Religious Figure Facts: St. Philip Neri , Background

Born into a wealthy family, St. Philip Neri came into the world in 1515 on July 22nd  , his birthplace the city of Florence. His early education took place in the Dominican monastery of St Marco until he turned 17 years old and was sent off to care for his cousin in Cassino. It was there that he learned how to become a merchant. During his studies, Philip found that he preferred the company of Montecassino and Monte Spaccato monks instead”¦

By 1534, Philip was still filled with doubts on the kind of job he should pursue, so he traveled to Rome. In the beginning, Philip sought isolation and atonement, spending his time praying in churches and catacombs. He also spent a great deal of time visiting those suffering from an illness. It wasn’t until 1551 that he took his holy orders. At this time, he became associated with the Oratory’s institution and was known as the ‘true apostle of Rome,’ as well as:

 ‘the comforter of the sick and of the dying
mendicant for the poor
humble teacher of the child
simple and persuasive predicate
spiritual director of consciences.’

From the aristocrats to the poor, the young to the old, there is no doubt that Philip was respected and loved.

To learn more about St Philip Neri, consider the following facts:

1) Philip’s full name is Philip Romolo Neri, which in Italian translated into Filippo de Neri.

2) Philip is responsible for founding a society comprised of secular priests. It was called “Congregation of the Oratory.”

3) Philip was 79 years old when he died on May 25, 1595 in Rome.

4) Philip was beatified on May 11, 1615 by Pope Paul V.

5) Pope Gregory XV canonized Philip on March 12, 1622.

6) Philip is considered the patron of Rome, as well as the US Special Forces.

7) Pope Gregorio XV proclaimed Philip a ‘Saint’ in 1662.

8) Philip was the youngest child born into his family. His father (Francesco) was a lawyer and his mother’s name was Lucrezia da Mosciano. Nobility surrounded the family.

9) The place where Philip gained his early education (San Marco) is a famous Dominican monastery located in Florence. Later in life, Neri would give credit to his advancement in life and education to two friars who taught at the monastery , Zenobio de’ Medici and Servanzio Mini.

Maxims of Philip Neri

A maxim is an expression of a general truth or principle, and St Philip Neri had a great deal attributed to him, including those listed below:

·    When a man is freed from a temptation or any other distress, let him take great care to show fitting gratitude to God for the benefit he has received.

·    He who does not go down into hell while he is alive, runs a great risk of going there after he is dead.

·    A man without prayer is an animal without the use of reason.

·    The true preparation for prayer consists in the exercise of mortification; for he who wishes to give himself up to prayer without mortification, is like a bird wishing to fly before it is fledged.

·    It is good for a man to go from prayer rather with an appetite and desire to return to it, than satiated and weary.