“Cheerfulness strengthens the heart and makes us persevere in a good life. Therefore, the servant of God ought always to be in good spirits” ~ St. Philip Neri
Who is St. Philip Neri?
St. Philip Neri is the patron saint of Joyful Hearts. He dedicated his life bringing God’s joy to the poorest citizens of Rome in the 1500’s. The first two fruits of the Holy Spirit are LOVE and JOY. A joyful life is a sign of God’s presence, and so we come together to celebrate that Joy!
Born in 1515 in Florence, Fillipo de Neri showed the impulsiveness and spontaneity of his character from the time he was a boy.
In 1548 Philip formed a confraternity with other laymen to minister to pilgrims who came to Rome without food or shelter. Philip was ordained a priest in 1551.
Philip was known to be spontaneous and unpredictable, charming and humorous. As with others, his own humbling held humor. There are stories of him wearing ridiculous clothes or walking around with half his beard shaved off. The greater his reputation for holiness, the sillier he wanted to seem. When some people came from Poland to see the great saint, they found him listening to another priest read to him from joke books.
Philip died in 1595 after a long illness at the age of eighty years.
A fun meditation in honor of St. Philip Neri
We often worry too much about what others think; our fear of people laughing at us often stops us from trying new things or serving God. Do something today that you are afraid might make you look a little ridiculous. Then reflect on how it makes you feel. Pray about your experience with God.
St. Philip Neri Feast Day Celebration
God gives us many reasons to laugh! “Sarah said, ‘God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me'” Genesis 21:6. St. Philp Neri Feast Day is celebrated in our church on the Sunday nearest May 26. Since St. Philip Neri was a humorist and practical joker, we enjoy sharing jokes and laughs on his special Feast Day. Come join the fun, or the joke’s on you!