A few months ago in March, I was getting ready for Sunday Mass and decided to offer the Novena to St Philomena and the Litany to her before I did my hair and make-up. It seems a minor decision, but I had to really push myself to say the prayers reverently and finish the necessary grooming in the time I had so I could still be early for Mass. I prayed for various intentions that seemed, well, a bit impossible, but then put them in Philomena's noble hands and forgot all about them. Only some minutes later, I heard three knocks on the door, as though an older child had come to pay us a visit. They were assertive knocks yet not loud or abrasive. My first thought was that it was a 13 year old girl. I was a teacher for some years and grew to know the age of a child/teen by their knock on the classroom door.
There was a rare confidence in the hand that laid those raps. I went outside and there was no one there. I asked around to find out if there had been a sighting of someone who had knocked on our door, but no one had come in bodily form at least. I couldn't fathom what had happened, but then it dawned on me that it had been Philomena. She is known to sound her intercession to one of her followers by way of three knocks on their door. When I first heard that this happens, I thought, well that will never happen to me. In the wake of the raps, my prayers to her were answered.
And I did not expect it to happen a second time. But then again on Sunday morning a few weeks ago, I had just offered the novena to St Philomena followed by the litany, and as usual I was in my own world, in fact, trying to think of something clever to message Danny Risdon and Catherine Collins, when again I heard three knocks on the door to the hallway. This time they were more resounding, more emphatic, as though I was being awoken from a reverie and told to have more confidence in the Princess of Heaven.
This post is written in view of August 10, the date that Philomena was decapitated, and in view of her feast day which is August 11. Happy Feast of the Princess of Heaven!