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Saint Phillip of Neri

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Submitted By adambomb161
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Saint Philip Neri was born in Florence, Italy, in the year 1515. He was the oldest son of Francis Neri and Lucretia Soldi, both descendants of Tuscan families. He was kind hearted as a kid and soon became known as Philip the Good - "the good Pippo." As a child, he studied philosophy and later he took a comprehensive course in theology. With fourteen companions, he created the Confraternity of the Most Holy Trinity for looking after pilgrims and convalescents. The members met for Communion, prayer and other spiritualexercises in the Church of San Salvatore, and Philip himself introduced theidea of having exposition of the Blessed Sacrament at least once a month.At these devotions, Philip preached, even though he had not yet become apriest. In 1550, he transferred this Confraternity to the Church of the Holy Trinity, and built a new hospital. His work continued and in 1551, he was ordained a priest at the age of thirty-six. As a newly ordained priest, Philip continued his spiritual conferences toever-increasing numbers, who came seeking his guidance and help. In a short time, several priests and young clergymen associated themselves with him. They began to aid him with his conferences and in reading prayers and meditations to the people of the Church of the Holy Trinity. This small group soon became known as an Oratory, because at certain hours each day,they would gather the people together for prayer and meditation. Therefore they laid the foundation of a new religious society. In 1564, when Philip had formed his congregation into a regular community, he had several of his young clergy men ordained to the priesthood.Saint Philip lived to be eighty years of age. In the year 1595, he was struck by an unusual violent fever and was confined to his bed for the entire month of April. Cardinal Caesar Baronius game him Extreme Unction and Cardinal Frederick Borromeo, an intimate friend, brought him Holy Viaticum.His entire congregation accompanied him on his deathbed. It was shortly after midnight on May 26th, 1595 that he passed away Saint Philip was noted also for his kindness and simplicity and was much sought after as a confessor. His sense of humor was noteworthy. He was beatified by Pope Paul V in 1615 and was canonized a saint by Pope Gregory XV in the year 1622.After Philip's death it was discovered that two of his ribs were broken and had formed an arch, enlarging the normal space for the heart. His body rests in the Chiesa Nuova where it remains miraculously incorrupt. He is celebrated on May 26th. It was here that a series of mystical experiences occurred to him.One evening, while fervently praying, a globe of fire appeared in front of him. It entered his mouth and a moment afterwards he felt his chest dilating.Instantly he was filled with such paroxysms of divine love that he rolled upon the ground yelling, "Enough, Lord, I can bear no more!" When he rose and was more composed, he discovered a swelling as big as a man's fist in the region of his heart. This swelling remained with him forthe rest of his life and, at times, the emotional passion that it caused was so strong it forced him to bare his breast to relieve the heat it created. In those moments he prayed that God would lessen his blessings before he died of excess love. His face would shine with a mysterious light and often he was transfixed in heavenly bliss and unable to lower his arms. Occasionally in these fits he was seen lifted off the ground, his body weightless. Not only did his face shine with light, but real sparks of fire flew from his eyes. All of these were miracles used for his canonization.

Prayer:

St. Philip let me love with your passion and meditate with your skill in

order to more fully understand God's ways and to better prepare my mind and

heart for the day in which we are united with Christ. And help me to work

as wholeheartedly towards the Lord's work before I die.…...

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