Thursday, October 31, 2002

St. Philip Post- Part Two
Beginnings in Rome

After two to three years, Philip told Uncle Romolo that he appreciated his kindness, but he was not cut out to be a businessman. Philip, now about 20, headed for Rome.
He supported himself by tutoring the two sons of an expatriate Florentine customs officer named Gaelotto del Caccia, and attended theology classes at the Roman University. After a time, he ceased attending classes, and devoted the time to intensive prayer and service, most particularly helping the sick in Rome's hospitals and the pilgrims who came to Rome. Philip, with the help of his confessor, Fr. Persanio Rosa, established the Confraternity of the Most Holy Trinity for the Pilgrims in 1548, specifically to look after the weary and often destitute travelers. This proved to be an important task, most particularly in the Holy Year of 1549, when huge numbers of pilgrims flooded the city.

Throughout his life in Rome, Philip, though later known for his affability and sense of humor, lived a life that was abstemious in the extreme. His room was always sparsely furnished, and his food consisted almost entirely of bread, olives and maybe a few other vegetables. He almost never ate meat, until his old age, when his doctor ordered him to do so, and he drank wine which had been watered a great deal, or even plain water- very untypical for a 16th century Italian. His clothes were known for being simple and rather cheap, which was remarkable enough in an age when display in clothes was everywhere, even among clerics, who instead of wearing the prescribed cassocks , tended to compete with laymen in wearing the styles of the day, complete with silk linings and gigantic ruffs. (When the Pope decreed that priests should dress simply, cynics quipped that now clerics would have to leave their velvet boots at the door of St. Peter's.)

St. Philip Neri Quotes:
"Cheerfulness strengthens the heart and makes us persevere in a good life; therefore the servant of God ought always to
be in good spirits."
"A man without prayer is like an animal without the use of reason."
"We must never trust ourselves, for it is the devil's way to get us to feel secure, and then to make us fall."
"To be without pity for other men's falls, is an evident sign that we shall fall ourselves shortly."


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