25 May 2009

St Philip Neri

For your reading pleasure. . .

A cornucopia of St Philip Neri info:

St Philip Romolo Neri

EWTN: Philip Neri

Patron Saint Index with lots of links

Saint of the Day: Philip Neri, saint and joker

The Toronto Oratory

The London Oratory, Brompton

At Catholic Fire: Philip Neri, humorous saint

. . .and the Chiesa Nuova, Philip Neri's church in Rome. Only in Rome can you call a 17th century church a "new church"! Philip is buried in a side chapel there. I've visited frequently, asking for a better sense of humor for dealing with the enemies of the Church.

And today is my 45th birthday. My mother denies it, refusing to believe that she has a 45 year old son!

I am often asked why a Dominican would choose "Philip Neri" as his religious name. I wish there were some mystical, mysterious story to tell. There isn't. When I was going through RCIA, my pastor urged us all to take confirmation names. He suggested that we look at the saints honored on our birthdays for inspiration. He reasoned that picking a name from a saint celebrated on our birthday would help us to remember to imitate that saint. I picked "Philip Neri" for no other reason than that May 26th is his feast day. When I joined the Order, we were told we could use a religious name. One of the brothers asked me my confirmation name and suggested that I make it my religious name. With just a little research into Philip Neri's life, I found quite a lot I wanted to imitate!

Philip knew many of the great Dominicans of his day. He was a renowned preacher and confessor. He worked tirelessly among the spiritually defeated youths of Rome. He was a practical joker and an outrageous spiritual director. When he died, an autopsy revealed that his heart had grown too big for this body. An apt description of this saint of Christ's joy! Philip was canonized along with Theresa of Avila and Ignatius of Loyola.


  1. Anonymous2:03 AM

    Happy Feast Day & Happy Birthday! We are grateful for your blog.

  2. Anonymous3:54 AM

    Happy Feast Day!

    And it's pretty big of you to let your feast day and birthday coincide... giving up an extra day-with-pudding-after-dinner!

  3. Venite, it gets better...here in Rome we have drinks after pranzo, so I'm giving up a shot of good bourbon later in the year as well! :-)

  4. buon compleanno!!!!!!!!!! i thought of you first thing when i prayed lauds & noticed the feast day!

  5. Happy Birthday (and Feast Day!). St. Philip Neri is the Patron Saint of Rome as well, isn't he? So you're in a great place to celebrate! ;-D

    (Once I reached my forties, my mom started insisting that I was really twenty-nine! But time marches on for all of us...)

  6. Father..wishing you a very Happy Birthday and a Blessed Saint's Day. I discovered when reading my morning prayers in Magnificat that Saint Phillip Neri found in his love of God a great sense of joy.
    Sometimes in this difficult world, I think we often overlook the gift of joy that the love of our Lord can bring.

  7. Blessed Saint's Day and a very Happy Birthday, Father!

  8. Oooops..sorry for all those extra Ls

  9. Anonymous7:55 AM


    What do you mean by he was "an outrageous spiritual director"?

    Specifically, by outrageous?


  10. any saint that's full of joy and practical jokes is a good one in my book!!

    Happy Birthday to my favorite friar.

  11. Happy Feast Day, Father! Good to know St. Philip Neri was "in the same graduating class" as St. Teresa of Avila and St. Ignatius of Loyola. I can only imagine THAT triumverate rolling into Heaven simultaneously.

    (See, I just knew you were an Action© Dominican.)


  12. P.S. Happy Birthday. 1964 was a very good year. ;-)

  13. Anonymous11:38 AM

    Dear Father, Many happy returns on your birthday, and a joyous feast day to you! Ad multos et laetissimi annos! (Hope I got the Latin right -- it's a little rusty).

    Regards from Canada,
    Patricia Gonzalez

  14. Happy birthday/feast day, Father! Proving once again that our patron saints choose us before we choose them.

    Incidentally, the Chiesa Nuova also has the distinction of being the first post to which Don Eugenio Pacelli (later Pius XII) was assigned after his priestly ordination. (And according to a little out-of-print book of Dominican devotions that a friend of mine has, published by a community of cloistered Dominican nuns out of Connecticut, Pius XII was a third-order Dominican.)

  15. A very happy birthday and feast day, Father! May there be many more! God bless your day and your year!

  16. Happy Feast Day and Happy Birthday, Fr! And many many more!

  17. not getting creaky just yet8:56 PM

    Many happy returns of the day, Father. And no, you're not your age...you just end up being older than your mom! (I already have one child who is older than I am. ;-) It's not as if our own personal ages are public property, after all.)

    K. Leonard

  18. Happy Birthday, Young Man! :)

    Would you please add my post on St. Philip Neri to the above list?


    Praying for birthday blessings for you today.

  19. Happy Feast Day! What a great saint you have to emulate!