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Feast Day of St. Philip Neri – May 26

Image of St. Philip Neri

From the Book of Heaven:  V10 – 1.17.11 – “Daughter, what you wrote about the Reunions of Priests is nothing but a process that I AM making with them.  If they listen to Me – fine.  But if they don’t, since the leaders of the ecclesiastics shall not listen to Me because they too are bound by the laces of interest, and are slaves of human miseries, almost lapping them up – instead of dominating over those miseries, of interest, of high positions and the like, the miseries dominate them; therefore, since they are deafened by what is human, I shall be neither understood nor listened to – I shall turn to the civilian leaders, who shall listen to Me more easily.  Because of their desire to see the Priest humiliated, and also because maybe these are a little more stripped than the ecclesiastics themselves, My Voice shall be more listened to; and what they do not want to do out of Love, I shall make them do by necessity and by force, and I shall make the government take away what is left to them.”

And I:  ‘My Highest and only Good, what shall be the name to be given to these Houses, and what the Rules?’

And He:  “The name shall be:  The Houses of the Resurrection of the Faith.  As for the Rules, they can use the same Rules as the Oratory of Saint Philip Neri.”

Then He added:  “Tell father B. that you shall be the Organ and he the Sound for this Work.  If he shall be mocked and disliked by those who have their interests, the Good and the few True Good shall comprehend the Necessity and the Truth that he announces, and shall make it a Duty of Conscience to get down to work.  Besides, if he is mocked, he shall have the Honor of becoming More Similar to Me.”


Old Calendar: Tuesday after Pentecost; St. Philip Neri, confessor

St. Philip Neri (1515-1595) was born in Florence and died in Rome. He lived a spotless childhood in Florence. Later he came to Rome and after living for fifteen years as a pilgrim and hermit was ordained a priest. He gradually gathered around him a group of priests and established the Congregation of the Oratory. He was a man of original character and of a happy, genial and winning disposition. A great educator of youth, he spent whole nights in prayer, had a great devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, and burned with an unbounded love for mankind. He died on the feast of Corpus Christi.

According to the 1962 Missal of St. John XXIII the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, today is the feast of St. Eleutherius, who governed the Church for 15 years, after the persecution of the Emperor Commodus. He died in 192. This feast may be celebrated in particular churches.

St. Philip Neri
This gracious, cheerful saint was Rome’s apostle of the sixteenth century (1515-1595). A peculiar charism was his burning love of God, a love that imperceptibly communicated itself to all about him. So ardently did this fire of divine love affect him during the octave of Pentecost in his twenty-ninth year that the beating of his heart broke two ribs. It was a wound that never healed.

For fifty years the saint lived on in the intensity of that love which was more at home in heaven than on earth. Through those fifty years his was an apostolate to renew the religious and ecclesiastical spirit of the Eternal City, a task he brought to a happy conclusion. It is to his credit that the practice of frequent Holy Communion, long neglected in Rome and throughout the Catholic world, was again revived. He became one of Rome’s patron saints, even one of the most popular.

Philip Neri loved the young, and they responded by crowding about him. As a confessor he was in great demand; among his penitents was St. Ignatius. To perpetuate his life’s work, St. Philip founded the Congregation of the Oratory, a society of secular clergy without religious vows. The purpose of his foundation was to enkindle piety among the faithful by means of social gatherings which afforded not only entertainment but religious instruction as well. Joy and gaiety were so much a part of his normal disposition that Goethe, who esteemed him highly, called him the “humorous saint.” It was his happy, blithe spirit that opened for him the hearts of children. “Philip Neri, learned and wise, by sharing the pranks of children himself became a child again” (epitaph).

As a youth Philip Neri often visited the seven principal churches of Rome. He spent entire nights at the catacombs, near the tombs of the martyrs, meditating on heavenly things. The liturgy was the wellspring of his apostolic spirit; it should likewise motivate us to Catholic Action.

— Excerpted from The Church’s Year of Grace, Pius Parsch.

Patron: Rome; United States Army Special Forces.

Symbols: Rosary; lily; angel holding a book.

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