Feast of Philip Neri

Fr Paul reads today’s Gospel (John 17: 1-11) and shares a little bit about the life of priest, Philip Neri (1515-1595) who was born in Florence, Italy.

At the age of 18, Philip moved to Rome where he worked as a tutor and did charitable work in the city to help the sick, the poor and pilgrims.  He was ordained a priest in 1551.

Philip was known as an enemy of solemnity and conventionality. He was a prankster who made people laugh. He sometimes made people do ridiculous things for penance.

Through his humour, however, Philip was always making excellent points. He was always reminding himself and others about our humanness – that we need to battle against pride, anxiety, depression and hero worship. Philip brought people back down to earth with his humour, keeping them grounded in how they (and he) lived their lives.

For reflection, Fr Paul invites us to remember Philip Neri and his work as a priest looking after the sick and poor, and ask us to look into our own lives for those who may need cheering up (especially in these times of COVID) and, using Philip as an example, to bring laughter and joy to them in some way.