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A SAINT FOR OUR TIMES - St Philip Neri (Cheeful his catch cry)


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St Philip Neri – a saint for our times!



What appears in this quotation box are only excerpts from St Philip's biography, which was not long at all.  The biography was so short in fact it was difficult to pick out excerpts without posting the entire biography from CATHOLIC EDUCATION RESOURCE CENTRE (CERC).

See whole biography on: https://www.catholiceducation.org/en/religion-and-philosophy/biography/cheerfully-cheerfully.html



"With no method or destination in mind, Philip wandered about talking to shopkeepers and customers, asking students about their studies and visiting hospital patients.  He made people smile by his jokes, pranks, and trademark catchphrase "allegramente, allegramente!" (cheerfully, cheerfully).  It was all to win them to Christ, because "it is much easier for a cheerful disposition to grow in holiness than a melancholy one!" Indeed, Philip's own response to grace made him into a joyful evangelizer who drew others so magnetically to Jesus that friends called him "an electric eel…………..

…………….Fr.  Philip knew, though, that Confession was just one step in a person's path to Christ.  To provide follow-up support, he began what became known as the Oratory: informal meetings in which people would pray, read Scripture, and explore the lives of the saints.  He insisted that the discussions and talks be practical, not theoretical, and from the heart.  In a move that was radical at the time, he encouraged laymen [Laity including laywomen)as well as priests and religious to speak on spiritual topics..........

................Many high-placed prelates were mistrustful of his new ideas and pioneering practices; some accused Philip of being overly ambitious, proud, and ignorant — even heretical.

...................Although pained by this, Philip carried on — obedient to his confessor but without any fear or any attempt to appear more conventional.  Even when he was being investigated by the Inquisition or receiving important visitors, he didn't hesitate to crack jokes, deliberately mispronounce Latin words, or have his followers do rustic folk dances.  Philip didn't fear condemnation or scorn; ...............

...................And here too is a message about divine mercy.  Just as God raised up a range of saints to meet the needs of Philip's day, he is at work today, calling and empowering disciples of varying temperaments and abilities to renew the Church and convert the world.  We don't have to evangelize exactly as Philip Neri did.  But confident that God has the overall picture in mind, we can turn to him, fall in love with him, and give his Spirit free rein to use our natural gifts for supernatural results.



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