St. Philip Neri


Feast Day - May 26

Philip Neri was born in Florence of good and devout parents. Giving up a large inheritance from his uncle, he went to Rome, where he studied philosophy and the sacred sciences and dedicated himself wholly to Christ. He became a priest out of obedience and gave himself up completely to the saving of souls. Through hearing confessions, in which he persevered to the last day of his life, he brought forth innumerable sons for Christ. Desiring to nourish them with the daily bread of God’s word, with frequent reception of the sacraments, with constant prayer and with other exercises of piety, he founded the Congregation of the Oratory.

His heart was wounded by the love of God, burning with such ardor that it could only be contained within his breast because the Lord miraculously enlarge the breast by breaking two of his ribs and forming an arch over the heart. Philip was famed for the gift of prophecy and for his wonderful penetration of the thoughts of men’s hearts. He kept his virginity always intact; and he had the gift of distinguishing those who cultivated purity by a good odor, and those who did not by a stench. At the age of eighty, in the year 1595, he fell asleep in the Lord.

Taken from The Hours of the Divine Office in English and Latin, Vol. II: Passion Sunday to August (Collegeville, Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 1963), pp. 1822-1823.