The name Philomena is a girl's name of Greek origin meaning "lover of strength". Philomena and is often added to lists like Baby Names That Mean Strong and discussed in our forums with posts like "A brother or sister for little Jack or Olivia".
From the experts:
Philomena is an earthy Greek name now used in various Latin countries. While it has felt simply clunky for many years, it's starting -- along with such sister names as Wilhelmina and Frederica -- to sound so clunky it's cool.
In Greek myth, Philomena was an Athenian princess who was transformed by the gods into a nightingale to save her from the advances of a lecherous king.
Also a saint's name--that of a thirteen-year-old martyr of early Rome--it's commonly seen in Italy and Spain spelled Filomena. Philomena only started appearing in English-speaking countries in the latter half of the nineteenth century, especially in Scotland and Australia.
In the US, Philomena ranked in the Top 1000 through 1940, peaking at Number 355 in 1915.
Philomena Guinea is the name of protagonist Esther Greenwood's patron in Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar. New attention was brought to the name via the Oscar-nominated eponymous film based on the real-life Philomena Lee.