St. Philip Neri
PHILIP was one of the noble line of Saints raised up by God in the sixteenth century to console and bless His Church. After a childhood of angelic beauty the Holy Spirit drew him away from Florence, the place of his birth, showed him the world, that he might freely renounce it, led him to Rome, modelled 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 would have gone to India, but God reserved him for Rome. There he went on simply from day to day, drawing souls to Jesus, exercising them in mortification and charity, and binding them together by cheerful devotions; thus, unconsciously to himself, under the hands of Mary, as he said, the Oratory grew up, and all Rome was pervaded and transformed by its spirit. His life was a continuous miracle, his habitual state an ecstasy. He read the hearts of men, foretold their future, knew their eternal destiny. His touch gave health of body; his very look calmed souls in trouble and drove away temptations. He was gay, genial, and irresistibly winning; neither insult nor wrong could dim the brightness of his joy.
Philip lived in an atmosphere of sunshine and gladness which brightened all who came near him. "When I met him in the street," says one, "he would pat my cheek and say, 'Well, how is Don Pellegrino?' and leave me so full of joy that I could not tell which way I was going." Others said that when he playfully pulled their hair or their ears, their hearts would bound with joy. Marcio Altieri felt such overflowing gladness in his presence that he said Philip's room was a paradise on earth. Fabrizio de Massimi would go in sadness or perplexity and stand at Philip's door; he said it was enough to see him, to be near him. And long after his death it was enough for many, when troubled, to go into his room to find their hearts lightened and gladdened. He inspired a boundless confidence and love, and was the common refuge and consoler of all. A gentle jest would convey his rebukes and veil his miracles. The highest honors sought him out, but he put them from him. He died in his eightieth year, in 1595, and bears the grand title of Apostle of Rome.
Reflection. —Philip wished his children to serve God, like the first Christians, in gladness of heart. He said this was the true filial spirit; this expands the soul, giving it liberty and perfection in action, power over temptations, and fuller aid to perseverance.
Lives Of The Saints By Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. Edition www.globalgrey.co.uk
Prayers and Reading for Today’s MASS
Introit • Rome. 5, 5
The charity of God is poured forth in our hearts, by His Spirit dwelling within us. Ps. 102, 1. Bless the Lord, O my soul; and let all that is within me bless His holy name. Glory be …
O God, Who didst exalt blessed Philip, Thy confessor, with the glory of Thy saints, mercifully grant that we, who are gladdened by his feast, may profit by the example of his virtues. Through our Lord.
Commemoration of St. Eleutherius.
O eternal shepherd, do Thou look favorably upon Thy flock, which we beseech Thee to guard and keep for evermore through the Blessed Eleutherius, Thy Martyr and Supreme Pontiff, whom Thou didst choose to be the chief shepherd of the whole Church. Through our Lord.
Epistle • Wis. 7, 7-14
Lesson from the Book of Wisdom.
[The excellence of wisdom: how she is to be found.]
I wished, and understanding was given me: and I called upon God, and the spirit of wisdom came upon me: And I preferred her before kingdoms and thrones, and esteemed riches nothing in comparison of her. Neither did I compare unto her any precious stone: for all gold in comparison of her, is as a little sand, and silver in respect to her shall be counted as clay. I loved her above health and beauty, and chose to have her instead of light: for her light cannot be put out.
Now all good things came to me together with her, and innumerable riches through her hands, And I rejoiced in all these: for this wisdom went before me, and I knew not that she was the mother of them all. Which I have learned without guile, and communicate without envy, and her riches I hide not. For she is an infinite treasure to men! which they that use, become the friends of God, being commended for the gift of discipline.
Alleluia, alleluia. Lam. 1, 13. From above He hath sent a fire into my bones, and hath instructed me. Alleluia. Ps. 38. My heart grew hot within me, and in my meditation a fire shall flame out. Alleluia.
Gospel • Luke 12, 35-40
Continuation of the Holy Gospel According to St. Luke.
[Christ admonishes all to watch and be ready for His Coming.]
At that time, Jesus said to His disciples: Let your loins be girt and lamps burning in your hands, and you yourselves like to men who wait for their lord, when he shall return from the wedding: that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open to him immediately.
Blessed are those servants whom the lord, when he cometh, shall find watching: amen I say to you that he will gird himself and make them sit down to meat, and passing will minister unto them. And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants. But this know ye, that if the householder did know at what hour the thief would come, he would surely watch, and would not suffer his house to be broken open. Be you then also ready, for at what hour you think not the Son of Man will come.
Offertory • Ps. 118, 32
I have run the way of Thy commandments, when Thou didst enlarge my heart.
Look with satisfaction, we beseech Thee, O Lord, upon the sacrifices here before Thee, and grant that the Holy Spirit may kindle within us that fire with which He miraculously penetrated the heart of blessed Philip. Through … in the unity of the same.
Commemoration of St. Eleutherius.
Receive, O Lord, in Thy loving kindness the joyful offering of our gifts, and through the intercession of blessed Eleutherius, grant that Thy Church may enjoy integrity of faith and rejoice in the tranquility of peaceful times.
Communion • Ps. 83, 3
My heart and my flesh have rejoiced in the living God. Alleluia.
Regaled with heavenly delights, O Lord, we pray Thee, that, by the merits of blessed Philip, Thy confessor, and after his examples, we may ever seek those things by which
Commemoration of St. Eleutherius.
Increase, we beseech Thee, O Lord, in Thy Church the spirit of grace Thou hast given her: that through the prayers of the blessed Eleutherius, Thy Martyr and Supreme Pontiff, the flock my never fail in obedience to their shepherd nor the shepherd in the faithful care of his flock. Through our Lord.