Sunday, November 03, 2002

St. Philip Post- Part Four
Answering the Call

Fr. Persanio Rosa, Philip's confessor, was convinced that Philip should become a priest. After much persuasion, Philip finally consented, and he was ordained to the priesthood on May 23, 1551. He was not quite 36 years old, but that was considered a 'very late vocation' by the standards of the time. He lived at San Girolamo as a secular priest, and soon began to attract both many penitents and some followers. There began to be meetings in Philip's room for discussions of the Scriptures and the Lives of the Saints, and also for prayer. Soon the meetings grew too large for the room, and were moved next door. By 1557 a small loft had been built over one of the side aisles of San Girolamo. Philip called the room 'the Oratory', meaning a place of prayer. This could be seen as the beginning of the Congregation of the Oratory, though at the time, and for a long time afterward, Philip had little notion that a community of any kind was being founded at all. Later, he often said that the Blessed Virgin must have founded the Congregation because he did not plan to found anything.

St. Philip Neri Quotes:
"There is nothing more displeasing to God, than our being inflated with self-esteem."
"Let us reflect that the Word left heaven, and stooped to become man for us."
"In the warfare of the flesh, only cowards gain the victory; that is to say, those who run."
"The cheerful are much easier to guide in the spiritual life than the melancholy."


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