Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A wonderful priest and saint.

St. Philip Neri
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"Practical commonplaceness", says Frederick William Faber in his panegyric of Neri, was the special mark which distinguishes his form of ascetic piety from the types accredited before his day. "He looked like other men.. he was emphatically a modern gentleman, of scrupulous courtesy, sportive gaiety, acquainted with what was going on in the world, taking a real interest in it, giving and getting information, very neatly dressed, with a shrewd common sense always alive about him, in a modern room with modern furniture, plain, it is true, but with no marks of poverty about it -- in a word, with all the ease, the gracefulness, the polish of a modern gentleman of good birth, considerable accomplishments, and a very various information." Accordingly, he was ready to meet the needs of his day to an extent and in a manner which even the versatile Jesuits, who much desired to enlist him in their company, did not rival; and, though an Italian priest and head of a new religious order, his genius was entirely unmonastic and unmedieval; he was the active promoter of vernacular services, frequent and popular preaching, unconventional prayer, and unsystematized, albeit fervent, private devotion.
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Neri was not a reformer, save in the sense that in the active discharge of pastoral work he labored to reform individuals. He had no difficulties in respect of the teaching and practice of his church, being in truth an ardent Ultramontane in doctrine, as was all but inevitable in his time and circumstances, and his great merit was the instinctive tact which showed him that the system of monasticism could never be the leaven of secular life, but that something more homely, simple, and everyday in character was needed for the new time. - Source
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May 26 is the Memorial of St. Philip.
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In memoriam of my dear friend Sr. Mary Philip Schaefer, O.P..

2 comments:

  1. I read St. Philip Neri's bio in "Butlers"...what a great saint.
    Prayers for Sr. Philip, Terry.
    We could all imitate his intense love for the Savior and his wonderful sense of humor.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm going to put my blog under his patronage. Terry - did you read the "Little Story" I put up today?

    ReplyDelete


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