Feast of Saint Philip Neri
(1515 – 1595)
St. Philip Neri was born in Florence, Italy, to the noble class. He was a dutiful child with a cheerful disposition, making him popular with all who knew him. At the age of 18 he was to begin an apprenticeship for a career in business. However, after having a mystical experience, his life was radically changed. He traveled to Rome and entrusted himself completely to God’s providence. He found living accommodations with a fellow Florentine in exchange for tutoring his sons, which Philip did with great skill. He then enrolled in philosophy and theology classes at a local monastery in order to become a priest. Although he excelled in his studies, he suddenly quit in order to spiritually serve the people of Rome. At that time, indifference, luxury, and corruption were widespread characteristics of the Roman clergy. Churches were neglected, flocks were abandoned, and the loss of faith was widespread. St. Philip Neri, with his commitment to a life of asceticism, was a contradiction to all of this malaise. With his characteristic good-naturedness, he led many to a life of virtue and love for God as he traveled through the streets of Rome. He began an oratory for laymen to gather together and practice greater spiritual discipline, which grew and became famous. In obedience to his spiritual director he finally became a priest at the age of 34. He also started a religious order known simply as “The Oratory.” St. Philip Neri is known as the “Apostle of Rome.” He is the patron of Rome and the U.S. Army Special Forces.
His feast day is May 26.
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He who wants anything other than Christ does not know what he wants.”
Saint Philip Neri
Cheerfulness strengthens the heart and makes us persevere in a good life. Therefore the servant of God ought always be in good spirits.”
Saint Philip Neri
St. Philip Neri, Patron of Joy, pray for us.
Be not afraid! And may the peace of Christ be with you and your loved ones today and always. Holy Family pray for us. Amen.