Ven. Philomena of Santa-Columba, (Sainte-Colombe, Santa-Coloma) - (1841-1868)


VEN. SR. PHULOMENA of SANTA-COLUMBA, (also Sainte-Colombe, Santa-Coloma), (1841-1868)

Ven. Sister Philomena was a religious sister of the Order of Minims, her Spanish name is Filomena Ferrer i Galzeran, and became known as Ven. Filomena de Santa-Coloma. Her last name is also known by the French version due to the French translation of her biography and writings translated by Fr. Pie de Langogne. (Source of her life and visions for this page shall be taken from an English translation of his book.)

Ven. Philomena received special visions from Our Lord, Our Lady and also St Michael concerning the troubles of the Church in her time, and also, some hints towards the future, which is why I am including her in the Timeline – her vision regarding spreading devotion to the 'New Trinity' is in agreement with the visions of Marie-Julie Jahenny and other approved mystics regarding the times leading up to and during the chastisements. Also, since she does not seem so well known, I am also providing a more detailed biography of her.)


Ven. Philomena's father, was Felix Ferrer, and his wife was named Josefa. Felix was a talented sculptor. He and his wife moved from Benicarlo to Mora de Ebro in Catalonia, Spain. Bother her parents were pious and well respected by the inhabitants. The couple would have six children, Philomena was the eldest and was baptized the day after her birth, on April 4, 1841,

Her life was already marked for great sanctity before she was born. Her mother related that as soon as she was conceived, she felt compelled by an interior voice or inspiration, to consecrate her first child to the heavenly Queen. Josefa immediately knelt in front of an image of the Blessed Virgin and consecrated the child she was carrying, saying: “May my child be yours, O Mary, always yours!”

Our Lady accepted this consecration, for this acceptance made itself visible during Philomena's infant years: the first sign was she was never seen or known to have cried, even her mother never witnessed her crying. The next extraordinary thing was her adamant devotion and enthusiasm with regards to Our Lady when barely over 16 months old. Her mother relates: “When she saw any image of the Blessed Virgin, she became agitated, fussed, stretched out her little arms, to the point where I nearly dropped her; the only way to avoid this was to bring her close to the blessed image, of which she kissed the feet lovingly while waving and smiling at it.”

One day, the maid who was taking care of her and holding her in her arms had a very small image of Our Lady. Thinking to amuse her, she showed it to Philomena – the child immediately seized it, kissed it, and then quickly swallowed it! It is noted such ardent and exuberant displays of devotion was only shown regarding Our Lady.

Oddly, in comparison, the images of saints attracted her less: she looked at them and moved on, but, she indeed could recognise pious from secular art as was evidenced by visits to her father's workshop. The maid was allowed to bring baby Philomena in, and it was noted as she examined all the artwork that the finest and detailed marble produced only a little disdainful pout when they did not represent a religious subject; but when she saw a pious image, especially of the Blessed Virgin, even if only a rough sketch in the works, there were shouts of joy, and romps of pleasure as if recognising a great and cherished friend close to her little heart. When she finally said her first words they were: “Mary, my mother!”

However, she certainly did not love Jesus any less! The first signs of her love for the Infant Jesus displayed itself when she was barely three years old, her mother was expecting her second child and was preparing for the new arrival. For some strange reason, little Philomena thought the Baby Jesus was coming to their home and that was why there was so much preparation! Seeing the swaddling clothes, the small garments, Philomena imagined that they would be used for the Infant Jesus. Apparently, they had to keep hiding them from her, but she searched throughout the house and, having finally found them, was extremely happy to hold them in her hands, to squeeze them, to kiss them as if they really had been meant for the Infant Jesus.

Then, the preparatory crosses began, for there is no great sanctification without the Cross.

She was not yet four years old when she suffered from a disability that was serious enough to destroy her physical strength and which lasted a long time. She herself declared: “God wanted, when I was very young, to try my patience through accidents and disabilities that caused an extreme weakness in me, to the point where my life was thought to be in danger. I already suffered from many ailments when malignant ulcers formed on my arms, on one foot and one side of my chest and were very painful. I put up with them with patience [some text missing here]. I think I recall watching with some pleasure the lancet that pierced my abscesses and that, so many times, drew blood from my veins. These pains lasted with intermittent violence until I was eight and, always, with the grace of God, I endured them without ever complaining, nor giving any sign of impatience.”

Her piety was also noted by 'someone' else, and as is also the case with souls God prepares, the devil was permitted to attack. Philomena was not yet five years old when she had to fight against the evil spirit that would torment her in various ways, sometimes by his furious assaults, sometimes by horrible images. Through these means he tried to scare her away from the path she had started upon with such courage and steadiness. One day her father witnessed the violence of these assaults. He was close to Philomena when suddenly she had a vision of the devil who in a hideous form and with horrible gestures, seemed to attack her. Philomena screamed in terror, threw herself in her father’s arms, calling upon Jesus for help. As soon as she had called upon Jesus, her fear disappeared.

Also, at a very young age, she was given the gift of interior prayer, and she loved to pray to Our Lord. Whenever she was told by someone else such as her mother, to meditate on a specific topic to help cultivate the virtue of prayer a a good parent would do, the chosen subject would elude Philomena and concentration was difficult, a 'forced' subject didn't seem to help, but it was evident Our Lord Himself was raising her to a higher level of contemplative prayer, for she could hear the Voice of the Lord calling within her soul. The Divine Heart of Jesus manifested itself to her, filling her soul with celestial joy, communicating to it the sublime gift of an unconscious contemplation, leading it Himself on the path of perfection.

Her love of prayer was also noted in public, for she became interiorly enraptured in the house of God. When in church kneeling down, her hands together, her eyes modestly lowered, she stayed without moving like a statue of prayer and edified all the parishioners who saw her. A holy priest, who found her one day in this kind of rapture that was normal for her when she prayed in church, was so moved he exclaimed: “The deportment of this child is so extraordinary that it is, in my opinion, a definite sign that she will one day reach a high degree of sainthood.”

Her most noted virtue was obedience, her mother tested her on this in a variety of ways, even to the point of contradictions, and annoying corrections regarding her speech and actions, but the child always remained gentle and completely obedient, to the point where it seemed she did not possess her own will.

She also abhorred sins, scandal, and anything that would give displeasure to Our Lord and Our Lady.

One day, in her presence, people were discussing the pleasures of a boat ride on the Ebre river. “Ah,” said Philomena, “a boat ride on the Ebre would be very pleasant were it not for the coarse language of the boatmen and their blasphemies against the Holy Name of the Lord that can be heard constantly!” Everyone present was surprised at this emotional remark coming from a seven-year-old child, but more so by the exquisite sensitiveness of her love for Jesus.

She was also devoted to works of charity and helping the poor, distributing alms when she could.

Her First Holy Communion

It was not until she was thirteen when she received First Holy Communion, which took place on October 15, 1853, the feast day of St. Teresa of Avila. She simply declared that after receiving in her heart Jesus in the Eucharist, she felt flooded by a torrent of ineffable delight to the point of losing the use of her senses for more than 18 hours. To her confessor she revealed that she indeed had been raptured in spirit and favoured with the grace of light, pressing and gentle, that determined, then and there, the complete offering of herself to Jesus through the Immaculate Mary. After the First Communion Mass, her mother sent her to bed as she seemed so weak. Ven. Philomena writes:

“I felt a more than usual intimate sense of contemplation and I had a clear vision of the Immaculate Conception of the Most Holy Virgin Mary. At that moment, I got up from my bed and knelt in front of an image of the Queen of Heaven. Without words, I told her about the fire in my soul in this divine work that I cannot explain. Jesus then gave me a very clear and very noble manifestation of the Immaculate Conception of Mary and, at the same time, I understood the beauty of virginity and how the Holy Virgin is partial to it. Attracted, led by an irresistible power toward this radiant beauty, I promised Mary to follow in her footsteps, that is, I dedicated with total joy my virginity and all of my heart’s affection to her, choosing her as my very tender Mother and offering myself to her forever as her humble child. During this offering, my heart was melting with love.”

Miraculous Intervention of St. Philomena

A year after her Holy Communion, God began to test her again, and also her parents, in preparation for her vocation. A cholera epidemic was sweeping through Spain, and Philomena became ill with the disease. The violence and the force of the sickness were so severe that, after incredible pain and horrible convulsions that rapidly came upon her, the child was near death. Philomena looked so sick, her face so disfigured, he eyes sunken and lifeless, her limbs stiff and motionless, her mother thought she had already died and covered her with a shroud. However, even when thinking she was already dead, she remembered vividly the mysterious impulse that had driven her to dedicate her child to God even before birth. Josefa then felt the same impulse, the same compelling force urging her to resort to the intercession of St. Philomena: “She was named after you, O great Saint,” cried the mother in sublime faith, “she belonged totally to God: bring her back to life, give me back my child!” With this cry, the young Philomena opened her eyes as if waking from a deep sleep and embraced her happy mother. That same evening, the young convalescent was able to walk unassisted to the window to venerate the statue of St. Roch which was being carried in procession through the streets of the city.

When her mother told her shortly after how she was cured so instantaneously, almost as a resurrection, Philomena received a revelation that established more clearly the ultimate goal of her life, this life that had been miraculously given back to her: for God, entirely for Him and for Him alone.

The Love of Penance – The Years of Testing

A burning desire to save souls and bring them to Jesus soon consumed her, and with this followed the desire for penance and sufferings.

Often, Philomena stayed in bed in winter without any blankets to protect against the cold, many times, she was found in a simple nightgown, sleeping on the floor of her room.

Although proud of her daughter's virtue, the desire for penance and sufferings now alarmed her. The mother severely scolded her daughter, believing she was putting her already delicate health at risk. Josefa forbade these austerities, which she thought were whims and acts of disobedience. In an attempt to stop this desire for suffering, her mother ordered her to go to bed as soon as she came to her room, without meditation and without extra prayers since the family said their evening prayers together. Philomena did not hesitate one second to obey her mother’s orders; however, she was still found quite often shivering in a half-sleep on the floor near her bed. She had been miraculously moved back to the floor as she was never disobedient, but having been found like this no doubt made it seem like she was being disobedient, which only increased the trials as her mother did what she could to stop these 'whims' that were detrimental to her health. He mother also thought such things were coming from the devil and not God, which only contributed more to Philomena's anguish in causing her mother to be so angry with her.

Another trial awaited when she came down with a new and tortuous ailment: a full gastric seizure of unknown origin or character suddenly caused her from being able to ingest food. When pressed her mother, she tried to eat more substantial food, but her stomach would contract immediately and she felt violently nauseated. Her whole body would start shaking nervously until several hours later, she would be left aching and exhausted. Trying to be obedient, she followed exactly the prescribed treatment that seemed best adapted to her condition; but all this medicine, all this care would prompt more acute pain and made her feel worse.

The worried mother, eager to cure her child, was constantly on alert to force Philomena to follow her treatments meticulously: potions ordered by the doctors; empirical recipes indicated by the women of Mora, each of whom had half a dozen infallible cures. The poor patient had to put up with everything. With each new trial, Philomena’s stomach pains became more violent and her disgust sometimes insurmountable. Her mother, discouraged by this failure, started to listen to the gossipy insinuations of the neighbours who could not accept the ineffectiveness of their folk remedies: to them then child was not sick or, rather, her illness was imaginary; her repugnance must be a lack of obedience; her nausea, an act or a whim. From then on, her mother insisted more vigorously; then came harsh reprimands and, finally, unceasing complaints and accusations that broke the poor child’s heart. Philomena wrote: “My mother told me that my disobedience was shortening her days, that I was the cause of constant affliction and that everything came from my foolish imagination; as soon as I had taken one medicine, she would come and give me another.”

The trials only grew, but her reactions were nothings short of saintly. One day, Philomena was putting on her mantilla to go to church. Her mother, probably seeing this as being very imprudent considering her health and thinking that she should stay home, came up to her and slapped her in the face. The saintly child, confronted by this unexpected violence, barely showed her surprise; calm and resigned, she changed her mind immediately about going to church without any objection, without asking any explanation. In her room, she felt in her soul a commanding movement of gratefulness toward Our Lord who thought she was dignified enough to suffer in some way for His love.

The ordeal did not stop here. The stomach illness was affecting Philomena’s health, while her mother’s attitude broke her heart: the devil was going to attack her piety in a terrible assault, a dark night of the soul. First came the temptations of discouragement where she doubted God’s love for her, where she even doubted her Heavenly Mother's protection over her. Then she had a very clear intuition of the smallest harshness coming from her mother. She constantly became obsessed by this double thought: that God did not listen to her and that her mother was determined to treat her with severity and was tempted with horrific thoughts of resentment. The pious child was fighting mightily with her faith against despair, and with all the tenderness of her filial love against the instinctive repulsion she felt at the very sight of her mother.

When temptation was stronger, Philomena prayed longer, but her desperate calls for God’s mercy did not bring her calmness, nevertheless, she remained faithful and blessed the Divine Goodness even when it seemed everything had turned against her and God seemed now disposed to show His implacable justice instead of mercy.

However, she received a consolation and a dissipation against the temptation of resentment against her mother when she understood that God was precisely using the concern of her mother and her austere reactions and orders to test her trust and increase her merits. This intuition consoled the saintly child and added to her filial tenderness a feeling of religious veneration toward her mother, who was cooperating with God in these sanctifying ordeals.

This realization helped Philomena to endure her mother's severity when broached the topic of entering religious life, to which her mother did not react positively at all, eventhough she seemed to know this could not be natural despite her attempts to dissuade Philomena from religious life. Josepha couldn't help but notice that there were inconsistencies and oddities that were humanly inexplicable. Philomena barely ate enough to stay alive and yet she was growing and developing. Her stomach could not sustain food and yet her complexion was fresh and pink, her eyes bright and relaxed. Her bouts of mortal languidness left her exhausted, depressed and aching in all her fibres. Then, without transition, she took up with energy the most tiring tasks for a young girl raised with refinement. How to believe in a real illness when confronted with the appearance of the best of health? This healthy look enhanced the beauty of the pious child.

In fact, this exceptional beauty became for Philomena the source of additional trials and victories. She had given herself to God, and no secular affection could find its place in her heart. One day, on her way home, Philomena came upon two young, good-looking and elegant men. As they came closer, she felt a foreboding filling her soul. “Oh! Isn’t she beautiful!” one young man said. Then, joining hands, they blocked her way and pushed themselves upon her. “You rascals!” she screamed while she implored the heavens for aid and traced the sign of the cross with her hand. Instantly, the two young men disappeared in black smoke, while proffering horrible curses against Jesus and her.

Still, despite Philomena's great virtue, her mother continued to test her vocation without more severe opposition to it.

By the time she was 16, already for a long time, she had conveyed, in a timid and hesitating way, the desire of her heart for cloistered life. Josefa answered that her health was too frail to even attempt religious life; “Communities don’t need a group of disabled people and even less, stubborn and hotheaded young girls.”

One day, after Philomena was more insistent, her mother answered abruptly, either because of her own conviction or as a test, that she did not believe in her vocation. “All your penance, your austerities, your whimsical illnesses, I see them not as the adorable will of God, to whom I want to abide by entirely, but as signs of your hot head, and my duty is to calm all this turmoil.”

After this, she seemed even more determined to work against any idea of religious life her daughter had. She immediately drew a line of conduct to which the pious child submitted without asking questions, without the least complaint. One of the new orders was that she was to stop any contact with a pious lady on the town,D. Maria Calanda y Serres, with whom, from time to time, Philomena had discussions on spiritual subjects. She could go to church only on Sundays and Holy Days, as any good Christian, but she was to stop thinking about these visits and stop her long prayers on ordinary days.

“And since you are so strong,” added Josefa, “you must be strong enough to take care of

the house.” The maid was let go and Philomena had to undertake the most tiring chores of domestic life.

Philomena’s admirable obedience to her mother was absolutely unquestionable; although her mother treated her harshly, to the point it almost seems impious and tyrannical to any other Catholic mother desperate to see their child go to Mass these days! She was forbidden to visit pious friends, no more reading spiritual books, no private prayers in her room, very few if almost no visits to the Blessed Sacrament. Philomena hardly had enough time to complete her chores in the house and to receive Communion from time to time. Hence, her soul became slowly impoverished. Without being less united to God, she no longer felt this union and did not have the spiritual means to nourish it.

The devil also came on the scene again and decided to use this painful period as another means of temptation to lead her away from religious life. His suggestions directly attacked her vocation by representing it as a dreamy imagination of hers, a simple young girl’s pretense in wanting to stray from the ordinary path instead of aspiring to be a good mother, like so many others who were as worthy as she was. Why, in any case, would God call you to religious life? Such a perfect life requires souls who have more moral fibre than yours; furthermore, your physical weakness does not allow you to dream of such a mortified life. There is no doubt that the eternal salvation of your soul is in great danger if you continue to be obstinate about adopting a lifestyle that is not meant for you!

Mercifully, the Good Master had planted in her soul a persistent attraction to the religious life and her vocation, but it was going to happen only after it had costed her. This intimate battle was exhausting; these renewed sufferings of which God and her mother were the agents broke her heart and her strength; she succumbed. Her will remained on the right path and without failing, but she lost her physical strength. She had to force herself to work, and had to continuously renew this effort. Her beautiful face lost its fresh colours and it soon became clear that her health was much affected.

However, her mother saw this new display of weakness in health to new 'whims'. She used to say that Philomena deliberately got tired because she incessantly thought of religious life in order to be delivered from her mother and her domestic chores.

The situation was thus became almost impossible, and God had to intervene. As usual, His intervention defied all previsions. Things switched unexpectedly. Philomena, wanting to invoke God’s mercy, asked her mother one day if she could fast three times a week. To her great surprise, Josefa agreed without hesitation. The submission of the child and the agreement of the mother were immediately rewarded. During the first week of fasting, Philomena’s health greatly improved; her sad face became alive and her strength returned. Her mother then relieved her from part of her domestic chores, thus giving her more freedom to do her prayers that she no longer criticized and that she often shared. More than once, one would catch her looking tenderly at her blessed child that she had tortured unwittingly or at least without ceasing to love her. Philomena sensed, through the peace in her soul,

that her three-year ordeal was ending; when she was absorbed in prayer, she would sometimes have a glimpse of the monastery, not yet chosen, that would be her place of rest, and she waited for God’s hour. The time and place would be marked by a circumstance that then appeared insignificant.

The Chosen Place

D. Dominique Folch, who was the pastor of Pla de Cabra, a parish in the vicinity of Valls, one day visited the Superior of the Discalced Religious Sisters of the Order of Minims. The community had just lost a chorister, and the Prior asked Fr. Folch if he happened to know of a young woman called to religious life, someone gifted somewhat musically and having learned the basics of singing. It so

happened that at that time (c.1859) and for many years, Philomena had lived in the little town of Pla where her father had been transferred to pursue his artwork. And, it so happened that her spiritual director was the Fr. Folch, who knew that her father was as good a musician as an excellent sculptor and had given Philomena lessons in music and singing.

Fr. Folch saw this coincidence as a providential indication. He went immediately to speak to the Ferrer couple about the vocation of their daughter and offered to present Philomena himself as a sister chorister at the Valls monastery.

Her father, absorbed in his sculpture work used to rely entirely on Philomena for family affairs. Now, faced with this proposal, he resisted this proposal, Philomena's mother, on her part, meditative and moved, was silent. The pastor was speaking with conviction because he was sure of Philomena’s vocation. His plea finally obtained a half-consent: her father agreed to one visit to the Valls monastery, thinking that when the nuns would learn of the frail health of the postulant, they would refuse to accept her.

Quite the contrary happened. During her first interview, the Superior felt very drawn to the young girl, less because of her musical knowledge, but more because of the mysterious imprint that God’s work

leaves in a soul, an imprint that is easier to be felt than expressed. “You will be our sister,” she said simply to Philomena.

The preparations for her entry into the monastery were quickly despatched, mainly by her mother, broken-hearted but happy of this sacrifice despite all the obstacles she had placed it the way, and she decided to accompany Philomena herself to Valls. At the threshold of the monastery, Josefa took the hands of her child, reminded her of her anticipated consecration to the Virgin Mary: “My daughter,

enter into this cloister to consecrate yourself to God and to fulfill the promise I made to the Virgin Mary before your birth.” To the nuns who came to greet their new sister, Josefa, tearless but with poignant emotion, announced: “I’m giving you my daughter; she is as pure as on the day of her baptism. My daughter! Oh, my daughter!”

Her Religious Life at Valls ~Her Mystical Visions

Philomena was received with great rejoicing. All the nuns had a feeling that this postulant would be a blessing for the monastery, but the most vivid joy was Philomena’s:

During Lent in 1863, on a day when the priest's confessional was besieged by penitents, Philomena, who was praying in the community chancel, saw in her mind a man who, was making a bad confession by attempting to hide a grievous sin, was gravely endangering his immortal soul. She writes:

“I cannot describe all the pain that I felt. It seemed like I was shouting at the throne of Divine Mercy, beseeching God to give me the grace to set this man free from the yoke of the devil, by confessing the sin that enslaved his soul. I obtained this grace; the penitent finally admitted the sin that he wanted to hide and I saw the devil forced to leave this soul that he no longer owned. However, he turned his infernal rage toward me. He came to me, turning around me to scare me with his threats and his foul presence; however, I did not fear his powerless anger. … At the same time as the devil prowled around me, I felt very softly touched on the right shoulder and there was, when I turned around, a very beautiful angel who invited me to follow him into a small chancel close to that of the community. It seemed to me that I obeyed him, of my own volition or not, not being the master of my interior faculties. Upon entering this small room, I saw Jesus and Mary; they spoke tender words to me and invited me to rest in their gentle presence, to make up for the very small fatigue I had felt when I prayed for the soul mentioned above, and for the assault and threats of the devil. I was completely shocked and unsure of what I should do, when it seemed that the Mother and her Son made me taste some exquisite food and drink, a celestial and divine liqueur. The taste of this food gave me henceforth an aversion to earthly foods, while giving my soul an indelible sweetness.”

This sublime favour given by the Son and his Mother made Philomena understand how great was the indelible consolation to the loving Hearts of Jesus and Mary that is brought about by the conversion of a sinner. She then felt her already fervent love increase for all the unfortunate sinners who were in this sorry state; she decided to stop at nothing, however wearisome and great it would be, to obtain the salvation of only one soul, even if this meant giving up her own life a thousand times.

Seeing her in such saintly charitable dispositions, the Lord often informed her of the diverse needs of some souls, ordering her to undergo salutary penances to help them. Philomena accomplished these tasks as quickly and as best she could, often obtaining the desired grace and continually acquiring new souls for the Heart of Jesus.

One day, the Lord raptured Philomena in spirit, showering her with sweet delights and lighting a living flame of love for God and of charity toward others in her heart. The enthusiasm that enveloped her was so powerful that she exclaimed: “O my God, eternal charity! Why don’t you communicate this fire that consumes me needlessly to some of your priests who would try harder to win souls for heaven? Oh! How much more would they try to tear them away from the enslavement of the devil!”

On other occasions, these strokes of fire would wound her heart with such force that she felt an impetuous outburst of love of God and of the desire to love even more, to love to excess. She says that these desires, trying to escape from her chest, oppressed her breathing and caused her mortal pain. Just as physical fire destroys the colour and hardness of iron and transfers to it its personal characteristics in such a surprising manner that it does not look like iron but like fire, in this way the fire that God had lit in the heart of his servant had assimilated her to him to the point that, between her and God, between God and her, it seemed like there was only one heart, only one will. This supernatural transformation that occurred in her after these raptures is described in a few words by Philomena: “So that there is between the Lord and his unworthy slave only one will, ... .”

These supernatural raptures were often accompanied by external visions.

One day, she saw the raised arm of God, ready to punish the earth. She then burst into tears and cried: “Ah! my Reverend Mothers, my good Sisters, please hold the arm of our Lord. O good Virgin Mary, appease your Son!”

Another time, she saw the devils in a fierce battle against the Church; proud of their advantage, they were already dividing the spoils of victory. Philomena exclaimed: You will not win, you vile beasts.” These words were overheard by other nuns who were praying at that moment; as Philomena was a cause of distraction, the Superior ordered her to be silent. Toward the end of her life, knowing from experience that Philomena in these external manifestations had no control over herself, the Superior would guide her out of the chancel as soon as the first signs appeared.

The Divine Master revealed not only spiritual necessities to His faithful servant, for which He urged her to pray for His mercy; He also showed her temporal graces that she must obtain, through prayer and penance, from his goodness to benefit other people.

In April 1863, a persistent drought was compromising the cereal harvest in the whole country. Philomena saw in spirit the famine that would follow and its disastrous implications. She consulted her confessor and asked him to pray and ask others to pray for the Divine Mercy to divert this calamity. She added: “As for me, I am asking permission to refrain from drinking water until all danger has passed.” Her confessor did not think that it was prudent for him to agree to this, and asked her to simply confer this matter to God. As soon as she was in her room, Philomena, with all the zeal of her soul, prayed to the Lord to have pity on his afflicted people. Then she covered her head with ashes, kissed the bare ground and did not move for three hours. She repeated this prayer and her penance for three consecutive days and, at the end of the third day, abundant rain resurrected the countryside and gave hope to the workers.

She suddenly experienced more attacks from the devil, for he was probably counting on the suffering that would have resulted from the famine and the evil inspirations and temptations brought about by the misery that would have ensued. The famine now adverted, he was robbed of his diabolical harvest and seemed to take his fury out on Philomena. There was a surge of temptations, of horrible apparitions and, more than once, of physical violence. A heavy cabinet, which required two men to move slightly, lifted itself and fell completely on Philomena who should have been crushed, but she was not hurt. Another time, to reach the chancel, Philomena barely put her foot on the first step of the stairs when she was suddenly thrown violently by an invisible force right down to the next level, her head hitting each step. A few nuns hurried to help her and the Mother Corrector asked the nurse to get some bandages and ointments for the bleeding bruises, but Philomena reassured her that the bruises would heal quickly, adding that they should be ignored, otherwise one would always have to use medication and remedies.

However, the servant of God, not wanting to reveal her struggles with the devil, accepted in her different illnesses regular medicines that, according to God’s wish, served mostly to increase her suffering. Sister Engracia nevertheless, because of certain strange symptoms, thought that the cause of most of these ailments was not natural; one day, when Philomena had a choking episode that was more violent than usual, she gave her only as medication a little bit of blessed water. The oppression stopped immediately, but Philomena asked her companion not to tell others by which means she had been relieved. Sister Engracia kept the secret more or less closely, but she used her recipe on several occasions.

In her passive purification, the servant of God suffered much less from the physical assaults than from spiritual temptations and anxieties, such as temptations of hopelessness and merciless damnation. The valiant spouse of the Lord resisted, with all the energy of her faith and trust these dangerous subtleties of the devil; but these more intimate struggles exhausted her.

For instance, one day, during the feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, after a long prayer in the chancel, Sister Philomena received the ineffable privilege of seeing in spirit Our Lady's triumphant entrance into Heaven heaven. The vision was hardly disappearing when a sneer was heard in the silence:

“Yes, look at her carefully, that woman,” the devil screamed at Philomena, “look at her carefully, you will not see her anymore. She will be in paradise and you in hell with me, because you belong to me, you and all your penances, all your eccentricities; all this is nothing but pride and hypocrisy; all this serves only to add to the stock of wood for the fire that will burn you eternally!”

Despite the inevitable trouble she felt from these direct suggestions from the devil, Sister Philomena continued her prayers until the regular time. However, the sudden contrast between the celestial vision and the diabolical threats had troubled her so much that she had to go to her Mother Superior early in the morning, to be consoled and helped, revealing what she would have preferred to conceal: the divine

favours and the devil’s efforts.

She must have been terribly disturbed as this recourse to external consolation was, for Philomena, an exception to the rule that she had set for herself: to suffer in silence and to receive relief for her soul only from God. She had accepted wholeheartedly the proposal made one day by the Divine Master to be a victim of atonement and love as much and as long as possible, and in the manner that He thought best; she wanted to fulfill this sublime agreement by respecting its conditions as best she could. One day, when her Sisters were trying to relieve her in her trials, she said: “If I knew, if I knew where to find consolation outside of Jesus, I would flee from it as from evil!”


The Trials and Triumph of the Church - (revelation given By Sr. Philomena in April 1863)

This saintly victim with her special vocation, in divine enthusiasm, asked Our Lord to strike her or to forgive the guilty ones! It happened during a vision related to the Church and its trials. Fr. Dalmau, in April 1863, shared with her his sad fears about the future of the Church and the woes that it would face. In a very firm voice, Philomena answered:

The Church will surely triumph, yes, surely. I can see this triumph already, but I also see that it will be preceded by long days of mourning and terrible trials.”

Moved by this firm affirmation, the confessor insisted on knowing the reasons supporting it. Philomena then admitted that, shortly before this, she had had a vision on the subject or, as was her ordinary expression, a knowledge of these future events.

The Divine Master had revealed to her that the sins of the world were great, that the cup of His indignation was full and that He would pour it abundantly on many countries in retribution for the offenses made to His Sovereign Majesty and for the affronts to His Heart so full of love for mankind.

At the same time, God showed his servant the whole of humanity in such a sad and deplorable state that just the sight of it would have killed her with pain, if He had not supported her Himself. It was then that, remembering her sacrifice as a victim, she answered the Divine Saviour:

“My God, erase me from the Book of Life, if You want to withhold Your mercy!”

She then saw three quarters of the world marked by grief and upheaval. The fourth part, in which the Valls convent was located, seemed less chastised, but not exempt from the general plight. The Lord finally revealed to her that, of all the enemies who then persecuted so maliciously His vicar on earth, the saintly Pontiff Pius IX, some would come to a very sad end while others would convert; that Pius IX would not leave Rome and that, finally, a great nation would enter into the fold of the Catholic Church.


(OBSERVATIONS: of interest, we know from other prophecies that God was already getting ready to strike the earth and bring in the chastisements in the late 1800s, but the dedication of the cornerstone of Sacre Coeur in Paris bought the earth more time as revealed in the visions of Marie-Julie Jahenny since one of the conditions given by the Sacred Heart to St. Margaret Mary had been met. However, the punishment has only been delayed, and we know will fall upon the earth depending on the gravity of the sins committed later. It will be like the city of Nineveh that was spared God's punishment, the people forgot the prophecy of destruction, no longer did penance, the citizens returned to a life of sin, and the city was later destroyed as God foretold.

We see that yes, parts of Ven. Philomena's prophecy has come true, Pius IX did not leave Rome, but the other parts also correspond to revelations given by other mystics: that when the great chastisements do eventually strike three quarters of the world will be in turmoil, two-thirds to three quarters of the world will be wiped out, and a nation will convert. This could be Russia which we were forewarned about by Our Lady at Fatima, where she also foretold the annihilation of nations of the world did not convert and if Russia was not consecrated to her Immaculate Heart.

Of interest, we have been given another area on the earth that will see some relative protection during this upheavals, even if not spared all the punishments – this will be where the Valls monastery is located. We do not know how much the area of protection will extend in Valls however. Valls is not far north of Tarragon.)

(Image: the red circle shows the region of Valls.)

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(November 29, 1866). – Revelation on the Troubles of Pius IX and on the Perils to the Church – Our Lord asks Philomena to Make New Sacrifices for the Church – She must Taste the Cup of the Passion.

Ven. Philomena to her confessor / spiritual director:

“My Reverend Father in the very loving Heart of Jesus, the Divine Master, instead of chastising me as He should for my depraved and rebellious will that, so often, offended Him by refusing, even very recently, the three weekly fasts He was requesting of me, because it was too much effort for my lack of enthusiasm, called me last Sunday, when I was least expecting it, and said: “I want you to offer yourself as a victim and for you to forego eating bread. You should eat only from time to time the coarsest vegetables from the garden. I ask this sacrifice until the Nativity so that I feel obliged to give more peace and victory to My Church, so demoralized right now. In addition, so that your offering is more complete and pleasant to My eyes, I will let you endure diverse moral tribulations and anxieties during this month.” This request from the Lord confused me enormously and I told him of my numerous

imperfections that ruin all my work, as well as the continuous resistance of my will to his. But seeing that he insisted in his request, I promised him that I would talk to my superiors about it and to subject myself to it if they agreed. The next day, at Communion, an interior force drove me to offer everything in me for the Supreme Pontiff and the triumph of the Holy Church, an offer that I can write down if my superiors wish to learn of it.

The same day, while reciting Matins in the chancel with my Sisters, the Lord said to me: “My daughter, I want you to taste the chalice of My Passion: if it was necessary for Me to drink it to the dregs to save the world, I want you today to drink your share and force Me to save it again. Your Mother, the Holy Church, is suffering now from mortal anguish; like her, you must reach the doors of death; however, neither one will perish. You will triumph, on the contrary, for My greatest glory.” He also told me not to worry about the reactions of my Sisters, seeing me so depressed, almost in agony, as a result of the great pain and distress that I must endure and that will certainly be much less than the ones He wanted to suffer out of love for me and humanity. This is what I wanted to communicate to you, my Father, asking you to tell me what you decide on this subject. I kiss your feet.”


Apparition of St. Michel the Archangel and the Revelation of the 'New Trinity' - the Special Union between the Sacred and the Immaculate Hearts and St. Michael

(Written on January 30, 1867) –

To her confessor / spiritual director: “(…) It was thus, as I have just said, my Father, that about a month and a half ago, without any precedent in matters of this nature, I suddenly felt, and in a manner that only God knows, somehow called by the very glorious St. Michael the Archangel. He said the following to me:

Make known to mankind the great power that I have with the Almighty; tell them to ask me anything they want; tell them that my power in favour of those who have devotion to me is unlimited.”

And, at the same time, he added this formal order: “Make known my spiritual greatness”; and I understood well, my Father, that he was not asking me this for his own glory, but only for the glory of God for whom he is so zealous. And I, in my astonishment, replied: “Yes, Archangel and Prince of the Most High, I shall manifest your greatness, and, if you obtain for me the grace that I am going to ask of you, I will, with the blessing of my superiors, spread your devotion everywhere, and I will write a novena in your honour.” I was thinking then about the horrible calamities which threatened at this moment the capital of Christendom, (i.e. Rome) and even the whole of Christendom if, unfortunately, its supreme Leader, the Sovereign Pontiff Pius IX, was forced to leave the Papal See. My request was as follows:

“I beg you, very noble Archangel, since you can do so much and desire so much to work for the glory of the Lord and for the exaltation of his Holy Church, do not allow in any way our supreme Pastor, the Supreme Pontiff, to have to leave Rome. Go yourself, accompanied by the Immaculate Virgin Mary, go and defend him from the infernal fire which threatens him; confuse Satan and his ungodly followers, who would like to see the Holy Church cut down and buried with all its ministers. Great Archangel, please see that our Holy Mother soon triumphs, and confound her rebellious sons together with the demons who inspire them.”

Having finished my request, I was amazed at two things: the first was to see such a powerful prince humiliate himself and thus lower himself to come to me, and the other was my presumption for having promised him to make known his greatness. It seemed to me beyond all possibility: what knowledge would I use to accomplish this? Until then, I had neither learned nor studied anything on such a sublime subject; I could not rely on any book either, since the Lord absolutely forbids me to spend my time doing any reading, however good it may be. Nonetheless, my Father, despite my temerity on this occasion, God forgave my presumption, and I did obtain from His grace the means to accomplish what I had promised.

From that moment until recently, I have heard many times the following words:

I shall put two of the most precious jewels as ornaments for My Heart for Its perpetual glory; I shall crown My Heart’s two impulses with them, as an eternal memorial of the goodness of this Heart that has loved mankind so much. I want, through this new act of tenderness, to show all the love I have for humans. I no longer know what to do for mankind. What shall I do for people?”

To which I replied: “Save them, my God, since you shed your very Precious Blood for this purpose.”

I understood that these two jewels were Mary Immaculate and St. Michael the Archangel, and I saw at the same time the happy fate of those who would honour and glorify them. I also heard these words:

This New Trinity must be blessed and glorified on earth as is the unity of the Three Divine Persons in Heaven: blessed is the nation, blessed the country or the monastery that will be inflamed with this devotion. Write all you know about it.”

These last words left me filled with confusion, for I am the most miserable and the most criminal of all creatures to whom God has given life since the beginning of the world, and yet this is how God wants to confuse me in this infinite mercy! As I wanted to account for all this with clarity, He Himself deigned to show me the means to do it, and to give me the explanation of what this vision meant.

I will not speak in detail, my Father, of the struggles that the Most Holy Heart of Jesus has sustained almost continuously since He came forth from the sweet bosom of his Eternal Father, I mean pain and love; but, by all that was revealed to me, I saw that love always triumphed over pain. I would almost consider it a sin of pride to want to give long explanations on this subject. What could you ignore about this, my Father, you who for so many years have applied yourself to the study of holy prayer and of sacred books, books which contain so many treasures on the admirable works of our God? However, I must say this: that love has triumphed, triumphs and will always triumph over pain because, from now on, the very sweet Heart of Jesus will no longer receive any pain for the reasons that I will relate below.

I will now try to explain the manner in which I learned what the very sweet Heart of the Eternal Word will do to save mankind. It was more or less as follows: I seemed to see the Heart of Jesus, exhausted with fatigue and sadness. He wandered about, as though His Heart could not bear the weight of Its graces and superabundant favours. He was going everywhere, as if He wanted to find a refuge somewhere; and, instead of resting, He found only bushes, the sharp thorns of which wounded Him and caused His blood to flow. I will point out here that I did not see any of this with my bodily eyes; on the

contrary, during all this time, I was very careful to keep them closed. This Most Holy Heart went about so filled with affliction, and close to dying of pain, when suddenly two stars of unspeakable beauty and brilliance appeared. They approached the Divine Heart at two different places, which seemed to be the same as the ones wounded by love and pain; and as soon as the two stars touched the Heart, It was instantly relieved of the anguish that oppressed It: Its sorrows were changed into joy, Its wounds into the most pleasant and sweet transport of love. The two stars thus came to rest one on the right and the other on the left of this Sacred Heart. In turn, this Heart changed into a third star, but without losing its natural form: all three remained thus triangulated, forming the triangle which one gives as a sign of unity or equality of the Three Divine Persons. I understood, however, that this Supreme Unity was

not represented by these three stars united together: the middle one being the Heart of Jesus, the one to the right, Mary Immaculate, and the one to the left, St. Michael the Archangel. The triangle that they formed meant the unity of will which puts all three in perfect harmony, for the good of mankind. Mary wills to ask, Jesus or His Most Holy Heart wills to grant, and St. Michael wills to distribute generously what Mary has obtained. As for the words, here are those which I noted: Mary on the right and Saint Michael on the left, the star of the Heart of Jesus used their rays like so many languages. On the right side near Mary, I saw, several times repeated, these words: “Fiat, Fiat;” then from Mary to St.

Michael, these words: “Go, go, go”; and from St. Michael to the Heart of Jesus: “Who is like God?”

(Note given in her biography: This exclamation, repeated three times, may mean (in translation): see or go, go. If one had the temerity of adding a personal interpretation to these sublime intuitions, we would readily say that the meaning of the vision requires “go” and not “see”. The Immaculate Virgin repeats the prayer of her maternal adoration, “fiat, fiat”, encouraging the Heart of her Son to fulfill Its desires for mercy; then, she tells St. Michael to go spread the treasures of mercy and grace that she just obtained.”

Ven. Philomena's text continues: “But if I wanted to make known the immense goodness which God uses toward us by bringing together in our favour three such noble wills, I could only stammer, my tongue not being able to find words to express such a wonder. I will only say that the Most Holy Heart of Jesus ardently wishes to fulfill the promise which it made previously by these words:

I hold in reserve, in my Heart, immense treasures for the end times, in order to restore the half-dead faith, for the Christians of that period.”

We have almost already arrived, my Father, at this lamentable state and, in order to prove to us the love with which it burns for us, this Sacred Heart first wanted to be wounded on all sides: like so many sharp thorns, like so many penetrating traits, the most enormous sins have wounded this Heart to an inexpressible depth. No longer able to bear the love that fills Him, wanting at all costs our eternal happiness for which He was already made man, and burning to spread with more abundance the

rivers of grace that He keeps locked up in His Heart, already the numerous openings of all His wounds are no longer enough for Him anymore. So, not knowing what else to do, His infinite love arranged for

these two diamonds, of the most attractive beauty, to pour out abundantly for us the treasures contained in this ocean of love. O! My God! You were right to cry out that you did not know what else to do! What then, Lord my God, is this Trinity, deified by Yourself, to whom You now ask us to render homage and worship? (Note: no doubt she means worship to the Sacred Heart and homage / veneration to Our Lady and St. Michael)- Ah! Yes, you wanted to let me know Yourself the dignity and the greatness of these three brilliant stars that form the marvelous triangle. The middle one is the Sacred Heart of the Eternal Word, the Heart which, from all eternity, has been enclosed in Your very pure bosom. But what is the star on the right side? Ah! my God! What shall I say of what I feel at the sight of this second star, named Mary Immaculate! I will only say this: As the Eternal Word has been from all eternity enclosed in Your bosom, so was Mary, your immaculate Daughter enclosed from all eternity in Your thought. And as the bosom and the spirit are so close together, of these two noble parts of Yourself You detached the two most precious pearls to give them to mankind, and humans responded by rebelling against their Creator!

If now, Reverend Father, you ask me what is the dignity of the one represented by the third star, since, if Jesus and Mary are the most loved by God, St. Michael, who is given to them as a companion, must he not have a great resemblance to the first two? I will respond as follows: The beauty of St. Michael has, in fact, such a resemblance to that of God that, after the Eternal Word, there is no other spirit in heaven that can be compared to him. And, as between the bosom and the mind there is the face, this place belongs to St. Michael, who is the very clear and very faithful image of the Eternal

being. As for his greatness, I will talk about it a little later.

In order to be able to better explain myself, my Father, on the meaning of the impulses of the Heart of Jesus, I will assume that V. P. will ask me questions and I will answer them to the best of my ability.

Question. – Jesus therefore now wants to crown the two courageous captains who fought so valiantly, winning an infinite number of victories in favour of the fallen man; I mean the two impulses of the very sweet Heart of Jesus, pain and love. But then, Mary and the Archangel Michael being the two precious diadems with which he will crown them, which of the two impulses has fallen as a lot to Mary Immaculate?

Answer. – That of concentration, that is to say, pain; and to St. Michael, that of dilation, which in Jesus expressed the most intense love

Question. – And why did Mary not have the side of the dilation, since she

is called in all truth the Source of our joy?

Answer. – Because, just as a heart oppressed with anguish needs some object worthy of its love, where it can pour itself out, and once in possession of this object, the heart expands comfortably, so it was with Jesus. From the moment of the union of the Divinity with His Most Holy Humanity, his Sacred Heart was oppressed with intense pain, as no one ever suffered. This pain continued to increase because of our ever more numerous and enormous sins, until finally, unable to endure so many wounds and so much suffering, He called to His side the object most worthy of His love, the Virgin Mary, making her absolute mistress of this impulse of His Heart. This is how, henceforth, my Father, the Most Holy

Heart of Jesus will no longer suffer any pain. Mary Immaculate is occupying this privileged place for ever.

Question. – What will now be the role of St. Michael in the dilation or love?

Answer. – This very noble Archangel will be like a messenger to distribute the innumerable graces that Mary will obtain from the Heart of Jesus. He will take such a great pleasure in being able to thus obey his Queen, and at the same time to console all of us who groan under such hard slavery in this land of exile, that without exaggeration, we can, in all truth, call it an unparalleled joy. Ah! My Jesus! what ineffable union I noticed between these three objects worthy of all our attention, of all our love! We can

truly say that between Jesus, Mary and the Archangel Michael, there is really only one same will, one same desire. Oh! a thousand times happy are those devoted to them, devoted to the Most Holy Heart of Jesus, or to His Immaculate Mother, or even to the seraphic Archangel St. Michael because, according to what I was able to notice, the glory that one of them will receive will be shared equally with the other two.

I do not want, Reverend Father, to expand further to explain in detail all the graces that, in the short span of two years, the Heart of Jesus poured out on our Spain and on many other places of Christendom. I will only say that the mercy which awaits us today is incomparably more admirable, if we are zealous in devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, to Mary Immaculate, and to St. Michael the Archangel. Oh! what immense happiness for our Holy Order of Minims, to have as a protector the very one who stands without fear near the throne of the Almighty God! Our Father St. Francis (of Paola) knew all his powers, he who loved him so tenderly: let us imitate his devotion to St. Michael, and we will certainly obtain his protection. It seems to me, Reverend Father, that these few notes should suffice for the moment, because I can no longer form a single letter, my hand is trembling so much. The Lord is pleased to push me every day into the increasing darkness, to the point where I even lose my breath. Blessed be the Lord God of Israel who deigns to visit me. I kiss your feet.

P.S. – In my opinion, Reverend Father, you would cause unspeakable joy to the Sacred Heart of Jesus by seeking to establish a great and fraternal union of prayers and exercises of piety, between the Carmelite nuns of Valls and our holy community. Encourage them all to show themselves full of zeal, and to lavish their love and homage to the very sweet Heart of Jesus, to his Most Holy Mother, the Immaculate Virgin Mary, and to St. Michael the Archangel. Assure them that this is the way to obtain in abundance the blessings of heaven on us, on this country and on the whole world.


OBSERVATIONS: We know Our Lady is the Mediatrix of God's graces, and now we find out St. Michael is the mediatrix of the graces given through the hands of Our Lady as well. We also note great protection will be given if the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts and St. Michael are honoured together – this is in agreement with the visions of Marie-Julie Jahenny who foretold that the Hearts of Jesus and Mary are linked together regarding the Age of Peace and Triumph, which will come from France: the arrival of the Age of Peace and the Triumph of the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts has been left in the hands of Our Lady, and St. Michael will also actively take part in bringing the Age of Peace by helping the Great Monarch of France. France has been known to be Our Lady's kingdom from the beginning, while the Sacred Heart gave His revelations to St. Margaret Mary there, and St. Michael is one of the country's major patron saints. The revelations of this 'new' spiritual Trinity between them is actually not surprising under these circumstances.

Apparently, this devotion of the 'new trinity' is intended as an out pouring of grace from the Sacred Heart for the end times when the faith is half dead, and Ven. Philomena noted that in their day there were nearly already upon that time.



Her Last Days as a Victim Soul – Other Prophecies Fulfilled in her Time

Philomena would soon be united for eternity with her Divine Spouse. As early as April 1868, she wrote to her confessor that her poor body, exhausted with pain, could be considered now only “as a living corpse”. However, the Divine Master, probably to crown His noble labour of improvement and bring it to perfection, was intensifying the blows of His love, by increasing the last of the trials, which included multiplying His absences and a sense of interior spiritual repulsion. In turn, His predilections would stoke more and more the fire of love that devoured her. His work was indeed completed, the immolation had reached the most intimate fibres of her being: a lifeless body, without any strength other than to suffer; a soul on fire, which was burning with love but could find no rest in love. Philomena wrote:

“My soul is tormented by an all-consuming thirst, and to quench it, it only receives gall.”

This gall of the crucified spouse was nothing other than the abandonment of her Spouse. On the Cross, He too had cried: “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?”

One night when the flame of love was more intense, she exclaimed:

“I’m burning, I’m burning!”

Sister Engracia and the assistant nurse, while aware that this fire was not physical, hurriedly brought Philomena a basin with cold water to soak her hands. Sister Engracia, surreptitiously and out of devotion, drank some of the water: it was boiling hot! Philomena continued: “Oh, my God, a few minutes ago it was fire and now it’s a conflagration!” The Divine Master had not even wanted to provide minimal relief to His spouse.

More than her fellow sisters, Sister Engracia was able to understand, at a later point, the reason behind this apparent harshness of Our Lord. Mother Corrector, probably to reward her for her fraternal dedication to the Venerable, gave her the breviary that the latter had used. Sister Engracia found in this book a note written by Philomena: “I do not want to live without crosses, and I know why. During my life, short or long, to always suffer and not to die!”

On April 10 of the same year, sister Philomena received a wound of love, “una herida de amor” in her whole being. To understand the pain and the sweetness, the languidness and the ravishment of this wound, one would have to have glimpsed the divine methods. From this moment, life was no longer life for Philomena: she did not eat, she did not seem to breathe the air of this world; her face often looked blazing, as if an interior fire burned in her. This state lasted 20 days. The Superior, who had been accustomed to these mysterious sufferings for a long time, concluded that this was a new form of divine work. After 20 days, she called for the doctor, who thought that her death was imminent and ordered the Last Rites to be performed. This prescription was the cure.

Philomena was dying of the absence of her Beloved. When she was told He was coming (in Viaticum), the dying woman was revived: “Oh, my Mother,” she begged, “let me rise to receive Him on my knees.”

This permission was prudently refused. The patient accepted and prepared her soul for the visit of the One she loved. The confessor who brought her the Holy Eucharist gave the following account of the

Communion that was thought to be her last:

'After finishing her profession of faith, she turned toward Mother Superior, humbly asking her forgiveness for all her disobedience, all the sorrow she had caused her; turning to her Sisters, who were kneeling around her bed, she also begged their forgiveness for all her bad examples and scandals during her time with them; then, turning to me, she prayed, her eyes full of tears, that I absolve her of her infidelities and negligence in applying the advice I had given her. In these acts of humility spoken with conviction, there was such a moving and true simplicity that all we could hear were tears and sobs. All the Sisters were crying and I cried just as much as they. I had to wait a while before gaining my

composure and it required a great effort for me to finally begin the Domine, non sum dignus. Regarding the external effects of this Communion, we all noticed that her face soon returned to its natural colour. After the ritual prayers, I asked her: ‘My Sister, you are aware that because of the vow of poverty that you made on the day of your religious profession, you personally own absolutely nothing, not even

your clothes. If you die, how then do you wish your body to be buried?’ Philomena then turned to her Superior and said: ‘Reverend Mother Superior, I, Jesus Christ’s little pauper, I beg your kindness and as last alms to give me a habit to bury my body.’ Mother Superior smiled through her tears and the community withdrew. Then, as if all her life were concentrated in her union with the Holy Eucharist, Philomena became absorbed in such complete contemplation that she seemed unconscious. The Sister Nurse, after two hours, concerned at not having seen any movement, not the smallest sigh, came close to her to verify if she was still breathing. No breath. The soul was surely still in this virginal body, but the life of the soul was no longer in it: Vivo autem iam non ego, vivit vero in me Christus. Warned by the nurse, the Superior ran to Philomena and, to ensure that she was indeed dead, took her hand and said: “My Sister, how are you?” With this question from the legitimate authority, the contemplation ceased immediately. Philomena answered with a clear and distinct voice: “I can no longer live without the company of my very sweet Mother. I would like to die, to be united in heaven with the Uncreated Wisdom that my soul searches for, that my soul desires with such fervour! Oh! How I suffer and how I like to suffer!” The Superior answered that she would pray to our Lord to reduce this pain. Philomena answered quickly: “Oh! No, not that, my Mother; not that, only (if it is) His saintly and adorable will.”

The Eucharistic bread had given her some strength, in addition to her voice. The next day, the one who was at death’s door the previous day felt strong enough to receive Holy Communion with the community in the chancel. She returned every day until May 5. On that day, a new wound of love, as sudden and profound as the first, quickly brought back to Philomena’s cell her confessor, the Superior and the doctor. A believer, this doctor thought that according to science, this was the end. He ordered the Last Rites to be administered again immediately.

The confessor, who believed otherwise, relied less on his priestly intuitions than on the medical opinion, and gave his penitent the Viaticum and Extreme Unction, applying in addition the indulgences of the Order of Minims. When the dying woman was revived again, she said to her confessor, who was praying beside her bed: “My Father, if I receive a third wound, I will not be able to resist any longer. God wounds my soul, at its deepest level, with his darts of love: my heart is burning, it explodes. – “But, my child, could you not resist these blows or at least reduce their intensity?” – “I absolutely cannot. I tried many times to resist and, with each effort not to abandon my heart, the pain was more

intense, deeper.”

The third blow would come, but the gentle victim had to wait longer or, to be clearer, had to buy it through new preparatory sufferings.

The month of May went by with no particular incidents. At the beginning of June, the month that is dedicated to the Sacred Heart, Philomena asked her Divine Spouse for the conversion and final salvation of a few determined sinners, offering to the Divine Justice her sufferings and her own life in exchange. The Divine Master did not accept this request. Philomena insisted and her desire for immolation met another refusal. Finally, after the third time and with persevering calls to His

merciful Heart, the Divine Master accepted the exchange that his faithful spouse was offering Him; she would suffer all the tortures that He wanted for a few more weeks and the sinners would be saved. While understanding that these final blows would be terrible, Philomena accepted them with great joy. She said to her Mother Superior: “My Mother, I know now that I will die soon: He accepted the sacrifice of my life.”

On June 24, Philomena asked, with a certain degree of insistence, that she be brought to the monastery’s terrace. She wanted to see, through the slatted blinds, the solemn procession leaving St. John parish to pass through the city of Valls. Her wish was granted. She joyfully followed the pious meandering crowd acclaiming Jesus’ precursor. She even accepted, on the terrace, a few little sweets that Sister Nurse had zealously prepared. Immediately, she started feeling violent stomach pain, reminding her that she had to remain, in this as with everything else, the crucified spouse. She was brought back to her bed and she asked for her confessor. After speaking with the Venerable, he called for Mother Superior. Philomena asked her permission not to eat the better prepared foods that she was served, but to return to her regular abstinence. That evening and in the following days, she would eat only raw onions and pieces of bread. When she was able to leave her cell in the infirmary, Philomena, according to her old habits, would replace this light regimen for peelings from the vegetables prepared for the community.

It was toward this same month of June that Sister Philomena had a prophetic vision of the trials that would hit Spanish monasteries the following year.

The two nurses who were on duty near Sister Philomena used to join in with her in their regular prayers or respected the silence of her meditation that would often lead to ecstasy, with its obvious signs.

During one of these long ecstasies, the face of Philomena took a sudden expression of horror. From some half-pronounced anguished words, the nurses understood that she was pleading with the Divine

Master, that she was conversing with him. Then, she let out a loud scream of pain and collapsed while repeating these words: “Ah! Poor cloisters! Poor cloisters!” Informed, the Superior rushed in and asked her what was the meaning of this lament; but Philomena, still absorbed in her prophetic vision, was repeating: “Ah! Poor convents, poor nuns!” The Superior asked again, with a tone that was less commanding and more emotional: “And what will happen to us, Sister Philomena?” – “If my Sisters are chased out of this house, it won’t be for long.”

The following year, the revolutionaries, acting always in the name of freedom, broke the cloister walls of the monasteries and violently removed the consecrated virgins from their cells. The whirlwind reached Valls. On October 1, 1869, the Minims sisters were chased out of their convent; however, two days later, in circumstances that are unclear, they were all allowed to return and to go back to their saintly observances.

At the beginning of July, the divine work was less painful. Philomena no longer suffered from inexplicable anxieties about Divine abandonment and from diabolical assaults. She returned to the religious exercises and even to the dietary regimen of the community. The Superior, who had imposed this more substantial regimen, was hoping, if not for a cure for her privileged daughter, at least for some improvement. The result was completely the opposite. On July 15, Sister Philomena was exhausted and, to prevent her dying from lack of nourishment, she was authorized to return to vegetable peelings, raw onion or even complete fasting.

At this point, her confessor, the saintly Fr. Narcisse, was assailed with painful scruples: 'Seeing her so exhausted, I thought that perhaps the permission I had given for so many fasts, so many nights of prayer and so many austerities were the main cause of her weakness and therefore of her premature death that would take her from us. I blamed myself for my excessive acquiescence. Now Philomena, with whom I had not shared my anxiety in the least, said one day, as if she could read my soul like an open book: ‘Do not fear at all, my Father, you did what you had to do. I, and I alone, am responsible not for the penances that I did, but for those that I omitted or did not do well’.”


Her Saintly Death

This probably encouraged Philomena’s confessor to agree to new sacrifices. Sister Philomena obtained on July 15, despite her extreme weakness, permission to do an adoration novena: each night, she would go to the chancel and stay three hours adoring the Blessed Sacrament. Sister Rose of St. Narcissus, whose admirable devotion was always present, accompanied the dear patient. She asked Philomena: “How can you spend three hours in adoration considering your health condition and while enduring such acute pain?” – “I don’t

suffer during those three hours. Believe me, this is the only moment when I get a bit of rest.”

Because of the very strangeness and episodes of the illness, her Superiors began to perceive, not the divine origin of these sufferings of which they were already persuaded, but that perhaps the grace of a cure could be obtained, if Philomena asked for it. In obedience, she presented to Our Lord the wish of her Superiors. The Divine Master who had accepted the sacrifice of her life, as indicated earlier, agreed but respecting the following conditions: a novena would be started honouring the Immaculate Heart of Mary, after calling on Pius IX who had proclaimed this dogma, asking him in writing to pray for her recovery.

The Superiors accepted to pray the novena but did not see fit to write to Pius IX. The novena had no other results than those inscribed in the book of life. The illness followed, not its course, but its anomalies until July 28.

On that day, after seeing very clearly what she called her sins of pride, Philomena asked and was granted permission to make an act of humility. With the help of nurses, she kneeled beside her bed and then lay on the ground, arms extended, lips on the floor, and she stayed in this deadly position from morning until 3 p.m. The Superior, who had been asked and had granted this mortification, resisted her maternal instincts but, at 3 p.m., her heart could not resist any longer and she ordered Philomena to return to her bed. The servant of God obeyed immediately, but as soon as she had returned to bed, she collapsed completely. Her face became pallid; the cold sweats of agony and mostly the violent beating of her heart that seemed to shatter her chest alarmed the Superior who called the confessor and the doctor immediately. In this pure body everything seemed dead, except the heart whose beating speeded up more and more.

The community assembled in the infirmary for the third time. As her confessor was approaching with Holy Communion, the dying woman was revived, but as had been the case at her first Communion, this last Viaticum caused a lapse of love which stopped when the confessor gave her Extreme Unction. Prayers were begun to recommend her soul to God.

Sister Philomena, until then without any movement, sat up on her bed and fell into the arms of her Superior, with the same expression of unspeakable pain and ineffable joy that had been present in her first two love wounds. Wanting to verify if she had indeed died, her confessor

asked her to sit up and she did. Unable to speak, she made a sign to her Superior to come close. She obliged right away and Philomena took hold of her hands and kissed them with affectionate reverence, looking toward heaven. The Sisters came one by one to say their goodbyes. To each one, she smiled gently and shook her hand.

One of the lay Sisters, probably the very pious and simple Sister Rose of St. Narcissus, asked Philomena: “What about Father Confessor, don’t you wish to say goodbye and shake his hand?” Instead of putting her hand out and, after having looked at Fr. Narcissus with a celestial expression, Sister Philomena placed her hands on her heart, and inclined her head twice as if she were asking the priest’s Godly blessing. Then, after looking tenderly at all those who were present, she pointed toward heaven and whispered: “To Heaven, to Heaven!”

A nun presented her with an image of St. Francis Paola and an engraving of the Addolorata [Our Lady of Sorrows] that she kissed with a smile. The time for Compline rang at this point and the community having gone to the chancel, Philomena was following, her lips barely moving, the alternating chant. She had said that she would not be able to survive a third wound from God’s love. This one was in fact her last, but death, instead of being instantaneous, came only after a long period of two weeks.

Until the dawn of the 13th of August, this slow agony followed its course. Sometimes the dying woman seemed to rest peacefully and answered, or rather whispered, a few words with a smile in answer to her nurses. Sister Rose said, half light-heartedly, half compassionately, that she suffered in her entire body, in each member, except her nose.

“Well, good Rose of the Lord, even the nose hurts, and considerably!” she replied.

On the morning of the 13th, after Holy Mass, her confessor returned to her bedside around 6 a.m. and repeated the prayers to recommend her soul to God. At 7 a.m., without movement, without the least effort, an imperceptible sigh told the confessor and the community that the crucified Spouse had become the glorified Spouse and had entered her Eternal reward.


 Prophecy of a Future Convent

 She once had a vision in the convent of Móra and as a result wanted to found a nunnery, apparently it had been shwon to her in her vision, she and began to write to the bishop of Tortosa and the prior of Móra d'Ebre asking them for assistance.  She would not live to see it founded, but according to a prediction she made it was founded 

The foundation of the convent of Móra d'Ebre was carried out 26 years after her death as she had predicted. His sister Manuela, also a nun, continued the work of the foundation, which was mainly financed by public donations. The foundation stone was laid on November 18, 1883 and it was inaugurated on October 5, 1894, when seven minimum nuns entered. On June 5, 1925, the annex temple was inaugurated, the first expiatory temple in all of Spain.



 Her cause of beatification was introduced in 1880, and in 1887 the process was sent to Rome; Pope Leo XIII proclaimed her venerable on June 10, 1891On September 7, 1989, John Paul II gave the decree approving the heroic virtues of Sister Filomena de Santa Coloma, continuing her beatification process .



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 (May 2023)