Of the several forms which devotion to St. Philomena has taken, perhaps the one that is best known and most used is that of her Cord. The holy Cure of Ars himself blessed and distributed a great many. The cord is white and red, and may be made either of linen, woolen, or cotton threads, so interwoven as to give an almost equal preponderance to both colors; it has two knots at one end. The white color represents virginity; the red, martyrdom.
The cord has been approved by the Sacred Congregation of Rites and is enriched with indulgences. It is usually worn under the outer garment as a girdle. No ceremony is required in conferring it, but it should be blessed. When replacing a worn Cord with a new one, this too, should be blessed. Wearers of the Cord ought to have the intention of honoring St. Philomena to the best of their ability in order to merit protection against evils of soul and body, and to obtain through her prayers perfect chastity and the spirit of faith. It is also recommended that the following prayer be said daily:
Saint Philomena, virgin and Martyr, pray for us that through thy powerful intercession we may obtain that purity of mind and heart which leads to the perfect love of God. Amen.
The Cord of Saint Philomena has been the instrument of innumerable favors. It is used by the sick, and is a protection against accidents and evils of ever kind. Those suffering from temporal trials, or spiritual temptations, have found it a wonderful help. It is especially recommended that children be given the Cord, for it is a marvelous protection in the many mishaps which threaten them.
But the Cord is worn especially as a safeguard of the virtue of chastity. St. Philomena is regarded as a powerful protectress of this virtue because, if the reputed facts of her life are true, her own virginal purity was so outstanding. Hence her clients believe God has given her a special power of assisting those who are tempted against this virtue.
Plenary Indulgences of The Cord of Saint Philomena
1. On the day on which the cord is worn for the first time.
2. On May 25th, anniversary of opening of Saint Philomena's tomb - catacombs of Saint Priscilla.
3. On August 11, her proper feast.
4. On December 15, the anniversary of the approbation of the cord by the holy see.
5. At the moment of death, under the ordinary conditions.
With the exception of the last, it is necessary for gaining the above indulgences to go to confession, receive Holy Communion, make a visit to some church and there pray for the intentions of the Sovereign Pontiff.
From the Roman Ritual
Benedictio Cinguli in Honorem S. Philumenae Virg. et Mart.
(Approbata a S.R.C. die 20 Dec. 1883)
Sacerdos, superpelliceo et stolla rubea indutus, dicit:Adjutorium in Nomine Domini
Qui fecit caelum et terram
Et cum spiritu tuo
Domine Jesu Christe, benedic + , quaesumus, hoc cingulum, et praesta: ut , qui (quae) illud gestaverit, Sanctae Philumenae Virginis et martiris protectione munitus (a) , ab omnibus periculis defendi, atque animae et corporis sanitatem percipere mereatur: qui vivis et regnas Deus in saecula saeculorum. Amen.
Et aspergatur aqua benedicta