The Cord of St. Philomena


The devotion to the Cord of Saint Philomena was approved on 15 December 1883 by Pope Leo XIII, with the relevant indulgences. It consists in carrying, tied around the body, a cord of wool, linen or cotton, colored white and red to indicate the virginity and martyrdom of Saint Philomena. The devotion is very widely practiced to obtain spiritual and corporal graces. The devotion of the Cord of St. Philomena was adopted on account of the innumerable graces obtained through the intercession of the Hidden Saint of the Catacombs. This Cord was first distributed by the saintly Cure of Ars, himself. It was the illustrious Leo XIII who blessed and approved the Cord and attached many privileges and indulgences to its wearing. Many records tell of the favor granted to those who wear the Cord. We read of striking cures; for instance, when wound about diseased limbs, the Cord has driven out the pain and healed them. There is also the story of the child who fell into a pool of water, but was preserved because of the Cord of St. Philomena around his waist. The Cord itself remained perfectly dry.

Prayer Text

It has been made obligatory for those who carry the Cord to recite each day the following prayer: Oh Saint Philomena, Virgin and Martyr, pray for us so that through your powerful intercession we may obtain that purity of spirit and heart that leads to the perfect love of God. Amen.


The Cord approved by the Sacred Congregation in honor of St. Philomena ought to be made of linen, wool, or cotton of a white and red color, with two knots at one end to honor her double title of virgin and martyr. It is worn under the dress as a girdle. No ceremony is required in conferring it, but it should be blessed beforehand and passed or sent by one person to another. When worn out, the new Cord also must be blessed. Children, however young, may receive the Cord. In putting on the Cord, everyone ought to propose to himself constantly to honor St. Philomena, in order to merit her protection against all evils of soul and body, and also to obtain, through her intercession, perfect chastity, the spirit of faith and the grace of leading a Christian life.


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