Saint Philip Neri
Philip Neri was born on July 22, 1515 in Florence, Italy. We grew up together and we both received our teachings from the friars at San Marco. Later in life when we were 18 years old, Philip was sent to his uncle, Romolo, a wealthy merchant at San Germano. He was to help assist Romolo in his business. Philip hoped to inherit his uncle’s fortune. But shortly after arriving in San Germano, Philip had a conversion. He no longer cared for things of the world, and chose to relocate back to Rome in 1533.
After arriving in Rome, he became a tutor in the house of a Florentine aristocrat named Galeotto Caccia. After two years Philip began to pursue his own studies for a period of three years under the guidance of the Augustinians. Following this, I watched him begin to help the sick and poor which got him later in life the title of “Apostle of Rome.” In 1538 he started mission work for which he became famous.
In 1548 he founded the confraternity of the Santissima Trinita de’ Pellegrini. Their main objective was to provide the needs of the thousands of poor pilgrims who went to Rome and those who were discharged from hospitals but were too weak for work. In 1551 Philip passed through all the minor orders, and was ordained as a deacon, and finally a priest in on May 23. He thought of going to India as a missionary, but was persuaded not to by me and his friends who saw that there was a lot of work to be done in Rome. Philip settled down with some companions at the hospital of San Girolamo della Carita. While there he began, in 1556, the Oratory. The plan at first was no more than a series of evening meetings in a hall, at which there were prayers, hymns, readings from the scripture, followed by a lecture, or discussion of any religious question. Philip also spent much of his time hearing confessions, and effected many conversions in this way.
In 1564 the Florentines requested that Philip should leave San Girolamo, and to oversee their church in Rome, San Giovanni dei Fiorentini. He was at first reluctant, but by permission of Pope Pius IV he accepted. In 1587 my friend Philip was nominated superior for life. On May 25, 1595 it was a very sad day for me and others. My best friend Philip Neri died around the end of the day. If Philip were to leave a message for the future it would be to always be joyful and to help others as much as I can. He told me, “ A joyful heart is more easily made perfect than a downcast one.” I will remember that quote for the rest of my life. Philip was a great example for how we should all live our lives.
I chose Saint Philip Neri for my confirmation saint name. He was such a fantastic person with all of the great things he did. He helped others and always was willing to talk to anyone. He was a social person and liked to be the one to read out loud from the bible or give speeches about Christ your faith. He inspires me greatly and I want his name to be with me at all times. This picture of Philip Neri is a photograph taken of a painting of him.