Archive for the ‘St. Philip Neri’ Tag

Feast of St. Camillus de Lellis (July 14)   Leave a comment

Above:  St. Camillus de Lellis

Image in the Public Domain

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

SAINT CAMILLUS DE LELLIS (MAY 25, 1550-JULY 14, 1614)

Italian Roman Catholic Priest and Founder of the Ministers of the Sick

Alternative feast day = July 18

The life of St. Camillus de Lellis was an example of repentance–turning one’s back to one’s sins.  St. Camillus had been a mercenary, a gambler, and a con man.  He, born into nobility at Bocchiavico, Abruzzi, Kingdom of Naples, on May 25, 1550, was the only child of Giovanni and Camilla de Lellis.  Giovanni, a mercenary, was usually away from home.  Young Camillus was out of control.  He was impious, he skipped school, he got into fights frequently, and he intimidated his mother so much that she was terrified of him.  Camilla died when her son was 13 years old.  Relatives who raised St. Camillus for the next four years could not control him either.  For a few years father and son were a team of mercenaries.  St. Camillus drank too much, had a foul mouth, and was promiscuous.  He and his father, gamblers, conned their fellow mercenaries.

Giovanni’s deathbed conversion made a fleeting impression on St. Camillus, who had an uncle, a Franciscan friar at Aquila.  When St. Camillus petitioned to become a friar at Aquila, the friars rejected him, citing his immaturity.  They were perceptive; immediately he resumed gambling.  After St. Camillus suffered an injury that resulted in an ulcerated ankle and leg that did not heal for a while, he could not work as a mercenary, so he became a professional gambler.  The brothers who operated the Hospital of San Giacomo, Rome, permitted St. Camillus to work in the wards and receive room and board in exchange for medical care; it was a common arrangement.  Alas, he was still gambling, so the brothers expelled him from the hospital.  St. Camillus resumed work as a mercenary and a professional gambler until he lost everything.  He, 24 years old, was begging for alms at the church door in Manfredonia.

That was a turning point.  At the church door St. Camillus accepted an offer to work as an assistant to construction workers building the new local monastery.  There, in 1575, a monk converted St. Camillus.  After the completion of that construction project our saint returned to the Hospital of San Giacomo, Rome, where the brothers gave him a second chance.

At the hospital, where St. Camillus helped poor people, he arrived at another turning point.  He met St. Philip Neri (1515-1595), the “Apostle of Rome.”  Neri, who frequently heard as many as 40 confessions before dawn, became the spiritual director of St. Camillus.  Meanwhile, St. Camillus was formulating ideas about how to operate a hospital for poor people better.  With Neri’s help St. Camillus became a priest in 1584.  The relationship between the two saints ended because St. Camillus refused to follow Neri’s advice.  St. Camillus had moved into a rented home in a seedy neighborhood of Rome and opened a hospital there.  Neri, concerned that St. Camillus would relapse into sinful habits, thought this was a bad idea.  He urged St. Camillus to return to San Giacomo.  When St. Camillus rejected the counsel, Neri severed ties to him.  St. Camillus did not relapse, contrary to Neri’s concerns.

St. Camillus founded a new order, the Ministers of the Sick, made official in 1591.  Our saint and other members of the order, not content to give patients a comfortable and clean place to die, tried to cure them.  St. Camillus recognized Christ in those to whom he tended.  One day, while our saint was helping a patient, a Cardinal visited.  St. Camillus, informed of the Cardinal’s arrival, said,

For the moment I am with Our Lord; I will see His Eminence when I have done.

St. Camillus spent more than half his life serving Christ in poor, sick people.  Nevertheless, as he lay dying, St. Camillus was concerned about his abandoned sins.  He told a confessor,

Pray for me, for I have been a great sinner, a gambler, and a man of bad life.

St. Camillus, assured of divine pardon, died with his arms stretched out, his body in the form of a cross.  He died, aged 74 years, in Genoa, on July 14, 1614.

Pope Benedict XIV beatified St. Camillus in 1742 then canonized him four years later.

St. Camillus is the patron saint of nurses, sick people, and Abruzzi, Italy.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MAY 13, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE SEVENTH SUNDAY OF EASTER, YEAR B

THE FEAST OF HENRI DOMINIQUE LACORDAIRE, FRENCH ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST, DOMINICAN, AND ADVOCATE FOR THE SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE

THE FEAST OF FRANCES PERKINS, UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF LABOR

THE FEAST OF SAINT GAMMA OF GORIAO SICOLI, ITALIAN ROMAN CATHOLIC ANCHORESS

THE FEAST OF SYLVESTER II, BISHOP OF ROME

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

O God, your Son came among us to serve and not to be served, and to give his life for the life of the world.

Lead us by his love to serve all those to whom the world offers no comfort and little help.

Through us give hope to the hopeless,

love to the unloved,

and rest to the weary,

through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns

with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Hosea 2:18-23

Psalm 94:1-15

Romans 12:9-21

Luke 6:20-36

Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), 60

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Feast of St. Philip Neri (May 26)   2 comments

Above:  St. Philip Neri

Image in the Public Domain

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

SAINT PHILIP ROMOLO NERI (JULY 22, 1515-MAY 27, 1595)

The Apostle of Rome and the Founder of the Congregation of the Oratory

+++++++++++++++++

No bond but the bond of love.

–St. Philip Neri

+++++++++++++++++

St. Philip Neri was a humble man given to self-deprecating humor and practical jokes.  He came from Italian nobility who had fallen on hard times; Francesco Neri, the father, was a notary at Florence who barely earned a living.  St. Philip was a pious young man who learned the humanities under the tutelage of Dominicans at Florence.  At the age of 16 years our saint went to San Germano, near Monte Cassino, to assist his father’s cousin, a businessman.  St. Philip, who frequently prayed in a Benedictine chapel, was on track to become the cousin’s heir when he left his family behind and went, penniless, to Rome, to pursue a religious calling.

For 17 years St. Philip lived as a layman in the Eternal City.  During much of that time he worked as the tutor to the sons of Galeotto Caccia, late of Florence.  In charge for those services our saint lived in a room and received an allowance of flour.  He also wrote poetry.  Furthermore, St. Philip studied philosophy at the Sapienza and theology with the Augustinians.  Eventually he sold his books and gave the money to the poor.  In 1544 or so St. Philip befriended St. Ignatius Loyola (1491/1495-1556), the founder of the Society of Jesus.  In the middle and late 1540s our saint lived as a hermit and an ascetic.  He reported occasional visions, which affected him profoundly.  One vision, from 1544, was of a globe of fire entering his heart.  This meant to our saint that God had enlarged his heart.  One piece of evidence of that compassion was the founding of the Confraternity of the Most Holy Trinity, to care for convalescents and pilgrims, by St. Philip and his confessor, Persiano Rosa, in 1548.

Then, in 1551, at the urging of Rosa, St. Philip became a priest.  He took an interest in the lives of others, for their benefit.  In the mornings our saint heard confessions at the Church of San Girolamo.  On some mornings he heard 40 confessions before dawn.  In the afternoons St. Philip met informally with men and boys, engaging in leisure with them.  Our saint became the center of a religious community.  At meetings of this community, which consisted mostly of laymen, lay people spoke at length.  This fact led to false allegations of heresy–Protestantism, to be precise–against St. Philip.  Ecclesiastical authorities cleared him of charges.  In 1575 Pope Gregory XIII recognized this community as the Congregation of the Oratory.  Priests of the Congregation devoted themselves to preaching and teaching.

Along the way, while in Rome, other spiritual developments occurred in the life of St. Philip.  In the 1550s he pondered leaving the Eternal City for India.  With help he concluded that God was not calling him to serve as a missionary in the subcontinent.  Also, in 1562-1564 our saint struggled with an invitation to become the Rector of the Church of San Giovanni, Rome, the parish of Florentines there.  A papal compromise in 1564 led to St. Philip finally accepting that invitation while remaining at the Church of San Girolamo and sending five priests to represent him.

Meanwhile, the Church of San Maria, Vallicella, had been part of the holdings of the Congregation of the Oratory since 1575.  St. Philip, obeying a papal command, left the Church of San Girolamo, Rome, for Vallicella in 1583.  Pope Gregory XIV offered St. Philip the status of Cardinal in 1590; our saint politely declined.  St. Philip, aged 79 years, died of natural causes in Vallicella in 1595.

Pope Paul V beatified St. Philip in 1615.  Pope Gregory XV canonized him seven years later.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

DECEMBER 7, 2017 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF PHILIP AND DANIEL BERRIGAN, ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIESTS AND SOCIAL ACTIVISTS

THE FEAST OF ANNE ROSS COUSIN, SCOTTISH PRESBYTERIAN HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF GERALD THOMAS NOEL, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND HYMN WRITER; BROTHER OF BAPTIST WRIOTHESLEY NOEL, ANGLICAN PRIEST, ENGLISH BAPTIST EVANGELIST, AND HYMN WRITER; AND HIS NIECE, CAROLINE MARIA NOEL, ANGLICAN HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF MARIA JOSEPHA ROSSELLO, COFOUNDER OF THE DAUGHTERS OF OUR LADY OF PITY

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Almighty God, we praise you for your servant Saint Philip Neri,

through whom you have called the church to its tasks and renewed its life.

Raise up in our own day teachers and prophets inspired by your Spirit,

whose voices will give strength to your church and proclaim the reality of your reign,

through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns

with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Jeremiah 1:4-10

Psalm 46

1 Corinthians 3:11-23

Mark 10:35-45

–Adapted from Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), page 60

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Feast of Sts. John Leonardi and Joseph Calasanctius (October 9)   2 comments

Above:  The Vatican Flag

SAINT JOHN LEONARDI (CIRCA 1550-1609)

Founder of the Clerks Regular of the Mother of God of Lucca

His feast = October 9

++++++++

SAINT JOSEPH CALASANCTIUS (1556-1648)

also known as Saint Joseph Calasanz

Founder of the Clerks Regular of Religious Schools

His feast transferred from August 25

I, when pondering demonstrated sanctity, find certain aspects appealing.  One of these is educating those who, due to financial constraints, would otherwise lack access to learning.  Another is tending to the needs of plague victims.  Both of these apply in this post.

St. John Leonardi (circa 1550-1609) entered the world at Diecimo, Italy.  He, originally a pharmacist’s assistant, became a priest in 1572.  The saint worked in hospitals and prisons, but did not labor alone; he recruited others to join him.  Leonardi, inspired by the Council of Trent, proposed a new order, the Clerks Regular of the Mother of God of Lucca, which the Roman Catholic Church recognized in 1583.  St. Philip Neri and St. Joseph Calasanctius assisted him regarding the new order.  Pope Clement VIII confirmed the order in 1595.

Leonardi, cofounder of the College for the Propagation of the Faith, died at Rome on October 9, 1609.  He had contracted a deadly case of influenza during an epidemic while ministering to victims.  His active compassion led to his death.  Pope Pius XI canonized the saint, patron of pharmacists, in 1938.

St. Joseph Calasanctius (1556-1648), a collaborator of St. John Leonardi, entered the world near Peralta de la Sal, Aragon, Spain, on September 11, 1556.  His father wanted him to become a soldier, but Calasanctius earned his law degree and became a priest instead.  The Bishop of Urgel appointed him to revive and reform religious practices in that part of the Pyrenees Mountains.  The saint, successful, next became vicar general of the district of Tremp.  He resigned in 1592 and traveled to Rome, becoming part of the household of Ascanio Cardinal Colonna.

At Rome the saint’s true calling became his lived reality.  There, in 1595, he ministered among plague victims.  There he became involved in the cause of educating poor children, opening the first free school in in modern Europe (in 1597).  At Rome Calasanctius supervised a community, the Clerks Regular of Religious Schools, devoted to this work.  The Roman Catholic Church recognized the order in 1621. The saint, the order’s first superior general, had to leave that post due to internal dissension.  Later, however, he returned to the job.

In 1646 Pope Innocent X transformed the order into a community of secular priests subject to diocesan bishops.  Nevertheless, the Church restored the religious order in 1669.

I was happy to read that Calasanctius defended his good friend, Galileo Galilei.  The saint even used his order’s resources to aid the alleged heretic, officially one until 1992.  Such assistance proved controversial, and the saint paid the price for doing the right thing.

Calasanctius died at Rome on August 25, 1648.  The Church canonized him in 1767.

A misinformed understanding of suffering holds that the righteous prosper and the wicked suffer.  This is a perspective which the Book of Job refutes.  This is a point of view which the examples of Jesus, the persecuted saints, and some Hebrew prophets refute.   This is a perspective which the examples of these two saints refute.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

SEPTEMBER 24, 2012 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF ANNA E. B. ALEXANDER, EPISCOPAL DEACONESS

THE FEAST OF CHRISTIAN X OF DENMARK AND HAAKON VII OF NORWAY, BROTHERS AND KINGS

THE FEAST OF PAULINE SPERRY, POLITICAL ACTIVIST

THE FEAST OF ROBERT MCAFEE BROWN, ECUMENIST

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

O God, your Son came among us to serve and not to be served.

Lead us by his love to serve all those whom the world offers no comfort and little hope.

Through us give hope to the hopeless,

love to the unloved,

peace to the troubled,

and rest to the  weary,

through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Hosea 2:18-23

Psalm 94:1-15

Romans 12:9-21

Luke 6:20-36

Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), page 60