Saint Philip Neri

Saint Philip Neri

(July 21, 1515 -M ay 26, 1595)

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Saint Philip Neri (San Filippo Neri) was born on July 21, 1515, in Florence, Italy and  died on May 26, 1595, in Rome. He was canonized in 1622 and his feast day is May 26. He was an Italian priest  and  one of  the outstanding mystics during  the  Counter-Reformation   and  founder  of the Congregation of the Oratory (now the

Institute of the Oratory of St. Philip Neri, also called Oratorians),  a congregation  of  secular priests and  clerics. He went  to Rome c. 1533, where  he  tutored,  studied,  and  undertook  many charitable works. In 1548 he founded a society of laymen dedicated  to the care of  the poor,

convalescents,  and pilgrims. After ordination in 1551 hEf moved to the ecclesiastical community  at San Girolamo  della Carita in Rome. There he held religious  conferences  that became  so popular  that a large room was built  over the church nave to accommodate  his audiences. This room  was  called  the Oratory, a name  that subsequently  referred  to those  who met  there  and  to the  devotional, charitable,  and  recreational  activities  that  Philip  instituted,  including  musical performances   (hence  "oratorio").

Philip was rector of the church of San Giovanni from 1564 to 1575, during which period he ordained his disciples. In 1575 Pope Gregory XIII granted him Sta. Maria in Vallicella, where he established the Institute of the Oratory. A house was built for the priests, and Philip, elected provost of the congregation in 1577, resided there after 1583.

Although Philip helped influence Pope Clement VIII to absolve (1595) King Henry IV of France from excommunication, he had little to do with contemporary political events. Noted for his personal spirituality, he underwent numerous ecstatic religious experiences, and many miracles were attributed to him.

-taken from  www. britannica.com/ biography/ Saint-Philip-Neri