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Saint Philip Neri

AKA: Amabile Santo
Apostle of Rome
Philip Romolo Neri

 Born: July 22, 1515 in Florence, Italy

Died: May 27 1595 in Vallicella, Italy

Venerated: Roman Catholic Church

Beatified: May 11, 1615 by Pope Paul V

Canonized: March 12, 1622 by Pope Gregory XV

Feast Day: May 26

Patronages: Laughter
United States Special Forces
Places: Gravina, Italy
Archdiocese of Manfredonia-Vieste-San Giovanni Rotondo, Italy
Rome, Italy


Saint Philip was born in Florence in 1515, the very same year that Saint Teresa was born at Avila in Spain. From his sixth year he was characterized by the most perfect obedience toward his parents. Having finished his classical studies at 18, he was sent to an uncle who lived near Monte Cassino. But Saint Philip, desirous of serving God without worldly distractions, went to Rome in 1533 and became preceptor to the children of a Florentine nobleman.

Even at this period of his life he obtained a great reputation for sanctity. While teaching others he devoted himself to the study of philosophy and theology. His desire to save souls caused him to establish the Confraternity of the Blessed Trinity in 1548, with the object of serving pilgrims and the sick. In obedience to his confessor he became a priest in June 1551, at nearly 36 years of age.

He now began to dwell in a small community near the Church of Saint Jerome, continuing his mortified life. In the same year he laid the foundation for the Congregation of the Oratory. In 1575, Gregory XIII approved it, and in 1583 gave to Saint Philip the new Church of La Vallicella, which is still called La Chiesa Nuova - The New Church.

Here the saint lived, edifying all Rome by his virtues and laboring zealously for souls in the ministry of the confessional. He enjoyed the favor of Popes Pius IV and V, Gregory XIII and XIV and Clement VIII, and the friendship of many great men, among whom was Saint Charles Borromeo. After a life of penance and of eminent usefulness, Saint Philip died in 1595 and was canonized in 1622 by Pope Gregory XV.

Prayer: God, You never cease raising Your faithful servants to the glory of holiness. Grant that we may be inflame by the fire of the Holy Spirit which so wonderfully burned in the heart of Saint Philip. Amen.