St Philip Neri C.O. Confessor, Apostle of Rome
Saint Philip Neri, Italian San Filippo Neri, (born July 21, 1515, Florence [Italy]—died May 26, 1595, Rome; canonized 1622; feast day May 26), Italian priest and one of the outstanding mystics during the Counter-Reformation and founder of the Congregation of the Oratory (now the Institute of the Oratory of St. Philip Neri, also called Oratorians), a congregation of secular priests and clerics. He went to Rome c. 1533, where he tutored, studied, and undertook many charitable works. In 1548 he founded a society of laymen dedicated to the care of the poor, convalescents, and pilgrims. After ordination in 1551 he moved to the ecclesiastical community at San Girolamo della Carità in Rome. There he held religious conferences that became so popular that a large room was built over the church nave to accommodate his audiences. This room was called the Oratory, a name that subsequently referred to those who met there and to the devotional, charitable, and recreational activities that Philip instituted, including musical performances (hence “oratorio”).
Philip was rector of the church of San Giovanni from 1564 to 1575, during which period he ordained his disciples. In 1575 Pope Gregory XIII granted him Sta. Maria in Vallicella, where he established the Institute of the Oratory. A house was built for the priests, and Philip, elected provost of the congregation in 1577, resided there after 1583.
Although Philip helped influence Pope Clement VIII to absolve (1595) King Henry IV of France from excommunication, he had little to do with contemporary political events. Noted for his personal spirituality, he underwent numerous ecstatic religious experiences, and many miracles were attributed to him.
INTROIT Rom. 5:5
The charity of God is poured forth in our hearts, by His Spirit dwelling within us. Alleluia, alleluia. Ps 102:1 Bless the Lord, O my soul; and, all my being, bless His holy name. V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. R. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. The charity of God is poured forth in our hearts, by His Spirit dwelling within us. Alleluia, alleluia.
O God, Who raised blessed Philip, Your Confessor, to the glory of Your Saints, graciously grant that we who rejoice in his feast may profit by the example of his virtues. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. R. Amen.
LESSON Wis 7:7-14
Lesson from the book of Wisdom. I prayed, and prudence was given me; I pleaded, and the spirit of Wisdom came to me. I preferred her to scepter and throne, and deemed riches nothing in comparison with her. Nor did I liken any priceless gem to her; because all gold, in view of her, is a little sand, and before her, silver is to accounted mire. Beyond health and comeliness I loved her, and I chose to have her rather than the light, because the splendor of her never yields to sleep. Yet all good things together came to me in her company, and countless riches at her hands; and I rejoiced in them all, because Wisdom is their leader, though I had not known that she is the mother of these. Simply I learned about her, and ungrudgingly do I share – her riches I do not hide away; for to men she is an unfailing treasure; those who gain this treasure win the friendship of God; to Whom the gifts they have from discipline commend them.
Alleluia, alleluia. Lam 1:13 V. From above He has sent a fire into my bones, and has instructed me. Alleluia. Ps 38:4 V. Hot grew my heart within me; in my thoughts, a fire blazed forth. Alleluia.
GOSPEL Luke 12:35-40
At that time, Jesus said to His disciples, Let your loins be girt about and your lamps burning, and you yourselves like men waiting for their master’s return from the wedding; so that when he comes and knocks, they may straight-way open to him. Blessed are those servants whom the master, on his return, shall find watching. Amen I say to you, he will gird himself, and will make them recline at table, and will come and serve them. And if he comes in the second watch, and if in the third, and fins them so, blessed are those servants! But of this be assured, that if the householder had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would certainly have watched, and not have let his house be broken into. You also must be ready, because at an hour that you do not expect, the Son of Man is coming.
OFFERTORY Ps 118:32
I will run the way of Your commands when You enlarge my heart. Alleluia.
Look favorably, we beseech You, O Lord, upon the sacrificial gifts here before You; and grant that the Holy Spirit may enkindle within us that fire with which He miraculously filled the heart of blessed Philip. Who livest and reignest with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. R. Amen
PREFACE of Easter
It is truly meet and just, right and for our salvation, at all times to praise Thee, O Lord, but more gloriously especially in this season when Christ our Pasch was sacrificed. For He is the Lamb Who hath taken away the sins of the world: Who by dying hath destroyed our death: and by rising again hath restored us to life. And therefore with Angels and Archangels, with Thrones and Dominations, and with all the hosts of the heavenly army, we sing the hymn of Thy glory, evermore saying: Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Sabaoth!
Nourished by Your heavenly food, O Lord, we beseech You that, through the merits and example of blessed Philip, Your Confessor, we may always have a taste for things that give us true life. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. R. Amen.