Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Feast of St Philip Neri

St Philip Neri (1515-1595) is one of the most attractive of the great saints, charming people into conversion through his 'joyful heart' and mischievous sense of humour. As a priest, St Philip spent hours in the confessional as part of his missionary efforts in Rome. His Oratory movement is also famous of course for fostering the use of music, including cultivating great composers such as Palestrina.

I have to admit my favourite story about him though, is that often when saying mass privately he would have the server (for this was an age when the tradition and law of the Church was respected such that the mass sine populo did not mean mass sine anyone!) leave for half an hour or so when he reached the 'Domine non sum dignus', going into the heights of mystical meditation. Eventually the server would return, and he would continue the mass as normal.

St Philip pray for us, and pray for our priests.

2 comments:

Michael Sternbeck. said...

Few seem to have noticed that this oft-reproduced portrait is back-to-front.

Note which arm the saint's maniple appears on!

I should like to see the original...

Mary Lou said...

St. Philip's church in Rome SS. Trinita dei Pellegrini is now home to the Latin Mass Parish under the care of Fr. Kramer, FSSP !