Saturday, May 26, 2018

May 26 - St. Philip Neri


+ St Philip Neri was one of the noble line of saints raised up in the sixteenth century to console and bless His Church.  After a pious childhood, the Spirit led Philip away from Florence and showed him the world that he might freely renounce it, led him to Rome, molded him in mind and heart and will, and then as by a second Pentecost, came down in visible form and filled his soul with light and peace and joy.

He wanted to go to India, but God wanted him to stay rather in Rome. There, he went on simply, from day to day, drawing souls to Jesus, showing them acts of charity, and binding them together by cheerful devotions, and thus the Oratory he founded grew up and all Rome was pervaded and transformed by its spirit. His life was a continuous miracle, he was nearly every day in a state of ecstasy. He read the hearts of men, foretold the future, and knew their eternal destiny. His touch gave health of body, his very look called souls in trouble and drove away temptations. He was light-hearted, genial and irresistibly winning: neither insult nor wrong could dim the brightness of his joy.

Philip died in his eightieth year, in 1595, and bears the grand title: Apostle of Rome.

The gospel passage today speaks of Jesus’ desire for his followers to be united in love of him, his Father and one another. He calls each of us, in some way, to manifest that love, as he did St. Philip Neri. It is easy when we get out of the way and let the Spirit lead us, wherever he would have us be, fill us with his essence of joy, and place people in our path to spread it to. It can’t get easier than that!

Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit.

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