Posted in "Follow Me", DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, GOD ALONE!, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on ETERNITY, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on HEAVEN, QUOTES on PATIENCE, QUOTES on PERSEVERANCE, QUOTES on PRAYER, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 8 October – ‘Immortality is given to the one who perseveres …’

Quote/s of the Day – 8 October – Thursday of the Twenty Seventh week in Ordinary Time, Readings: Galatians 3:1-5, Responsorial Psalm: Luke 1:69-70, 71-72,73-75, Luke 11:5-13

“I tell you, if he does not get up
to give him the loaves
because of their friendship,
he will get up to give him
whatever he needs
because of his persistence.
And I tell you, ask and it will be given to you;
seek and you will find;
knock and it will be opened to you.”

Luke 11:8-9

“Immortality is given to the one who perseveres;
everlasting life is offered;
the Lord promises His Kingdom.”

St Cyprian of Carthage (c 200- c 258)
Bishop and Martyr

“Patience is the companion of wisdom.”

St Augustine (354-430)
Father and Doctor of Grace

“And so it happened
that the woman who stayed behind to seek Christ,
was the only one to see Him.
… At first she sought
but did not find
but when she persevered,
it happened that she found
what she was looking for. …
And so Mary, once addressed by name,
recognises who is speaking.
She immediately calls Him Rabboni,
that is to say, teacher,
because the One whom she sought outwardly,
was the One who inwardly
taught her to keep on searching.”

St Pope Gregory the Great (540-604)
Father and Doctor

“We must pray incessantly,
for the gift of perseverance.”

St Philip Neri (1515-1595)

“In prayer one must hold fast and never let go,
because the one who gives up, loses all.
If it seems that no-one is listening to you,
then cry out even louder.
If you are driven out of one door,
go back in by the other.”

St Jane Frances de Chantal (1572-1641)

“Aspire to God with short
but frequent outpourings of the heart,
admire His bounty,
invoke His aid,
cast yourself in spirit at the foot of His Cross,
adore His goodness,
treat with Him of your salvation,
give Him your whole soul –
a thousand times in the day.”

St Francis de Sales (1567-1622)
Doctor of Charity

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, GOD ALONE!, ONE Minute REFLECTION, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES for CHRIST, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 24 September – “… Who is this about whom I hear such things?” And he sought to see him.” … Luke 9:9

One Minute Reflection – 24 September – Thursday of the Twenty Fifth week in Ordinary Time, Readings: Ecclesiastes 1:2-11Psalms 90:3-45-612-1314 and 17Luke 9:7-9 and the Memorial of St Gerard Sagredo OSB (980-1046) Bishop and Martyr

“… Who is this about whom I hear such things?”
And he sought to see him.”
… Luke 9:9

REFLECTION – “He who wishes for anything but Christ, does not know what he wishes;
he who asks for anything but Christ, does not know what he is asking;
he who works and not for Christ, does not know what he is doing.” … St Philip Neri (1515-1595)

PRAYER – Shepherd of Your Church and we, the sheep of Your flock, who follow You and hear and do Your Word. Support us with grace those who are constantly striving to do Your will, so that following the example of the humble fiat of Your blessed Mother and ours, we may devote all our powers and talents to love of You and our neighbour and finally arrive safely in our heavenly home. May the prayers of St Gerard Sagredo, your faithful servant, be assistance in strengthening us in this vale of tears. In God, our Father we pray through You who live in union with Him and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ages and ages. Amen

Posted in CONFESSION, CONFESSION/PENANCE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on BAD CONVERSATION, QUOTES on CONSCIENCE, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on COWARDICE, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on ETERNITY, QUOTES on HELL, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on TEMPTATION, QUOTES on the DEVIL/EVIL, QUOTES on VIRTUE, SPEAKING of ....., St JOSEMARIA Escriva and Opus Dei, The LAST THINGS, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 12 June – Speaking of: Sin

Quote/s of the Day – 12 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart” – Friday of the Tenth Week of Ordinary Time, Year A, Readings: 1 Kings 19:9, 11-16, Psalm 27:7-9, 13-14, Matthew 5:27-32

Speaking of:  Sin

” It is better for you to lose one of your members,
than to have your whole body go into Gehenna.”

Matthew 5:29

matthew 5 29 it is better for you to lose on oe your members... 12 june 2020

“The dragon sits by the side of the road,
watching those who pass.
Beware lest he devour you.
We go to the Father of Souls
but it is necessary to pass by the dragon.”

St Cyril of Jerusalem (315-387)
Father and Doctor of the Church

the-dragon-sits-by-the-side-of-the-road-st-cyril-of-jerusalem-16-march-2019

“Virtue is nothing without the trial of temptation,
for there is no conflict without an enemy,
no victory without strife.”

St Pope Leo the Great (400-461)
Father and Doctor of the Church

virtue is nothing - st pope leo the great - 1 feb 2018

“When God forgives a sinner who humbly confesses his sin,
the devil loses his dominion over the heart he had taken.”

St Bernard (1090-1153)
Mellifluous Doctor

when god forgives a sinner who mumbly confesses - st bernard 12 june 2020

“Let the enemy rage at the gate;
let him knock, pound, scream, howl;
let him do his worst.
We know for certain,
that he cannot enter our soul,
except by the door of our consent.”

St Francis de Sales (1567-1622)
Doctor of Charity

let the enemy rage at the gate, let him knock - st francis de sales 12 june 2020

“We are generally, 
the carpenters
of our own crosses.”

St Philip Neri (1515-1595)

we are generally the carpenters of our own crosses - st philip neri 12 june 2020

“The power of evil men
lives on the cowardice of the good.”

the-power-of-evil-st-john-bosco-31-jan-2018 and 12 june 2020

“Do not try to excuse your faults,
try to correct them.”

“Fly from bad companions
as from the bite
of a poisonous snake.”

“Act today in such a way,
that you need not blush
tomorrow.”

St John Bosco (1815-1888)

do-not-try-to-excuse-fly-from-bad-act-in-such-a-way-st-john-bosco-31-jan-2019 and 12 june 2020

“That conversation… was as dirty as a sewer!
It is not enough for you to take no part in it.
You must show your repugnance for it strongly!”

St Josemaría Escrivá (1902-1975)

that conversation was as dirty as a sewer - st josemaria escriva 12 june 2020

“For the sinner, hell begins on this earth!”

for-the-sinner-hell-begins-on-this-earth-bacci-4-jan-2020 and 12 june 2020

“The Sacrament of Penance,
is our plank of salvation
in the shipwreck of sin.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

the sacrament of penance is our plank of salvation in the shipwreck of sin - bacci 29 april 2020

Posted in ON the SAINTS, POETRY, SAINT of the DAY, St JOHN HENRY Cardinal NEWMAN!

Quote of the Day – 26 May – St Philip in his God by St John Henry Newman

Quote of the Day – 26 May – The Memorial of St Philip Neri (1515-1595)

St Philip in his God
By St John Henry Newman (1801-1890)

PHILIP, on thee the glowing ray
Of heaven came down upon thy prayer,
To melt thy heart, and burn away
All that of earthly dross was there.

Thy soul became as purest glass,
Through which the Brightness Incarnate
In undimm’d majesty might pass,
Transparent and illuminate.

And so, on Philip when we gaze,
We see the image of his Lord;
The Saint dissolves amid the blaze
Which circles round the Living Word.

Wonderful Quotes from St Philip here:
https://anastpaul.com/2018/05/26/quote-s-of-the-day-26-may-marys-month-the-memorial-of-st-philip-neri-1515-1595/

St Philip in his god by st john henry newman 26 may 2020

Posted in MARIAN PRAYERS, MARY'S MONTH, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Our Morning Offering – 26 May – Mary, I Love You By St Philip Neri

Our Morning Offering – 26 May – “Mary’s Month!” – Tuesday of the Seventh Week of Easter and The Memorial of St Philip Neri (1515-1595)

Mary, I Love You
By St Philip Neri (1515-1595)

Mary, I love you.
Mary, make me live in God,
with God and for God.
Draw me after you, holy mother.
O Mary, may your children persevere in loving you.
Mary, Mother of God and Mother of mercy,
pray for me and for the departed.
Mary, holy Mother of God, be our helper.
In every difficulty and distress,
come to our aid, O Mary.
O Queen of Heaven,
lead us to eternal life with God.
Mother of God, remember me,
and help me always to remember you.
O Mary, conceived without sin,
pray for us who have recourse to you.
Pray for us,
O holy Mother of God,
that we may be made worthy
of the promises of Christ.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray to Jesus for me.
Amen

mary i love you by st philip neri 26 may 2020

Posted in MARIAN TITLES, SAINT of the DAY, YouTube VIDEOS

Memorials of the Saints – 26 May

St Philip Neri Cong Orat (1515-1595) (Memorial)
Biography:
https://anastpaul.com/2017/05/26/saint-of-the-day-26-may-s-philip-neri-cong-orat/
AND:
https://anastpaul.com/2018/05/26/saint-of-the-day-26-may-st-philip-neri-1515-1595-the-third-apostle-of-rome/

Our Lady of Caravaggio/Nostra Signora di Caravaggio:   Title given to the Blessed Virgin Mary who appeared in an apparition on 26 May 1432 in the countryside outside Caravaggio, Lombardy, Italy. Giannetta de’ Vacchi Varoli was cutting hay in a field when the Virgin appeared. Mary requested penance from and a chapel built by the locals.   A new spring of healing water appeared in the hay field.   The apparition anniversary became a day of pilgrimage to the Shrine of Santa Maria del Fonte built at the site and devotion to the Madonna of Caravaggio spread through the region and eventually around the world.   In 1879, Italians from Lombardy built a chapel for their settlement in southern Brazil.   As it was the only sacred art that any of them possessed, they dedicated the Chapel to the Madonna di Caravaggio.   Today the shrine hosts over a million pilgrims annually.   Patronage – Diocese of Cremona, Italy.55-our lady of caravaggio-locatelli


St Alphaeus
St Anderea Kaggwa
Bl Andrea Franchi
St Becan of Cork
Bl Berengar of Saint-Papoul
St Damian the Missionary
St Desiderius of Vienne
St Pope Eleuterus
St Felicissimus of Todi
St Fugatius the Missionary
St Gioan Ðoàn Trinh Hoan
St Guinizo of Monte Cassino
St Heraclius of Todi
Bl Lambert Péloguin of Vence
St Mariana de Jesus de Paredes OFS (1618-1645) “The Lily of Quito” – The first Canonised Saint of Ecuador.

St Odulvald of Melrose
St Paulinus of Todi
St Peter Sanz
St Ponsiano Ngondwe
St Priscus of Auxerre and Companions
St Quadratus of Africa
St Quadratus the Apologist
St Regintrudis of Nonnberg
St Simitrius of Rome and Companions
St Zachary of Vienne

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 24 September – Nothing but Christ

One Minute Reflection – 24 September – Tuesday of the Twenty-fifth week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Luke 8:19-21

But he said to them, “My mother and my brethren, are those, who hear the word of God and do it.”…Luke 8:21luke 8 21 my mother and my brethren are those who hear the word of god and do it 24 sept 2019.jpg

REFLECTION – “He who wishes for anything but Christ, does not know what he wishes; he who asks for anything but Christ, does not know what he is asking;  he who works and not for Christ, does not know what he is doing.” … Saint Philip Neri (1515-1595)he who wishes for anything - st philip neri - 19 april 2018.jpg

PRAYER – Shepherd of Your Church and we, the sheep of Your flock, who follow You and hear and do Your Word. Support us with grace those who are constantly striving to do Your will, so that following the example of the humble fiat of Your blessed Mother and ours, we may devote all our powers and talents to love of You and our neighbour and finally arrive safely in our heavenly home. In God, our Father we pray through You who live in union with Him and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ages and ages. Amenmother mary - pray for us - 6 may 2018.jpg

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, ON the SAINTS, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on DIVINE PROVIDENCE, QUOTES on HOPE, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on PERSEVERANCE, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 17 July – Childlike

Quote/s of the Day – 17 July – Wednesday of the Fifteenth week in Ordinary Time, C – Today’s Gospel Matthew 11:25-27.

“You have hidden these things
from the wise and the learned,
you have revealed them,
to the childlike”

Matthew 11:25matthew 11 25 you have revealed them to the childlike 17 july 2019.jpg

“He will provide
the way and the means,
such as you
could never have imagined.”

St Catherine of Siena (1347-1380)
Doctor of the Churchhe will provide the way and the means such as you - st catherine of siena 17 july 2019.jpg

“Love to be unknown.”

St Philip Neri (1515-1595)love to be unknown st philip neri - 17 july 2019.jpg

“The two kinds of people
that go around,
seeing the world
as absolutely fascinating,
are children and saints.”the two kinds of people - fr mike schmitz 17 july 2019.jpg

“God has a plan
to get to you
but how many people
have a plan,
to get to God?”

Father Mike Schmitzgod has a plan to get to you - fr mike schmitz 17 july 2019.jpg

Posted in MARIAN PRAYERS, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Our Morning Offering – 13 December – Prayer of St Philip Neri

Our Morning Offering – 13 December – The Memorial of Blessed Antonio Grassi Cong. Orat. (1592 – 1671)

Mary, I Love You
By St Philip Neri (1515-1595)
Founder of the Oratorians

Mary, I love you.
Mary, make me live in God,
with God and for God.
Draw me after you, holy mother.
O Mary, may your children persevere in loving you.
Mary, Mother of God and mother of mercy,
pray for me and for the departed.
Mary, holy Mother of God, be our helper.
In every difficulty and distress,
come to our aid, O Mary.
O Queen of Heaven,
lead us to eternal life with God.
Mother of God, remember me,
and help me always to remember you.
O Mary, conceived without sin,
pray for us who have recourse to you.
Pray for us,
O holy Mother of God,
that we may be made worthy
of the promises of Christ.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray to Jesus for me.
Amenmary I love you by st philip neri - 26 may 2918

Posted in MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 26 May – The Memorial of St Philip Neri Cong. Orat.(1515-1595)

Thought for the Day – 26 May – The Memorial of St Philip Neri (1515-1595)

Philip Neri was a sign of contradiction, combining popularity with piety against the background of a corrupt Rome and a disinterested clergy:  the whole post-Renaissance malaise.

At an early age, Philip abandoned the chance to become a businessman, moved to Rome from Florence and devoted his life and individuality to God.   After three years of philosophy and theology studies, he gave up any thought of ordination.   The next 13 years were spent in a vocation unusual at the time—that of a layperson actively engaged in prayer and the apostolate.

As the Council of Trent (1545-63) was reforming the Church on a doctrinal level, Philip’s appealing personality was winning him friends, from all levels of society, from beggars to cardinals.   He rapidly gathered around himself a group of laypersons won over by his audacious spirituality.   Initially, they met as an informal prayer and discussion group, and also served poor people in Rome.

At the urging of his confessor, Philip was ordained a priest and soon became an outstanding confessor himself, gifted with the knack of piercing the pretenses and illusions of others, though always in a charitable manner and often with a joke.   He arranged talks, discussions and prayers for his penitents, in a room above the church.   He sometimes led “excursions” to other churches, often with music and a picnic on the way.

Some of Philip’s followers became priests and lived together in community.   This was the beginning of the Oratory, the religious institute he founded.   A feature of their life was a daily afternoon service of four informal talks, with vernacular hymns and prayers. Giovanni Palestrina was one of Philip’s followers and composed music for the services. The Oratory was finally approved after suffering through a period of accusations of being an assembly of heretics, where laypersons preached and sang vernacular hymns!

Philip’s advice was sought by many of the prominent figures of his day.   He is one of the influential figures of the Counter-Reformation, mainly for converting to personal holiness many of the influential people within the Church itself.   His characteristic virtues were humility and gaiety.

After spending a day hearing confessions and receiving visitors, Philip Neri suffered a hemorrhage and died on the feast of Corpus Christi in 1595.   He was  Beatified in 1615 and Canonised in 1622.   Three centuries later, Cardinal John Henry Newman founded the first English-speaking house of the Oratory in London.

Many people wrongly feel that such an attractive and jocular personality as Philip’s cannot be combined with an intense spirituality.   Philip’s life melts our rigid, narrow views of piety.   His approach to sanctity was truly catholic, all-embracing and accompanied by a good laugh.   Philip always wanted his followers to become not less but more human through their striving for holiness.

St Philip Neri, Please Pray for us!st philip neri - pray for us - 26 may 2018

 

Posted in MARIAN QUOTES, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on DIVINE PROVIDENCE, QUOTES on JOY, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on TEMPTATION, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, QUOTES on TRUST in GOD, SAINT of the DAY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Quote/s of the Day – 26 May – “Mary’s Month! – The Memorial of St Philip Neri (1515-1595)

Quote/s of the Day – 26 May “Mary’s Month! – The Memorial of St Philip Neri (1515-1595)

“To petition Our Blessed Lady in our most urgent need,
repeat, after the fashion of the Rosary,
“Virgin Mary, Mother of God, pray to Jesus for me.”to petition our lady in our most urgent need - st philip neri - 26 may 2018

Cast yourself into the arms of God
and be very sure that if He wants anything of you,
He will fit you for the work and give you strength.cast yourself into the arms - st philip neri - 26 may 2018

First let a little love,
find entrance into their hearts
and the rest will follow.

The cross is the gift God gives to His friends.

The greatness of our love of God,
must be tested by the desire we have,
of suffering for His love.first let a little love, the corss is the gift, the greatness of our love of god - st philip neri - 26 may 2018

The true servant of God,
acknowledges no other country
but heaven.the true servant of god - st philip neri - 26 may 2018

At communion we ought to ask 
for the remedy of the vice to which 
we feel ourselves most inclined.at-communion-we-ought-st-philip-neri-26 may 2017

The best way to prepare for death is to spend every day of life as though it were the last.

the-best-way-to-prepare-for-death-st-philip-neri-26 may 2017

Obtain humility through sincere and frequent confession.obtain humility through sincere and frequent confession - st philip neri - 26 may 2018

WELL! And when shall we begin to do good?”

St Philip Neri (1515-1595)well and when shall we = st philip neri - 26 may 2018

 

 

 

Posted in CATHOLIC DEVOTIONS of the Month, MARIAN PRAYERS, MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Our Morning Offering – 26 May “Mary’s Month!” – The Memorial of St Philip Neri (1515-1595)

Our Morning Offering – 26 May “Mary’s Month!” – The Memorial of St Philip Neri (1515-1595)

Mary, I Love You
By St Philip Neri (1515-1595)

Mary, I love you.
Mary, make me live in God,
with God and for God.
Draw me after you, holy mother.
O Mary, may your children persevere in loving you.
Mary, Mother of God and mother of mercy,
pray for me and for the departed.
Mary, holy Mother of God, be our helper.
In every difficulty and distress,
come to our aid, O Mary.
O Queen of Heaven,
lead us to eternal life with God.
Mother of God, remember me,
and help me always to remember you.
O Mary, conceived without sin,
pray for us who have recourse to you.
Pray for us,
O holy Mother of God,
that we may be made worthy
of the promises of Christ.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray to Jesus for me.
Amenmary I love you by st philip neri - 26 may 2918

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 26 May – St Philip Neri (1515-1595) “The Third Apostle of Rome”

Saint of the Day – 26 May – St Philip Neri Cong. Orat. (1515-1595) Priest and Founder, Mystic, Missionary of Charity known as  “The Third Apostle of Rome”, after Saints Peter and Paul, was an Italian priest noted for founding a society of secular clergy called the Congregation of the Oratory.   Patronages – Rome, Gravina, Italy, archdiocese of Manfredonia-Vieste-San Giovanni Rotondo, Italy Mandaluyong, US Special Forces, Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, Piczon Vill, Catbalogan, laughter, humour, joy.   St Philip Neri was extraordinarily touched by the divine presence and radiated such joy that he was moved to share it with all he met.St. Philip Neri by Giandomenico Tiepolo

St Philip made a life for himself in Rome, becoming a priest at the age of 35 and becoming known as one who had a particular apostolate for giving young men spiritual direction using unconventional ways to challenge the vain young men of the Eternal City. Once a man came to St Philip Neri and asked him if he thought wearing a hair shirt was a good penance.   St Philip replied that it would be a good penance if he wore the hair shirt outside his nice clothes.

St Philip had a long history of playing jokes on a distinguished friend of his, Cesare Baronius, who would become a cardinal.   St Philip would send Baronius shopping for wine, with the strict instruction that he was to taste every wine in the shop until he found the right one.   After taking such great trouble sampling many types of wine, St Philip would tell Baronius casually that he only required half a bottle of wine.

He was greatly unsettled when many Italians started leaving the Church because of a bogus and damaging history of the Church was doing the rounds.   He commissioned Baronius to write a factual history of the Catholic Church and when Baronius would give him drafts to read, St Philip would flippantly throw them over his shoulder.   St Philip didn’t allow anyone in his circle to take themselves too seriously.   It took Baronius 30 years to write a true history of the Church, which was entitled, Ecclesiastical Annals.neri 2

The saint’s best-known achievement is that he founded the Roman Congregation of the Oratory.   Key to his success was that he used humour as his medicine.   He may have made others laugh, from going around Rome with half his beard shaved off, doing humorous dances or setting penances for young men that involved them making fools of themselves in public.   But he needed jokes more badly than those around him.   He was said to have had an all consuming love of God and in order to concentrate before offering Mass, St Philip would need to hear jokes or read humorous anecdotes which distracted him just a little from total absorption in the glory of God, so that he was able to concentrate on the task at hand, which was to offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.Joan_Llimona_-_San_Felipe_Neri_en_la_consagración_de_la_Santa_Misa

He had a phenomenal capacity for love – his heart would hammer so strongly against his chest that it shook furniture.   His facility to love so greatly was received on the eve of Pentecost, 1544, when St Philip saw a vision of a ball of fire enter through his mouth and go to his heart.   Straightaway he was filled with an intense divine love and fell to the floor, crying out, “Enough, enough, Lord, I can bear no more!”Guercino_San_Filippo_Neri._San_Marino.JPG

St Philip Neri is the patron saint of joy and with this in mind, he could become a powerful intercessor for people who have periods of feeling down.   We pray a lot to St Valentine and St Raphael – so that these saints may find us romantic partners who will love us.   But we might do well to pray to St Philip Neri that he inspires us with the ability to cherish others and to be filled with the joy of love…   Perhaps most acutely for our selfie age, he could become an intercessor for people who agonise over how they look, who spend all their free time finding flattering selfies to post on Facebook and fear that that narcissism is beginning to rule their lives.

More on St Philip’s life:  https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/05/26/saint-of-the-day-26-may-s-philip-neri-cong-orat/neriSt Philip Neri by Alessandro Algardi

The work of the Oratory continues in Rome and across the world today.   The Oratorians take no formal vows but promise to live in charity with one another.   Some 500 priests serve more than 70 oratories around the world today.   Cardinal Blessed John Henry Newman and St Francis de Sales were both members of this order.

Philip was always in touch with the supernatural—people said that they noticed his face radiating light and he often fell into deep, ecstatic trances while celebrating Mass.   In fact, his normal congregations got used to beginning Mass with him, then leaving after the “Lamb of God” to let him experience his rapture and return two hours later to finish the liturgy and receive Communion.

Philip died of a massive heart attack on this date in 1595, which was the feast of Corpus Christi.   His relics rest in the reliquary chapel in the Basilica and the Shrine contains the sketch below, which depicts him conversing with someone on the streets in Rome.philip_neri__snite_

St Philip Neri, your body and soul were touched with divine love and you shared it with with all others, pray for us!neri 4

Posted in CATHOLIC Quotes, EASTER, MORNING Prayers, Pope BENEDICT XVI, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on MERCY, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, SPEAKING of ....., The HOLY CROSS, The PASSION

Quote/s of the Day – 19 April – Thursday of the Third Week of Eastertide “Speaking of: Becoming a Saint”

Quote/s of the Day – 19 April – Thursday of the Third Week of Eastertide

“Speaking of:  Becoming a Saint”

“Think well.
Speak well.
Do well.
These three things,
through the mercy of God,
will make a man go to Heaven.”

St Camillus de Lellis (1550-1614)think well speak well do well-st camillus de lellis

“He who wishes for anything but Christ,
does not know what he wishes;
he who asks for anything but Christ,
does not know what he is asking;
he who works and not for Christ,
does not know what he is doing.”

St Philip Neri (1515-1595)he who wishes for anything - st philip neri - 19 april 2018

“The great saint may be said,
to mix all his thoughts with thanks.
All goods look better,
when they look like gifts.”

G K Chesterton (1874-1936)the great saint - g k chesterton - 19 april 2018 speaking of becoming a saint

“Enemy-occupied territory –
that is what this world is.
Christianity is the story of how,
the rightful king has landed,
you might say landed in disguise
and is calling us all, to take part,
in a great campaign of sabotage.”

C S Lewis (1898-1963)enemy occupied territory - c s lewis - 19 april - speaking of becoming a saint

“What people don’t realise, 
is how much Christianity costs.
They think faith is a big electric blanket,
when of course, it is the cross.”

Flannery O’Connor (1925-1964)what people don't realise = flannery o'connor - speaking of becoming a saint - 19 april 2018

“Take courage!
Fix your gaze on our saints.”

Pope Benedict XVItake courage - pope benedict - speaking of becoming a saint - 19 april 2018

“Take the Crucifixion personally.”take the crucifixion - fr mike schmitz - 19 april 2018

“The road to holiness
goes through your neighbour.”

Father Mike Schmitzthe road to holiness - fr mike schmitz - 19 april 2018

 

 

Posted in CATHOLIC Quotes, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MARTYRS, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on TEMPTATION, SAINT of the DAY, SPEAKING of .....

Quote/s for the Day – 1 February – The Memorial of Bl Benedict Daswa (1946-1990) Martyr – The First South African-born to be Beatified

Quote/s for the Day – 1 February – The Memorial of Bl Benedict Daswa (1946-1990) Martyr – The First South African-born to be Beatified.

Would it not have been so simple for Blessed Benedict to pay his share of the required amount to hire the Sangona (Witch Doctor) to “sniff out” the witch who caused the storms?    It was not a huge amount of money required by each resident.   The temptation to do so must have been quite appealing but he refused and tried to explain that the storms were a natural phenomenon.   He did, however, pay the ultimate price for his fidelity, with his blood.

“Speaking of Temptation”

“Virtue is nothing, without the trial of temptation,
for there is no conflict, without an enemy,
no victory, without strife.”

St Pope Leo the Great (400-461) Father & Doctor of the Churchvirtue is nothing - st pope leo the great - 1 feb 2018

“There are in truth, three states of the converted,
the beginning, the middle and the perfection.
In the beginning, they experience the charms of sweetness;
in the middle, the contests of temptation;
and in the end, the fullness of perfection.”

St Pope Gregory the Great (540-604) Father & Doctor of the Churchthere are in truth - st pope gregory the great - 1 feb 2018

“Do not grieve over the temptations you suffer.
When the Lord intends to bestow a particular virtue on us,
He often permits us first to be tempted by the opposite vice.
Therefore, look upon every temptation as an invitation
to grow in a particular virtue and a promise by God,
that you will be successful, if only you stand fast.”

St Philip Neri (1515-1595)do not grieve - st philip neri - 1 feb 2018

“The beginning of all temptation lies in a wavering mind
and little trust in God, for as a rudderless ship is driven
hither and yon by waves, so a careless and irresolute man,
is tempted in many ways.
Fire tempers iron and temptation steels the just.
Often we do not know what we can stand
but temptation shows us what we are.
Above all, we must be especially alert against
the beginnings of temptation, for the enemy is more easily
conquered if he is refused admittance to the mind
and is met beyond the threshold when he knocks.”

St Francis De Sales (1567-1622) Doctor of the Churchthe beginning of all temptation - st francis de sales - 1 feb 2018

“It often happens that we pray God to deliver us
from some dangerous temptation and yet,
God does not hear us but permits the temptation
to continue troubling us.   In such a case, let us understand,
that God permits even this for our greater good.
When a soul in temptation recommends itself to God
and by His aid resists, O how it then advances in perfection.”

“He who trusts himself is lost.
He who trusts in God can do all things.

St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787) Doctor of the Churchit often happens - st alphonsus - 1 feb 2018

“When tempted, invoke your Angel.
He is more eager to help you, than you are to be helped!
Ignore the devil and do not be afraid of him –
he trembles and flees, at the sight of your Guardian Angel.”

St John Bosco (1815-1888)when tempted invoke your angel - st john bosco - 1 feb 2018

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 4 November – St Charles Borromeo (1538-1584)

Saint of the Day – 4 November – St Charles Borromeo (1538-1584) Archbishop of Milan, Cardinal, Doctor of Theology, Civil and Canon Law, Reformer, Founder of Seminaries.  He is known as the “Father of the Clergy”.   Born Count Carlo Borromeo on the morning of Wednesday 2 October 1538 in the castle at Aron, diocese of Novara, Italy and he died at  8:30pm on 3 November 1584 of a fever at Milan, Italy.  His will named the Hospital Maggiore of Milan as his heir.  He is buried in the metropolitan cathedral of Milan – the famous “Duomo Milan”.   His relics were transferred to a chapel built by Count Renato Borromeo in piazza San Maria Podone, Milan on 21 September 1751.   St Charles was Beatified in 1602 by Pope Clement VIII and Canonised on 1 November 1610 by Pope Paul V.   Patronages – • against abdominal pain• against colic• against intestinal disorders• against stomach diseases• against ulcers• apple orchards• bishops• catechists• catechumens• seminarians• spiritual directors• spiritual leaders• starch makers• 3 dioceses• 3 Italian cities.   Attributes – • cardinal wearing a cord around his neck; it symbolizes the cord or halter worn around his neck during the plague of Milan, Italy in 1575
• bishop wearing a cord around his neck • cleric curing the sick
• Holy Communion  • one hand raised in blessing, thus recalling his work during the plague • coat of arms bearing the word Humilitas (Humility) his emblem.

HEADERfrugal-charles

Count Carlo/Charles was born into the highest echelons of Renaissance life.   The nephew of Pius IV, he was destined for great things in the Church.   His successful career demonstrates the positive possibilities of Renaissance political life.   Given every chance at success by his lineage and connections, he seized each opportunity and turned it to the service of God, the Church and his people.   While many with similar chances squandered their advantages, Charles showed that such assets should not be guiltily eschewed or be a cause of embarrassment, so long as they are put to the service of the Good, the True and the Beautiful.

st charles borromeo - as a child.

Charles was prepared for his later career by his aristocratic responsibilities, becoming a skilled administrator and diplomat at a very young age.   At the same time he tirelessly pursued his studies, becoming a Doctor utriusque Iuris (a Doctor of both Civil and Canon Law) at 21 years old.   With the accession of his uncle to the throne of Peter, he was called to Rome and immediately was created a cardinal-deacon.   Such a position was advantageous because he became one of the closest associates of the pope, with all the dignity of a cardinal but without the responsibility for care of souls.   He reformed the city of Rome and the Papal States thoroughly and was given increasing responsibilities. The papal curia was purified by his example of holiness and sobriety.   He cultivated the friendship of other saints, such as Philip Neri and together they provided the pattern for a renewed curia.   He gathered a circle of learned friends around him and sponsored literary, academic and musical activity, being in particular a patron of Palestrina.YOUNG st charles borromeo - my snip

For his handling of the delicate negotiations needed for keeping the Council of Trent from falling apart, Charles was awarded with the see of Milan.   He began to shift his focus as well, for he had experienced a deep spiritual conversion as the result of the untimely death of his elder brother and dedicated the rest of his life entirely to the good of his people and his Church.   Being one of the most famous and largest sees in Christendom, Milan was a microcosm that displayed both the grandeur and the corruption of Renaissance Catholicism.

Charles set about immediately implementing the reforming decrees of Trent.   Had other bishops swiftly implemented the decrees, as Charles had, the damage from the Reformation may have been mightily checked.   In any case, he found a diocese filled to the brim with time-servers, beneficed layabouts and outright corrupt and vile clergy.   He set out for a purification.  He set the tone with his mighty motto Humilitas and he began to demonstrate one of the most powerful roles in all of Church history:  that of a holy bishop.    Charles knew that the mission of the Church to convert the nations and to win back the Protestants must begin at home.   The Church must be reformed from within, before she could bear effective testimony without.

He was convinced that the heart of the problem was the abuses caused, intentionally or not, by ignorant clergy.   Corruption was comparatively easy to root up but the wholesale re-education of the clergy was a project for generations.   To this end he set up the massive seminary of San Pietro Martire on the site of that saint’s murder in Seveso.   It was to be the prototype of the professionalisation of the clergy that would set a pattern for the rest of the Catholic world, one of the most significant developments in the last 500 years of Catholicism.   He knew that care of priests was essential before the laity could be properly educated and cultivated.   Here is a link to Pope Francis’s visit to the St Charles Borromeo Seminary  – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=495XzwybBS0

 

Doctrine was at the heart of his pastoral ministry.   Trent had codified dogma and made it the basis of its reforming decrees.    Charles carried this message that the truth itself was the best foundation of pastoral ministry.   He reformed recalcitrant monks and nuns, calling them back to fidelity to their oaths and vows, rather than tolerating their laxity. Indeed one decadent member of the order of the Humiliati even tried to assassinate him at prayer, firing a point blank shot that miraculously left him nearly unharmed.   He himself was one of the saints in charge of the Roman Catechism and the founder of the concept of Sunday school for lay children, educating them in the rudiments of the Catholic faith.   He brought to the streets of Milan, Truth incarnated as a person, both in the Blessed Sacrament and in his life of imitating Christ.   There was no divorce between his pastoral and doctrinal responsibilities, such a novel idea would have been treated by him as the worst form of heresy.   For Charles, Christ the Merciful was Incarnate Truth itself.

He retained a simple devotion to Our Lady of Loreto and ministered personally to the plague victims of the city, spending his personal fortune for their relief and walking barefoot in sackcloth and ashes in penance for them before God.   Yet at the same time he never forgot his office as a prince of the Church and the Successor of the Apostles.   He repeatedly challenged the secular authorities who sought to circumscribe the liberties of the Church.   He personally went to Santa Maria della Scala, to receive their obedience after they had appealed to the secular authority over him.   He came in full pontifical regalia, bearing the crucifix, and pronounced a public excommunication at their door.   A supporter of the disobedient church fired a shot at him, which was blocked only by the Cross of Christ he bore.   He tirelessly traveled to the rural areas of his diocese, especially the Alpine valleys that suffered under heresy.   To the peripheries he went—areas ignored by his noble predecessors—but Charles did not go there to confirm the people in their error, he came to bring the freedom of Truth.   He took his duty of visitation seriously, removing the corrupt, correcting the erring and ensuring the proper celebration of his beloved Ambrosian rite.St Charles Borromeo giving Communion to plague victims.2by caspar franz sambachSt Charles Borromeo giving Communion to plague victimsst charles Borromeo - Pierre Mignard - holy comm to plague victims

He was a friend and confrere to many of the saints of the Catholic Reform, St Francis Borgia, St Philip Neri, Bl Bartholomew of Braga and many others, having a special predilection for the English priests who would later be martyred.   His solicitude for the liturgy was exceptional, knowing it to be the key to the spirituality and doctrinal fidelity of the laity.   Indeed, once he wanted to bless a cemetery but abandoned the idea when he discovered he did not have the requisite pontifical vestments.   The service of God demanded the very best at all times.   On his deathbed, he forbade the saying of Holy Mass in his room, considering it unfit for the sacrifice of the Mass and insisted on being vested in Rochet and Stole for the reception of his Viaticum.   This was no violation of Humilitasbut rather its highest expression:  utter, complete and humble service to his position as the successor of St Ambrose.   He lived simply, devoutly and penitently but when he executed his office he bore the weight of tradition, history and doctrine.Meeting between Saint Charles Borromeo and Saint Philip Neri

Charles was beloved by his people of Milan and was respected by all throughout Europe, being rapidly canonised in the year 1610.   His life demonstrates the fallacy implied by the words of a contemporary cardinal, who declared that mercy and doctrine were equal parts of revelation.  Charles would have known that such a statement was nonsensical and opposed to the definitions of Trent (and Vatican II for that matter).   He would gently correct his colleague.   Mercy is part of the doctrine of the Church but, more to the point, the whole and complete doctrine of the Church is mercy for a fallen humanity. Truth is mercy; error is slavery.    St Charles demonstrates for us that the Church needs reform in every age but it must be a reform that results in a re-conformation to the Face of her Founder.    May the example of the holy bishop of the Counter Reform (who kept an image of Sts Thomas More and John Fisher on his person) animate those who would make novel arguments contrary to the faith of Christ.

St Charles Borromeo, Father of the Clergy, pray for us all!St-Charles-BorromeoSt Charels Borromeo2TheVisionOfSt.CharlesBorromeo

 

Posted in CATHOLIC Quotes, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MORNING Prayers, ON the SAINTS, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

Quote/s of the Day – 1 November – – The Solemnity of All the Saints

Quote/s of the Day – 1 November – – The Solemnity of All the Saints

“If we only got to heaven,
what a sweet and easy thing it will be there,
to be always saying with the angels and the saints,
‘Sanctus, sanctus, sanctus.’”

St Philip Neri (1515-1595) if we only got top heaven - st philip neri - all saints day 2017

...”But do not forget that all the saints
cannot endear you to Christ
as much as you can yourseIf.
It is entirely up to You!”

St Cajetan (1480-1547) Founder of the Theatinesbut do not forget that all the saints cannot endear you to christ - st cajetan

“Remember the sufferings of Christ,
the storms that were weathered…
the crown that came from those sufferings
which gave new radiance to the faith…
All saints give testimony to the truth
that without real effort,
no-one ever wins the crown.”

St Thomas à Becket (1118-1170)remember the sufferings - st thomas a becket - 1 nov 2017

“God creates out of nothing.
Wonderful you say.
Yes, to be sure but He does.
what is still more wonderful,
He makes saints out of sinners.”

Soren Kierkegaardgod creates out of nothing - soren kierkegaard - 1 nov 2017

Posted in MARIAN PRAYERS, MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Our Morning Offering – 20 October

Our Morning Offering – 20 October

Mary, I love you
St Philip Neri (1515-1595)

Mary, I love you.
Mary, make me live in God,
with God,
and for God.
Draw me after you, holy mother.
O Mary, may your children
persevere in loving you.
Mary, Mother of God and mother of mercy,
pray for me and for the departed.
Mary, holy Mother of God,
be our helper.
In every difficulty and distress,
come to our aid, O Mary.
O Queen of Heaven,
lead us to eternal life with God.
Mother of God,
remember me,
and help me always to remember you.
O Mary, conceived without sin,
pray for us who have recourse to you.
Pray for us,
O holy Mother of God,
that we may be made worthy
of the promises of Christ.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray to Jesus for me.
Amenmary i love you - st philip neri

Posted in MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 26 May

Thought for the Day – 26 May

St Philip Neri was one of those rare religious geniuses who leave the familiar paths and create something entirely new.   He is the kind of saint that you simply cannot put into a category, for what he did was completely unique and totally unprecedented.   His personality and “heart brimming with love” were most attractive to all – his friends were saints and highly creative men but the people of the streets loved him just as much as he loved them, from beggars to cardinals, he was a friend.

He too is the patron saint of joy countered with great humility and with this in mind, he could become a powerful intercessor for people who have periods of depression.   We pray to St Valentine and St Raphael – so that these saints may find us romantic partners who will love us. But we might do well to pray to St Philip Neri that he inspires us with the ability to cherish others and to be filled with the joy of love…  Perhaps most acutely for our selfie age, he could become an intercessor for people who agonise over how they look, who spend all their free time finding flattering selfies to post on Facebook and find that narcissism is beginning to rule their lives and indeed, is this not exactly true of the age of relativism, when it is only “I’ that count?

St Philip Neri pray for us!

ST PHILIP NERI PRAY FOR US.jpg 2

Posted in MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

Quotes of the Day -26 May

Quotes of the Day -26 May

“Never try to evade the cross that God sends you, for you will only find a heavier one.
………..The cross is the gift God gives to his friends.”

never try to evade the cross-st philip neri

“Cast yourself into the arms of God
and be very sure that if He wants anything of you,
He will fit you for the work and give you strength.”

cast yourself into the arms of god - st philip neri

“The best way to prepare for death is to spend every day of life as though it were the last.”

the best way to prepare for death- st philip neri

“At communion we ought to ask
for the remedy of the vice to which
we feel ourselves most inclined.”

St Philip Neri

at communion we ought - st philip neri

Posted in MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 26 May

One Minute Reflection – 26 May

It is your special privilege to take Christ’s part – not only to believe in him but also to suffer for him……..Phil 1:29

phil 1-29

REFLECTION – “The greatness of God must be tested by the desire we have to suffer for His sake …..
Bear the cross and do not make the cross bear you!”……………………..St Philip Neri

do not make the cross bear you! - st philip neri

PRAYER – Lord Jesus Christ, let me be closely united with You in all things. Grant that I may carry my cross willingly and seek to carry Yours!   Because of You and in union with You.   St Philip Neri, pray for us all, amen.

ST PHILIP NERI PRAY FOR US

Posted in CATHOLIC DEVOTIONS of the Month, MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Our Morning Offering – 26 May

Our Morning Offering – 26 May

Mary, I Love You
by St Philip Neri

Mary, I love you.
Mary, make me live in God,
with God and for God.
Draw me after you, holy mother.
O Mary, may your children persevere in loving you.
Mary, Mother of God and mother of mercy,
pray for me and for the departed.
Mary, holy Mother of God,
be our helper.
In every difficulty and distress,
come to our aid, O Mary.
O Queen of Heaven,
lead us to eternal life with God.
Mother of God,
remember me,
and help me always to remember you.
O Mary, conceived without sin,
pray for us who have recourse to you.
Pray for us,
O holy Mother of God,
that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray to Jesus for me.
Amen

mary i love you - st philip neri

Posted in QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 26 May – St Philip Neri Cong. Orat.

Saint of the Day – 26 May – St Philip Neri Cong. Orat. Priest and Founder, Mystic, Missionary of Charity, also known as:  Amabile Santo, the Second Apostle of Rome, Philip Romolo Neri –  (22 July 1515 at Florence, Italy – 27 May 1595 at the church of San Maria in Vallicella, Italy of natural causes) Canonised:  12 March 1622 by Pope Gregory XV.  Patron of Gravina, Italy, Rome, Italy, laughter, humour, joy, archdiocese of Manfredonia-Vieste-San Giovanni Rotondo, Italy, United States Army Special Forces.   When summoned to hear confessions or to see someone who had called, Neri came down instantly with the words “We must leave Christ for Christ”.   Philip was a mystic of the highest order, a man of ecstasies and visions, whose greatest happiness was to be alone with God.   Yet at the call of charity he gave up the delight of prayer and, instead, sought God by helping his neighbour.   His whole life is that of the contemplative in action.

Frari_(Venice)_-_Sacristy_-_Saint_Philip_Neri

St Philip Neri - 26 May.JPG 1A

He was the son of Francesco di Neri, a lawyer and his wife Lucrezia da Mosciano, whose family were nobility in the service of the Italian state.   He was carefully brought up and received his early teaching from the friars at San Marco, the famous Dominican monastery in Florence.   He was accustomed in later life to ascribe most of his progress to the teaching of two of them, Zenobio de’ Medici and Servanzio Mini.   At the age of 18, Philip was sent to his uncle, Romolo, a wealthy merchant at San Germano, a Neapolitan town near the base of Monte Cassino, to assist him in his business and with the hope that he might inherit his uncle’s fortune.   He gained Romolo’s confidence and affection but soon after coming to San Germano Philip had a religious conversion –  he no longer cared for things of the world and chose to relocate to Rome in 1533.

After arriving in Rome, Neri became a tutor in the house of a Florentine aristocrat named Galeotto Caccia. After two years he began to pursue his own studies (for a period of three years) under the guidance of the Augustinians.   Following this, he began those labours amongst the sick and poor which, in later life, gained him the title of “Apostle of Rome”.   He also ministered to the prostitutes of the city.   In 1538 he entered into the home mission work for which he became famous; traveling throughout the city, seeking opportunities of entering into conversation with people and of leading them to consider the topics he set before them.   For seventeen years Philip lived as a layman in Rome, probably without thinking of becoming a priest.   Around 1544, he made the acquaintance of Ignatius of Loyola.   Many of Neri’s disciples found their vocations in the infant Society of Jesus.

In 1548, together with his confessor, Persiano Rossa, Neri founded the Confraternity of the Most Holy Trinity of Pilgrims and Convalescents whose primary object was to minister to the needs of the thousands of poor pilgrims who flocked to Rome, especially in jubilee years and also to relieve the patients discharged from hospitals but who were still too weak for labour.    Members met for prayer at the church of San Salvatore in Campo where the devotion of the Forty Hours of Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament was first introduced into Rome

In 1551 Neri received all the minor orders and was ordained deacon and finally priest (on 23 May).   He thought of going to India as a missionary but was dissuaded by his friends who saw that there was abundant work to be done in Rome.   Accordingly, he settled down, with some companions, at the Hospital of San Girolamo della Carità, and while there tentatively began, in 1556, the institute with which his name is more especially connected, that of the Oratory.   The scheme at first was no more than a series of evening meetings in a hall (the Oratory), at which there were prayers, hymns, and readings from Scripture, the church fathers and the Martyrology, followed by a lecture, or by discussion of some religious question proposed for consideration.   The musical selections (settings of scenes from sacred history) were called oratorios.   Giovanni Palestrina was one of Philip’s followers and composed music for the services.   The scheme was developed and the members of the society undertook various kinds of mission work throughout Rome, notably the preaching of sermons in different churches every evening, a completely new idea at that time.    He also spent much of his time hearing confessions, and effected many conversions in this way.   Neri sometimes led “excursions” to other churches, often with music and a picnic on the way.

Philip-Neri-Hearing-Confession-1024x973
St Philip Neri Hearing Confessions

In 1564 the Florentines requested that Neri leave San Girolamo to oversee their newly built church in Rome, San Giovanni dei Fiorentini.   He was at first reluctant but by consent of Pope Pius IV he accepted, while remaining in charge of San Girolamo, where the exercises of the Oratory were kept up.   At this time the new society included among its members Caesar Baronius, the ecclesiastical historian, Francesco Maria Tarugi, afterwards Archbishop of Avignon and Ottavio Paravicini, all three of whom were subsequently cardinals, and also Gallonius (Antonio Gallonio), author of a well-known work on the Sufferings of the Martyrs, Ancina, Bordoni, and other men of ability and distinction.   In 1574, the Florentines built a large oratory or mission-room for the society, next to San Giovanni, in order to save them the fatigue of the daily journey to and from San Girolamo and to provide a more convenient place of assembly and the headquarters were transferred there.

623px-San_Giovanni_dei_Fiorentini_Rome
San Giovanni dei Fiorentini Rome – the home of the First Oratory

As the community grew and its mission work extended, the need for a church entirely its own made itself felt and the offer of the small parish church of Santa Maria in Vallicella, conveniently situated in the middle of Rome, was made and accepted.  The building, however, not large enough for their purpose, was pulled down and a splendid church erected on the site.   It was immediately after taking possession of their new quarters that Neri formally organized, under permission of a papal bull dated 15 July 1575, a community of secular priests, called the Congregation of the Oratory.   The new church was consecrated early in 1577 and the clergy of the new society at once resigned the charge of San Giovanni dei Fiorentini;  Neri himself did not leave San Girolamo until 1583 and then only by virtue of an injunction of the pope that he, as the superior, should reside at the chief house of his congregation.   He was at first elected for a term of three years (as is usual in modern societies) but in 1587 was nominated superior for life.   He was, however, entirely free from personal ambition and had no desire to be superior general over a number of dependent houses, so he desired that all congregations formed on his model outside Rome should be autonomous, governing themselves and without endeavouring for Neri to retain control over any new colonies they might themselves send out—a regulation afterwards formally confirmed by a brief of Gregory XV in 1622.

426px-Roma_Chiesa_Nuova_GS_112-1225_IMGc
Santa Maria in Vallicella after being rebuilt for the Oratory

Philip Neri embodied a number of contradictions, combining popular venerations with intensely individual piety.   He became embedded in the church hierarchy while seeking to reform a corrupt Rome and an uninterested clergy.   He possessed a playful humour, combined with a shrewd wit.   He considered a cheerful temper to be more Christian than a melancholy one and carried this spirit into his whole life:  “A joyful heart is more easily made perfect than a downcast one.”   This was the secret of Neri’s popularity and of his place in the folklore of the Roman poor.   Many miracles were attributed to him.   When his body was autopsied it was found that two of his ribs had been broken, an event attributed to the expansion of his heart while fervently praying in the catacombs about the year 1545.  ] Benedict XIV, who reorganised the rules for canonisation, decided that Philip’s enlarged heart was caused by an aneurism. Ponnelle and Bordet, in their 1932 biography St. Philip Neri and the Roman Society of His Times (1515-1595), conclude that it was partly natural and partly supernatural.   What is certain is that Philip himself and his penitents associated it with divine love.

“Practical commonplaceness,” says Frederick William Faber in his panegyric of Neri, “was the special mark which distinguishes his form of ascetic piety from the types accredited before his day.   He looked like other men … he was emphatically a modern gentleman, of scrupulous courtesy, sportive gaiety, acquainted with what was going on in the world, taking a real interest in it, giving and getting information, very neatly dressed, with a shrewd common sense always alive about him, in a modern room with modern furniture, plain, it is true but with no marks of poverty about it—In a word, with all the ease, the gracefulness, the polish of a modern gentleman of good birth, considerable accomplishments, and a very various information.”

Accordingly, Neri was ready to meet the needs of his day to an extent and in a manner which even the versatile Jesuits, who much desired to enlist him in their company, did not rival;  and, though an Italian priest and head of a new religious order, his genius was entirely unmonastic and unmedieval, frequent and popular preaching, unconventional prayer and unsystematized, albeit fervent, private devotion.

Neri prayed, “Let me get through today and I shall not fear tomorrow.”

When summoned to hear confessions or to see someone who had called, Neri came down instantly with the words “We must leave Christ for Christ”. Philip was a mystic of the highest order, a man of ecstasies and visions, whose greatest happiness was to be alone with God. Yet at the call of charity he gave up the delight of prayer and, instead, sought God by helping his neighbour. His whole life is that of the contemplative in action.

Neri died around the end of the day on 25 May 1595, the Feast of Corpus Christi that year, after having spent the day hearing confessions and receiving visitors. ] About midnight he began hemorrhaging and Baronius read the commendatory prayers over him. Baronius asked that he would bless his spiritual sons before dying and though he could no longer speak, he blessed them with the sign of the cross and died.

Neri was beatified by Paul V in 1615, and canonized by Pope Gregory XV in 1622.   His memorial is celebrated on 26 May. His body is in the Chiesa Nuova (“New Church”) in Rome.

the oratory London

Neri is one of the influential figures of the Counter-Reformation, mainly for converting to personal holiness many of the influential people within the Church itself.

Oratory

The congregation Neri founded is of the least conventional nature, rather resembling a residential clerical club than a monastery of the older type and its rules (never written by Neri, but approved by Pope Paul V in 1612) would have appeared incredibly lax.   In fact its religious character would seem almost doubtful to men such as Bruno, Stephen Harding, Francis of Assisi or Saint Dominic.   It admits only priests aged at least 36, or seminarians who have completed their studies and are ready for ordination, supported by lay brothers.   The members live in community and each pays his own expenses, having the usufruct of his private means—a startling innovation on the monastic vow of poverty.   They have indeed a common table but it is kept up precisely as a regimental mess, by monthly payments from each member.   Nothing is provided by the society except the bare lodging and the fees of a visiting physician.   Everything else—clothing, books, furniture, medicines—must be defrayed at the private charges of each member. There are no vows and every member of the society is at liberty to withdraw when he pleases and to take his property with him.   The government, strikingly unlike the Jesuit autocracy, is of a republican form;  and the superior, though first in honour, has to take his turn in discharging all the duties which come to each priest of the society in the order of his seniority, including that of waiting at table, which is not entrusted in the Oratory to lay brothers, according to the practice in most other communities.   Four deputies assist the superior in the government and all public acts are decided by a majority of votes of the whole congregation, in which the superior has no casting voice.   To be chosen superior, 15 years of membership are requisite as a qualification, and the office is tenable, as all the others, for but 3 years at a time.   No one can vote until he has been three years in the society; the deliberative voice is not obtained before the eleventh year.

There are thus three classes of members: novices, triennials and decennials.   Each house can call its superior to account, can depose and can restore him, without appeal to any external authority, although the bishop of the diocese in which any house of the Oratory is established is its ordinary and immediate superior, though without power to interfere with the rule.   Their churches are non-parochial and they can perform such rites as baptisms, marriages, etc., only by permission of the parish priest, who is entitled to receive all fees due in respect of these ministrations.

The Oratory chiefly spread in Italy and in France, where in 1760 there were 58 houses all under the government of a superior-general.   Nicolas Malebranche, Louis Thomassin, Jules Mascaron and Jean Baptiste Massillon were members of the famous branch established in Paris in 1611 by Bérulle (later cardinal), which had a great success and a distinguished history.   It fell in the crash of the French Revolution but was revived by Père Pététot, curé of St Roch, in 1852, as the “Oratory of Jesus and the Immaculate Mary”; the Church of the Oratory near the Louvre belongs to the Reformed Church.

Neri encouraged the singing of the lauda spirituale (laude) in his oratory services.   The prominent composers Tomás Luis de Victoria and Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina probably participated in this music.   His unique and varied aesthetic experience has been highlighted in a study by the Italian historian Francesco Danieli.