

Send us more prayer books and rosaries!

Forward ever and backward never! Viva Patti! Viva UlRA! Viva Santa Filomena!!
Viva Pauline jaricot! Am back again, i was so busy but now free for
Immaculata! Send me Santa Filomena and Immaculata anywhere!!

Ave Maria

Fr Patrick Mary Filomena

Wednesday, March 16, 2011
The story of Saint Philomena in Urdu, the official Pakistan language,
translated and produced here for your information by Universal Living Rosary
Association of Saint Philomena director, Afzaal Khokhar, for download-
Dear Mrs. Melvin,

Greetings! I just mailed some forms to you today for registration and I hope
the other ones I sent before have reached you.

Just some good news to share with you, on the occasion of the Ruby Jubilee
our Archdiocese the Holy Father through our Archbishop conferred the title
of "MONSIGNOR" ON FIVE OF OUR PRIESTS in recognition and gratitude for their
many years of generous priestly service in the Local Church and pleases God
I am one of them. Kindly join me to thank God and thanks immensely for your
prayers and kindness and support always, I appreciate very much.
Many thanks once more for the last parcel you sent everything is gone and I
need devotional materials, Rosaries, holy oils etc.

Many thanks in anticipation. Kindly remember me on the 5th of April which is
the 47th anniversary of my priestly ordination. With prayerful best wishes
for a happy Easter.

Mgr. Joseph Ayeah.
Catholic Mission Bambui,
West Africa

Teusday, March 15, 2011
Dear Sr. Patti,

Greetings from Fr Arun.

I'm very happy to inform you that I'm appointed a director of the
prenovitiate and vocation promoter in Bangalore. I will be in charge of 30
adolescents age ranging from 16-18years. They have to be formed, sent to
college so requires lot of spiritual, psychological and physical energy.
Besides I will be visiting many parishes in 5 dioceses to recruit vocations
every month on weekends.

So it’s a perfect place for me to promote our Universal Living Rosary
Association of Saint Philomena (ULRA) mission along with vocations. Given
this reality I would like to request your feedback on the following:

1. As they (pre-novices) join officially in the month of May, i would like
to prepare a ceremony where rosaries are blessed and offered very
symbolically by the parents to the sons and I would like to offer to the
parents as a priest.

2. The different pictures/Cards of the saints will be displayed and they
will choose any one favorite saint for life and imitate his/her virtue
lifelong which also enables them to have a lasting devotion. (Which many
have abandoned). I strongly feel that these devotions need to be encouraged
since saints and their values of lived life are so important.

3. Organize youth and parents and give a talk ULRA during vocational tour
and encourage the practice of the rosary.

4. Take Br Roche to some of the parishes (like I did before) and spread the
mission of ULRA.
I would be happy if you are able to send some ROSARIES, CARDS/PICTURES OF
prepared a little library for college students I can easily prepare the
library with space and furniture. If you feel the above vision and mission
is good, kindly do the needful.

Fr. Arun Kumar SJ
Victoria Layout
Karnataka State

Monday, March 14, 2011
Dear Patti,

I have this good news to share and feed you back with; Yesterday I had four
people, three Catholics and one non Catholic from Ntcheu. They came to thank
me for the bodily healing they had through the power of the holy oils,
medals and those other holy Sacramentals. Their names are; Mr. James Thengo,
Miss Janet Kamba, Margaret Banda and Thereza Ganizani (non Catholic). The
first one comes from St Peter Claver Parish, and the rest from Nzama Parish.

Thereza has convinced her husband and children to join Catholicism and are
all currently undergoing catechumenate. They are all very well and happy.
They are becoming so strong Catholics. In two places down South in Blantyre,
they are also asking me to go and see the wonders St. Philomena has done to
three young people who, for a long time, have been very sick. I don’t know
when I will see them because for long now we don’t have money in our Diocese
for our Pastoral work. This explains my inability to send you new Lists,
Feedbacks and photos. My Office has nothing so far. I will let you know of
new developments as soon as I manage to get some money for this purpose.
Good day!

Rev. Fr Remigius Lazarus Kasawa, DP
Bishop's House
C. Africa

Friday, March 11, 2011
Dear Mother Patti,

Glad to inform you that some lists went off this morning and a photo from
St. Benedict College Mvolye-Yaounde.

Last Friday I went to deliver enrolled students with their cards through
Rev. Sr. Philomène Zing who was to share the material to the perspective
students. It was about 300 students. The lists are on its way to you.

They plead that it appears in one of the Dedicated Decades magazines.

Please mum, could you ask Fr. David if he would like to participate in the
International Congress organized by the International Catholic Pastoral
Prison Ministry that shall take place in Cameroon from August 27 through
September 1st, 2011. The duration of the Congress will cost each participant
the sum of $300.00 payable on arrival in Cameroon. This amount includes
lodging and feeding.

Prayers are continuing.

Paul E. Ekpe

Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Dear Patti,

I am very sorry for the delay due to net work problems here.

Thanks immensely for your letter of 26Th January 2011. Thanks for the love,
the prayers, the Novena of Holy Masses offered for me. May God reward you
abundantly for me.

With immense gratitude I acknowledge the receipt of the DVD, Novena Cards,
copies of Pray the Rosary Daily, leaflets and a copy of To Jesus through
Mary in French. This will go to one of my Sisters who are in the French
speaking part of Cameroon. She too is a great promoter of Devotion to St.
Philomena in that part of the Country.

Thanks for sending me this DVD. I was so anxious to watch it. It is so
wonderful, educative, faith strengthening, so wonderful for ones meditation.
The pictures, music so beautiful. I will show it to the Community and also
copy it and send to some Priests. It is indeed nice. I want to confirm what
Anne Curren said about you " You are a Perfect Continuation of the Work of
Pauline Marie Jaricot". Courage! May God grant you more Wisdom and Strength
to carry out His work.

The story of the Pilgrimage of David Eaves and Co. to Lyon, is so touching,
after reading, I felt like making a pilgrimage to Lyon too. Well, I have
done it in spirit. Thanks so much for sending me the leaflet.

I started with the Novena to Ven. Pauline Jaricot on the 2ND. Of March 2011
for the healing of David and Steve. I shall make a pilgrimage of about 36km.
trekking on the 19Th of April 2011 and one of the intentions will be for the
healing of our Dear Friends David and Steve. We are united in prayer for
their healing. We entrust all to Jesus and Mary, and wait patiently for
God's Will to be done.

Thanks very much for all. I am praying for you and all your collaborators,
friends, all men and women of Good Will who are collaborating with you in
this Great Ministry entrusted to you by Christ Jesus.

Sr. Mary Florence Angwe
St. Joseph's Convent
North West Region
West Africa

Thursday, March 3, 2011
Dear Patti,

May the grace of Our Lord Jesus Christ be with you!

Hopefully you are fine in all your activities in spreading the word of God
in the whole world through your association of the Universal Living Rosary
Association of St. Philomena (ULRA). May Our Mother Mary protect you and
grant you all your heart's desires.

Thanks God I am fine in this beautiful place of mission with the Kipsigis
tribe. I have been meeting all the small Christians communities of the
Parish, sharing with them our faith, and devotion to the Sacred Heart of
Jesus together with the powerful intercession of Our Mother Mary and making
them to enroll. My last mail to you was more than 400 hundred devotees
enrolled to the ULRA. This coming year I have committed my myself to visit
all school that the Parish is sponsoring and I am facing some difficulties
because many students would like to get items about spiritual life. For that
reason kindly I request you once more to assist me in providing some items
from your association. Be sure that the only way I can pay you is through
prayer and more commitment to work hard with these students.

Yours sincerely

Sr. Socorro Garcia
East Africa

Tuesday, March 1, 2011
Dearest Patti,

This is to inform you that we have today posted to you the lists of 855 New
Members who are to begin their Assigned Decades on March 19th, 2011, The
Feast of St. Joseph, and Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mother Mary.

The packages of devotional Items to all these new members were also posted
to them at the same time today through their respective Leaders in various
Parishes by Special Express Mails as we normal do. Let us continue to pray
without ceasing for "with God all things are possible" May the Infant Jesus
of Prague heal all the Sick, the suffering and the sorrowful!!!! Amen and

Patti, ever since my poor health, the following Prayer to the Infant Jesus
of Prague has become one of my regular Prayers: O Merciful Infant Jesus! I
know of Thy Miraculous deeds for the Sick… in view of the innumerable
graces and the cures granted…. through the veneration of Thy Holy Infancy,
particularly in the Statue of Prague. I exclaim with the greatest assurance:
O Most loving…. Infant Jesus, Thou canst cure me if Thou wilt! Extend Thy
Holy Hands and by Thy Power take away all pain and infirmity. Amen.

Patti, after saying the above prayer, I do become so much encouraged and
consoled. I do also pray this for the sick and suffering. So we should
invoke The Infant Jesus in all aspects. Thank you very much for you advice,
support and your prayers for me and the work here at the St. Philomena's
House. Kindly Remember Me To All!!! Peace Be To You Patti!!! Pax Te Cum

Yours in Jesus and Mary,

Anthony Foster Oduro


News Flash from the Universal Living Rosary Association of Saint Philomena, Tuesday, February 15, 2011

March 28, 2011

Dear Fellow Devotees of Our Lady of the Rosary,In this February 2011 issue of our News Flash I have news to share with you about the Venerable Pauline Jaricot, who, as you know, founded both the Propagation of the Faith and the Living Rosary.Many of you have heard the lovely audio presentations by David Eaves on our website. David is from Wales. If you have not, I invite you to listen to his presentation about the Venerable Pauline Jaricot, Saint Philomena, the Rosary and the Brown Scapular. You will find David’s Audio presentations at the bottom of the pages on the sections, Foundress (Pauline Jaricot), Patroness (Saint Philomena), the Rosary and the Brown Scapular.

David Eaves has also spent the last two years producing beautiful recordings of the Holy Rosary for every day of the year. Each recording is filled with interesting information on the Saint of the day and the nicest spiritual meditations.

Sadly, David has been stricken with the most devastating form of brain cancer known.

In this News Flash you will find the story of David’s pilgrimage with Father Copsey and the Representatives of our England Center to Ars and Lorette, Pauline Jaricot’s home in Lyon, France. I have included a lovely prayer David put together which can be used for private use, but I wanted to share it with you because of its deep beauty. I know you will love it as much as I do.

We unite with David in praying for his cure which would be the miracle our holy foundress needs for her beatification. Still, always, we pray that the Will of God be done and that David be given the grace and courage to carry this huge cross with patience, love and trust. We reach out to his family with our prayers and a warm embrace.

I am also going to share with you news about a new organization formed at the home of Pauline Jaricot, Lorette, in Lyon France. I have included a letter from them as wall as the meeting minutes from their meeting in December, 2010.

As I close, I wish to remind you of the deep connections between the Venerable Pauline Jaricot and her friendship with St. John Vianney and their relationship with Saint Philomena.

St. Philomena, Ven. Pauline Jaricot and St. John Vianney – their separate lives were inspiring, but the three together were given miraculous rewards by God for their devotion to Him.

St. Philomena, Ven. Pauline Jaricot and St. John Viannney.

It is no coincidence that the official Feast of St. Philomena falls on the 10th of August, for that is the very day that the Great Miracle of Mugnano occurred and the day that St. Philomena granted the Venerable Pauline Jaricot a wonderful healing. It was the miraculous cure of Pauline Jaricot which led to Philomena’s being raised to the status of Saint.

Pope Pius XI canonized St. Jean-Marie Vianney in 1925 and named him “Patron of all Parish Priests” and said that his spirituality in its totality should be followed by them. This would necessarily include his deep devotion to St. Philomena.

The present Pope dedicated 2009 as the “Year for Priests” and has honored St. Jean Vianney by elevating him to be the “Patron of all Priests“. Because he was such a dear friend of the Ven. Pauline Jaricot, her cause for sainthood takes on new fervor. Pauline was not only the foundress of the Propagation of the Faith, she also founded the Living Rosary Association to promote faith through the united prayer of the Daily Decade of the Holy Rosary, and the distribution of good Catholic literature in the wake of heresy and persecution, which was rampant in her own day in the aftermath of the French Revolution.

These three lives are very closely intertwined in other ways. Note their influence on these Leaders of the Church:

  • Pope Gregory XVI raised Philomena to the status of Saint and also named her the Patroness of the Living Rosary Association. Pope Pius IX granted to her the glorious title: Patroness of the Children of Mary.
  • The Living Rosary Association founded by Pauline Jaricot in Lyon, France was approved and richly indulgenced by Pope Gregory XVI and accorded official canonical status on January 27, 1832.
  • On January 13, 1837, Pope Gregory XVI named Philomena, Patroness of the Living Rosary Association and declared her to be the “Thaumaturga,” the “Great Wonder-Worker of the Nineteenth Century.
  • The Confraternity of Saint Philomena was founded by Fr. Louis Petit in Paris and on November 30, 1886 his Holiness, Pope Leo XIII, raised this Confraternity of Saint Philomena based in France to the rank of Archconfraternity.
  • On June 16, 1907, the Supreme Pontiff Pius X, receiving in audience Fr. Petit, exclaimed, “…the great argument in favor of devotion to St. Philomena is the Curé of Ars. By her, in her name, and through her intercession, he obtained innumerable graces and continual prodigies.
  • Saint Pope Pius X named St. Jean Vianney Patron of the Archconfraternity of St. Philomena.
  • In an apostolic brief on May 21, 1912, Saint Pope Pius X extended the Archconfraternity of St. Philomena to the entire Church, by raising it to the status of Universal. He stated “All the decisions and declarations of his predecessors regarding St. Philomena should in no way be altered.

Saint Philomena’s influence was life-changing for both Pauline Jaricot and St. Jean Vianney. Pauline’s miraculous cure by St. Philomena on August 10, 1835 provided the impetus for formally elevating St. Philomena to the Altar. She then became the only person recognized as a Saint solely on the basis of her miraculous intercession.

When Pauline shared the story of her healing with her dear friend St. Jean Vianney (Curé of Ars, France) and bestowed upon him the relics of St. Philomena obtained from the Shrine in Mugnano, Italy, she prophetically said to St. Jean Vianney, “Have full confidence in this great Saint. She will obtain for you all that you ask.” Both St. Jean Vianney and Ven. Pauline Jaricot grew up in the same historical period and both suffered very much from the persecution of the Church during the French Revolution. Priests were hunted down and sent to prison if they would not take an oath to the State. Pauline, herself, was baptized at home by a priest faithful to Rome. The holy Curé saw in St. Philomena a New Light for the Church Militant.

Patti Melvin
Patti Melvin
Director of the Universal Living Rosary Association of Saint Philomena (ULRA).

Our Pilgrimage to Lyon, FranceAnne Curran, our representative from England wrote to give us the details of their pilgrimage:

We traveled from London to Lille, and on to Lyon by train. The tomb of Pauline is at St. Nizier, a very large old church, imposing and cold. We offered the Rosary at her tomb and then, after climbing hundreds of steps through old Lyon, we reached the Basilica of Fourviere where Pauline made her personal vow of virginity to the Most Sacred Heart. There, we had a stunning view over all of Lyon. We descended a short distance below to Lorette (the house of Pauline Please click here to learn much more about Lorette) where Sr. Catherine met us. The four Franciscan Sisters at Lorette were very kind to us. Together with members of the local church, they had been making a novena of prayers for David. We were invited to take part in the final day of this Novena in Pauline’s room.

Sister Pricilla showed us around the newly refurbished house of Lorette, which is being made into a museum. Each room is representative of Pauline’s different activities. There is a room with Pauline’s mission work, and another room with relics, as she loved relics. I was very struck by the similarity to the way Pauline worked and the way you work, Patti! I would truly say you are a perfect continuation of her work! The refurbishment of her grounds and the renewed interest in Pauline’s cause is being sponsored by the Archbishop of Lyon.

Lastly, we were taken to the room where Pauline died. This is a lovely room, full of atmosphere and with an amazing view over Lyon. When Pauline was dying she asked to be moved over to the window so she could look out over her beloved Lyon.

Just before breathing her last, Pauline raised herself up on her elbows and cried out: “Mary, My Mother, I am all Thine!”

I felt such peace and joy in that room. It was for me the highlight of our visit. We prayed the Rosary with the local people and the Sisters. We then attended the Mass at the chapel of St. Philomena at Lorette. I was told that the relic of St. Philomena in the chapel disappeared several years ago and there is none in Lyon. Pauline loved relics and there were so many, but not one of St. Philomena!

On 9th January, the anniversary of the death of Ven. Pauline Jaricot, we took a taxi to St. Nizier, where the Mass was celebrated by the Auxiliary Archbishop, Msgr. Thierry Brac de La Perrière. Msgr. Brac joined us in the Rosary before Mass, as did many parishioners. The Church was full! Pauline’s Heart is located a short distance from St. Nizier at the Church of St. Polycarp which is closed during the week and opened only for Sunday Masses. A Third Order Dominican lady, Emmanuela, helped us to get in at the side door and view the place where rests the Heart of Pauline. Her Heart is interred in cement in the wall of a side altar to St. Francis Xavier. There was literature about Pauline here in French.

It was a difficult trip for David and I very much admire his faith, good spirits and courage. On Monday, January 10, 2011, the day we celebrate St. Philomena’s birthday, we traveled to Ars. At the entrance to the small village is a large statue of St. Philomena pointing the way to the Basilica dedicated to her. Inside the basilica is a beautiful side chapel reserved to honor St. Philomena. What struck me most about the house of the Curé of Ars is its austerity and simplicity. When viewing his little room we could even smell charred wood where the devil had set fire to his bed. On the little altar by his bed was a relic of St. Philomena. At the other end of town was the wonderful statue of the Curé with the little boy who showed him the way to Ars. We were very lucky that few people were there, because in the Summer I would imagine the place to be absolutely packed with pilgrims.

We all received many special graces. I personally found the visit very inspiring and it has encouraged me on in spreading the devotion of the Living Rosary and the cause of Ven. Pauline Jaricot. David has not noticed any change in his condition, but we are all hopeful and will continue to pray for this. We are sharing with you some photos taken during our visit. We carried all of you in our hearts!”
Anne Curran, ULRA – ENGLAND

O Sacred and adorable Heart of Jesus! Furnace of Eternal Love! Ocean of Infinite Mercy! Consolation of the Afflicted! Refuge of Sinners! Hope of the World! I place my trust in Thee!

Fervently, I adore Thee and unite my heart, my affections and my supplications to Thy most admirable Heart. To me, Thou hast given Thyself with an ardor and vehemence of the deep truth of Thy Infinite Love and nothing gives Thee more honor than that I place my whole trust in Thy Love.

For this end, Thou wast pierced with a lance on the Cross and, for this purpose, Thou dost remain a daily Victim of Thine own Love on the Altar.

O infinitely compassionate Heart of Jesus, I humbly beg in Thy adorable Name and through the intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, for a perfect healing of my physical infirmity and the courage to accept from Thy Sacred Hands what is best for my immortal soul. I ask this favor in honor of thy faithful daughter, Ven. Pauline-Marie Jaricot, that through the Sacred Heart of Jesus, her victim heart and life of heroic virtue may be recognized by the whole Church.

Saint Philomena, Ven. Pauline Jaricot and Saint Jean Vianney who while on earth were particularly devoted to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, join your voice to mine as I implore the blessings of health of body and soul through thy intercession. I beg thee, likewise, from the adorable Heart of Jesus, which has dominion over all hearts, to have compassion on all those who are in the dread state of mortal sin, and to open to them all the treasures of Thy mercy at the hour of their death. Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place my trust in Thee, in Time and for all Eternity. Amen.

Persons receiving favors through the intercession of Venerable Pauline-Marie Jaricot, are asked to write or e-mail our Center. These will be submitted to Lyon, France in support of our dear Mother Pauline’s cause for sainthood.

(For private use only)

Words of St. John Vianney when he gave this cross to Pauline:
“My Sister, to try to get from under the Cross is to be crushed by its weight, but, to suffer it lovingly is to suffer no longer.”

Below, explore Lorette on Google Maps
View Larger Map

Les Amis de Pauline Jaricot (Friends of Pauline Jaricot)Dear Patti,

As you may be aware, last May we created an association called “Les Amis de Pauline Jaricot” in Lyon to promote the memory of our Venerable Pauline Jaricot. This was initiated by Nicole Eymard, whom you know. We have held regular meetings and have undertaken some actions, such as prayer meetings, historical research and conferences

I am the Secretary of this association and the President is the Archbishop of Lyon, represented by Msgr. Thierry Brac de la Perriere. Nicole is a member of our office, of course. Our meetings are held in “Maison de Lorette” in Lyon, the very house where Pauline lived.

We are all very impressed by your work and your energy and would like to strengthen our links with you. You will find here attached a translation of our objectives, an outline of the minutes of our last meeting (I did what I could to put it into English), and a list of our present members.

As I speak English (I lived five years in Atlanta Georgia), I will be glad to have your comments and correspond with you and the Universal Living Rosary Association, in the name of the “Les Amis de Pauline Jaricot” Association.

Best brotherly regards,
Bertrand DEAU.
Paris, France

Les Amis de Pauline Jaricot

Summary of minutes of the meeting held on December 15, 2010

  • Support the cause of the beatification of Pauline Jaricot,
  • Develop knowledge of Pauline Jaricot, founder of the Propagation of Faith and the Living Rosary, and initiator of a social approach rooted in the Gospel,
  • Clarify her charisma through the study of her writings, her spirituality and her missionary and social commitments,
  • Promote the publication and the translation of her works.

Outline of the Minutes of Dec 15, 2010 Meeting

The following members of the Association met on December 15, 2010 at 5 p.m., at Maison de Lorette, head office of the Association: Msgr. Thierry Brac de la Perrière (President), Msgr. Jean-Marie Jouham, Sœur Cécile Guérin-Boutaud, the Misses Katy Campagnolo, Marie-Dominique Escaron, Elisabeth d’Escayrac, Marie-France Eymard (Vice Secretary), Nicole Eymard (Vice Secretary), Brigitte Liogier de Sereys (Vice President), Valerie Peyraverney, Nicole Saby, Colette Tempere et Catarina Zuccaro (in charge of Communication), Messieurs Gaetan Boucharlat de Chazotte et Bertrand Deau (Secretary).

Main subjects covered:

  1. Increase the number of members – An announcement will be made by Brigitte Liogier de Sereys at the end of the mass celebrated by Thierry Brac de la Perriere at Saint Nizier church on January 9. Subscription forms will be distributed to the assembly.
  2. Recording the existing teams of the Living Rosary – Nicole Saby works on it with the Dominicans.
  3. Actions towards the poverty stricken people – Marie-Dominique Escaron makes several suggestions, such as micro-credit and assistance to small businesses.
  4. Recording of all existing documents – Nicole Eymard will continue her work with Mrs. Genin together with Pontifical Office for the Missions and Dominicans. Bertrand Deau will collect copies of letters of Pauline from archives of Missions Etrangeres de Paris, Jesuits in Vanves and Ursulines in Chavagnes en Paillers.
  5. Conferences on Pauline in 2012 – Prepare the content of a conference which will be given in several places by different people (such as priests or historians) during 2012, as that year has been consecrated to Pauline by Cardinal Barbarin.
  6. Simple booklet on Pauline – Monseigneur Jean-Marie Jouham, Colette Tempere and Katy Campagnolo progress well on the subject with the editor «Bayard Presse ».
  7. Monthly prayer reunion – Valerie Peyraverney and Catarina Zuccaro are congratulated for their organization of the prayer meeting every first Wednesday of the month. Valerie proposes the creation of a perpetual Rosary to be recited day and night around the world with two intentions: the sanctification of our priests, and the spreading of the gospel among the people of the earth.
  8. National Council of the teams of the Rosary with the participation of the international coordinator – The meetings are to take place in Lyon on March 25, 26 and 27 2011; the preparation is well under way by Nicole Saby, who is representing us.
  9. Social undertakings of Pauline – Work in progress by Bertrand Deau with the mayor of Rustrel, Roger Fenouil, the historical Association « Archipal » in Luberon, and Professor Daniel Murat (Avignon University) on the industrial undertakings of Pauline in Rustrel.

NewsFlash from the Universal Living Rosary Association of Saint Philomena, January 9, 2009

May 23, 2009
Universal Living Rosary Association of Saint Philomena
Cliccare quí per la versione Italiana
Our Lady, Queen of All Nations.

Dear Universal Living Rosary Apostle,

This marks the launch of our first ULRA NewsFlash. In an effort to increase communications among all of our members, I want to share with you a new resource we have on our Web site which features a Daily News section Link Out of reports and heart-warming stories from the Universal Living Rosary Association of Saint Philomena (ULRA) members worldwide. These stories illustrate the tremendous spiritual impact of the ULRA missionary work dedicated to Our Blessed Mother and Christ Jesus around the globe including in the Ukraine, Pakistan and India, as well as other important news covering the situations in the Gaza Strip and Congo , for which all of our prayers are greatly needed.

Please visit the Daily News section every day to view daily posts of inspiring testimonies from your fellow apostles. This will help you stay connected to your ULRA family members and share in a prayerful way in their joys, miracles, and tragedies. Please send me your news and include your personal story about your ULRA missionary work at

Pious Exercises of the Living Rosary
By Venerable Pauline Marie Jaricot – Summer of 1838
(Foundress of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith and the Association of the Living Rosary)

"The aim of the Living Rosary is to ask God, through the intercession of Our Lady of the Rosary, for the conservation of the Faith in Catholic countries, for the conversion of sinners, the strengthening of the just, and the exaltation of the Holy Church.

The people who join together for this pious exercise, divide among themselves the recitation of the prayers of the entire Rosary, and divide into groups of fifteen, in honor of the fifteen principal mysteries of our redemption. Their intention is to form, by the union of their hearts, as so many living rosaries which unceasingly recall to the Celestial Father the sign of salvation manifested to St. Dominic by the Mother of Mercies.

After Our Lady of the Rosary, the Association recognizes and honors as its Mediatrix before God, the illustrious Virgin and Martyr, St. Philomena, named by the Sovereign Pontiff, protectress of the Living Rosary.

Our Holy Father, Pope Gregory XVI, enriched this institution with numerous indulgences in favor of all the Catholic countries and gave it for a protector a pious Cardinal eminently devoted to the august Mother of God."
Please click here to read the full article >>>

Calling on Venerable Pauline Jaricot for Help
I purposely chose this day, January 9, to send our first New Flash to you on this, the anniversary of the day Pauline left us in the year 1862 to spend eternity in Paradise. As we are graced with another year and are faced with ever-challenging times including extreme economic strife for so many of our brothers and sisters, we are reminded of the financial hardships experienced by our very own foundress Venerable Pauline Marie Jaricot. She had tremendous financial difficulties at the start of this holy mission when thousands of dollars she raised through her reputable name were stolen from her never to be recovered. She was falsely accused by her persecutors who pretended to be holy people, but, by their actions, were not. Through her unwavering commitment and faith in Christ Jesus, she overcame unbelievable odds and successfully formed this association; she died a bankrupt woman and left behind a beautiful legacy, which now includes 11,329,394
apostles around the world. Pauline has rightfully gained her place as the patroness of those in financial distress. She is mother of the poor, advocate of debtors, and help to all those persecuted. She understands your plight and anxieties. You can call upon Pauline and she will hear your prayers, ease your burden and obtain for you the special graces needed to carry your heavy crosses with courage and hope.

In Pauline's words, one aim of the association is to seek God's help for the "strengthening of the just" through our shared devotion to the Holy Rosary and love of the Holy Church and our Lord. Let us remember to call on Pauline whenever we encounter difficulties and rest assured she is a guiding light for us all; with the help of our beloved Patroness, St. Philomena, our intentions will be lovingly placed at the foot of our Savior's throne. By joining our prayers with hers, we will shower Christ with our unending love and humbly serve Him in His mission of the salvation of souls.
Please click here to download the flyer with prayers >>>

Venerable Pauline Jaricot.

A New Year Greeting…
Let us combine all of our efforts as ULRA members to love very deeply our duty and understand the value of this work in the eyes of Our Everlasting God. Keep your spirits raised up at their highest and let your generous, compassionate hearts be ever the mainspring of your Catholic life bearing always in mind your first ideal — to be saviors, both of the body and soul. It is He alone whom you serve and for Him alone there can never be enough devotion, sacrifice, or renunciation.

Solidarity, charity, and fraternity are the marks of Christ's disciples. As we embark on another year of great sacrifice and suffering, we must be united always in prayer, in heart, in spirit and in the precious work to bring all souls to the Immaculate Heart of Mary through our Daily Decade in the Living Rosary. May St. Philomena, our Patroness and Protectress who art the Guardian Angel of our Association be always at your side! She will never fail you. Pray for one another without ceasing and take every possible opportunity to share with all souls this sacred, powerful and most needed devotion.
Please click here to read the whole message >>>

Saint Philomena.

May the joy of serving God, Our Father, fill your hearts always and be a shining example for millions of apostles throughout the world.

One through the Pure Heart of Mary,
Patti Melvin
Patti Melvin, ULRA Director
Please pray for me!

Gentile Apostolo del Rosario Vivente Universale,

Con questo segniamo l'inizio della nostra prima circolare ULRA NewsFlash. Nel tentativo di aumentare la comunicazione tra tutti i nostri membri, vorrei condividere con voi una nuova risorsa del nostro sito web che comprende una sezione di Notizie Giornaliere che tratta di storie e toccanti racconti da parte dei membri dell'Associazione di Santa Filomena del Rosario Vivente Universale (ULRA) in tutto il mondo.

Queste storie ci illustrano l'immenso impatto spirituale del lavoro missionario dell'ULRA dedicato a Nostra Madre Benedetta e Gesú Cristo nel mondo, compreso in Ukraina, Pakistan, e India, oltre anche ad altre importanti notizie riguardanti la situazione in Congo, per cui sono ampiamente bisognose tutte le nostre preghiere.

Vi invitiamo a visitare la sezione Daily News (Notizie Giornaliere) ogni giorno per visionare le ispiranti testimonianze da parte dei vostri fratelli apostoli. Questo vi aiuterá a rimanere in contatto con i membri della famiglia ULRA e a condividere in modo religioso le loro gioie, miracoli e tragedie. Vi invitiamo a mandarci le vostre informazioni incluso le vostre storie personali riguardanti il lavoro missionario dell'ULRA all'indirizzo

Esercizio Religioso del Rosario Vivente
Della Venerabile Pauline Marie Jaricot (Fondatrice della Societá; per la Propagazione della Fede e dell'Associazione del Rosario Vivente)

"Il fine del Rosario Vivente e di chiedere a Dio, con l'intercessione di Nostra Signora del Rosario, la conservazione della Fede nei paesi Cattolici, la coversione dei peccatori, il consolidamento del giusto, e l'esaltazione della Santa Chiesa.

Le persone che si uniscono per questo esercizio religioso, si dividono tra loro la recita delle preghiere dell'intero Rosario, e si suddividono in gruppi di quindici persone, in onore dei quindici misteri religiosi della nostra redenzione. Lo scopo é di formare, dall'unione dei loro cuori, altrettanti rosari viventi che ricordano incessantemente al Padre Celeste il segno della salvezza manifestatosi a S. Domenico dalla Madre delle Grazie.

Dopo Nostra Signora del Rosario, l'Associazione riconosce ed onora come sua Mediatrice davanti a Dio , l'illustrissima Vergine e Martire Santa Filomena, nominata dal Sovrano Pontefice, protettrice del Rosario Vivente.

Il Nostro Santo Padre, Paga Gregorio XVI, ha arricchito questa istituzione con numerose indulgenze in favore di tutti i paesi Cattolici ed ha assegnato come protettore un Cardinale pio ed assoluto devoto alla solenne Madre di Dio."
Clicca qui per visualizzare l'intero articolo>>>

Facciamo appello alla Venerabile Pauline Jaricot per chiedere aiuto
Ho scelto di proposito questo giorno, il 9 gennaio, per inviare la nostra prima circolare ULRA NewsFlash, in onore dell'anniversario in cui Pauline nel 1862 ci lasció per trascorrere l'eternitá in Paradiso. Benedetti con l'arrivo di un nuovo anno e dovendo fronteggiare le continue difficolta' di questi tempi compresa la difficile situazione economica di molti nostri fratelli e sorelle, ricordiamoci anche della dura esperienza finanziaria vissuta dalla nostra fondatrice Venerabile Pauline Marie Jaricot. Ella ebbe terribilli difficoltá finanziarie all'inizio di questa santa missione quando migliaia di dollari raccolti grazie al suo rispettabile buon nome Le furono rubati e mai recuperati. Per questo fu ingiustamente accusata dai suoi persecutori che pretendevano di essere persone religiose ma che dato le loro azioni non lo erano di certo.  Nonostante ció, con il suo risoluto impegno e fede in Gesú Cristo, riuscí a superare incredibili difficoltá e a fondare con successo questa associazione; morí che era in stato di bancarotta ma ha lasciato una bellissima ereditá, che oggi comprende 11,191,196 apostoli in tutto il mondo. Pauline si é giustamente guadagnata la posizione di Patrona di coloro che sono in difficoltá finanziarie. Ella é madre dei poveri, avvocata dei debitori e aiuto per tutti coloro che sono perseguitati. Ella comprende benissimo la vostra situazione e ansie. Potete fare appello a Pauline e lei ascolterá le vostre preghiere, attenuerá il vostro peso e otterrá per voi grazie speciali necessarie affinché possiate trasportare con coraggio e speranza le vostre pesanti croci.

Usando le parole di Pauline, uno degli scopi dell'associazione é di cercare l'aiuto di Dio per "il consolidamento del giusto" mediante la nostra devozione al Santo Rosario e amore per la Santa Chiesa e nostro Signore. Ricordiamoci di fare appello a Pauline ogni qualvolta incontriamo difficoltá e stiamo sicuri che lei sara' la luce guida per noi tutti; con l'aiuto della nostra Patrona, S. Filomena, le nostre intenzioni saranno amorevolmente poste ai piedi del trono del nostro Salvatore. Unendo le nostre preghiere alle sue potremo inondare Cristo con il nostro infinito amore e servirLo umilmente nella Sua missione di salvare le anime.
Cliccare qui per scaricare il volantino con le preghiere>>>

Venerabile Pauline Jaricot

Un messaggio di Buon Anno…
Uniamo tutti i nostri sforzi come membri ULRA per amare profondamente il nostro compito e comprendere il valore di questo lavoro agli occhi del Nostro Eterno Signore. Mantenete i vostri spiriti piu’ in alto possibile e lasciate che i vostri cuori generosi e clementi siano la sorgente della vostra vita Cattolica tenendo conto sempre del vostro primo ideale – essere salvatori, dell’anima e del corpo. é Lui solamente che voi servite e per Lui solamente non esisterá mai abbastanza devozione, sacrificio o rinuncia.

Solidarietá, caritá e fraternitá sono i segni dei discepoli di Cristo. Dal momento che stiamo per intraprendere un altro anno di grande sacrificio e sofferenza, dobbiamo restare sempre uniti nella preghiera, nel cuore, nello spirito e nel nostro prezioso lavoro per attirare tutte le anime al Cuore di Maria Immacolata mediante la nostra Decade Quotidiana nel Rosario Vivente. Possa S. Filomena, nostra Patrona e Protrettrice, che funge da Angelo Custode della nostra Associazione, essere sempre al nostro fianco! Non ci abbandonerá mai. Non smettiamo mai di pregare per ognuno di noi e usiamo ogni opportunitá possibile per condividere con tutte le anime questa sacra, potente e bisognosa devozione.
Cliccare quí per visualizzare l'intero messaggio>>>

Santa Filomena.

Possa la gioia di servire Dio, Nostro Padre, riempire i vostri cuori sempre e sia un esempio illuminante per milioni di apostoli sparsi nel mondo.

Per il Cuore Puro di Maria,
Patti Melvin
Patti Melvin, ULRA Director
Prega per me!


Universal Living Rosary Association of Saint Philomena

The Universal Living Rosary Association of Saint Philomena

Patti Melvin, Director
Universal Living Rosary Association
P.O. Box 1303, Dickinson, Texas 77539, U.S.A.
Fax: (281) 337-3722 / (281) 309-9821
web site by richard donley fox


NewsFlash from the Universal Living Rosary Association of Saint Philomena, March 19, 2009

May 23, 2009
Universal Living Rosary Association of Saint Philomena
Cliccare quí per la versione Italiana
Lent 2009.

A special message from Father Angelo Beda Ison, OFM, St. Savior’s Monastery, Jerusalem

My dear brothers and sisters of the Universal Living Rosary of St. Philomena,

As we continue on our Lenten journey with just a few weeks remaining, I wanted to share with you that I celebrate the Holy Mass on Calvary and at the Empty Tomb of Our Lord on the 13th of each month. I do this especially for the intentions of the Universal Living Rosary of St. Philomena and its volunteers, employees, missionaries and millions of members around the world (both living and deceased). Each month, Director Patti Melvin faithfully sends me a list of all of the members. I place this list of names under the corporal which was made by Terry de los Santos. I also celebrate a monthly novena of Masses at the various shrines in the Holy Land for all of you.

On Calvary, in the exact location where Our Lord suffered and died, I always stand in awe looking at the bloody Hands and Feet of Our Savior crucified. At the foot of the Cross, I see Our Blessed Mother’s sorrow while interceding for each of her beloved children. While at Our Lord’s Empty Tomb, the most holy place of the Resurrection, I pray for you, who patiently and silently continue the ministry of Our Lord by creating Rosaries, sewing Scapulars, stringing Miraculous Medals, and preparing packages. The Dedicated Decade booklets sent to the Living Rosary promoters around the world lift up our hearts and give us great strength to continue this sacred missionary work.

Let us all believe firmly that our prayers are heard by Our Lord. We are truly the sacred Hands and Holy Feet of Our Lord at this time and make it possible for Him to travel to our lost brothers and sisters. You have become the witnesses of Our Lord’s Death and Resurrection. When we reach out to an individual, we are making a world of difference in their life and just may be the only person who ever touches him/her with Christ’s message of faith, hope and love.

With hard work, assiduous prayer and the grace of God, we can attain our goals for 2009 to double our membership, focusing our attention on the messages of Fatima, supporting our missionaries and members in their sufferings and pain, increasing Scapular production, and increasing educational material for American families.

In this sacred time of Lent, let us ask Our Blessed Mother and our Patroness St. Philomena, to intercede for us and grant us the grace of an ardent desire for God’s Divine Love. Ever present in our lives, may He remind us that our objective during Lent is to obtain eternal salvation for ourselves, our families and our neighbors. He offers this freely to us through His Death and Resurrection.

Prayerful best wishes,

Father Angelo Beda Ison, OFM
St. Savior’s Monastery
P.O.B. 186
91001 Jerusalem

"The Funeral of Jesus at Calvary on the evening of Good Friday last year. The Franciscans re-enact the 13TH STATION OF THE CROSS, "JESUS IS TAKEN DOWN FROM THE CROSS." IT IS A SOLEMN RELIGIOUS PROCESSION which is attended by the Franciscans, local Christians, pilgrims and tourists on Good Friday. The almost life size statue of Jesus is taken down from the Cross and we, six Franciscan priests put the statue in a shroud and carry it down from Calvary to the Stone of Anointment where the Custos, the Provincial of the Custody of the Holy Land, puts the perfumed olive oil, incense and myrrh on the statue. Then, we carry the statue on the burial shroud to the actual Tomb while singing solemn Latin Gregorian chants on the death of the Lord." -Fr. Angelo
Father Angelo with Jim Caviezel.
Father Angelo with Jim Caviezel, (the actor from the movie The Passion of the Christ). Pictured in front of the Altar of Mary Magdalene Shrine, the place where the Lord appeared to Mary Magdalene on the Third Day, Sunday, the Day of the Resurrection. “It was a unique and rare occasion because I never thought of meeting Jim Caviezel in front of the actual Tomb of the Lord immediately after the very early Holy Mass at the Tomb of the Lord. The Mass intention for the Day was for the Universal Living Rosary of St. Philomena. Jim is a good practicing Catholic who is a devotee to the Blessed Mother and to Divine Mercy. We had a nice conversation.” -Fr. Angelo

Dear Apostle of Immaculate Heart of Mary of the Universal Living Rosary Association (ULRA),

I thought it was especially appropriate to send our third edition of the ULRA NewsFlash (e-newsletter) on the Feast of St. Joseph, beloved and Holy Spouse of Our Blessed Mother. The Holy Family is the one true model of how we should live our Christian life. As we enter the second half of the Lenten season, let us reflect on the great humbleness, courage and faith demonstrated by Mary and Joseph as they so willingly answered God’s call and obeyed His will to bring His only Son into the world for our salvation. In following the journey of Mary and Joseph, we can deepen our own understanding of the value and purpose of our Christian life.

During this time of self-denial, we rediscover the plentifulness of God’s mercy and we too, through our efforts to imitate Christ, can become more merciful. Prayer, fasting and almsgiving are all Christ-like ways to practice self-denial and become detached from worldly things. In 1 Peter 2:11, we are reminded to “…keep away from worldly desires that wage war against the soul.” We are not the owners of our possessions, but merely the administrators of the goods God has given to us. As written in John 15:16, God has chosen us. Our possessions are the means through which Our Lord calls each of us to act as a steward of His Providence for the sake of our neighbors.

Our Lady, whose heart was entirely pure of earthly affections, is our shining example of the virtues of charity and suffering. She showed us the joy in giving and that when we do acts purely out of love for God, we discover the fullness of life and His purpose for our life. Even as her Son suffered on Calvary, Our Lady never questioned God’s will and was rewarded with peace in her soul and her crowning in Heaven.

May we always turn to Our Blessed Mother and seek her protection and intercession through her most Holy Rosary particularly during this time of war in the world. Please pray evermore fervently your daily decade and continue with great urgency to promote its importance to all of mankind. The radiation of the humblest prayer affects the whole Body of Christ, and when we fail to uphold our commitment, the whole Body suffers.

One example of the power of our shared commitment to prayer and missionary work is the many miracles we have seen performed by Our Lady for the helpless and needy as a result of our distribution of her Miraculous Medal. Just as the Virgin Mary revealed in 1830 to St. Catherine Laboure, saint of the Miraculous Medal, "Graces will be poured out on all those, rich and poor, who ask for them with confidence and fervor. I will be with you myself." Likewise, we have received countless letters from people in Pakistan and Congo, Dungu Village, DARFUR, and Kenya, Africa who have escaped attacks, killings, and disease as a result of their devotion to the treasured Miraculous Medal. At this time, I ask our apostles to consider making a small donation to the ULRA to help us continue to supply Miraculous Medals to those who live with illness, extreme poverty and in fear of persecution. The money raised will be used to pay for a supply of medals to be sent to Catholic soldiers to distribute. Thank you in advance for responding to this urgent need, please click here to donate. To view letters highlighting the miracles, click here.

In closing, I ask Our Queen and Mother, and Our Beloved St. Joseph, to help each of us enter into the spiritual battle of Lent, armed with prayer, fasting and almsgiving, so that we may arrive at Christ’s tomb on Easter Sunday emptied of self and filled with His Spirit. As we continue on our holy path, may we always seek God’s wisdom in His sacred word: Proverbs 3:3-4 – “Let not kindness and fidelity leave you.” And remember from Ephesians 3:17 that our service is to be grounded and rooted in love.

Each of us is beginning our own martyrdom. Let us always support one another with the love of Christ and go forth to suffer together and offer up our sacrifices to Him for the salvation of souls.

Bon courage, dear Child of Mary,
Patti Melvin
Patti Melvin, ULRA Director

Please pray for me as I will pray for you all the days of my life!

Take Charge of "1,000 SOULS"
With your donation of $100.00 we can send 1,000 Miraculous Medals on behalf of you or your organization, church or group to one of our Missionary Centers to distribute to a poor community near them. Your donation will cover both the manufacturing and processing of the medals and also the cost to ship.  Our Missionary Center director will give your medals out; you will then be responsible for 1,000 new souls being put in the care of Our Blessed Lady's protection. And they will be given your name and when you die those individual "1,000 SOULS" will pray for you.

Click here to make a donation.

Messaggio speciale da Padre Angelo Beda Ison, OFM, Monastero di San Salvatore, Gerusalemme.

Cari fratelli e sorelle del Rosario Vivente Universale di S. Filomena,

In questo nostro viaggio quaresimale di ancora poche settimane volevo condividere con voi che io celebro la Santa Messa sul Monte Calvario alla Tomba Vuota di Nostro Signore il 13 di ogni mese. Faccio questo principalmente per le suppliche dei volontari,impiegati,missionari e milioni di membri in tutto il mondo [sia vivi che morti] del rosario Vivente Universale di S. Filomena. Ogni mese, la Direttrice Patti Melvin,mi invia fedelmente una lista con in nomi dei membri. Io colloco questa lista di nomi sotto il Purificatorio fatto da Terry de los Santos. Celebro anche una novena di Messe nei vari santuari della Terra Santa per tutti voi.

Sul Monte Calvario, nel puntro preciso dove nostro Nostro Signore soffrí e morí, resto sempre a venerare guardando le Mani e i Piedi insanguinati di Nostro Signore e Salvatore crocifisso. Ai piedi della Croce, vedo il dolore di Nostra Madre Benedetta durante l’intercessione per ognuno dei suoi amati figli. Mentre alla Tomba Vuota di Nostro Signore, il posto piú santo della Resurrezione, I prego per voi, che pazientemente e in silenzio continuate il ministero di Nostro Signore creando Rosari, cucendo Scapolari, infilando Medaglie Miracolose, e preparando confezioni.

Gli opuscoli del Dedicati alla Decade (Dedicated Decade booklets) spediti ai promotori del Rosario Vivente sparsi nel mondo, sollevano i nostri cuori e ci danno grande forza nel continuare questo lavoro missionario sacro.

Crediamo fermamente sempre piú che le nostre preghiere siano ascoltate da Nostro Signore. In veritá noi siamo davvero le Mani sacre e i Piedi Santi di Nostro Signore in questo periodo e ció fá sí che Egli possa raggiungere i nostri fatelli e sorelle perduti. Voi tutti siete diventati i testimoni della Morte e Resurrezione di Nostro Signore. Quando aiutiamo un individuo, facciamo un mondo di differenza nella loro vita e potremmo forse essere l’unica persona che toccherá egli/ella con il messaggio di fede, speranza e amore di Cristo.

Con duro lavoro, assidue preghiere e la grazia di Dio, noi possiamo realizzare i nostri obiettivi per il 2009 che sono raddoppiare il numero di membri, focalizzando la nostra attenzione sul messaggio di Fatima, supportando i nostri missionari e membri nelle loro sofferenze e dolori, incrementando la produzione di Scapolari, e incrementando il materiale educativo per le famiglie Americane.

In questo periodo Sacro di Quaresima, chiediamo noi tutti alla Nostra Madre Benedetta e nostra Protettrice S. Filomena, di intercedere per noi e concederci la grazia di un desiderio ardente per l’Amore Divino di Dio. Sempre presente nelle nostre vite, possa Egli ricordarci che il nostro obiettivo durante la Quaresima é di ottenere la salvezza eterna per noi stessi, le nostre famiglie e i nostri vicini. Egli offre ció liberamente a noi tramite la Sua Morte e Risurrezione.

Devoti Auguri

Padre Angelo Beda Ison, OFM
Monastero S. Salvatore
P.O.B. 186
91001 Jerusalem

Padre Angelo con Jim Caviezel, (l’attore del film La Passione di Cristo). Fotografato di fronte all’Altare del Santuario di Maria Maddalena, il posto dove il Signore apparí a Maria Maddalena il Terzo Giorno, Domenica, il Giorno della Resurrezione. “Fu un’occasione unica e rara in quanto non avrei mai pensato di incontrare Jim Caviezel davanti alla Tomba vera e propria del Signore subito dopo la prima Messa Santa della mattina alla Tomba del Signore. L’intenzione della Messa per il Giorno era per il Rosario Vivente Universale di S. Filomena. Jim é un buon Cattolico praticante che é un devoto alla Madre Benedetta e alla Grazia Divina. Abbiamo avuto una bella conversazione.” – P. Angelo
Father Angelo with Jim Caviezel.
“Il Funerale di Gesú al Calvario nella serata del Venerdí Santo dell’anno scorso. I Francescani recitano la 13ma STAZIONE DELLA VIA CRUCIS, “GESÚ É RIMOSSO DALLA CROCE.” QUESTA É UNA PROCESSIONE RELIGIOSA SOLENNE che é presieduta dai Francescani, Cristiani locali, pellegrini e turisti del Venerdí Santo. La statua di Gesú di dimensioni quasi reali é rimossa dalla Croce e noi, sei preti Francescani depositiamo la statua in un sudario e la portiamo giú dal Calvario alla Pietra dell’Unzione dove il Custode, il Ministro Provinciale che Custodisce la Terra Santa, applica l’olio d’oliva profumato, l’incenso e la mirra sulla statua. Poi, portiamo la statua sul sudario della sepoltura alla Tomba vera e propria cantando canti solenni Latini Gregoriani sulla morte del Signore” – P. Angelo

Cari Apostoli del Cuore Immacolato di Maria dell’Associazione Universale del Rosario Vivente,

Ho pensato che fosse particolarmente appropriato mandare la nostra terza edizione della ULRA NewsFlash (e-newsletter) nella Festa di S. Giuseppe, amato e Santo Sposo della Nostra Madre Benedetta. La Santa Famiglia é il vero unico modello su come dovremmo vivere la nostra vita Cristiana. Datosi che stiamo iniziando la seconda metá del periodo della Quaresima, riflettiamo sulla grande umiltá, coraggio e fede dimostrate da Maria e Giuseppe quando cosí volenterosi hanno risposto salla chiamata di Dio e obbedito al Suo volere di portare il Suo unico Figlio nel mondo per la nostra salvezza. Seguendo il viaggio di Maria e Guseppe, noi possiamo approfondire la nostra comprensione sul valore e lo scopo della nostra vita Cristiana.

Durante questo periodo di abnegazione, riscopriamo la grandezza della misericordia di Dio e noi anche, grazie ai nostri sforzi di imitare Cristo, possiamo diventare piú misericordiosi. Preghiera, digiuno, e fare elemosina sono tutti modi come Cristo di praticare abnegazione e distaccarsi dalle cose terrene. In Pietro 1, 2:11, ci viene ricordato di “…stare lontani da desideri terreni che alimentano guerra contro l’anima.” Non siamo i proprietari dei nostri possessi, ma semplicemente gli amministratori dei beni che Dio ci ha affidato. Come scritto in Giovanni 15:16, Dio ha scelto noi. I nostri possessi sono i mezzi tramite cui Nostro Signore chiama ognuno di noi ad agire come discepolo della Sua Provvidenza per il bene dei nostri vicini.

Nostra Signora, il cui cuore era interamente puro da affetti terreni, é il nostro esempio splendente delle virtú di caritá e sofferenza. Ella ci ha mostrato la gioia nel dare e che quando facciamo atti puramente per l’amore verso Dio, scopriamo la completezza della vita ed il Suo scopo per la nostra vita. Anche quando suo Figlio soffriva sul Calvario, Nostra Signora non ha mai messo in discussione la volontá di Dio ed é stata ricompensata con la pace della sua anima e la sua incoronazione in Paradiso.

Rivolgiamoci alla Nostra Madre Santa per la sua protezione ed intercessione tramite il Suo Santissimo Rosario particolarmente in questo tempo di guerra nel mondo. Recitate con sempre piú fervore il vostro rosario giornaliero e continuate con grande urgenza a promuovere la sua importanza a tutto il genero umano. La diffusione della preghiera piú umile ha effetto sull’intero Corpo di Cristo e quando veniamo meno ai nostri impegni l’ intero Corpo ne soffre.

Un esempio del potere che ha il nostro impegno collettivo alla preghiera e il lavoro missionario, sono i tanti miracoli concessi dalla Madonna per gli inermi e i bisognosi con la distribusione della sua Medaglia Miracolosa. Come riveló la Vergine Maria nel 1830 a S.Caterina Laboure, la Santa della Medaglia Miracolosa, “Grazie in abbondanze saranno concesse a tutti quelli che le richiederanno, ricchi e poveri se richiesti con fervore e fiducia. Io stessa saró con voi”. Abbiamo altresí ricevuto innumerevoli lettere da persone in Pakistan, Congo, Dungu Village, DARFUR and Kenya, Africa che sono scampati ad attacchi, uccisioni e malattie grazie alla loro devozione alla preziosa Medaglia Miracolosa. In questo periodo, chiedeo ai nostri apostoli di fare una piccola donazione alla URLA per aiutarci a continuare a fornire a coloro che convivono con malattie estrema povertá e persecuzioni, la Medaglia Miracolosa. I soldi raccolti serviranno per mandare una scorta di Medaglie ai soldati cattolici. Vi ringrazio in anticipo per la vostra risposta a questo bisogno impellente. Clicca qui per donare. Per visionare lettere dei miracoli clicca qui.

Per concludere, chiedo a Nostra Regina e Madre, il Nostro Amatissimo S.Giuseppe, di aiutare ognuno di noi ad iniziare la battaglia spirituale di Quaresima armati di preghiera, digiuni ed elemosine in modo da arrivare alla Tomba di Cristo il giorno di Pasqua svuotati di egoismo e pieni di Spirito Santo. Mentre continuiamo nel nostro cammino sulla retta via possiamo sempre trovare la saggezza di Dio nelle Sue sacre Parole; Proverbi 3:3-4 – “Non permettere alla caritá e alla fedeltá di lasciarti”. E ricordati le parole degli Efesiani 3:17 : che la nostra opera deve esere piantata e radicata nell’amore.

Ognuno di noi sta incominciando il proprio matirio. Sosteniamoci l’uno con l’altro con l’amore di Cristo. E andiamo avanti soffrendo insieme e offriamo i nostri sacrifici a Lui per la salvezza delle anime.

Coraggio caro Figlio odi Maria,
Patti Melvin
Patti Melvin , Direttore ULRA

Per cortesia pregate per me perché io pregheró per voi tutti i giorni della mia vita!

Fatevi Carico di "1,000 ANIME"
Con la vostra donazione di $100.00 possiamo inviare, da parte vostra o della vostra organizzazione, chiesa o gruppo, 1,000 Medaglie Miracolose ad uno dei nostri Centri Missionari per cosí poi essere distribuite ad una comunitá povera nelle vicinanze. La vostra donazione ricoprirá entrambe la manifattura e la lavorazione delle medaglie ed anche le spese di spedizione. Il direttore del nostro Centro Missionario distribuirá poi le vostre medaglie; voi sarete quindi responsabili di 1,000 nuove anime che saranno sotto la protezione di Nostra Signora Benedetta. Sará dato loro il vostro nome e quando non ci sarete piú queste 1,000 anime pregherenno per voi.

Click here to make a donation.


Universal Living Rosary Association of Saint Philomena

The Universal Living Rosary Association of Saint Philomena

Patti Melvin, Director
Universal Living Rosary Association
P.O. Box 1303, Dickinson, Texas 77539, U.S.A.
Fax: (281) 337-3722 / (281) 309-9821
web site by richard donley fox



NewsFlash from the Universal Living Rosary Association of Saint Philomena, May 13, 2009

May 23, 2009
Universal Living Rosary Association of Saint Philomena

Cliccare quí per la versione Italiana

Our Lady of Fatima.

A special message from Father Daniel of Tanzania stationed in Australia

Dear Fellow Members of the Living Rosary Association,

I wanted to share with you some thoughts about our commitment as Christians to keeping Christ at the center of our lives. If Jesus is not the foundation of our lives, we have no foundation and we have no life worth living. The question we must ask ourselves is: Do we want Jesus? If we are determined to be like everyone else in our community then we will not sense any need for Christ. We live in a society that focuses heavily on self-interest. For example, when someone is asked to help another, the question that many respond with is, “What do I get in return?” This is not the way of the Christian. The only concern of a Christian is Jesus Christ and striving to be more like Him. He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. He must be the Cornerstone of our lives. It’s all about You, Jesus.

There is a cost, however. Sure, when we preach the good news and stand up for Jesus, we are often joined by fellow brothers and sisters in Christ who also wish to change the world for the better. But we are also often rejected by many who want nothing to do with Jesus, His Way, or His Life. Have others asked you to join them in something that is against the life of Jesus? Have you ever had to say, “No” — no to drugs, no to alcohol, no to sex outside of marriage, no to gossip, no to destroying someone’s reputation, no to excluding someone, no to cheating, no to stealing, etc. And when we do say “No,” what happens? Quite often, we are rejected by others. We need to lift these individuals up in prayer for they are not just rejecting us. They are rejecting Our Lord. The stone that is being rejected is Jesus. We live for Jesus. We share His Life and His Love. We also share in His rejection and His crucifixion. We also share in His recreation of the world into the Kingdom of God.

This is reflected in the gospel of the Good Shepherd. Jesus is the good and most faithful shepherd. He offers Himself up completely for His people. He and He alone is our life and our salvation. In the name of Jesus Christ, the world is healed. In the name of Jesus Christ, we are healed.

With love,
Father Daniel

A special message from Father Daniel of Tanzania stationed in Australia

United with Heaven’s Plan for PeaceDear Devoted Apostles of the Living Rosary Association,

Today we faithfully remember and celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima and Her important messages to the world regarding the need for prayer and penance. It was in Our Lady’s messages more than 90 years ago that She warned God’s children to amend their lives in order to prevent further suffering and wars.

In 1916, three shepherd children Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta (ages seven to nine), of the mountain village of Fatima, Portugal, were visited by the Angel of Portugal prior to Our Lady’s appearances. The Angel told them to pray constantly to the Most High, and to accept and endure the sufferings sent to them by the Lord.

A beautiful gift of Our Lady’s messages was the reminder to all, of the spiritual triumph that is achieved when the Rosary is prayed with great devotion. Our Lady said, “Say the Rosary every day to obtain peace for the world and the end of the war…if they do what I tell you, many souls will be saved, and there will be peace…But if they do not stop offending God, another and worse one will begin in the reign of Pius XI.”

Before the child Jacinta died in 1920, she revealed one of the messages she had received from Our Lady: “Tell everybody that God gives graces through the Immaculate Heart of Mary…and that the Heart of Jesus wishes to be venerated together with the Immaculate Heart of Mary, for the Lord has confided the peace of the world to Her.”

Our Lady of Fatima requested the consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart and the Communion of reparation on the First Saturdays.

She proclaimed to Lucia, the eldest of the three children to whom She appeared, “Jesus wishes to make use of you to have me acknowledged and loved. He wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the path that leads you to God.”

Pope Pius XII issued an Encyclical in 1948 to the whole world calling upon every family and every diocese to make the consecration. Lucia, who became a Carmelite nun, wrote that, although God was pleased with this act, it was incomplete.

We will know that the Immaculate Heart of Mary has triumphed, just as She promised, when the Holy Father united with all of the Bishops gather in Rome to define the fifth Marian dogma – that Our Blessed Mother is the Mediatrix of All Graces And Co-Redemptrix of the World. This will be the outward sign of the Triumph of her Immaculate Heart.

Through the Fatima revelations, Our Lord made it known that the sacrifice He requires of each person is the faithful accomplishment of their daily duty through prayer and sacrifice.

Our Lord said, “All that you ask for in prayer, believe that you will receive it and it shall be yours.” (Mark 12:24) The daily Rosary increases our faith, hope and charity. It enhances our belief, adoration, trust and our love for Jesus and Our Blessed Mother. It sanctifies us and helps us avoid sin.

Sister Lucia wrote, “Jesus wishes that it be made clear to souls that the true penance He wants and requires consists first of all in the sacrifice that each one must make to fulfill his own religious and temporal duties.”

My love and prayers are with all of you and your families always.

Your fellow servant and sister in Christ, together we labor for the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary,

Bon courage, dear Child of Mary,
Patti Melvin
Patti Melvin, ULRA Director

Please pray for me as I will pray for you all the days of my life!

A Spiritual Communion with MaryO Immaculate Queen of Heaven and Earth, Mother of God and Mediatrix of every Grace! I believe that Thy dearly beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, is truly and substantially contained in the Most Blessed Sacrament. I love Him above all things and I long to receive Him into my heart. Since I cannot now receive Him sacramentally, be so good as to place Him spiritually in my soul.

O my Jesus, I embrace Thee as One Who has already come and I unite myself entirely to Thee. Never permit me to be separated from Thee. Amen.

Sister Lucia helped write the Fatima Morning Offering. As soon as we awaken, we should give our thoughts to God and consecrate the day to Him by praying the Morning Offering:

O my God, in union with the Immaculate Heart of Mary (here kiss the Brown Scapular), I offer Thee the Most Precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Our Lord, Jesus Christ, joining with it my every thought, word and action of this day.

A Note of GratitudeWe want to offer our heartfelt thanks and deepest appreciation to Thomas Nelson of TAN PublishingLink Outfor his most generous donation of more than 100,000 books to the Universal Living Rosary Association of Saint Philomena (ULRA). Nelson, who is a strong devotee of St. Philomena, gifted our missionary work with sacred books ranging from catechisms of the Catholic Church, to Our Lady, St. Joseph, St. Philomena and many other saints, and more. Each one is such a treasure of our faith and is so needed in the remote areas of the world where Christ’s most vulnerable people are starved for His sacred word.

We would also like to thank one of our members, who wishes to remain anonymous, for funding the entire cost to have the books loaded and delivered by truck to our Texas residence. As the old adage goes, give a person a fish and you feed him for a day, but teach him how to fish and you’ve fed him for a lifetime. With the help of these books souls will learn their faith and be able to explain and defend it for the remainder of their lives.

Thomas Nelson of TAN Publishingfor his most generous donation

Our MissionThe Living Rosary’s purpose is accomplished by helping bring about the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in the world. Our Blessed Mother is our direct way to Jesus Christ and her holy Rosary is one of the most powerful spiritual weapons to bring about the spread of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. She is the fountain of grace which is poured out upon us through the Most Holy Rosary and the Scapular of Mt. Carmel.

High School Students in the Philippines.

We need your continued strong commitment. God knows what is necessary for the current spiritual battle and he will inspire souls to fulfill these needs. But it is our duty to make known to you these needs. Each month hundreds of ‘mission parcels’ loaded with spiritual treasures for our poor missionaries are carefully and lovingly packed. The Priority box from the post office is 12x12x6 and can be loaded with up to 20 pounds of materials. We include Rosaries, miraculous medals, Scapulars, leaflets, newsletters, two TAN books, large color prints, the blessed cords and holy oil of St. Philomena, decade cards and registration lists for the leaders and priests. Each box costs $53.95 to send. Our very mission is united to the plan for peace that Our Lady delivered at Fatima. Make it part of your “Daily Duty” to encourage the faithful to take up a decade in the Living Rosary and help reach the missions with the tools they need to know and live the message of Our Lady at Fatima. Through this work we have been given a beautiful opportunity to carry out Christ’s work and pass on our faith to as many souls as possible.

Junior Secondary School Students of Father Kuha INDYER, CSSp Sankera, Nigeria

It is Our Lady who summons us to Her service in this sacred work of souls – souls for whom Our Lord shed His Blood on Cavalry. We must join the children of Fatima and consecrate our hearts to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and Sacred Heart of Jesus. Everything else will fall into place according to Our Lord’s plan.

Superior Sister Basilitan from Gherla together with Sr. Marcela is very happy to spread the devotions between believers. They thank the Universal Living Rosary Association of Saint Philomena (ULRA) for these very necessary ULRA materials (for young and for adults.)

In John 7:37, Jesus said, “Let anyone who thirsts come to me and drink.” Our united work and prayers of the most Holy Rosary will continue to help spread God’s message of hope and peace and quench the spiritual thirst of His lost sheep.

O Blessed Mother, make us live in God, with God, and for God and “May the favor of the Lord our God be ours. Prosper the work of our hands!” (Psalm 90:17)

Share Your Gift of FaithFor centuries, our cherished Catholic faith has been passed from person to person, parent to child, etc. Each of us carries in our heart a special memory of how God first graced us with the knowledge of the faith and how Our Blessed Mother, St. Philomena, Venerable Pauline Jaricot and other saints changed our lives and brought us closer to Christ.

In our work in the Universal Living Rosary Association, we see first hand how millions of souls are currently living without that knowledge of God and are living outside of His grace. We have been given a beautiful opportunity to carry out Christ’s work and pass on our faith and blessings to others who would otherwise never be introduced to Our Lord, the Savior of all mankind. Just as we pray for the souls in Purgatory who have no one to pray for them, we should also make it a part of our life’s mission to pass on our faith to as many souls as possible who have no one else to pass it on to them, who don’t know Our Lord and His promise of salvation.

Fr. Baciu Alexandru from Mintiu into an improvised chapel, spreading the devotion of St. Philomena.

The Living Rosary Association was founded by Venerable Pauline Marie Jaricot at Lyon, France in 1826, at the age of 27. She first founded the Propagation of the Faith at the age of twenty. Pauline was a close friend of Saint Jean Marie Vianney, the Curé of Ars. It was approved and richly indulgenced by Pope Gregory XVI, and accorded official canonical status on January 27, 1832.

The Living Rosary Association began its revival on December 8, 1986, with 30 local members. Blessed 1000-fold by Our Lady and under the powerful patronage of St. Philomena, the membership is now 11,329,394 and has been planted in every continent of the world. Over 3/4 of the membership lies in foreign and Third World countries. Each member is asked to voluntarily give a small monthly donation. There is no other financial support other than from its members. The funds received are placed directly back into the work of our Missionary Centers around the world. For those who are unable to contribute a monetary donation, we ask for your fervent prayers that our material needs are met.

Un messaggio speciale da Padre Daniel di Tanzania stanziato in AustraliaCari Membri dell’Associazione del Rosario Vivente Universale,

Volevo condividere con voi alcuni pensieri sul nostro impegno come Cristiani per mantenere Cristo al centro delle nostre vite. Se Gesú non é la base della nostre vite, non abbiamo alcuna fondamenta e non abbiamo una vita degna da vivere. La domanda che dobiamo porci é: Vogliamo Gesú? Se siamo determinati ad essere come tutti gli altri nella nostra comunitá allora non sentiremo alcun bisogno di Cristo. Viviamo in una societá che si focalizza pesantemente sull’interesse per se stessi. Per esempio, quando a qualcuno é chiesto di aiutare un altro, la domanda con cui molti rispondono é, “Cosa ricevo in cambio?” Questo non é essere Cristiano. L’unico interesse di un Cristiano é Gesú Cristo e sforzarsi di essere piú possibile come Lui. Egli é la Via, la Veritá e la Vita. Egli deve rappesentare le fondamenta delle nostre vite. Tutto riguarda te,Gesú.

C’é un prezzo, peró. Sicuramente, quando predichiamo le buone novelle e siamo accanto a Gesú, siamo spesso affiancati da altri amici fratelli e sorelle in Cristo che anch’essi vogliono cambiare il mondo in meglio. Ma siamo anche spesso rifiutati da molti che non vogliono avere niente a che fare con Gesú, o La Sua Vita. Altri, vi hanno mai chiesto di unirvi a loro per qualcosa che fosse contro la vita cristiana? Avete mai dovuto dire di “No” –-no alle droghe, no all’alcool, no al sesso al di fuori del matrimonio, no ai pettegolezzi, no alla diffamazione di qualcuno, no all’esclusione di qualcuno, no agli imbrogli, no al rubare, ecc… E quando diciamo di “No” , cosa succede? Molto spesso, siamo rifiutati dagli altri. Dobbiamo elevare alla preghiera queste persone perché cosí facendo non rifiutano solo noi, Essi rifiutano Nostro Signore. La pietra che viene rifiutata é Gesú. Noi viviamo per Gesú. Noi condividiamo La Sua Vita e il Suo Amore. Noi condividiamo anche il Suo rifiuto e la Sua Crocifissione. Noi condividiamo anche la Sua ri-creazione del mondo nel regno di Dio.

Questo é il significato del Vangelo del Buon Pastore. Gesú é il buon pastore e il piú fedele. Egli Si offre completamente per il suo popolo. Egli e solo Lui, é la nostra vita e la nostra salvezza. Nel nome di Gesú Cristo, il mondo viene curato. Nel nome di Gesú Cristo, veniamo curati.

Con Affetto,
Padre Daniel

A special message from Father Daniel of Tanzania stationed in Australia

Uniti con il disegno del Paradiso per la PaceCari Devoti Apostoli del Rosario Vivente Universale,

Oggi noi fedelmente ricordiamo e celebriamo la Festa della Nostra Signora di Fatima ed il Suo importante messaggio al mondo riguardo il bisogno per la preghiera e la penitenza. Fu nei messaggi di Nostra Signora piú di 90 anni fá che Ella avvertí i figli di Dio di cambiare le loro vite in modo da prevenire ulteriori sofferenze e guerre.

Nel 1916, l’Angelo del Portogallo visitó tre pastorelli: Lucia, Francesco, e Giacinta (etá compresa tra i 7 e i 9 anni), del villaggio montano di Fatima, Portogallo, prima dell’apparizione di Nostra Signora. L’Angelo disse loro di pregare costantemente all’Altissimo, e di accettare e sopportare le sofferenze mandate loro dal Signore.

Un regalo stupendo dei messaggi di Nostra Signora, fu il rammentare a noi tutti, del trionfo spirituale che si raggiunge quando si prega il Rosario con grande devozione. Nostra Signora disse, “Recitate il Rosario ogni giorno per ottenere la pace nel mondo e la fine della guerra…se fate quello che vi dico, molte anime saranno salvate, e ci sará la pace…Ma se non smettono di offendere Dio, un’altra guerra peggiore incomincerá nel regno di Pio XI.”

Prima che la bambina Giacinta morisse nel 1920, riveló uno dei messaggi che aveva ricevuto da Nostra Signora: “Dici a tutti che Dio concede grazia tramite il Cuore Immacolato di Maria…e che il Cuore di Gesú desidera essere venerato insieme al Cuore Immacolato di Maria, in quanto il Signore ha affidato a Lei la pace del mondo.”

Nostra Signora di Fatima ha richiesto la consacrazione della Russia al suo Cuore Immacolato e la Comunione di riparazione nei Primi Sabati.

Ella ha proclamato a Lucia, la bambina piú adulta dei tre a cui E’ apparsa, “Gesú desidera far uso di voi per avermi riconosciuto ed amato. Egli desidera instaurare nel mondo devozione per il mio Cuore Immacolato. Il mio Cuore Immacolato sará il vostro rifugio e la strada che porta a Dio.”

Papa Pio XII emanó una Enciclica nel 1948 al mondo intero chiedendo ad ogni famiglia e ogni diocesi di realizzare la consacrazione. Lucia, che diventó una suora Carmelitana, scrisse che, nonostante Dio fosse lieto di questo atto, esso era incompleto.

Noi tutti sapremo che il Cuore Immacolato di Maria ha trionfato, esattamente come Ella aveva promesso, quando il Santo Padre e tutti i Vescovi si incontreranno a Roma per definire il quinto dogma Mariano – che Nostra Madre Benedetta é la Mediatrice di Tutte le grazie e Co-Redentrice del Mondo. Questo sará il segno evidente del Trionfo del Suo Cuore Immacolato.

Tramite le rivelazioni di Fatima, Nostro Signore ci ha comunicato che il Sacrificio da Egli richiesto a ogni persona é il fedele compimento dei loro impegni quotidiani tramite preghiera e sacrificio.

Nostro Signore disse, “Tutto quello che domandate in preghiera, lo otterrete e sará vostro.” (Marco 12:24) Il Rosario giornaliero aumenta la nostra fede, speranza e caritá. Esso accresce il nostro credere, l’adorazione, la fiducia e il nostro amore per Gesú e Nostra Madre Benedetta. Esso ci santifica e ci aiuta ad evitare il peccato.

Suor Lucia scrisse, “Gesú desidera che sia chiaro a tutte le anime che la vera penitenza che Egli vuole e richiede consiste prima di tutto nel sacrificio che ognuno di noi deve compierere per adempiere ai propri doveri religiosi e temporali.”

Il mio amore e preghiere sono sempre con tutti voi e le vostre famiglie.

La Vostra fedele servitrice e sorella in Cristo, insieme tutti noi siamo dediti per il Trionfo totale del Cuore Immacolato di Maria,

Abbi Coraggio, caro Bambino di Maria,
Patti Melvin
Patti Melvin, Direttrice ULRA

Pregate per me come io pregheró per voi tutti i giorni della mia vita!

Una Comunione Spirituale con MariaO Immacolata Regina del Cielo e della Terra, Madre di Dio e Mediatrice di ogni Grazia! Io credo che il Tuo caro adorato Figlio, Nostro Signore Gesú Cristo, é veramente e sostanzialmente contenuto nel Santissimo Sacramento. Io lo adoro sopra ogni cosa e desidero riceverLo nel mio cuore. Siccome non posso riceverLo come sacramento, sii tanto buona da farmeLo ricevere spiritualmente nella mia anima.

O mio Gesú, Io Ti accolgo come Uno Che é giá venuto ed io mi unisco completamente a Te. Non permettere mai che io mi separi da Te. Amen

Suor Lucia aiutó nello scrivere l’Offerta Mattutina di Fatima. Appena ci svegliamo, noi dovremmo rivolgere i nostri pensieri a Dio e consacrare il giorno ad Egli recitando l’Offerta Mattutina:

O mio Dio, in unione con il Cuore Immacolato di Maria (a questo punto baciare lo Scapolare Marrone), io Ti offro il Preziosissimo Corpo, Sangue, Anima e Divinitá di Nostro Signore, Gesú Cristo, unendo con esso ogni mio pensiero, parola e azione di questo giorno.

Una Nota di GratitudineVogliamo offrire I nostri piú profondi ringraziamenti e apprezzamenti a Thomas Nelson di TAN PublishingLink Out per la sua generosissima donazione di oltre 100,000 libri all’Associazione del Rosario Vivente Universale di Santa Filomena (ULRA). Nelson, che é grande devoto di S. Filomena, ha regalato al nostro lavoro missionario libri divini che vanno da catechismi della Chiesa Cattolica, a Nostra Signora, S. Giuseppe, S. Filomena e tanti altri santi, ed altro. Ognuno di essi é un tale tesoro della nostra fede ed é altamente necessario nelle aree remote del mondo dove le persone piú vulnerabili di Cristo sono affamate della Sua parola sacra.

Vorremmo inoltre ringraziare uno dei nostri membri, che preferisce mantenere l’anonimato, per aver finanziato l’intero costo per avere tutti i libri caricati e consegnati via camion alla nostra residenza in Texas. Come dice il vecchio proverbio, dai un pesce ad una persona e l’avrai sfamata per un giorno, ma insegnagli a pescare e l’avrai sfamata per la vita intera. Con l’aiuto di questi libri, tante anime impareranno la loro fede e saranno capaci di spiegarla e difenderla per il resto della loro vita.

Thomas Nelson of TAN Publishingfor his most generous donation

La Nostra MissioneLo scopo del Rosario Vivente é conseguito proclamando il trionfo del Cuore Immacolato di Maria nel mondo. La Nostra Madre Benedetta é accesso diretto a Gesú Cristo ed il suo santo Rosario é una delle nostre armi spirituali piú forti per spargere il vangelo di Gesú Cristo. Ella é la fontana della grazia che si versa su di noi tramite il Santissimo Rosario e lo Scapolare del Monte Carmelo.

High School Students in the Philippines.

Noi tutti abbiamo continuo bisogno del vostro, forte impegno spirituale. Dio solo sá cosa é necessario per l’attuale battaglia spirituale ed Egli ispirerá tutte le anime per adempiere a questi bisogni. Ma é nostro dovere comunicarvi questi bisogni. Ogni mese centinaia di ‘pacchi missionari’ carichi di tesori spirituali per i nostri poveri missionari sono confezionati con cura e amore. Il Pacco Prioritario dell’ufficio postale é 12x12x6 e puó essere confezionato fino a 20 pounds (9 Kg.) di materiali. Noi includiamo Rosari, medaglie miracolose, Scapolari, opuscoli, circolari, due libri TAN, fotografie grandi a colori, i cordoni benedetti e l’olio santo di S. Filomena, cartoline decennali e liste di iscrizione per i leaders e i preti. Ogni pacco puó essere spedito al costo di $53.95. La nostra vera missione é unita al piano per la pace che Nostra Signora consegnó a Fatima. Fate che sia parte del vostro “Dovere Quotidiano” l’incoraggiare il fedele a raccogliere un decade nel Rosario Vivente e a raggiungere le missioni con gli strumenti necessari per conoscere e vivere il messaggio di Nostra Signora a Fatima. Tramite questo lavoro abbiamo avuto la meravigliosa opportunitá di portar avanti il lavoro di Cristo e di passare la nostra fede a quante piú anime possibili.

Junior Secondary School Students of Father Kuha INDYER, CSSp Sankera, Nigeria

E’ Nostra Signora che ci convoca al Suo servizio in questo sacro lavoro di anime – anime per cui Nostro Signore ha versato il Suo Sangue sul Calvario. Noi dobbiamo unirci ai bambini di Fatima e consacrare i nostri cuori al Cuore Immacolato di Maria ed il Cuore Sacro di Gesú. Tutto il resto andrá a posto da solo secondo il piano di Nostro Signore.

Superior Sister Basilitan from Gherla together with Sr. Marcela is very happy to spread the devotions between believers. They thank the Universal Living Rosary Association of Saint Philomena (ULRA) for these very necessary ULRA materials (for young and for adults.)

In Giovanni 7:37, Gesú disse, “Chi ha sete, venga da me e beva”. Il nostro lavoro unito e le preghiere del Santissimo Rosario continueranno ad aiutare a spargere il messaggio di speranza e di pace di Dio e a dissetare la sete spirituale della sua pecorella smarrita.

O Madre Benedetta, facci vivere in Dio, con Dio e per Dio e “Possa la grazia del Signore nostro Dio essere nostra. Prosperi il lavoro delle nostre mani!” (Salmo 90:17)

Condividi il Tuo Dono di FedePer secoli, la nostra adorata fede Cattolica é stata tramandata di persona in persona, da genitore a bambino, etc. Ognuno di noi porta nel nostro cuore un ricordo speciale di come Dio prima ci ha graziati con la consapevolezza della fede e come Nostra Madre Benedetta, S. Filomena, Venerabile Pauline Jaricot ed altri santi hanno cambiato la nostra vita e ci hanno avvicinato di piú a Cristo.

Nel nostro lavoro nell’Associazione del Rosario Vivente Universale, noi vediamo di prima mano come milioni di anime stanno attualmente vivendo senza quella conoscenza di Dio e stanno vivendo al di fuori della Sua grazia. Noi abbiamo avuto una meravigliosa opportunitá di portare avanti il lavoro di Cristo e passare la nostra fede e benedizioni ad altri che altrimenti non sarebbero mai presentati a Nostro Signore, il Salvatore di tutta l’umanitá. Cosí come preghiamo per le anime nel Purgatorio che non hanno nessuno che preghi per loro, noi dovremmo anche far sí che diventi parte della nostra missione nella vita, di passare la nostra fede a quante piú anime possibili che non hanno nessuno che gliela possa trasmettere, che non conoscono Nostro Signore e la Sua promessa di salvezza.

Fr. Baciu Alexandru from Mintiu into an improvised chapel, spreading the devotion of St. Philomena.

L’Associazione del Rosario Vivente fu fondata dalla Venerabile Pauline Marie Jaricot a Lione, Francia nel 1826, all’etá di 27 anni. Ella fondó prima la Propagazione della Fede all’etá di venti anni. Pauline era amica stretta di S. Giovanni Maria Vianney, il Curato d’Ars. Fu approvato e riccamente indulto da Papa Gregorio XVI, e gli fu accordato stato canonico ufficiale il 27 Gennaio 1832.

L’Associazione del Rosario Vivente cominció il suo rinnovamento l’8 Dicembre 1986, con 30 membri locali. Benedetti migliaia di volte da Nostra Signora e sotto il potente patrocinio di S. Filomena, il numero dei membri é ora di 11,314,299 ed é ora presente in ogni continente del mondo. Oltre 3/4 dei membri si trovano in paesi stranieri e del Terzo Mondo. Ogni membro é invitato a dare una piccola donazione mensile di sua volontá. Non c’é altro supporto finanziario a parte quello procurato dai suoi membri. I fondi ricevuti sono automaticamente utilizzati per il lavoro dei nostri Centri Missionari sparsi per il mondo. Per coloro che non possono contribuire con una donazione monetaria, vi chiediamo le vostre ferventi preghiere per far sí che i nostri bisogni materiali siano raggiunti.

Universal Living Rosary Association of Saint Philomena

The Universal Living Rosary Association of Saint Philomena

Patti Melvin, Director

Universal Living Rosary Association

P.O. Box 1303, Dickinson, Texas 77539, U.S.A.

Fax: (281) 337-3722 / (281) 309-9821






web site by richard donley fox


NewsFlash from the Universal Living Rosary Association of Saint Philomena, Monday, January 26, 2009

January 27, 2009
Universal Living Rosary Association of Saint Philomena
Cliccare quí per la versione Italiana
Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?

Dear Living Rosary Apostle,

As we end our celebration this weekend of the conversion of St. Paul and begin the second month of 2009, I thought it was timely to reflect on how as a united family of the Universal Living Rosary Association of Saint Philomena (ULRA) and by the divine providence and grace of God, we have together helped convert many thousands of souls over the past year. The work has been highly blessed as we passionately continue in 2009 to focus all our efforts on fulfilling the primary purpose of this mission established by our Venerable Pauline Jaricot in 1826.

"The aim of the Living Rosary is to ask God, through the intercession of Our Lady of the Rosary, for the conservation of the Faith in Catholic countries, the conversion of sinners, the strengthening of the just, and the exaltation of the Holy Church.

The people who join together for this pious exercise, divide among themselves the recitation of the prayers of the entire Rosary, and divide into groups of fifteen, in honor of the fifteen principal mysteries of our redemption. Their intention is to form, by the union of their hearts, as so many living rosaries which unceasingly recall to the Celestial Father the sign of salvation manifested to St. Dominic by the Mother of Mercies.

After Our Lady of the Rosary, the Association recognizes and honors as its Mediatrix before God, the illustrious Virgin and Martyr, St. Philomena, named by the Sovereign Pontiff, protectress of the Living Rosary.

Our Holy Father, Pope Gregory XVI, enriched this institution with numerous indulgences in favor of all the Catholic countries and gave it for a protector a pious Cardinal eminently devoted to the august Mother of God."
Venerable Pauline Marie Jaricot (summer of 1838), Foundress of the missionary works of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith and the Association of the Living Rosary

I wanted to provide you with an overview of how donations were spent and the impact we've all had together through our collective missionary work. In 2008, donations to the ULRA went toward the distribution of religious educational materials and sacramentals including 950,000 rosaries to help spread devotion to the Living Rosary in all regions of the world including Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, Oceania and South America; 95,000 scapulars; 740,000 miraculous medals; 24,000 blessed cords and oil in devotion to St. Philomena; and $201,185.00 dollars in support to foreign ULRA missionary centers to cover basic living expenses and needs for center leaders who are living at poverty levels and at risk to perform this sacred work. Please click here to see a detailed chart of the cost of all material and support sent to our Missionary Centers around the world>>>

If you keep up with our Daily News section Link Out, you witness for yourself the wondrous work of our Missionary Centers across the globe.  There are so many apostles to thank that it is impossible to name them all. Many wish to remain anonymous and their abundant generosity and grateful hearts inspire us to increase our work with even greater fervor.

Here are a few highlights of those who have been steadfast supporters of this mission. We would like to recognize the St. William's Rosary makers in Naples, FL for assisting us in making approximately 100,000 rosaries.

The beautiful scapulars that are hand-sewn by more than 40 lay apostles in the United States are each lovingly and carefully made to ensure the scapular will last the lifetime of the recipient, knowing they will likely never have another scapular in their life.

miraculous medals of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception

The miraculous medals of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception have been donated in large part through the kindness of Dr. Joseph Sheehan, who had a machine made specifically to produce the medals. From his work, more than a 1,000,000 medals have been donated in 2008. Father Ivan also made it possible for us to purchase medals from the Ukraine at just 4 cents each. The Immaculate Conception always assists us in finding sources to get Her powerful medal to souls in need–a dogma to which Venerable Pauline Jaricot was greatly devoted.

There is also a lively devotion to this work by our team of stringers and Rosary makers who thread them right into the Rosary beads. They include people of all ages — mothers, children, those with severe handicaps, and the elderly who all share a strong calling to "give" their time to this vital mission.

Sister Emerentia pictured here with Patti Melvin.
Sister Emerentia pictured here with Patti Melvin.

I'd also like to recognize Sister Emerentia, a Dominican religious who is currently living with me and my husband in Texas. At 94-years-old, she continues to devote each day of her life to serving Our Blessed Mother and Jesus Christ. She prays her office daily and labors for eight hours a day to prepare packets for our missionary members. In 2008, her cherished hands helped put together 24,000 packets of oil and cords. All of these packets have gone to mission centers completely free of charge. Her faithful work has prepared her well as she nears her journey home to our Lord. Please join me in praying for her to meet our Lord with great peace and joy.

Take Charge of "1,000 SOULS"
With your donation of $100.00 we can send 1,000 Miraculous Medals on behalf of you or your organization, church or group to one of our Missionary Centers to distribute to a poor community near them. Your donation will cover both the manufacturing and processing of the medals and also the cost to ship.  Our Missionary Center director will give your medals out; you will then be responsible for 1,000 new souls being put in the care of Our Blessed Lady's protection. And they will be given your name and when you die those individual "1,000 SOULS" will pray for you.

Click here to make a donation.

Universal Living Rosary Association of Saint Philomena.

May God continue to bless this sacred work and all of you who so lovingly dedicate your lives to it.

Your fellow servant of Our Lady and Jesus Christ,
Patti Melvin
Patti Melvin, ULRA Director
Please pray for me!

Gentile Apostolo del Rosario Vivente Universale,

Come saprete questo weekend si chiude con la celebrazione della conversione di San Paolo e l'inizio del secondo mese del 2009, e a questo proposito ho pensato che fosse il periodo piú propizio per riflettere, come famiglia unita dell'Associazione del Rosario Vivente di Santa Filomena (ULRA) e con la provvidenza divina e la grazia di Dio, sulla nostra opera di avere aiutato milioni di anime durante l'anno scorso. La nostra opera é stata ampiamente benedetta durante l'anno scorso e cosí che con passione noi continuiamo nel 2009 a concentrare tutte le nostre forze per adempiere al primissimo scopo della missione istituita dalla nostra Venerabile Pauline Jaricot nel 1826.

"Il fine del Rosario Vivente e di chiedere a Dio, con l'intercessione di Nostra Signora del Rosario, la conservazione della Fede nei paesi Cattolici, la coversione dei peccatori, il consolidamento del giusto, e l'esaltazione della Santa Chiesa

Le persone che si uniscono per questo esercizio religioso, si dividono tra loro la recita delle preghiere dell'intero Rosario, e si dividono in gruppi di quindici persone, in onore dei quindici principali misteri religiosi della nostra redenzione. Lo scopo é di formare, dall'unione dei loro cuori, altrettanti rosari viventi che ricordano incessantemente al Padre Celeste il segno della salvezza manifestatosi a S. Domenico dalla Madre delle Grazie.

Dopo Nostra Signora del Rosario, l'Associazione riconosce ed onora come sua Mediatrice davanti a Dio, l'illustrissima Vergine e Martire Santa Filomena, nominata dal Sovrano Pontefice, protettrice del Rosario Vivente.

Il Nostro Santo Padre, Paga Gregorio XVI, ha arricchito questa istituzione con numerose indulgenze in favore di tutti i paesi Cattolici ed ha assegnato come protettore un Cardinale pio ed assoluto devoto alla solenne Madre di Dio."
– Venerabile Pauline Marie Jaricot (estate del 1838), Fondatrice delle opere missionarie della Societá per la Propagazione della Fede e dell'Associazione del Rosario Vivente.

Volevo fornirvi una panoramica di come le donazione sono state spese e dell'impatto che abbiamo avuto tramite la nostra opera missionaria collettiva. Nel 2008, le donazioni ricevute da ULRA sono state usate per la distribuzione di materiali educativi religiosi e sacramentali inclusi 950,000 rosari per aiutare ad espandere la devozione al Rasario Vivente in uttte le regioni del mondo incluso Africa, Asia, Europa, Nord America, Oceania e Sud America: 95,000 scapolari; 740,000 medaglie miracolose, 24,000 corde benedette e olio in devozione a Santa Filomena; e $ 201,185.00 dollari a supporto di centri missionari ULRA stranieri per coprire le spese basi e i bisogni dei leaders dei centri che vivono a livelli di poverta' e a rischio di compiere questo lavoro sacro.
Si prega di cliccare qui per visionare in dettaglio i costi di tutti i materiali e il supporto spediti ai nostri Centri Missionari nel mondo>>>

Se vi mantenete costantemente aggiornati con la nostra sezione delle Daily News Link Out, sarete testimoni voi stessi della meravigliosa opera dei nostri Centri Missionari nel mondo. Gli apostoli da ringraziare sono molti il che rende impossibile nominarli tutti. Molti desiderano restare nell'anonimato e la loro grande generosita' e i loro cuori riconoscenti ci ispirano a continuare la nostra opera con ancor piú fervore.

Eccovi alcuni aspetti di coloro che sono stati costanti sostenitori di questa missione. Vogliamo ringraziare i lavoratori del Rosario S. William di Naples per la collaborazione prestata nella creazione di circa 100,000 rosari.

I bellissimi scapolari cuciti a mano da piú di 40 apostoli negli Stati Uniti sono creati con amore ed accortezza affinché l'indumento possa durare per tutta la vita di coloro che lo ricevono, sapendo che probabilmente non avranno un altro scapolare nella loro vita.

miraculous medals of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception

Le miracolose medaglie di Nostra Signora dell'Immacolata Concezione sono state donate in gran parte grazie alla generositá del Dott. Joseph Sheenan, che ha fatto appositamente costruire un macchinario per produrle. Grazie al suo lavoro, oltre 1,000,000 di medaglie sono state donate nel 2008. Padre Ivan inoltre, ha fatto si che fosse possibile per noi acquistare medaglie dall'Ucraina per soli 4 centesimi l'una. L'Immacolata Concezione ci assiste sempre nel trovare risorse per far sí che La Sua potente medaglia giunga alle anime bisognose—un dogma al quale la Venerabile Pauline Jaricot era molto devota.

Vi é inoltre una viva devozione per questo lavoro da parte del nostro gruppo di intrecciatori e collaboratori del Rosario che le inseriscono direttamente nei grani del Rosario. Questi comprendono persone di tutte le etá – madri, bambini, coloro con seri handicap, e gli anziani che condividono una forte passione per “dare” il loro tempo per questa missione di vitale importanza.

Sister Emerentia pictured here with Patti Melvin.
Sorella Emerentia qui fotografata con Patti Melvin.

Vogliamo anche ringraziare Sorella Emerentia, una religiosa Domenicana che al momento vive con me e mio marito in Texas. All'etá di 94 anni, continua tutt'oggi a dedicare ogni giorno della sua vita al servizio di Nostra Madre Benedetta e Gesú Cristo. Prega ogni giorno per la carica che riveste e lavora per otto ore al giorno preparando confezioni per i nostri membri missionari. Nel 2008, le sue mani preziose hanno aiutato a confezionare 24,000 pacchetti di olio e cordoni. Tutte queste confezioni sono state spedite ai centri missionari gratuitamente. Il suo dedito e fedele lavoro l'ha resa pronta per il suo viaggio, che si avvicina, verso Nostro Signore. Vi prego di unirvi a me nel pregare per lei affinché possa incontrare Nostro Signore con grande gioia e pace.

Fatevi Carico di "1,000 ANIME"
Con la vostra donazione di $100.00 possiamo inviare, da parte vostra o della vostra organizzazione, chiesa o gruppo, 1,000 Medaglie Miracolose ad uno dei nostri Centri Missionari per cosí poi essere distribuite ad una comunitá povera nelle vicinanze. La vostra donazione ricoprirá entrambe la manifattura e la lavorazione delle medaglie ed anche le spese di spedizione. Il direttore del nostro Centro Missionario distribuirá poi le vostre medaglie; voi sarete quindi responsabili di 1,000 nuove anime che saranno sotto la protezione di Nostra Signora Benedetta. Sará dato loro il vostro nome e quando non ci sarete piú queste 1,000 anime pregherenno per voi.

Click here to make a donation.

Universal Living Rosary Association of Saint Philomena.

Possa Dio continuare a benedire questa sacra opera e tutti voi che vi dedicate le vostre vite ad esso.

Vostra fedele serva di Nostra Signora e Gesú Cristo,
Patti Melvin
Patti Melvin, ULRA Director
Prega per me!


Universal Living Rosary Association of Saint Philomena

The Universal Living Rosary Association of Saint Philomena

Patti Melvin, Director
Universal Living Rosary Association
P.O. Box 1303, Dickinson, Texas 77539, U.S.A.
Fax: (281) 337-3722 / (281) 309-9821
web site by richard donley fox


The History of the Universal Arch confraternity of Saint Philomena

January 1, 2009

The History of the Universal Arch confraternity of Saint Philomena

In France, after the death of the Holy Curé of Ars, Saint John Vianney, in 1859, a zealous priest in Paris, called Father Luis Petit, consecrated his life to making the Little Saint known and loved. “Far from us the thought,” said the virtuous Father Petit, “to make the cult of Saint Philomena a devotional that could be damaging to the cult of the most Holy Virgin, or even more, the adoration of the only God. That would not be Christian, as we know Christianity to be from the evangelical teachings of the Church. With our devotion to Saint Philomena we bless God who is reflected in His Saints. Honoring Saint Philomena we proclaim the power of God in the strength of His Martyrs, and His Infinite Goodness in the favors He concedes to the prayers of His Saints. This was the theology of the Holy Curé of Ars, and this will be ours also”.

In August, 1876, the first copy of the Messenger of Saint Philomena was issued from the headquarters in Paris. This publication spread devotion to her throughout the entire world.
In the tracks of the venerable Father Petit, the Sanctuary published the bulletin, The Voice of Saint Philomena under the guidance of the highly esteemed rector, Monsignor Gennaro Ippolito. This same priest, on February 10th, 1884, at Paris, with the blessing and approval of the Cardinal Giubert, founded the Confraternity of Saint Philomena, called also, the Work of Saint Philomena. So, this is how the Work of Saint Philomena was born. Still today, following the directives of the Sanctuary at Mugnano, it spreads her devotion throughout the world.

In testimony of the above, we publish the following letter:
Very Reverend Father Rector, everywhere to England there can be found devotion to Saint Philomena, and some wish that the Confraternity of the Saint be established in this country. In the diocese of Leads there is a priest, looked upon favorably by the Bishop, who is disposed to act as Spiritual Director of the Confraternity should it eventuate. He would like to know if there is in existence a stable Constitution or Rule for this Confraternity, and he would be very grateful to receive information about this point. In the hope of receiving your kind reply, I give you my most sincere regards, Mrs. Margaret Seddon, Near Keighley, Yorks, England. 11.6.1985.
The Confraternity of Saint Philomena was raised to the rank of Arch Confraternity by Pope Leo XIII, November, 1886

On June 16th, 1907, the Supreme Pontiff Pius X, receiving in audience Father Petit, from Paris, the director of the Work of Saint Philomena, exclaimed: “Ah, Saint Philomena! It is very sad to read what has been written recently against her” (The Holy Father was referring to certain detractors of the cult of Saint Philomena who dared to maintain that our Little Saint did not even exist.) “It is incredible,” continued the Holy Father, “that such things can come about without them (the detractors) looking at the great argument in favour of the saint, the Holy Curé of Ars. By her, in her name, and through her intercession, he obtained innumerable graces and continual prodigies.”

To definitively affirm the cult of Saint Philomena and to give the final word, on May 21, 1912, Pope Pius raised the Venerable Archconfraternity of Saint Philomena into the Universal Archconfraternity with the Apostolic Brief, “Pias Fidelium Societates,” in which he states very clearly: “We decree with the present words that it shall remain always stable, valid and effective, that it receive and obtain its effects fully and completely, in this way it must be regularly judged and defined, and if it proceeds in any other way, it will be null and without value, whatever the authority might be…”

Aims of the Work of Saint Philomena
(Universal Archconfraternity)

The Work of Saint Philomena is an association of prayer and apostolate which resolves:
Commitment to a life according to the Gospel of Christ in the intentions which Pope Leo XIII and Saint Pius X have recommended, promoting them under the patronage of Saint Philomena and the Holy Curé of Ars:
Promotion of the Gospel message in the world of work.
Christian education of children and youth.
Prayer for vocations and the sanctification of the clergy.
Means: To realize these various aims, the Works always avails itself of the prayers, and of the spiritual and material support of its members. The offerings of members are used for the diffusion of the cult through press publications, information releases, pamphlets, etc. The Works publishes a special bulletin, The Voice of Saint Philomena.

1. Little Members. This section comprises children under 14 years of age who have confided themselves to the protection of Saint Philomena. The Little Members of Saint Philomena, if they wish, can do much for the reign of Christ, since prayer is the great force in the world.
2. Members: These place themselves under the protection of Saint Phil0omena. They unite their prayers and their apostolate together with those of the other Members of the Archconfraternity on behalf of the other members and for the great intentions that the Church has entrusted to the Association.
3. Members of The Cord of Saint Philomena: Members of the Archconfraternity who wish to place themselves in particular manner under the protection of Philomena, or who desire to imitate more the example of the young martyr in the perfect practice of the duties of their state, carry as a badge, tied around their body, a white and red Cord which represents the virtues of their patron Saint:
Faith and the purity of virginity;
Charity and the generosity of martyrdom.
The Cord is a sign of special devotion towards her, and is carried to obtain special graces, particularly that of following a chaste life according to one’s state. It is recommended for those who carry the Cord, to recite every day the following prayer:
Dear Saint Philomena, Virgin and Martyr, pray for us, so that through your powerful intercession, we may obtain that purity of spirit and of heart that leads to perfect Love of God. Amen.

His Holiness Leo XIII approved and enriched this devotion with precious indulgences in the Apostolic Brief of April 4, 1884.
Institution and Enrolment: Any priest or lay person involved in the promoting of evangelical ideals may form a Pious Confraternity of Saint Philomena, with the approval of the local bishop and the consent of the rector of the Sanctuary of Saint Philomena. Any Confraternity of Saint Philomena must conform to the principles of the statutes of the Universal Archconfraternity of Saint Philomena instituted by Saint Pius X in the Apostolic Brief “Pias Fidelium Societates” of May 21, 1912. Generous souls who desire to work fervently for the diffusion of the reign of God, find in the Archconfraternity of Saint Philomena favorable terrain to satisfy their ideals and their devotions.

1. Each member must wear the cord of Saint Philomena as a cincture under their clothing or carry it around with them. The cord must be blessed by the Rector of the Sanctuary or a priest authorized by the Rector.
2. Each member must read and encourage others to read the life of Saint Philomena.
3. Each member should recite daily, where possible, the Chaplet of Saint Philomena.
4. Each member should attend Mass and receive Communion on the 10th January, 25th May, 10th and the 11th August.
5. Members are encouraged to make an annual donation according to their means, if at all possible.

1. Mass will be celebrated every second Friday of the month for members living and dead.
2. The members will benefit in all of the prayers offered at the Sanctuary.
3. Members will gain a plenary indulgence* when one wears the Cord**, on the feast days of 10th January, 25th May, 10th and the 11th August.
4. A plenary indulgence* is gained at the hour of death provided one invokes the name of Jesus, with one’s own lips or heart. This same indulgence can be gained if for a grave reason one is unable to go to Confession or receive Communion, provided one is repentant.
*Under the conditions laid down by the Church; confession, communion and prayer for the Holy Father, are required to gain a plenary indulgence.
**Pope Leo XIII approved and indulged Saint Philomena’s blessed cord on the 15th December 1883.


January 1, 2009

An Exert from, The Early Christians in Rome, by the very Reverend, H.D.M. Spence-Jones, MCMXI



An absolutely reliable source of information respecting the secret of the inner life of the Church in the early Christian centuries is the faithful record of the thoughts, the hopes, the aspirations of the congregations of the Church of the metropolis of the Empire, carved and painted on the countless graves of the subterranean corridors and chambers of the Catacombs of Rome.

“The popular, the actual belief of a generation or society of men cannot always be ascertained from the contemporary writers, who belong for the most part to another stratum. The belief of a people is something separate from the books or the watchwords of parties. It is in the air. It is in their intimate conversation. We must hear, especially in the case of the simple and unlearned, what they talk of to each other. We must sit by their bedsides, get at what gives them most consolation, what most occupies their last moments. This, whatever it be, is the belief of the people, right or wrong; this and this only, is their real religion…. Now, is it possible to ascertain this concerning the early Christians?

“The books of that period are few and far between, and those books are for the most part the works of learned scholars rather than of popular writers. Can we, apart from these books, discover what was their most real and constant representation of their dearest hopes here and hereafter? Strange to say, after all this lapse of time (getting on for some two thousand years) it is possible; the answer, at any rate, for that large mass of Christians from all parts of the Empire that was collected in the capital, the answer is to be found in the Roman Catacombs,” great city of the dead which lies beneath the soil of the immediate suburbs of imperial Rome. This city of the dead certainly contains several hundred miles of streets of tombs, and the tombs at least contain three or more millions of silent dwellers!

In this resting-place of the dead the community of Rome, by far the greatest of the Christian churches who professed the faith of Jesus, for some two centuries and a half reverently laid their dear ones as they passed from the stir of busy restless Roman life into the unseen world. There in these Catacombs they used to pray often, very often in the years of persecution; there they used to hear the teaching of Duty, of Hope and Faith from the lips of some chosen master, and it is from the words written orgraven upon the innumerable tombs in the Catacombs that we gather what was the real belief of these early congregations-what their sure hopes and aspirations. In these silent streets, on the walls of the countless sepulchral chambers, they loved to pictures and to grave short epitaphs telling of these same cherished hopes. Some of these pictures and epitaphs, often dim and discoloured, often are with us still. Not a few of the artists who worked there were evidently men of no mean power in their noble craft.

Ruined, desecrated, spoiled though it now is, with only comparatively small portions accessible a tall-what a treasure house for the scholar is the silent group of cemeteries.

A careful study of the more recent discoveries in the Catacombs throws much light on the opinions and thoughts of the Christians of the first and second centuries, showing us that the current of early Christian thought not unfrequently ran in a somewhat different channel to the stream of thoughts presented to us by the contemporary writers of that very early period. It must, however, be insisted on that the cardinal doctrines of the Faith taught by the weightiest of the first Christian writers were absolutely identical with the belief of the Christians of the Roman Catacombs. If anything, the supreme divinity of the Son of God-His love for, His care for men, is emphasised more emphatically, if it be possible, in the silent teaching than in the fervid dogmatism of the great Catholic writers.


To enable the reader fairly to grasp something of the vast Extent, the nature, and importance of these Catacombs of Rome, whose silent witness to the ”Inner Life” of the early Church is invoked, this Fourth Book will give: (I) a brief description of the way in which the investigations into this wonderful “City of the Dead in later years has been carried out by careful scholars and experts; (2) a general and somewhat detailed account of the situation and features of the several Catacombs, dwelling especially on the more important of these cemeteries; (3) the teaching contained in the inscriptions, carvings, and paintings on the graves in the Catacomb corridors.


Since the date of what may be termed the rediscovery of the Catacombs in the vineyard on the Via Salaria in 1578 the work of excavation and research in the streets of the City of the Dead which lies beneath the suburbs of Rome has been slowly and somewhat fitfully carried on, exciting generally but little public interest, and until the last fifty years, roughly speaking, has been most mischievous and destructive.

It is probable that more destruction and havoc have been wrought by the well-meaning but ill-directed efforts of the explorer than were occasioned by the raids of the barbarians in the sixth and two following centuries and by the slow wear and sap of time.

Among these, Bosio, A.D. 1593-1629, the pioneer of the Catacomb explorers, occupies one of the few honourable places; his method of working was in many respects scientific. He was no mere explorer, working haphazard, but he guided his labours by carefully sifting all the information he could procure of the past history of the vast subterranean necropolis. But, after all, the materials of this history which he could get together were scanty when compared with the materials possessed by scholars of our day and time, and in consequence many of the conclusions to which this pioneer of Catacomb research came to were erroneous.

But in his manner of working Bosio had no successors. As a rule, since that really illustrious scholar and searcher has passed away, alas I a very different method has been with rare exceptions followed by explorers of the Catacombs, and owing to the careless and ill-regulated excavations which have been fitfully carried on during some 200 and more years, irreparable damage has been done, and the losses to this deeply important branch of early Christian history are simply incalculable.

The general results of this unfortunate exploration work in the past have been summarised as follows:

During this long period-roughly from A.D. 1629 to about the middle of the nineteenth century, some 220 yeas – the chief object and aim of Catacomb exploration were to procure relics; when these were once carried away, no heed was paid to the crypts, or to the streets of graves. The records of the excavations kept were scanty and utterly and each Catacomb from which the relics were taken was left in a state of utter ruin and deplorable confusion. The result of these searchings of 220 years has been that few discoveries were made of any real importance to early Christian history or archreology. At last De Rossi, in the middle years of the nineteenth century, took in hand seriously the study and scientific exploration of the vast Christian necropolis of Rome.

De Rossi was the friend and pupil of Father Marchi, an indefatigable student of the Catacombs who was really impressed with the possibilities of a more careful exploration than had hitherto been undertaken. Marchi’s real title to honour will ever be that he imbued his pupil with a passionate love of the work to which he has devoted a long and strenuous life.

The great City of the Dead, largely thanks to De Rossi’s lifelong labours, is to us something far more than a vast museum of inscriptions and memorials, the work of the Christian congregations in Rome during the first two and a half centuries which followed the preaching and martyrdom of SS. Peter and Paul. It is true that most important is the testimony of these precious relics to the earliest popular estimate of Christianity: we shall dwell later on the wonderful witness which the numberless inscriptions and strange emblems painted and graven on the tombs bear to the faith and belief of the early Church; but the eminent Roman scholar of whom we are speaking has taught us that there was more than even the witness of these precious inscriptions and emblems to be gathered from a patient study of the Catacomb secret.

De Rossi believed, and the splendid results of his long toil have strikingly verified his belief, that amidst the ruined and desolated streets of graves the historic crypts of the more and illustrious martyrs of Christ, of the men and women who during the first two centuries and a half through pain and agony passed to their rest and won their crowns, could be found and identified, and that thus a new and striking proof would be furnished of the truth of much of the martyr story of the early Church.

The official records of well-nigh all the Roman martyrdoms of the age of persecution, we know, were destroyed by the imperial government in the days of Diocletian. The martyrologies or histories of these heroes and heroines of the faith of Jesus which have come down to us, it is well known, were with a few notable exceptions for the most part largely composed some two or even more centuries alter the events they relate had happened, and have in consequence been treated by careful Christian scholars as not dependable sources of early Christian history; this has been conceded by the most scholarly of the devout Christian students.

De Rossi’s great work, however, strange to say, has curiously rehabilitated very many of these long-discredited martyr stories,! and has clearly shown us that not a few of the more important of these have been absolutely founded on fact; of course, some of the various details as recounted in these martyrologies are more or less legendary, but the great cardinal fact of the existence, of the life-work and suffering, and noble testimony to the faith sealed with their life-blood, of these true servants of the adored Master, is positively established by what has been found in the last fifty years in the Roman city of the Christian dead.

De Rossi and his companions have indeed given us a perfectly new and most striking page in the history of this early Christian Church.


It will be of special interest briefly to glance over the principal portion of the materials which De Rossi made use of as his guide during his long forty years’ labours in the exploration of the Catacombs. First in order must be taken what may be termed the literature bearing on the City of the Dead.

The most important of these pieces are

I. The Acts of the Martyrs. These have already been alluded to as possessing, save in a few instances, little historic authority, as they were mostly composed two centuries or even more after the events which they purported to relate happened. But they were not without their value to the Catacomb explorers, for it must be remembered that when these Acts” were put together in the form we now possess them, in the fifth,sixth,and seventh centuries, the Catacombs were still an object of eager pilgrimage from all lands, and many of the details in these Acts” evidently were based on an historical tradition, such as the place exactly where the martyr of the .. Acts” was buried; such a detail, for instance, served as a guide to the explorer.

2. The Martyrology of S. Jerome – a compilation dating from about the middle of the sixth century, but certainly containing memoranda of an earlier date.

3. The (so-called) Liber Pontificalis-a generally reliable and most interesting work, the earlier portion of which has been largely used throughout Western Christendom, certainly since the sixth century. The first part of this work contains biographical notices of the Bishops of Rome from the days of S. Peter to the times of Pope Nicholas, A.D. 807. The earliest redaction of the first Papal notices in the Liber Pontificalis which has come down to us was made towards the end of the fifth century, or in the first years of the sixth. But it is evidently based on records of a much older date preserved in the Roman Church.
4. But what De Rossi found most valuable for the purposes of his great work was a group of writings known as Itineraries of Pilgrims. These were founded on hand-books composed for the use of devout pilgrims from Britain, Gaul, Spain, Germany, and Switzerland,-men and women who were desirous to see and to pay their devotions at the celebrated shrines of Rome.

Some five at least of these precious Pilgrim Itineraries or Guide-Books to the more celebrated shrines or places where martyrs were interred in the vast Roman City of the Dead have come down to us. They have proved of the highest value to De Rossi in his exploration work. The first perhaps in value of these is contained in the works of William of Malmesbury, which treat of the doings of the Crusaders in Rome. William of Malmesbury wrote in the year of grace 109S. But the Itinerary section in question speaks of the martyr saints as though they were still resting in their Catacomb graves, although we know that they had been translated into churches in the city about three centuries earlier. This clearly shows that the “Itinerary” section had been written several centuries before the writer William of Malmesbury lived and copied it into his work.

Other Pilgrim Itineraries have been found in famous monastic libraries, such as in the libraries of Einsiedeln and Salzburg. These may be roughly dated about the middle of the seventh century,-that is, before the days of the Pontificate of Paul I, A.D. 757, and Paschal I, A.D. 817, when the wholesale translation of the remains of the martyrs from the Catacombs to the securer shelter of the city churches took place. These were therefore written in a period when the traditions connected with the historic crypts and their venerated contents were all comparatively fresh and vivid.

In the same category with the Pilgrim Itineraries which the great Roman scholar has found so helpful in his Catacomb researches must be placed the celebrated papyrus preserved in the Cathedral of Monza.. This is a contemporary catalogue or list of the sacred oils sent by Pope Gregory the Great (A.D. 590-604) to Theodelinda, Queen of the Lombards. The Lombard Queen sent a special messenger, one Abbot John, to Pope Gregory the Great asking him for relics of the saints buried in the Catacombs. At that period no portions of the sacred bodies were allowed to be removed, even at the request of so powerful a petitioner as Theodelinda; but as a substitute the Pope sent a little of the oil which fed the lamps which were ever kept burning before the tombs or shrines of the saints in question.

Each phial containing the oil was carefully ticketed or labelled, and a list of these tickets or labels was written on this Monza. papyrus. Some sixty or seventy saints’ shrines are specially enumerated, besides about eight places mentioned before which oils were kept burning, before tombs which contained a crowd of unnamed saints and martyrs.

This Monza catalogue of the sacred oils De Rossi carefully compared with the topographical notices in the Itineraries above referred to. It was of great service to the scholar explorer in discovering and identifying many of the principal sanctuaries of the Catacombs.

Another and quite a different material for his investigations De Rossi found amidst the desolate Catacombs themselves: he noticed that certain unmistakable indications ever marked the near neighbourhood of some historic crypt.

I. The existence above ground of more or less ruined basilicas of various diInensions,-in some cases showing the remains of a considerable building, in others of a comparatively smalledificeasofachapelor anoratory. Sucharuinedbuilding evidently pointed to there being beneath the soil, at times deep down, an historic crypt of importance. Such a small basilica or oratory had no doubt been built after the Peace of the Church in the middle or latter years of the fourth or in the fifth century, when pilgrimage to the shrines of the saints and martyrs had become the fashion. It was intended to accommodate the ever-growing crowds who came often from distant countries to pray near and to venerate the saints and martyrs whose remains lay buried in the crypt immediately beneath”.

2. The remains, more or less perfect, of a staircase or staircases leading down to the sacred crypt containing a tomb of some great confessor known and honoured in the tradition of the Church.

3. The presence of a “luminare” or shaft, sometimes of considerable size, which was constructed to give light and air to a subterranean chamber in the Catacombs, indicated that in the immediate neighbourhood of the “luminare .. an historic crypt had once existed. These openings or shafts were mostly the work of Pope Damasus and his successors in the latter years of the fourth and in the earlier years of the fifth centuries.

4. Below-in some of the ruined corridors of tombs and in certain of the cubicula or separate chambers leading out of the corridors-on the walls a number of “graffiti” or inscriptions, often very rudely graved or painted, are visible, some of the inscriptions or questions being simply a name, others containing a brief prayer for the writer or for one dear to the writer. It was evident that the presence of such inscriptions indicated the immediate neighbourhood of an historic crypt which once contained the remains of a revered “great one,” – not unfrequently the name of the “great one” was included in some of the graffiti.

Such “graffiti” were clearly the work of the many pilgrims to the Catacombs in the fifth and following centuries.

5. In certain of the cubicula or separate chambers leading out of the corridors, remains of paintings, evidently of a period much later than the original Catacomb work, are discernible -paintings which belong to the Byzantine rather than to any classical school of art, and which cannot be dated earlier than the sixth or seventh centuries. The existence of such later decorative work clearly indicated that the spot so adorned was one of traditional sanctity, and no doubt had been the resting-place of a venerated saint and martyr.

6. In his “materials” for the identification of the historic crypts De Rossi found the inscriptions of Pope Damasus, who died A.D. 384, of the greatest assistance.

Damasus’ love for and work in the Catacombs is well known. He was a considerable poet, and precious fragments of poetical inscriptions composed by him have been found in many of the more important Catacombs which have been explored. These inscriptions were engraved on marble tablets by his friend and skilful artist Furius Dionysius Filocalus in clear beautiful characters. These fragments have been in many cases put together, and where the broken pieces were wanting have been wonderfully restored with the aid of “syllogæ” or collections of early Christian inscriptions gathered mostly in the ninth century by the industry of the monks. These “syllogæ” or collections have preserved for us some forty of the inscriptions of Pope Damasus in honour of martyrs and confessors buried in the Catacombs. With perhaps one solitary exception, they are all written in hexameter verse.

Such collections of early Christian inscriptions have been preserved in the libraries of such monasteries as Einsiedeln, S. Riquier, S. Gall, etc.

The result of the forty years of De Rossi’s researches and work in the Catacombs, based on the above-mentioned historical documents and on the evidence derived from what he found in the ruined corridors of tombs and the chambers leading out of them, has been that, whereas before his time at most three important historical crypts were known, now already more than fifteen 1 of these have been clearly identified, a wonderful and striking proof of the reality of the sufIerings and constancy of the heroes and heroines of the faith in the first two hundred and fifty years of the existence of the religion of Jesus-sufIerings and constancy which resulted in the final triumph of Christianity.

Briefly to enumerate just a very few of the more prominent later historical discoveries which have lifted much of the early history and inner life of the great Church of the Roman congregations from the domain of tradition into the realm
of scientific history-

In the first century – the discoveries in the cemeteries of Domitilla and Priscilla. The long-disputed story of Nereus and Achilles; the existence and fate of the two Domitillas,
kinswomen of the imperial house; the Christianity and martyrdom of the patrician Acilius Glabrio the Consul, have been largely authenticated.

In the second century – the discovery of the tombs of SS. Felicitas and Cecilia, of the grave of S. Januarius, the eldest son of Felicitas, substantiate the existence and death of the famous martyrs, whose very existence has been doubted even by earnest Christian students, and whose life-story has been generally relegated to the sphere of religious romance.

In the early years of the third century-the wonderful “find” of the Papal Crypt in the Callistus Cemetery, and the ruined remains of the tombs of several of the Bishops of Rome, confessors and martyrs, bear irrefragable testimony to the truth of records of early Christian history, and set a seal upon tradition hitherto only held with but a half-hearted confidence. In the middle years of the same century the identification of the tombs of Agnes and her foster-sister Emerentiana re-placed in the pages of serious history scenes often quoted in early martyrology, but which competent Christian critics had long relegated to the region of the merely legendary. The exploration and labours of De Rossi and his band of fellow-workers and pupils have also thrown a flood of light on the days of the fierce continuous persecution of the Emperor Diocletian, and have opened out to publicity a number of tombs of nameless martyrs who suffered under the iron hand of imperial Rome in the bloody times of that last and fiercest of attacks on Christianity. And besides the many nameless graves of a great multitude of martyrs and confessors who suffered under Diocletian, these explorations have identified the tombs of not a few of the more famous Christian leaders who witnessed a good confession at that same dread epoch, notably the resting-places of Peter and Marcellinus, of the Roman bishops Caius and Eusebius, of Marcus and Marcellinus. very glorious group of monuments-a group, too, which we may well expect to become larger and more far-reaching in its teaching, for innumerable crypts are still waiting to be explored and searched out. Each of the ancient roads leading from the immemorial capital of Italy, and once of the world; each historic cemetery or catacomb contains such a crypt with its central shrine of some once well-known martyr or illustrious confessor of the Name.”

So writes Marucchi, one of the foremost of the living Roman scholars in Catacomb lore, the disciple and successor of De Rossi. (These words were written in the year of grace 1903.)

Following closely upon the notices contained in the Pilgrim Itineraries of the seventh and eighth centuries, De Rossi, in a catalogue carefully composed, enumerates thirty-seven cemeteries or Catacombs. Several, however, of these have not been clearly identified. One or two of them are very small; while others, apparently extending over a wide area, communicate with one another; and some are very imperfectly known, others as yet quite unexplored.


It will be an assistance to the student wishing to grasp something of the vast extent of the great subterranean City of the Dead, and desirous to arrive at some idea of the present knowledge of the mighty Christian necropolis of the first days, if a brief sketch of the known cemeteries and their more important crypts is presented.

The sketch will deal with each of the :Viæ” or public roads leading out of Rome, in the immediate neighbourhood of which the different cemeteries or Catacombs have been excavated,-each public road having its own special group of cemeteries, lying hard by beneath the vineyards or gardens abutting on the road.


Naturally, the cemetery on the Vatican Hill, which includes the tomb of S. Peter, must be mentioned first. The whole district of the Vatican in the days of Nero (middle years of the first century of the Christian era) was covered with gardens and villas; it communicated directly with the city by means of the Pons Triumphalis, afterwards tenned the Pons Neronianus, and was traversed by the Via Triumphalis and the Via Cornelia. Between these two roads the Apostle S. Peter was buried. The Pilgrim Itineraries describe the sacred tomb now as “juxta viam Corneliam “-now as “juxta viam Triumphalem.” Directly over the apostle’s tomb 1 Anacletus, the Bishop of Rome, third in succession, erected a “Memoria” or little chapel. This “Memoria” or Chapel of Anac1etus grew into the lordly basilica known subsequently as S. Peter’s at Rome.

The tomb in question is situated close by the spot where without doubt the apostle suffered martyrdom in the year of grace 67. Around the tomb of S. Peter, as we shall see, were buried the nine or ten first Bishops or Popes of Rome; as well as other nameless saints once famous in the early years of the story of the Roman congregations.

It is doubtful if there was ever a Catacomb, as we understand the tenn, on the Vatican Hill. No trace of subterranean corridors, or of chambers leading out of the corridors, have been found; only, it must be remembered that the neighbourhood of the tomb of S. Peter and the early Bishops of Rome has been completely changed owing to the excavations necessary for the foundations of the great basilica erected over the little Memoria of Anacletus by Constantine the Great in the first half of the fourth century.


The Via Aurelia Vetus was probably originally laid out by C. Aurelius, Censor in the year of grace 512. It started from the ]aniculum (the modem Gate of S. Pancras) and led directly towards the sea-board. It was the road from Rome to Centumcellre (Civita Vecchia).

The cemeteries along the Via Aurelia have been as yet very imperfectly explored. The ancient Pilgrim Itineraries mention four distinct cemeteries here. (1) That of SS. Processus and Martinianus, first century. (2) S. Calepodius or S. Callistus, third century. (3) S. Pancratius, fourth century. (4) The two Felixes, fourth century.

Cemetery of SS. Processus and Marinianus. – (Apostolic age.) Tradition relates that these saints were the gaolers of S. Peter, and owed their conversion to their prisoner. They suffered martyrdom shortly after S. Peter’s death, being decapitated on the Via Aurelia; Lucina, a wealthy Roman matron, buried them in her garden near the place of their martyrdom. This Lucina was probably the same who gave her name to the ancient cemetery on the Via Appia, and which now forms part of the great network of cemeteries known generally as S. Callistus’ Catacomb.

Very little is kllown of this Catacomb. Among the network of sepulchral corridors on this portion of the Via Aurelia this special cemetery has not as yet been clearly identified.

These cemeteries are in a sadly ruined condition. The loculi which have been examined are evidently of a very early period. Marncchi, in pleading for a more detailed exploration here, suggests the probability of some “Memories” of S. Peter being eventually discovered.

Cemetery of S. Calepodius. – This saint appears to have been a priest who suffered martyrdom, probably in a popular rising, in the reign of Alexander Severns (A.D. 222-35). This cemetery is principally famous as being the resting-place of Pope Callistus, who also suffered in a popular rising, A.D. 222, and was laid to rest in this cemetery, perhaps as being nearer to the scene of his martyrdom than the official Papal Crypt on the Via Appia to which he gave his name. The exploration work here, as far as it has gone, has been carried out with difficulty owing to the ruinous state of the corridors.

Cemetery of S. Pancratius. – S. Pancras was a boy-martyr twelve, or as some accounts give fourteen years of age when in A.D. 304 he suffered for his faith in the Diocletian persecution.

This cemetery was in the first instance known under the name of Octavilla, a Christian matron who buried the young confessor in her garden on the Aurelian Way. It had probably been a cemetery before the deposition of the remains of the famous boy-martyr gave it a new name and not a little celebrity.

The story of S. Pancras has ever been an attractive one, and a certain number of churches named in his honour are scattered over many lands. A small basilica was built over the crypt containing his grave. Pope Siricius (end of fourth century) restored and adorned it. Honorius I, A.D. 620, rebuilt it. In the present Church of S. Pancras there are scarcely any traces of the original basilica. The remains of the martyr have disappeared. Strange to say, in the great translation of the ashes of saints and by Pope Paul I and Paschal I,
S. Pancras was left undisturbed in his tomb. The corridors, however, have been completely wrecked, and have been very partially explored.

The site of the cemeteries mentioned in the Pilgrim Itineraries, named after two saints each bearing the name of Felix, has not been discovered.


This road leads from the old Porta Navalis in the Trastevere, the city” across the Tiber,” direct to Portus the port of Rome, a construction of Claudius when Ostia was unable to cope with commerce of the capital. Three cemeteries, according to the ancient Itineraries, were excavated on the Via Portuensis. That of Pontianus, the best known of the three, where lie the remains of SS. Abdon and Sennen ; and a second, nearly five miles from the city, the Catacomb of Generosa. There is a third, the Cemetery of S. Felix, the position of which has not yet been discovered.

The Cemetery of Pointianus. – Pontianus was a wealthy Christian of the Trastevere quarter, who used in the second century-probably in the latter years of the century-to gather his fellow-Christians to prayer and teaching in his house. The cemetery which bears his name was originally excavated in one of his gardens. The old Pilgrim Itineraries speak of there being a vast number of martyrs in this Catacomb-” innumerabilis multitudo Martyrum.” Several of these are named; the most notable, however, are the two noble Persians, Abdon and Sennen, who, visiting Rome at the time of the persecution of Decius, suffered for their faith.

In this Catacomb there is a well-known ancient baptistery of considerable size, which was richly decorated in the sixth century. Such baptisteries have been found in other Catacombs, notably in that of S. Priscilla, a very ancient and vast cemetery which will be described with some detail later.

The remains of the more famous martyrs were removed into the city at the period of the great translation of sacred bodies in the ninth century, after which date this cemetery ceased to be visited. It has only been partially explored.

The Cemetery of S. Felix mentioned in the Itineraries is completely unknown as yet.

The Cemetery of Generosa, on the road to Porta, is not alluded to in the Pilgrim Guides, no doubt owing to its distance five miles-from the city. Lanciani gives a vivid description of its story and of its discovery in 1867. It is of small extent, and apparently was excavated in the persecution of Diocletian, circa A.D. 303, in what was once a sacred grove belonging to the College of the Arval Brothers, but which had been abandoned, probably after the dissolution of the Brotherhood, which is supposed to have taken place about the middle of the third century.



The Via Ostiensis, on the city side of the Tiber, one of the principal roads of the Empire, begins at the ancient Porta Ostiensis, known from the sixth century onwards as the Porta
S. Pauli, and leads to the old harbour of Ostia. The Pilgrim Itineraries enumerate three cemeteries as situated hard by this road-the tomb of the Apostle S. Paul with the little Cemetery of Lucina, the Cemetery of Commodilla, and that of S. Theckla.

(1) According to a very general tradition, S. Paul suffered martyrdom, A.D. and his body was laid in a tomb on the Ostian Way in a garden belonging to a Christian lady named Lucina,-some identify her with the Lucina “ of the Cemetery of Callistus on the Appian Way. There it rested, according to the most recent investigations, until the persecution and confiscation of the cemeteries in A.D. 258, when for security’s sake it was secretly removed at the same time as the body of S. Peter was brought from the grave on the Vatican Hill. The sacred remains of the two apostles were laid in the “Platonia .. Crypt, in what was subsequently known as the Catacomb of S. Sebastian, on the Via Appia ; and probably after an interval of some two years, when the cemeteries were restored to the Christian congregations by the Emperor Gallerius, the bodies of the two apostles were brought back again to their original resting-places.
Anacletus, the third in succession of the Roman bishops, erected in the first century a small “Memoria” or chapel over the tomb of S. Paul, like the one he built over the tomb of S. Peter on the Vatican Hill.

In the year 324-5 the first Christian Emperor, Constantine, over the apostle’s tomb and little “Memoria,” caused the first important basilica, known as S. Paul’s, to he erected; the Emperor treated the loculus or sarcophagus of S. Paul in the same manner as he had treated the sarcophagus of S. Peter, enclosing it in a solid bronze coffin, on which he laid a cross of gold. When the basilica was rebuilt, after the fire of A.D. 1813, a marble slab, which apparently was a part of the vaulted roof of the original sepulchral chamber of the apostle, came to light. On this slab, or rather slabs of marble, which now lie directly under the altar, are engraved the simple words Pavlo Apostolo Mart: the inscription evidently dating from the days of Constantine (A.D. 324-5). No further investigation of the tomb was petmitted. It is believed that the bronze sarcophagus with its sacred contents, with the golden cross, lie immediately under the solid masonry upon which the slab of marble we have been speaking of rests.

On the slab of marble in question, besides the simple inscription above quoted, are three apertures: the most important of these is circular; it is, in fact, a little well, and is 23 ½ inches in depth, and was no doubt originally what is termed the “billicum confessionis,” through which handkerchiefs and other objects were lowered, so as to be hallowed by resting for a brief space on the sarcophagus when access to the vault itself was not pennitted. The other two apertures or little wells are only 121 and 8 inches deep respectively. It is not known for what purpose these two were intended.

The history of the famous basilica is as follows. Lanciani writes how” wonder has been manifested at the behaviour of Constantine the Great towards S. Paul, whose basilica at the second milestone of the Via Ostiensis appears like a pigmy structure in comparison with that which he erected over the tomb of S. Peter. Constantine had no intention of placing S. Paul in an inferior rank, or of showing less honour to his memory.” In his original design which he carried out, the high road to Ostia ran close by the grave; thus the space at his disposal was limited. But before the fourth century had run out it was imperatively felt that the Church of S. Paul ought to be equal in size and beauty to that on the Vatican Hill: so, in rebuilding the basilica the original plan was changed by the Emperor Valentinian II., in A.D. 386. The tomb and the altar above it were left undisturbed, a great arch was raised above the altar, and westwards from that point, in the direction of the Tiber, a vast church was built. The great work was continued by Theodosius and completed by Honorius, and the splendid decorative work finally carried out by Honorius’ sister, the famous Placidia, who died in A.D. 450. Certain Popes, notably Gregory the Great, and later Honorius III, in A.D. 1226, added to the decorations of Placidia.

There was evidently in very early times a cemetery around the crypt which contained the body of S. Paul; this was the original Cemetery of Lucina. But it has been disturbed by the subsequent erection of Basilica of Constantine, and later by the far larger church begun under Valentinian II. It is hoped that a future careful exploration of the cemetery will bring to light much that is at present unknown.

(2) Cemetery of Commodilla – is situated on the left of the Via Ostiensis on the road of the Seven Churches. Commodilla was evidently a wealthy Roman lady who, like many other Christians of position and means, gave up her garden to the Christian dead. Nothing, however, is known of her history.

Two martyrs, SS. Felix and Adauctus, once well known in Christian story, were interred here. They belong to the time of Diocletian. This Catacomb, apparently of considerable extent, is only very imperfectly known. The Martyrologies mention other “confessors” buried here, but the corridors are either earthed up or are in a state of ruin and confusion, and any thorough investigation would be a costly and difficult piece of work.

(3) Cemetery of S. Thekla. – Nothing is known of the martyr who has given her name to this Catacomb; who must not, however, be confounded with the celebrated saint of the same name who belongs to Lycaonia, and is traditionally connected with S. Paul. This cemetery has been but imperfectly examined as yet; its extent is unknown.


The Via Ardeatina lies a little distance to the right of the Via Appia, from which it branches off close to the Church of “ Domine quo vadis,” the traditional scene of the appearance of the Lord to S. Peter. In the immediate neighbourhood of the Via Ardeatina and Via Appia lie, rougWy speaking scarcely two miles from the city, the wonderful group of cemeteries generally known under the names of Domitilla and Callistus. These include the Cemetery of Lucina-really an area of Callistus, the Cemeteries of SS. Marcus and Balbinus and also that of S Soteris. This enormous network of subterranean corridors, chambers, and chapels are all more or less’ united by passages and corridors (though this is not quite certain); but much is as yet unexplored, and the lines of demarcation between the several Catacombs uncertain. Recent careful investigations of De Rossi, Armellini, Marucchi, and others less known have, however, led to the discovery of certain great and notable historic crypts, centres round which the network of corridors are grouped. These identifications have thrown a flood of light upon the very early history of the numerous and influential Roman congregations; much that
was supposed to be purely legendary and fabulous has as we have observed, into the domain of real history. Very briefly we will touch on a few of the more remarkable “finds.”

Cemetery of Domitilla. – The famous group of Catacombs known under this general title-perhaps with the sole exception of the Cemetery of S. Priscilla and the Cemetery of
S. Callistus, hereafter to be described, is the vastest of all the Catacombs; and with the exceptions just alluded to, in some of its areas, the oldest in point of date.

Much of this great cemetery dates from the time of men who knew the Apostles Peter and Paul.
Its grandeur. – It was burying-place of certain Christian members of the imperial house of Vespasian, Titus, and Domitian in the days of their power, and it tells us with no uncertain voice that in the ranks of the Christian congregation of Rome in the very first days were members drawn from the highest ranks of the proudest aristocracy of the world, and who did not shrink from sharing the same seats in the Christian prayer homes with the slave and the little trader.

Writing of the Domitilla Cemetery in 1903, Marucchi does not hesitate to style it perhaps the most important of all the Catacombs; but, “ alas ‘“ he goes on to say, has been terribly ravaged by comparatively modem explorers.” These destructive explorations have sadly affected the importance which the Catacomb and its several divisions, or areas, would have possessed as a great monument of very early Christian history, had these recent excavations been carried out with due care and reverence.

Roughly, the Cemetery of Domitilla is composed of three distinct divisions or areas. The first, the work of the first and second centuries. In this area there are several famous historical centres, e.g. the tombs of the two saints Nereus and Achilles, and of the once famous S. Petronilla, and the well-known entrance or vestibule which opens on the Via Ardeatina, and the Chapel or Chamber of Ampliatus. The second area is the work of the third century, and the third dates from the last years of the third and the first quarter of the fourth. These areas have been connected with corridors of different periods in the second, third, and fourth centuries; the whole network is of very great extent.

At the end of the sixth century, in the Pontificate of Siricius, great damage was occasioned to much of the earlier part of the cemetery by the construction of the Basilica of S. Petronilla, a building which also bears the names of Nereus and Achilles.

The fame of these early martyrs and the number of pilgrims to their shrines in the closing years of the fourth century, induced Pope Siricius-regardless of the mischief which such a work would occasion to the many unknown graves of an early period-to build a somewhat large church or basilica over the tombs of SS. Nereus and Achilles and S. Petronilla. The position of the tombs of these two saints has been ascertained; the grave of Petronilla has also been localized with fair certainty. The high altar of the fourth-century basilica was placed over the graves of the two martyrs; the remains of Petronilla lay in a chamber behind the apse of the basilica ; without, of course, maintaining the accuracy of the details of the sixth-century martyrology of Nereus and Achilles, the discoveries in the Cemetery of Domitilla have established the fact of the existence of these two traditional saints and martyrs. Scholars recognize now that much of the sixth century martyrology was founded upon dependable tradition.

The crypt of Ampliatus-another of the historic centres of this great catacomb, is situated in the middle of the area or district originally occupied by the tombs of the Christian members of the Imperial Flavian House. The decorations of the sepulchral chambers here and the style of inscriptions belong to the first century and first half of the second.

In one of the carefully decorated crypts of the Flavian family is an arched tomb with the word” Ampliatus “ graven on marble in characters which belong to a very early period. De Rossi, after examining the question at some length, concludes that this grave can be with very high probability considered to be the sleeping-place of the remains of the Arnpliatus loved of S. Paul (Rom. xvi. 8). The name is clearly that of a slave or freedman; subsequently the name (Ampliatus) became the recognized surname of the various members of the family and their descendants. It seems strange on first thoughts that one of servile should occupy a tomb of considerable importance in the heart of a Christian cemetery belonging to so great a House. This is no doubt explained by the fa.ct that this Ampliatus occupied some very distinguished position in the early Christian community at Rome. De Rossi concludes from this, that Ampliatus was most probably the friend of S. Paul; this would account for the estimation in which this person of servile origin held by the noblest of the Roman Christian Houses.


On the Via Appia – “the Queen of Ways” as it was termed – there are four groups of cemeteries in close proximity. Two of these groups, probably three, are linked together by corridors.

The “Via Appia” led from the ancient Porta Capena through Albano, Aricia, etc., on to Capua, and later it continued to Brindisi. Three of the four groups of cemeteries or catacombs coming from Rome are on the right of the way: the cemetery of S. Callistus, of S. Sebastian (“ad Catacombas”), of S. Soteris; and on the left that of Prretextatus.

We have alluded above to the ancient Pilgrim Itineraries as giving a sure index to De Rossi in his investigation and exploration work. As an example we append a short extract from the older of the two Pilgrim Guides known as the Salzburg Itinerary, which dates from about the year of
625: “You come by the Appian Way to S. Sebastian Martyr, whose body lies deep down; there too are the sepulchres of the Apostles Peter and Paul, in which they rested for 40 years…. North on the same Appian Way you come to the Martyrs Tiburtius, Valerianus, and Maximus. When there you pass into a large crypt and you find S. Urban, Martyr and Confessor; in another spot Felicissimus and Agapitus, Martyrs; in a third place, Cyrinus Martyr; in a fourth, ]anuarius Martyr. On the same way you find S. Cecilia and a countless multitude of martyrs (‘ ibi innumerabills multitudo Martyrum’), Sixtus Pope and Martyr, Dionysius Pope and Martyr, ]ulianus Pope and Martyr, Flavianus Pope and Martyr. There are 80 martyrs resting there. Zephyrinus Pope and Martyr rests above Eusebius; and Cornelius Pope and Martyr rests in a crypt a little further off; and then you come to the holy Virgin and Martyr Soteris.”

Comparing the various Guides together, De Rossi found that, with very minor differences in the details, they agreed wonderfully; and in the main, although composed a thousand to thirteen hundred years ago, he was able with their help to identify the principal shrines visited by the pilgrim crowds of the sixth and two following centuries.

(I) The Cemetery of S. Sebastian (“ad Catacombas”) is situated on the Via Appia, right-hand side; about one and a half miles from the Porta S. Sebastiana (the ancient Porta Appia). The principal” memory” belonging to this catacomb is the Platonia chamber-so called from its having been lined with marble-in which for a brief season were deposited the bodies of the two Apostles SS. Peter and Paul. The fact of this chamber having been the temporary home of the sacred bodies is undisputed; the exact date of their having been placed there, and the length of the period during which they were left in the Platonia chamber in question, have been the subject of much controversy. The period of forty years mentioned in the above quoted Pilgrim Itinerary is now reduced by the most dependable of modem scholars to two years, and the date of the placing of the bodies in this spot is now generally assumed to have been A.D. 258, in the days of the short but bitter persecution of Valerian, when the tombs on the Vatican Hill and on the Via Ostiensis were not considered safe from outrage. When the active persecution ceased, the remains of the two apostles were restored to their original resting-places; the spot, however, where the sacred bodies had rested for a brief season assumed the eyes of the faithful a singular sanctity, and very many desired to be laid in the immediate neighbourhood of the hallowed place. This was no doubt the original reason for the formation of the Cemetery” ad Catacombas,” the name of the little district in which the temporary tomb of the two apostles was situated.

The catacomb in question was eventually named after Sebastian, a brave confessor in the persecution of Diocletian, A.D. This Sebastian was tribune in the first cohort and commanded a company of the Prretorians, which was stationed on guard on the Palatine. He died for his faith under circumstances of a peculiar dramatic interest, being pierced with arrows and cruelly scourged. His body, so runs the probably true story, was taken out of the common sewer, into which it was ignominiously thrown, by a Christian matron named Lucina, who reverently interred it in the Cemetery” ad Catacombas” in the neighbourhood of the sacred Platonia chamber.

The remains of S. Sebastian were removed in the seventeenth century by Cardinal Borghesi from the crypt in which they were originally deposited and reinterred in the modem chapel which was erected over the ancient sanctuary. During the Middle Ages, when owing to the raids of the barbarians and consequent translation of the more celebrated martyrs to churches within the city, the eventful story of the catacombs was forgotten, this cemetery, owing to its connection with the two great apostles, was ever a hallowed sanctuary, and was visited by an unbroken stream of pilgrim visitors, and after the rediscovery of the City of the Dead in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, gave the name of its now famous district “ad Catacombas” to the various subterranean cemeteries which from time to time since then have been discovered.

The corridors with their graves in this famous cemetery have not yet been fully excavated.

The Cemetery of S. Callistus. – The great group of catacombs generally known under the title “S. Callistus” is situated on the right of the Via Appia, about a quarter of a mile nearer Rome than the Cemetery of S. Sebastian (“ad Catacombas”) just described; the usual entrance being about one and a quarter miles from the Porta S. Sebastiana (Porta

It is composed of several groups of cemeteries of different periods from the first century to the fourth. These groups are so united by corridors that they may be considered as one vast catacomb. The Cemetery of Callistus in part dates from the first century, but it only obtained the designation of “Callistus” in the last years of the second or in the first years of the third century, when Callistus the deacon was appointed by Zephyrinus the Bishop of Rome as superintendent of The Cemetery. Subsequently Callistus succeeded Zephyrinus as bishop, and greatly enlarged the original area, one chamber of which he set apart as the official burying-place of the bishops or popes of Rome. Before the time of Callistus the official burying-place of the bishops was the cemetery on the Vatican Hill, immediately contiguous to the sepulchre of S. Peter. At the end of the second century the limited space on the Vatican Hill was completely occupied-hence the necessity for arranging a new papal crypt.

The oldest portion of the “Callistus” group is the socalled Crypt of Lucina (first and second century). It was evidently in the first instance excavated in the property of the noble family of the and was used as the buryingplace of Christian members of that great House. De Rossi believes that the “Lucina” in whose land the crypt was originally arranged was no other than the well-known Pomponia wife of Plautius, the famous general in the days of Nero, whose conversion to Christianity about the year of grace 58 is alluded to in scarcely veiled language by Tacitus. If this be the case, the name “Lucina” was assumed by the great lady in question, and by which she was generally known in Christian circles. The assuming of such an “agnomen” was not uncommon among Roman ladies. The original area of the Cemetery of Lucina was greatly enlarged in the days of the Emperor Marcus and in the last years of the second century. The chapel of the popes, above alluded to, and other important funereal chambers, are included in this enlarged area.

It was in the course of the third century, no doubt after the construction of the new crypt or chapel of the popes by Callistus, and of course in part to the presence of this great historical centre, that the cemetery assumed its grandiose proportions.

The Cemetery of S. Soteris, a vast catacomb, communicates with the older portion of the Callistus crypt and corridors. Much is as yet unexplored here. S. virgin and martyr-who has given her name to this great cemetery, was buried “in Cemeterio suo,” A.D. 304. She suffered when the persecution of Diocletian was raging.

What we have termed the group, included generally under the term oftheCallistus Catacomb,is the largest and mostextensive of the catacombs which lie on the great roads which through the suburbs and immediate neighbourhood of Rome.

The discovery of this important area of the ancient Christian City of the Dead was made in the year 1849, when De Rossi found in an old vineyard bordering on the Via Appia a fragment of an inscription bearing the letters Martyr.” The Itineraries had recorded that Cornelius, Bishop of Rome and Martyr, had been buried in the “Callistus” Cemetery. In the course of subsequent searches the other portion of the broken tablet was found, which completed the inscription” Cornelius Martyr.” The vineyard was purchased by Pope Pius IX, and very soon the searchers came upon the ruined chapel of the popes and the crypt of S. Cecilia.

The position of the historic Callistus Catacomb was thus established beyond doubt, and for some fifty years portions of the great cemetery have been slowly excavated by De Rossi and his companions; the results have been of the highest importance, and have contributed in no little degree to our knowledge of early Christianity-its faith-its hopes-its anticipations.

The Cemetery of Pratextatus is on the left hand of the Via Appia, almost parallel with the usual entrance to the vast network of the Catacomb of Callistus. It is, comparatively speaking, a cemetery of small dimensions, but of great antiquity. It must have been arranged quite early in the second century; not improbably portions of this cemetery date from the first century. Some of the decorations of the historic crypt are elaborate and striking, and evidently belong to the best period of classical art. As yet it has only partially been explored. It runs under private property, and the owner apparently is to allow a detailed examination: this is disappointing, as owing to its great antiquity and
Possessing some historic crypts, once the resting-places of famous heroes in the early Christian combat, probably discoveries of high interest would result from a prolonged and careful search.

As early as A.D. 1857 De Rossi discovered in this cemetery of Prretextatus some crypts higWy decorated, evidently the resting-places of certain famous martyrs referred to in the Pilgrim Itineraries as sleeping in this catacomb.

There are many indications that we meet with here which tell us that this is a very ancient cemetery. Speaking of this catacomb of Prretextatus, the pilgrim itineraries mention particularly three of those small Basilicas in the immediate vicinity, which frequently in the fourth or fifth centuries were built directly over the crypt or crypts which contained the remains of well-known martyrs and confessors; this was for the convenience of pilgrims who came after from distant countries to pray at the shrines: the ruins of two of these Basilicas, apparently dedicated to SS. Valerian, Tiburtius, Maximus, and leno, have been discovered here. Of these confessors, Valerian and Tiburtius were respectively the husband and brother-in-law of S. Cecilia. Zeno 1 was also a martyr. Maximus was the Roman officer who had charge of the execution of Valerian and Tiburtius, and who, seeing their constancy under torture, became a Christian, and was in consequence put to death.

Other historic crypts have been ascertained to have existed in this little catacomb-namely, those of SS. Felicissimus, Agapetus; and Quirinus, with his daughter Balbina–{)f whom Felicissimus and Agapitus were deacons in attendance upon Pope Sixtus. They suffered martyrdom under Valerian, A.D. 258. Quirinus was a tribune who was put to death at an earlier period under the Emperor Hadrian.

A yet more famous confessor than any of these, S. Januarius, the eldest of the seven martyr sons of S. Fe1icitas, was buried in this sacred second-century catacomb of The number of graffiti, the work of pilgrim visitors in the neighbourhood of the tomb of this Januarius, bears witness to the great veneration in which this martyr was held.

The ceiling of the tomb, which has been identified as that of S. J anuarius, is beautifully decorated with paintings of the second century-representing the four seasons: the spring by flowers, the summer by ears of com, the autumn by a vine, the winter by laurels; birds and little winged figures are artistically mingled in this very early decorative work. On the wall below a painting, representing the Good Shepherd with a sheep on His shoulder, has been almost destroyed by a grave excavated in the fourth century. The grave held the body of some devout Christian whose friends were anxious to lay their loved dead as near as possible to the sacred remains of the famous martyr S. Januarius. Not a few of the more striking of the catacomb paintings are thus unhappily disfigured by the mistaken piety of subsequent generations.

The personality of after whom this cemetery is named, is unknown.



The ancient Via Latina branches off from the Via Appia near the Baths of Caracalla. It is soon, however, lost among the vineyards, but reappears and leads eventually to the Alban Hills.

The Pilgrim Itineraries mention three cemeteries here. They give a certain number of names of martyrs buried in these catacombs-none, however, apparently well known. They also allude to “many martyrs” interred in these catacombs.

The names of the three catacombs in question are (I) Apronienus -perhaps the name of the original donor; (2) SS. Gordianus and Epimachus; and (3) S. TertuIlinus. These cemeteries have never been carefully examined, and even the site of the third has not yet been identified.


Leads from the Porta Maggiore, the ancient Porta tina, to Palestrina. The Itineraries tell us of two cemeteries on this road, that of S. Castulus and that of SS. Peter and MarceIlinus. The Catacomb of S. Castulus has only been very partially examined. It is in a ruinous condition, and is not at present accessible. S. Castulus suffered martyrdom in the persecution of Diocletian.

The Catacomb of SS. Peter and MarceIlinus, sometimes called” ad duas lauros,” from the original name of the district, is in the immediate neighbourhood of the famous Torre Pignatara, the tomb of S. Helena, this appellation being derived from the pignaUe or earthen pots used in the building. The magnificent porphyry sarcophagus now in the Vatican was removed from this tomb. SS. Peter and MarceIlinus, from whom this once celebrated catacomb is named, suffered in the persecution of Diocletian. S. Peter was in orders as an exorcist. S. MarceIlinus was a priest. Pope Damasus, in his inscription originally placed on their crypt, tells us he learned the particulars of their martyrdom from the executioner employed by the 5tate. This cemetery has lately been partially explored. The bodies of the two saints who gave their names to the catacomb were carried away, and are now in 5eligenstadt, near Mayence. The saints termed “the Quatuor Coronati” were in the first instance buried here, but their remains were subsequently translated by Pope Leo IV to the church on the Ccelian. This cemetery is of considerable extent.

The Itineraries enumerate the names of several martyrs once evidently well known. They also speak of many other martyrs buried here, using such expressions as “ innumerabilis martyrum multitudo sepulta jacent “_” alii (Martyres) innumerabiles,” etc.


The Via Tiburtina leads to Tivoli. It quits Rome by the Porta S. Lorenzo, which stands on the site of the ancient Porta Tiburtina. On this road are two large cemeteries, that of S. Cyriaca and that of S. Hippolytus. S. Cyriaca was a Christian widow. The importance, however, of this catacomb is mainly derived from its possessing the tomb of
S. Laurence. S. Laurence suffered martyrdom three days after the death of Pope Sixtus II, to whom he was attached as deacon. A very general tradition relates that Laurence suffered on a gridiron. An extraordinary popularity is attached to his memory. Marucchi, one of the latest scholars who has written on the catacombs, does not hesitate to say that the veneration paid to him was almost equal that accorded to the apostles. There is scarcely a city in Western Christendom which does not a church bearing his honoured name. In Rome itself there are six of these.

Over the crypt containing the tomb of S. Laurence, Constantine the Great built a little oratory or memoria, which soon became too small for the crowds of pilgrims. A second church was erected by Pope Sixtus III, A.D. 432, by the side of Constantine’s Memoria which was ever known as .. Basilica ad Corpus,” The second church was termed the .. Basilica Three of the fifth century Popes of Rome were buried in the .. Basilica ad Corpus.” In the thirteenth century the two churches were made into one by Honorius III, A.D. 1218.

The Itineraries mention several well-known martyrs buried in the cemetery which was excavated round the martyr’s sacred tomb, notably SS. Justus, Cyriaca, Simferosa, etc., .. cum multis martyribus.” The catacomb in comparatively modem times has been ruthlessly damaged by the works in connection with a very large modem cemetery. Only since A.D. 1894 has more care been taken in the preservation of the precious remains of this once important catacomb.

Cemetery of S. Hippolytus. – on the same great road, the Via Tiburtina which stretches across the now desolate Campagna to Tivoli, on the northern side of the road almost opposite the Cemetery of S. Cyriaca on which stands the Basilica of S. Laurentius just described, is the Catacomb of S. Hippolytus. It is only comparatively recently that this cemetery has been really explored, and much still remains to be excavated here. A small basilica underground was discovered, with the historic crypt in which the once famous martyr was buried. The corridors around have been sadly ravaged again and again by barbarian invaders in the fifth and following centuries, and the whole catacomb is in ruin, and has been only in part investigated. It is evidently of considerable extent. Proximity to the tomb of the great scholar martyr was evidently a privilege eagerly sought by many from the middle years of the third century onward. The numbers of Pilgrim
Graffiti” or inscriptions more or less roughly carved and painted in the neighbourhood of the sanctuary, tell us that the spot where the remains of Hippolytus lay, was long the object of reverent pilgrimage after the Peace of the Church all through the fourth and following centuries. The Itineraries mention many martyrs buried here, among whom S. Genesius is perhaps the best known; he was a celebrated actor; once a mocker at the religion of which eventually he became the brave confessor; he died for his faith.

But the glory of this now ruined cemetery was the tomb of S. Hippolytus. He has been well described by Bishop, Lightfoot in his long and exhaustive Memoir (Apostolic Fathers, Part I. vol. ii.).

“The position and influence of Hippolytus were unique among the Roman Christians of his age. He linked together the learning and the traditions of the East, the original home of Christianity, with the practical energy of the West, the scene of his own life labours. He was by far the most learned man in the Western Church…. Though he lived till within a few years of the middle of the third century, he could trace his pedigree back by only three steps, literary as well as ministerial, to the life and teaching of the Saviour Himself, of whom he was the pupil, Polycarp, and S. John. This was his direct ancestry. No wonder if these facts secured to him exceptional honour in his own generation.”

The position he occupied in the Christian world has been much disputed. He is usually described. as Bishop of Portus, the harbour of Rome, and modem scholarship has come to the conclusion that he exercised a general superintendence with the rank of a bishop over the various congregations of foreigners, traders and others, on the Italian sea-board, with Portus as his headquarters.

A very dignified and striking statue, alas much mutilated, has been found amid the ruins over the Cemetery of Hippolytus. On the back and sides of the chair on which the figure of the scholar bishop is sitting, is engraved a generally received list of his works. There is no doubt as to the genuineness of the statue in question, which dates from about the year
222. It ranks as the oldest Christian statue which has come to light; indeed, it stands alone an example of very early Christian sculpture, and was probably erected in an interval of the Church’s peace in the reign of the Emperor Alexander Severns, and is a striking proof of the unique position which the writer and scholar held in the Christian community.
There is no doubt he was done to death-what, however, was the peculiar form of his martyrdom is uncertain. We know he was exiled to Sardinia, where he suffered, and his remains were brought back to Rome with the remains of Pontianus, somewhile Bishop of Rome, who also suffered martyrdom at the same time in Sardinia; Pontianus being laid in the papal crypt in the Cemetery of Callistus, and Hippolytus in the catacomb which bears his name on the Via Tiburtina, about the year 237.

Pope Damasus, the great restorer of the sanctuaries of Rome, enlarged and beautified the crypt where the honoured remains were deposited,in the latter yearsof the fourth century, and a few years later Prudentius the Christian poet in his collection of hymns entitled Crowns of the Martyrs-devotes a long poem to the shrine and memory of Hippolytus.

In the.opening years of the fourth century, when Honorius, Theodosius’ son, was reigning over the Western Empire, it is evident that the fame and reputation of Hippolytus, scholar and martyr, were among the popular histories of Christendom, and his tomb one of the chief objects of pilgrimage.

The lines of Prudentius, written in the closing years of the fourth century, are quoted as giving a picture of a famous catacomb as it appeared to a scholar and poet in the days of Theodosius and Honorius. They also give some idea of the estimation and reverential regard with which the martyrs and confessors of the first age of Christianity were held in the century which immediately followed the Peace of the Church:

Hard by the City walls-amid the orchards-there is a Crypt…. Into its secret cells there is a steep path with winding stairs. . . . As you advance, the darkness as of night grows more dense…. At intervals, however, there are contrived openings cut in the roof above, which bring the bright rays of the sun into the crypt. Although the recesses twisting this way and that form narrow chambers, with galleries in deep gloom, yet some light finds its way through the pierced vaulting down into the hollow recesses. . . . And thus throughout the subterranean crypt it is possible still to revel in the brightness of the absent sun.

“To such secret recesses was the body of Hippolytus borne, quite near to the spot where now stands the altar dedicated to God.
That same altar-slab provides the sacrament, and is the trusty guardian of its martyr’s bones, which it guards there in the waiting for the Eternal Life, while it feeds the dwellers by the River Tiber with holy food.

“Marvellous is the sanctity of the place. The altar is close by for those who pray, and it assists the hopes of such by mercifully giving what they require. Here, too, have I when sick with ills of soul and body, often knelt in prayer and found help. . . . Early in the morning men come to salute (Hippolytus); all the youth of the place worship here; they come-they go-until the setting of the sun. Love of religion gathers into one vast crowd both Latins and strangers.”-Translated from Prudentius, “Peristephanon,” Passion of S. Hippolytus.

The close proximity of the Cemetery and Basilica of S. Laurence (above described) as years passed on was fatal to the memory of S. Hippolytus. From very early times S. Laurence, the deacon of Sixtus II, received extraordinary honour. He suffered, as we have stated, in the persecution of Decius, A.D. 258, and occupies the place of S. Stephen in the Church of the West. It was of this famous and popular saint that Augustine wrote: “Quam non potest abscondi Roma, tam non potest abscondi Laurentii corona.” In the prayer of the oldest Roman sacramentary we read, “De beati solemnitate Laurentii, peculiaris prre ceteris Roma lretatur.” “No marvel,” writes Bishop Lightfoot, “that the aureole which encircled the heads of other neighbouring saints and martyrs, even of the famous Hippolytus himself, should have faded in the light of his unique splendour.”

As years rolled on, the neighbouring Basilica of S. Laurence grew larger and grander. The Basilica of S. Hippolytus built over his cemetery faded away, comparatively for; the great scholar was forgotten in the fame which gathered round the neighbouring popular saint. Paul I, A.D. removed the sacred relique of the saint scholar to the wellknown City Church of S. Silvester in Capite.

The Cemetery and Basilica of Hippolytus after the remains of the saint had been translated were quickly forgotten, and the very site was in time confused with that of the Cemetery and stately Church of S. Laurence on the other side of the Via Tiburtina. It was only in 1881 that De Rossi discovered the ancient cemetery and the ruined subterranean basilica above briefly described,-the basilica and catacomb visited by Prudentius in the last years of the fourth century, and so vividly painted by him in his hymn in the Peristephanon.

Outside Rome there are traces of the fame of the great scholar, but not many. There is a ruined church in Portus bearing his name; its tower, still noticeable, is a conspicuous landmark in the desolate Campagna. ArIes possesses a church dedicated to Hippolytus. A strange story connects his remains with the once famous royal Abbey of S. Denis close to Paris. His body, or at least portions of his body, are also traditionally enshrined in churches at Brescia and Cologne. The Roman Churches of S. Laurence and the .. Quatuor Coronati JJ also claim to possess reliques of S. Hippolytus.

But these few scattered and doubtful reliques are wellnigh all that remains of Hippolytus, and while many of his writings are still with us, bearing witness to his industry and scholarship, his name and life-work are virtually forgotten by men; and in ecclesiastical annals only a dim, blurred memory of the career of one of the greatest scholars and writers of the first two Christian centuries lives in the pages of that eventful story.

Of the two saints whose basilicas and cemeteries were so close together on that Campagna Road just outside Rome, the one, S. Laurence, men have crowned with an aureole of surpassing glory; the other, S. Hippolytus, whose title to honour was really far superior to that of his companion in’ the tombs of the Via Tiburtina, men have chosen to forget.


The Via Nomentana leaves Rome on the north through the modem Porta Pia; in ancient times the Porta Nomentana, and in the Middle Ages the Porta S. Agnesi. On this road the Itineraries tell us of three cemeteries: that of S. Nicomedes, of S. Agnes, and the cemetery generally termed “Cœmeterium majus. De Rossi calls this last the Ostrian Cemetery; some call it after the famous martyred fostersister of Agnes, S. Emerentiana. who was buried there.

(I) Cemetery of S. Nicomedes. – This is only a small catacomb, but it possesses a high interest on account of its age. It dates evidently from the first century. Tradition tells us that Nicomedes was a presbyter who lived in the days of Domitian. He suffered martyrdom for his faith’s sake, and his body was thrown into the Tiber. A disciple of his, one Justus, recovered his master’s body and buried it “ in horto juxta muros.JJ The garden in question, hard by the city walls, was the site of the present little catacomb.

The masonry work here is of a very early date, and the various Greek inscriptions on the loculi also bear witness to its great antiquity; Marucchi alludes to a reservoir of water in the principal gallery, and believes that the presence of water prevented the cemetery from being further extended.

(2) The Cemetery of S. Agnes is on the Via Nomentana, about a mile from the Porta Pia. S. Agnes has been from very early times a singularly loved among the heroines of the days of persecution. Jerome well voices this popular estimate “omnium gentium litteris atque …. vita laudata est.” Her story is well known; how she refused to become the bride of the Proconsul’s son, alleging that she was already the bride of Christ. After some terrible experiences she was condemned to be burned as a Christian, but the fire was too tardy or insufficient, so the executioner stabbed her in the throat. The name “ Agnes JJ is simply a Christian appellation which she assumed signifying her purity and chastity. The name of her family is unknown ; it is, however, certain that she belonged to a wealthy, probably to a noble House. She was interred in a cemetery, the property of her parents” in prædiolo suo.”

Her martyrdom took place in the course of the persecution of the Emperor Valerian, circa A.D. Portions of the catacomb which bears her name are of a yet older date than
S. Agnes. Among other signs of great antiquity are the Greek inscriptions on various loculi. The cemetery, which has been explored with some care, consists of three stories, of different dates. It was, however, after the burying of the young martyr that the catacomb was developed and assumed considerable proportions, as many of the Christian congregation of Rome were desirous of depositing their loved dead in the immediate neighbourhood of the tomb of Agnes. The Emperor Constantine in the fourth century built the basilica known as S. Agnes over the tomb. There is an inscription on a small marble tablet at Naples, originally brought from Rome, which Armellini considers was originally on the loculus containing the body of the saint. The inscription is as follows:


The basilica has been several times restored, but preserves with fair accuracy the original disposition of the Church of Constantine.

When it was first built in the fourth century, as we find in other similar instances, considerable destruction and havoc were wrought in the galleries of the catacomb. The fourthcentury builders often mercilessly cut away and destroyed galleries, cubicula, loculi, when they arranged for the foundations and lower stories of the church large or small which arose over the tomb of the special saint and martyr. We would instance as conspicuous examples of this strange disregard of the older burying-places, the Basilicas of S. Domitilla, of S. Laurence, of S. Sylvester; the last named is built over the Cemetery of S. Priscilla.

The body of S. Agnes was never translated from its original home. In the year 1605, in the pontificate of Paul v, her remains, together with those of her foster-sister the martyr S. Emerentiana, were placed in a silver sarcophagus or urn. This was seen in the year 1901-2, when some work beneath the altar was being carried out.

(3) The Cameterium majus in the immediate neighbourhood of the Catacomb of S. Agnes. De Rossi names it the “Ostrian“ Cemetery, and connects it with the memories of S. Peter, as being the place where the apostle used to baptize. Marucchi, however, in the light of recent discoveries in the Catacomb of Priscilla on the adjacent Via Salaria, unhesitatingly believes that the site of S. Peter’s work and preaching must be sought for in the last-named cemetery. A brief résumé of Marucchi’s arguments, which are most weighty, will be given when the Cemetery of Priscilla is described.

The glory of this cemetery (Cremeterium majus), as the memory of S. Peter seems really to belong to the Catacomb of S. Priscilla, is that here was the original tomb of S. Emerentiana, who for her devotion to her foster-sister Agnes suffered martyrdom very shortly after the death of Agnes. The site of the tomb has been ascertained, but the remains of Emerentiana now rest in the silver urn which contains the body of S. Agnes in her basilica beneath the altar.

The appellation “Cœmeterium majus” dates certainly from the fifth century. One of the more striking features of this catacomb is a little basilica not of later construction but belonging to the original work. It is simply excavated in the tufa stone, and is divided into two parts by the passage running through the cemetery. It is a perfect subterranean church, containing separate divisions for men and women. The presbytery and the position of the altar are clearly defined ; the very chair for the bishop or presiding presbyter is in its place, as is the pillar on which the sacred oil burned in front of some hallowed sanctuary. We wonder what was the special purpose for which this little church, in the middle of the cemetery, was designed?

The Itineraries mention that various martyrs, whose life-stories are generally unknown to us, were buried here.



The Via Salaria Nova, like the Via Nomentana, from which it is but a little distant, lies on the north side of the city. Abutting on the road are four cemeteries: S. Felicitas, Thrason and Saturninus, ]ordani, and the very important and most ancient Catacomb of S. Priscilla.

The story of S. Felicitas, who with her seven sons was put to death for her religion in the reign of and by the direct commandment of the Emperor Marcus Aurelius, A.D. 162, is fairly well known. The” Acts” of the martyrdom by many scholars are not reckoned authentic, although the document in question is allowed to be of very high antiquity.

The story is generally very sharply criticized, as a reproduction of a story from the Fourth Book of Maccabees. The high estimation in which the Emperor Marcus universally now is held, no doubt contributes to the severe criticism with which the story of Felicitas and her seven sons is received. Naturally there is considerable reluctance in in any way the truth of a story in which the favourite hero of historians and philosophers, the noble Emperor Marcus. plays so sorry a part, and in which the brave constancy and noble endurance of a group of those Christians he so much disliked and tried to despise, is so conspicuously displayed.

But this is one of the many instances, a witness no one can gainsay, of the catacombs to the main truth of a story hitherto largely discredited. The tombs of the heroic mother and her brave sons have been identified. We recapitulate.

In the Catacomb of S. Felicitas the body of the mother was interred and subsequently removed to the basilica built over the cemetery in question. In the ancient C..atacomb of Prretextatus, Januarius’ (the eldest of Felicitas’ sons) tomb has been found; nay more-from the numerous prayers and allusions in the graffiti around it, it is evident that the tomb in question was deeply reverenced by generations of pilgrim visitors. In the famous Priscilla Catacomb two out of the seven have been found-Felix and Philip. We know, too, that in the Jordani Cemetery, Martialis, Vitalis, and Alexander lie buried. In the Catacomb of Maximus, a cemetery on the Via Salaria which has not been identified,Silanus, the seventh of the faithful band, was laid. The body of Silanus, the youngest, apparently was carried away, but subsequently restored, and laid in the same catacomb with his mother.

After the Peace of the Church a little basilica was erected over the Cemetery of S. Felicitas, and Pope Damasus wrote her honour one of his Epistles. At the end of the eighth century Pope Leo III translated the remains of the mother and her son Silanus to the Church of S. Suzanna.! There they are still resting.

After the translation of its precious relics. the cemetery of which we are speaking; incommon with so many of the catacombs; was deserted by the pilgrim visitors, and its very site was quickly forgotten. De Rossi, in 1858, was enabled to point out its situation, but it was not examined until the year 1884, when some workmen digging the foundations of a came upon some ancient loculi, with inscriptions, and a number of dim faint pictures. The little basilica of the sixth century thus came to light, and the ruins of what had once been the tomb and shrine of S. Felicitas in the catacomb which bears her name.

On the Via Salaria Nova, between the Cemetery of S. Felicitas and the very important Cemetery of S. Priscilla. there exists what may be termed a network of catacombs only very partially explored. The first is called after a wealthy Roman citizen who gave the hospitality of the tomb in a catacomb beneath his gardens to several martyrs to the Diocletian persecution-notably to 5atuminus. This portion of the catacombs has as yet been only very little explored; the corridors. etc., are still earthed up.

A little farther on the same road is another cemetery. generally known too under the same name – ”Thrason.” Marucchi, however, calls it “Cœmeterium Jordanorum.” It is probable that it was joined originally to that of Thrason. The meaning of the term Jordani .. used in the old Itineraries is uncertain. This is one of the deepest excavated cemeteries. As many as four stories of galleries, one beneath the other, have been found here. Several”Arenaria” or sandpits intervene between the groups of galleries of this catacomb. All this extensive network of catacombs and arenaria has only been partially excavated as yet. The work is naturally costly to execute, and is accompanied with some danger.

De Rossi places in one of these “ Arenaria .. or sand-pits in the midst of this group of Catacombs of Thrason and the Jordani on the Via Salaria, the scene of the martyrdom of the well-known SS. Chrysanthus and his wife Daria, who bore their witness unto death in the persecution of the Emperor Numerian, circa A.D. 284. Daria had once been a Vestal Virgin; she became a Christian, and was the especial object of hatred by the fading pagan party.

S. Gregory of Tours, in his De Gloria Martyrum relates how after the Peace of the Church, when the tombs of these two famous martyrs were searched for and discovered, in the historic crypt of their tomb were found the sad remains of a large group of Christians-men, women, and even children. Some time after the martyrdom of SS. Chrysanthus and Daria, a number of Christians secretly came to the crypt to pray at the martyrs’ tomb. Information was given. and the Imperial authority with all haste directed that the entrance should be walled up. This was speedily done, and the group of Christian worshippers were thus buried alive. The bodies were found, as Gregory of Tours relates, and with them the eucharistic vessels of silver they had brought for the celebration of the Holy Communion.

Pope Damasus, who made this singular discovery in the latter years of the fourth century-about a century after this wholesale martyrdom-would not allow the group or the sacred tomb to be touched; but simply in the piled-up stones caused a little window to be made, that pilgrims might look on and venerate this strange sad of martyrs.

De Rossi ever hoped to come upon this little window in question, and after fifteen centuries again to gaze with all reverence on this .. miniature Christian Pompeii I ..
S. Gregory in the sixth century tells us the little window looking on this moving scene was shown to pilgrims of his day and time.

De Rossi’s hope-nay more, his expectation-of finding the window has not yet been gratified, the ruinous state of the catacomb preventing any exhaustive search.

There are many martyrs’ tombs and historic crypts, we learn from the Pilgrim Itineraries, still to be uncovered in this group of cemeteries.

The Cemetery of S. Priscilla. – Recent researches have added much to our previous knowledge of this catacomb, and have confirmed De Rossi’s judgment of its great antiquity and importance. Indeed, it ranks with the great network of the Callistus and Domitilla Cemeteries on the Appian and Ardeatina Roads-not in extent perhaps. but certainly in antiquity and interest. It lies along the Salarian Way above described as on the north of the city.

De Rossi’s words are memorable: “The Cemetery of Priscilla is a centre where the various memories connected with the Churches of Pudens and Priscilla meet like lines drawn from different places.”

Now three of the most ancient churches of Rome-churches whose foundation stories were laid in apostolic times-are referred to by the great scholar and here. They are S. Pudentiana on the Viminal Hill, S. Prassedis on the Esquiline, and S. Priscilla (S. Prisca) on the Aventine. Of these S. Priscilla is no doubt the lineal descendant of the church that was in the house of Aquila and Priscilla, the friends of Paul. We trace it back to the fifth century. It is evident that before the fourth century the little church in the house of the tent-makers had become the public church of S. Priscilla. Its founders, the well-known Aquila and Priscilla, were buried in the Cemetery of Priscilla.

Pope Leo IV in the ninth century specially refers to their tombs in the Priscilla Cemetery.

The second of the three ancient churches, S. Prassedis, in common with S. Pudentiana, was on the vast estate which the family of Pudens possessed at the foot of the Esquiline. There is, however, no tradition extant as to when it was first founded. It is mentioned in an inscription of the fifth century in the Cemetery of S. Hippolytus, and again in the year 490 in the Acts of the Council under the presidency of Pope Symmachus. It has been restored several times, and in the early Middle Ages is famous as the first place where Pope Paschal I deposited the remains of the 2400 martyrs which were translated for security’s sake from the various catacombs.

In our day and time this most ancient church is best known for the little chapel, called from its unusual and mysterious splendour” Orto del Paradiso.” It is commonly called the Chapel of S. Zeno, to whom it was originally dedicated. S. Zeno suffered in the reign of Claudius (Gothicus), A.D. 268-70. He is buried in a crypt in the Cemetery of Prretextatus. S. Zeno is called in one of the Itineraries “The Brother of the S. Valentinus of the Catacomb on the Flaminian Way.” This famous chapel contains one of the great relics of Rome, the column to which it is said our Saviour in His Passion was bound-it is of the rarest blood jasper. In S. Prassedis are two ancient sarcophagi containing the remains of the two sainted sisters SS. Prassedis and Pudentiana, brought from their original tombs in the Cemetery of S. Priscilla at the time of the great translation of the remains of the saints by Paschal I. In the centre of the nave the well is still shown where S. Prassedis probably buried the remains of martyrs; a similar well exists in the sister church of S. Pudentiana.

The first of the three churches, S. Pudentiana, is by far the most interesting of the three. It is generally assumed to be the most ancient church in Rome; originally-so says the tradition-it was the church in the .house of a senator named Pudens, who received and gave hospitality to S. Peter. It is mentioned in inscriptions of the fourth century. Siricius, who followed Damasus in the Roman Episcopate, A.D. 384-398, restored it. This would imply that it had existed long before the age of the Peace of the Church. It has alas I undergone many restorations since; but it still preserves a magnificent and stately mosaic in the apse, of the date of Siricius. This is the oldest piece of mosaic work in a Roman church. (S. Constantia with its beautiful mosaic roof, which is slightly older, was not in the first instance a church, but simply a mausoleum.) The figures of the two sisters SS. Prassedis and Pudentiana holding crowns, appear standing behind the Lord and His apostles. Recent investigations have brought other indications of its great antiquity to light, and Marucchi considers that yet more may be discovered.

A close connection evidently exists between these most ancient churches and the Cemetery of Priscilla we are about to speak of.

A very ancient document-” the Acts of Pastor and Timotheus “-which Baronius, Cardinal Wiseman, and others deem authentic, gives at some length the story of the foundation of this very early Church of S. Pudentiana; the majority of scholars, however, while acknowledging their great antiquity, hesitate to receive these “ Acts” as belonging to the very early period at which they purport to be written. They probably, however, embody the substance of the generally received tradition. This ancient document consists of two letters; the first from one Pastor, a priest, addressed to Timotheus; the second the answer of Timotheus. To these is added an appendix by Pastor, which takes up and completes the story. We give a portion of this:

“Pudens went to his Saviour leaving his daughters, strengthened with chastity, and learned in all the divine law. These sold their goods, and distributed the produce to the poor and persevered strictly in the love of Christ. . . . They desired to have a baptistery in their house, to which the blessed Pius (the Bishop of Rome, A.D. not only consented but with his own hand drew the plan of the fountain. . . . By the advice of the blessed Pius, the enfranchisement of the Christian slaves was declared with all the ancient usages in the oratory founded by Pudens; there at the festival of Easter were baptized, so that henceforth assemblies were constantly held in the said oratory, which night and day resounded with hymns of praise. Many pagans gladly came thither to find the faith and receive baptism. . . . The blessed Bishop Pius himself often visited it with joy, and offered the sacrifice for us to the Saviour.

“Then Pudentiana went to God. Her sister (Prassedis) and I (Pastor) wrapped her in perfumes, and kept her concealed in the oratory. Then after 28 days we carried her to the Cemetery of Priscilla and laid her near her father Pudens.”
(Then follows an account of the death of Novatus, who, according to the Note in the Liber Pontificalis (2nd Recension) in the account of Pope Pius I, was apparently a brother of the two sisters; he bequeathed his goods to Prassedis, who proceeded to erect a church in his Baths.)

“At the end of two years a great persecution was declared against the Christians, and many of them received the crown of martyrdom. Prassedis concealed a great number of them in her oratory…. The Emperor Antoninus heard of these meetings in the oratory of Prassedis, and many Christians were taken. . . . The blessed Prassedis collected their bodies by night and buried them in the Cemetery of Priscilla….

Then the Virgin of the Saviour, worn out with sorrow, only asked for death. Her tears and her prayers reached to heaven, and 54 days after her brethren had suffered, she passed to God. And I, Pastor, the priest, have buried her body near that of her father Pudens.”

To sum up the general tradition, which the recent investigations in the Church of Pudentiana and in the Catacomb of S. Priscilla largely bear out:

A disciple of the Apostles Peter and Paul, one Pudens, a Roman of senatorial rank and rich, received S. Peter in his house, which became a meeting-place for Christian folk at Rome in very early days. This subsequently became the Church of S. Pudentiana. Pudens had two daughters, Pudentiana and Prassedis. Later the Baths of Novatus (who was brother of the two sisters), which apparently formed part of the house or palace of Pudens, became a rceognized meeting-place for Christians, and this subsequently was termed the Church of S. Pudentiana.

The Cemetery of S. Priscilla on the Via Salaria also belonged to this Christian family, and was no doubt constructed on the property of the same Pudens. Pudens and his two daughters were buried in this cemetery. One portion of this catacomb was used as the burying-place of the illustrious family of the Acilii Glabriones which evidently numbered many Christian members.

De Rossi believes that Pudens, the father of the two sisters Pudentiana and Prassedis, belonged to this illustrious house of the Acilii Glabriones.

There was also evidently a near connection between the Aquila and Priscilla so closely associated with S. Paul and the family of Pudens. It has been suggested with great probability that Aquila was a freedman or client of Pudens. and that Aquila and his wife Priscilla were intimately connected with the noble family we have been speaking of, Priscilla, S. Paul’s friend, being named after the older Priscilla. All these, we know, were buried in the Cemetery of Priscilla. The Priscilla who has given her name to the catacomb was the mother of Pudens.

The foregoing little sketch, showing the connection of this Cemetery of Priscilla with these most ancient churches, is a necessary introduction to the description of the catacomb in question, which we have not hesitated to style one of the most important of the Roman cemeteries. It is, we think. one of the oldest, ranking here with the Cemeteries of Domitilla and the Lucina area of S. Callistus. Each of these three belongs probably to the first century of the Christian era.

From the references in the Liberian Calendar, compiled A.D. 354, under the head of “Depositiones Martyrum”; in the Liber Pontificalis, and in the Pilgrim Itineraries, we learn that in the Cemetery of Priscilla were interred the remains of many martyrs, confessors, and saints. There for several centuries rested the bodies of Aquila and Priscilla; Pudens and his sainted daughters Prassedis and Pudentiana; two of the martyred sons of S. Felicitas, Felix and Philip, who bore their witness in the days of the Emperor Marcus, and the Martyr Crescentius. Here too were buried seven of the Bishops of Rome, two of whom wear the martyr’s crown – Marcellinus and Marcellus, who suffered in the Diocletian persecution. These are the most notable, but many other martyrs were interred in this most ancient God’s acre.

Some of these hallowed remains, after the Peace of the Church in the fourth century, were brought up from the crypts of the great catacomb and laid in the basilica subsequently known as S. Sylvester.”

In the ninth century, when the great translation of the precious remains of the saints and martyrs from their old resting-places in the catacombs outside Rome to securer resting-places within the city, took place, the Cemetery of Priscilla in common with the other God’s acres we tenn catacombs was despoiled of many of its sacred deposits. In common too with the other catacombs, S. Priscilla at once ceased to be an object of reverent pilgrimage, and was quickly forgotten, and remained forgotten for many hundred years. It has only been explored in the last thirty or forty years, and not yet by any means exhaustively. It was only in A.D. 1887 that the crypt of the noble family of the Acilii Glabriones was discovered.

Quite recent investigation and discoveries have now satisfied Marucchi, the last explorer and student of the catacombs, long the assistant and disciple of De Rossi, that the Cemetery of Priscilla must be identified as the locality of the preaching and teaching of S. Peter-so often alluded to as the “Sedes ubi prius sedit sanctus Petrus “-that the Cf’metery of S. Priscilla was the Nymphas beati Petri Marucchi has with infinite pains and scholarship proved his point, and has shown to a wondering group of interested scholars the very pools still filled with water in the dark crypts of S. Priscilla in which the great apostle probably baptized the first converts to the religion of his Master, for whom in the end he witnessed his noble confession on the Vatican Hill in the reign of the Emperor Nero.

The Cemetery of Priscilla, as at present explored, consists roughly of two vast galleries; many of its crypts and corridors dating from the first and second centuries. Their age is accurately detennined, among other well-known signs, by the character of the decorative work and by the nature and phraseology of the inscriptions; the existence of the many epitaphs is one other sure proof of the very early date of the intennents.

From the notices in the Pilgrim Itineraries, notwithstanding their present often ruined and desolate condition, a good many of the original tombs of the more famous confessors and saints can be fairly identified. We indicate a few of the more remarkable features of this important and venerable cemetery.

On the first story, the original tomb of Priscilla, according to the ancient Itineraries, is in a crypt close to an old entrance staircase. Close to the crypt is a large chamber of the second century, evidently used for public worship. Small chambers or chapels lead out of this large crypt, one of these being the famous Greek Chapel, so called in later times from some Greek inscriptions on the walls. The paintings on the walls are important and highly interesting. This ancient chapel was also used for worship. In the neighbourhood of this portion of the cemetery is a large crypt which from various sure signs, such as the evident desire on the part of many to make it their last home; from the pillars on which once were placed the lamps which used ever to burn close to specially revered sanctuaries ; from the many means of access for pilgrims of the third and fourth centuries,-was clearly the last resting-place of several of the more famous saints of the Catacomb of S. Priscilla. No inscription or graffiti of pilgrims have yet been deciphered to tell us who lay here. It has been suggested that Prassedis, Pudentiana, and other well-known saints were probably interred in or near this place. Marucchi calls attention to the great number of loculi in this cemetery, still untouchednot rifled of their precious contents. The inscriptions on many of these loculi for the most part are very short and simple, containing little besides the name of the dead, with just a brief beautiful reference to the sure hope of the dead in Christ.

In this first or uppermost gallery of the catacomb on which we are dwelling, was discovered quite lately a very large crypt surrounded with corridors, sadly ruined, but with the remains of elaborate decoration still visible and with fragments of marble lying about, with pieces of sarcophagi and portions of inscriptions carefully carved, some in Greek, beautifully wrought. This area, which is quite distinct from the great cemetery in the midst of which it lies, once contained the remains of the Christian members of the noble Roman house of the Acilii Glabriones. From the inscriptions which have been found and deciphered, this burying-place of a famous family dates from the first century, and the interments from the first and following centuries.

These Acilii Glabriones whose names occur and recur in the broken inscriptions were members of a distinguished family, holding a very high position in the aristocracy of Rome under the early Emperors. We learn a good deal about a head of this illustrious house, Acilius Glabrio, from the historians Suetonius and Dion Cassius.

In the year of grace 91, Acilius Glabrio was consul, and excited the jealousy of the Emperor Domitian, who condemned him to fight with wild beasts in the gardens of one of the Imperial villas. From this deadly combat he came out victorious, but the hatred of the Emperor was not satisfied, and he exiled the powerful patrician, and eventually put him to death.

The accusation against Acilius Glabrio seems to have been that he was among the “ devisers of new things” (“ molitores! novarum rerum”). It was a vague and mysterious made against various persons of high degree in the Domitian. The accusation was connected with the practice of some strange foreign superstition unknown to the religion. This crime is now generally understood to been the practice of Christianity, and Acilius Glabrio, Clemens the near kinsman of the Emperor, and many others alluded to by Suetonius who were arraigned under this charge and put to death, were evidently Christians. This conjecture, since the recent discovery of the great crypt of the Acilii Glabriones in the Priscilla Cemetery belonging to this noble house, has become a certainty, for the Christianity of those buried there has been absolutely proved from words and sacred Christian signs carved upon the broken slabs which once formed part of the sarcophagi and loculi bearing the family name.

Thus, according to Marucchi, to Allard the well-known and scholarly historian of the Persecutions, and to De Rossi, Acilius Glabrio, the great patrician, the consul of the first century, the contemporary of the Apostles Peter and Paul and no doubt their friend and convert, was one of that aristocratic group in Rome which accepted the faith of Jesus. a group of which so little is known, and whose very existence hitherto has been generally questioned; and these, recognizing the brotherhood of slaves and freedmen and the poorest and saddest of the dwellers of the great city, not only helped them in their life, and associated them in all their dearest and most certain hopes, but gave them the “hospitality of the tomb round the stately family crypt the corridors and funereal chambers where these poor and insignificant members of the Christian congregation might rest. The Priscilla Cemetery, dating as it does from the days of the apostle, is a great example of this loving Christian custom.

Now general tradition ascribes the foundation of this vast and ancient catacomb to Pudens, the wealthy senator; to his mother Priscilla, of whom beyond her name we know nothing; to her sainted daughters Prassedis and Pudentiana. The question then arises-Was this Pudens a member of the great house of the Acilii Glabriones? The leading Italian scholars in the lore of the catacombs think he certainly was. De Rossi even suspects that Pudens was the martyr consul himself. With our present knowledge this supposition cannot be decisively maintained. It is, however, an interesting hypothesis.

The Basilica of S. Sylvester, of which we shall speak presently, which was erected shortly after the Peace of the Church in the fourth century, was directly over crypt of the Acilii Glabriones.

A very remarkable feature in the Catacomb of S. Priscilla are the reservoirs of water, which evidently served in very early days as baptisteries. The most considerable of these reservoirs or tanks is on the upper story of the cemetery, and is communicated with by a broad staircase of over twenty-five steps, which come out behind what was once the apsidal end of the Basilica of S. Sylvester. Marucchi describes it as une vaste piscine encore pleine d’eau, desservie par un petit canal.” This great baptistery became, from the fourth century onward, a spot of intense interest to the many pilgrims who visited the catacomb sanctuaries.

Another large reservoir of water has been found on the second story of this catacomb; other and smaller tanks have also been found.

Marucchi believes that this cemetery is the one alluded to in the many traditions, including the notices in the Itineraries, as the special scene of S. Peter’s labours and preaching, teaching and baptizing, as the “cœmeterium beati Petri ubi baptizaverat,” as the “sedes ubi prius sedit sanctus Petrus.”

The investigation which has led to recent discoveries in this cemetery had not been completed when De Rossi identified the Cœmeterium Ostrianum (of which we spoke above) as the scene of S. Peter’s work. It is these latest finds “that have induced Marucchi to fix the Priscilla Cemetery as the place where the great apostle laboured in those early years of the history of Roman Christianity.

Beneath the first vast gallery of this catacomb with its many memories of saints and martyrs, including the famous crypt of the Acilii Glabriones” house, lies another and very ancient area of sepulchral galleries.

This area was communicated with by several staircases, some of which are now completely closed. This vast sepulchral area has been as yet only partially explored. It is described roughly as consisting of a long gallery, out of which lead more than twenty other galleries, many of which as yet are only imperfectly investigated.

Marucchi, who has devoted a long and important section of his great work to the Priscilla Catacomb, writes of this second story of the cemetery as the most extensive and carefully planned of all the cemeteries of subterranean Rome that have been yet examined.

His words here are remarkable, and must be quoted: “On peut dire sans exaggeration, que c’est la région cemétériale la plus vaste et la plus régulière de toute la Rome souterraine.”

The masonry used in its construction; its many inscriptions on the loculi, carved in marble, or painted in red on tiles,-all bear witness of its hoar antiquity; much of it dates certainly from the second century. It contains, as we have remarked already, a reservoir or tank of water–of course a baptistery-deep and of considerable size.

This singular feature, when taken in conjunction with the great tank or reservoir of the first story and the several smaller tanks or reservoirs discovered in the various corridors and sepulchral chambers-peculiarities and features possessed by no other catacomb-amply justifies the ancient appellation II ad Nymphas,” which no doubt exclusively belongs to the Cemetery of S. Priscilla, and which in several parts seems to preserve a memory of the baptisms of S. Peter.

Over most of the catacombs-eertainly over the more important-shortly after the Peace of the Church, basilicas or churches of various dimensions were erected for the accommodation of pilgrims and members of the Roman congregations who desired to visit and to venerate the sanctuaries of the subterranean cemeteries which soon became famous and objects of reverence in the Christian world. The basilica subsequently known as S. Sylvester, which was built over the Cemetery of Priscilla, no doubt before the year 336, has perhaps obtained a greater notoriety than any other of these fourth-century cemetery churches.

Into this basilica, apparently shortly after its erection, were translated many of the bodies of martyrs, whose remains had been in the first instance deposited in the crypts of S. Priscilla beneath. The Pilgrim Itineraries dwell upon this, and especially mention how under the high altar of S. Sylvester two of the martyred sons of S. Felicitas rested-Felix and Philip.

Into S. Sylvester, too, were brought the remains of the two martyr Popes, Marcellus and Marcellinus. There also Pope Sylvester, the builder of the basilica after whom it has been named, was interred; and at his feet Pope Siricius, the successor of Pope Damasus. Three more of the occupants of the papal dignity have been interred in this honoured sanctuary, namely, Liberius, A.D. 353-5; Celestinus, A.D. 422-32; and at a somewhat later date Pope Vigilius, A.D. 538-55; in all the remains of seven of the Bishops of Rome rested in S. Sylvester.

Indeed, this little basilica ranks as the third of the sacred places of interment of the Bishops of Rome. The is on the Vatican Hill-in the immediate neighbourhood of the grave of S. Peter-where ten or eleven of the first occupants of the See of Rome lie. The second is the famous so-called Papal Crypt in the Cemetery of S. Callistus on the Appian Way. The third is the Rasilica of S. Sylvester the Cemetery of Priscilla. The fourth is once more on the Vatican Hill, near the grave of S. Peter, in the stately church erected by the Emperor Constantine on the site of the little Memoria chapel of Linus.

It has been well suggested that in each instance the selection of the spot for the formal creation of an official papal Jurying place was influenced by some direct memory of S. Peter which was attached to the spot in question. In the case of the first and fourth this is obvious.

In the case of the first was the little Memoria the sacred tomb. In the case of the fourth-the place selected was on the Vatican Hill-under the shadow of the house of God erected by Constantine over the first Memoria.

Round the grave of S. Peter it was natural and fitting that the first Bishops of Rome should lie. When the space was entirely filled up, as was the case at the close of the second century, and a fresh official burying-place for the Bishops had to be found, Zephyrinus and Callistus were, with great probability, directed to that great cemetery which at a very early date bore the name of Callistus, on account of the memories of S. Peter and S. Paul, which were connected with the adjacent cemetery ad Catacombas” (S. Sebastian); and Marucchi thinks some treasured memory of the great apostle connected with the beautiful legend of the Quo vadis”-a spot not far from the Callistus Cemetery-hung round the God’s acre selected for the site of the Papal Crypt.

The third choice of a spot for the burying-place of the Popes, the basilica on the S. Priscilla Catacomb, has been attributed to the many memories of S. Peter associated with the Catacomb in question, which are now identified with the scenes of S. Peter’s teaching and baptizing.

There in the Basilica of S. Sylvester, until the great translation of the Catacomb saints in the pontificates of Paul I and Paschal I was carried out, the remains of the seven Popes, the two sons of Felicitas, and of many other famous and heroic martyrs rested. When, however, the precious treasure of these saints’ remains was removed to the securer shelter of the metropolis hard by, S. Priscilla’s Catacomb and Basilica were soon forgotten.
There is, alas I little left of the basilica of S. Sylvester; its very existence was unknown until De Rossi discovered its ruins in The subterranean crypt and corridors and baptisteries have fared better than the basilica built above them, and have already provided an almost mine of riches for the antiquarian, the theologian, and the historian; and in coming years, when further investigations in this vast historical cemetery are carried out, discoveries of a yet greater interest may be looked for-discoveries. to use the words of the latest toiler in S. Priscilla, which may tell us more of the passing by” of S. Peter in this venerable home of so many and such varied sacred memories.



Cemetery of of S. Pamphilus, we learn from the Itineraries, was a martyr; nothing, however, is known of his history.

The cemetery has not been thoroughly explored. It is, however, of some importance. Several galleries have been partially examined-but with some risk.

The Via Salaria Vetus, by the side of which this Catacomb, is situated, branches off from the Via Pinciana on the north of the city.

Cemetery of S. Hermes and S. Basilissa is on the same road, a little farther from the city.
The “Acts of S. Hermes” are not accepted as belonging to the very early date (A.D. IIg-when Hadrian was Emperor) of the martyrdom, the particular event they profess to relate. These Acts relate that Hermes was a Prefect of Rome. No such name occurs in the lists of Prefects. It has been suggested, however, that he was an official of the Prefect.

The remains of a very considerable basilica have been discovered in this Catacomb; a yet older building apparently existed in the same position.

The galleries of graves that have been partially explored are in a very ruinous and dangerous condition. It is recorded that the body of S. Hermes was translated by Pope Gregory IV in the ninth century. There are parts of• this crumbling cemetery evidently of great antiquity.

Other martyrs, once well known, rest in this Catacomb; of these, S. Basilissa, S. Protus and S. Hyacinthus are perhaps the best known. SS. Protus and Hyacinthus apparently suffered in the persecution of Valerian, A.D. The tomb of S. Basilissa has not been identified.

The remains of S. Hyacinthus were found as late as 1841 in a closed loculus and wrapped in a cloth which still emitted a sweet perfume. The bones had evidently been burned. It has been suggested that probably the martyr had sufiered by fire; this was an unusual form of martyrdom. The name of the saint and date of the deposition and the word were on the loculus. The inscription and the hallowed remains are now in the Church of the Propaganda.

Probably further investigation will be made in this interesting but ruined Catacomb. Researches here, however, are difficult and dangerous. Much of the work of Damasus in the later part of the fourth century has been recognized in this place. This cemetery was apparently held in high estimation by the earlier pilgrims.

The Itineraries speak of another cemetery on the Via
Salaria Vetus under the name of “ad Clivum Cucumeris,”
but it has not as yet been identified.

Cemetery of S. Valentinus.-The old Via Flaminia leaves the city at its north-east corner, and is a direct continuation of the Corso. It is the great road communicating with the north of Italy, as the Via Appia does with South Italy. It passes through the Porta del Popolo, formerly the Gate of S. Valentinus; in old days it was termed the FJaminian Gate. On this Via Flaminia not very far from the city there is the Catacomb of S. Valentinus-the only cemetery on this road.

S. Valentinus is the last of our long catalogue of subterranean cemeteries. Little is known of the confessor and martyr after whom this Catacomb is named. His Acts,” as we possess them, were only compiled in the sixth century. Valentinus suffered martyrdom A.D. (Claudius Gothicus was then Emperor.) He is stated to have been a Christian priest and physician.

The martyr’s body was recovered by Sabinilla, a Christian lady, and was buried near the place where he suffered. The desire to be buried near S. Valentinus led to further excavations, but the tufa in this place was too hard and did not lend itself to the formation of galleries. CorridOts were excavated above the tomb of the martyr; little, however, of interest has been found as yet. A third gallery.was also constructed. It was the second gallery above the grave of the martyr which became the public cemetery, but it has been only very partially examined; much is still blocked up.

Some time after the Peace of the Church, under Pope Julius, A.D. 337-52, a basilica named after S. Valentinus was built a little to the right of the martyr’s crypt. This church was restored, probably rebuilt, by Pope Honorius I, A.D. The ruins of this Church of S. Valentinus have been recently brought to light. The Itineraries speak of the body of S. Valentinus as in the restored basilica. These sacred remains were, as in other cases, no doubt translated from their original resting-place into the church above. The bodies of other martyrs who probably suffered in the Diocletian persecution are alluded to in the Pilgrim Guides. In the ruins of the basilica a chapel was identified by an inscription as having been dedicated to certain of the local martyrs, and with these nameless saints S. Zeno is mentioned by name. S. Zeno was evidently once highly venerated. His presence here is accounted for by a notice in one of the Itineraries, which styles him frater Valentini,”-possibly only signifying in Passione.”

S. Zeno was buried in the well-known Cemetery of textatus on the Appian Way. He is perhaps best known now from the famous Chapel of S. Zeno in the Church of S. Prassedis, the work of Pope Paschal I-usually called the “Orto del Paradiso.” A mosaic in that beautiful chapel pictures the two martyrs S. Valentinus and S. Zeno together.

Pious Exercises of the Living Rosary

January 1, 2009

Pious Exercises of the Living Rosary
By Venerable Pauline Marie Jaricot
(Foundress of the Association of the Living Rosary and the Propagation of the Faith)

The aim of the Living Rosary is to ask God, through the intercession of Our Lady of the Rosary, the conservation of the Faith in Catholic countries, the conversion of sinners, the strengthening of the just, and the exaltation of the Holy Church.

The people who join together for this pious exercise, divide among themselves the recitation of the prayers of the entire Rosary, and divide into groups of 15, in honor of the 15 principal mysteries of our redemption. Their intention is to form, by the union of their hearts, as so many living rosaries which unceasingly recall to the Celestial Father the sign of salvation manifested to St. Dominic by the Mother of Mercies.

After Our Lady of the Rosary, the Association recognizes and honors as its mediatrix before God, the illustrious Virgin and Martyr, St. Philomena, named by the Sovereign Pontiff, protectress of the Living Rosary.

The principal obligation of each Associate consists in reciting, each day, one decade; that is, one Our Father, ten Hail Mary, and the Glory Be to the Father, meditating, according to one’s comprehension, on one of the mysteries of the Rosary, whose allotment is done each month.

By this method, the great rosary of St. Dominic is said in its entirety each day, in all 15 decades, and all the mysteries are honored at one time.

This ancient and venerable prayer, so productive of fruits of salvation and of which the experience of many centuries has demonstrated its efficacy to touch the heart of God, acquired, in some manner, a new strength in the Living Rosary, by the great number and the concord of those who recite it.

In prescribing to pray for others, this exercise is also a means of personal sanctification for the Associates. A short meditation, which is reiterated every day for a month, on the same mystery, joined to the recitation of the decade, insinuates little by little, in the spirit, the truths of the religion and increases in the hearts the live of Jesus and Mary.

The reports of favors obtained by the exercise of the Living Rosary contributes also to nourish the piety of the Associates by developing among them the virtues of charity and of zeal at the same time furnishing powerful motives of encouragement and edification.

Besides, the Associates who, for the triumph of the Faith and the salvation of souls offer each day to God the Father, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the infinite merits of the Savior’s mysteries, may well hope that these divine merits will be applied to them, through God’s goodness, and will draw upon them, according to their needs, either new life or grades of conversion.

The brevity of the Living Rosary puts it at the disposal of the faithful of all ages and of all conditions; the persons who say daily the entire Rosary, or the third of the Rosary, can reserve for the pious exercise one of the decades they are in the habit of reciting. As to those who do not practice this devotion in any manner, the Living Rosary cannot but dispose them to adopt it later on, by making known to them the consolations attached to saying it.

Our Holy Father, Pope Gregory XVI, enriched this institution with numerous indulgences in favor of all the Catholic countries and gave it for a protector a pious Cardinal eminently devoted to the august Mother of God.

By a title of affiliation that the Principal-Directors hold by goodness of T.R.P. Superior General of the order of St. Dominic, the Associates of the Living Rosary are admitted to participation in the merits of all the holy masses, prayers, penitence, preaching, and the other good works of the religious of this Order.

For the indulgences and the other rules, see the manual for the use of the Associates published by the main bureau. (Lyon rise of Fourvieres, 50).

Moreover, if the Zealot wishes to keep a memorandum of the allotment of the mysteries, it is easy for him or her to transfer, at the time of changes, the name of each Associate beside the mystery he or she had been assigned.

Hence, if by the death or any other reason, the group of fifteen loses one of its members, the mobility of the little tabs makes it possible to change the inscription of names without altering the bulletin-board.

Venerable Pauline Marie Jaricot