Religious Figure Facts: St. Philip Neri , Early Religious Training

St Philip Neri has been connected to an array of churches throughout Italy, including the Church of Santa Maria in Vallicella, which gained new life after his arrival. In this article, you will also learn the kinds of people that the saint most directed his attention to, as well as find out the famous philosopher that some of Philip’s actions took after.

10) In 1575, Pope Gregorio XIII granted him the responsibility of the Church of Santa Maria in Vallicella, which was old and in disrepair. Before he took his charge, the church was completely renovated.

11) When Philip was sent to learn under his uncle (a wealthy merchant), it was with the hope that he may one day inherit the fortune and business that he had been training to learn. Despite becoming close with his uncle and gaining his confidence, he experienced a conversion. Material items of the world no longer interested Philip, which is why he chose to live in Rome.

12) Upon arriving at Rome, Philip took a position as a tutor in the house of Galeotto Caccia , a Florentine aristocrat. Two years had passed and he expressed interest in pursuing his own studies. He did this for three years, following the leadership of the Augustinians.

13) Alongside caring for the sick and poor, Philip also delivered ministry to the prostitutes that lived in the city.

14) 1538 marked the year that Philip entered home mission work. This would turn out to give him great fame as the ‘Apostle of Rome.’ He mirrored the practices of Socrates and traveled about the city. It was his goal to engage in as many opportunities to converse with people. He also wished to persuade those he encountered to follow his lead of conversation.

15) In 1548, Philip became the founder (with the help of his confessor, Fr Persiano Rossa) the confraternity of the Santissima Trinita de’ Pellegrini e de’ Convalescenti. This organization followed an agenda to satisfy the needs of the thousands of poor pilgrims that made their way to Rome. They would also take on the work meant for patients that had been discharged from the hospital and were too weak to enter labor.

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:

·    We must pray incessantly for the gift of perseverance.

·    The best remedy for dryness of spirit, is to picture ourselves as beggars in the presence of God and the Saints, and like a beggar, to go first to one saint, then to another, to ask a spiritual alms of them with the same earnestness as a poor fellow in the streets would ask an alms of us.

·    We must never trust ourselves, for it is the devil’s way first to get us to feel secure, and then to make us fall.

·    To be without pity for other men’s falls, is an evident sign that we shall fall ourselves shortly.

·    Let a man who desires the first place take the last.