Wednesday, January 22, 2014

St. Philip Neri and His World

According to The New Liturgical Movement blog:

Beginning on January 27, St. Thomas Apostle Parish in Washington D.C. will offer a six-part series of talks on “The World Which Made St. Philip Neri”, exploring the relationship of St. Philip to the religious orders and movements of his time. Bringing together a Dominican, a Carmelite, and a Jesuit to discuss St. Philip’s historical connections with each of their orders, the series will also include presentations by members of the Oratorian Community of St. Philip Neri, a community in formation for the Oratory in the Archdiocese of Washington. Each talk will take place at 7 pm in the Parish Library.

The complete schedule, from the parish website:

Monday, January 27
The Rise of the Preachers: A Dominican Perspective
Bro Innocent Smith OP

Monday, February 3
The Call of Carmel: The Hermit tradition
Fr Kevin Alban OCarm

Monday, February 10
The Dialogue of Carmelites: SS Teresa of Avila & John of the Cross
Fr Kevin Alban OCarm

Monday, February 17
The Unlikely Saint: St Philip Neri
Fr Richard Mullins

Monday, February 24
A New Itinerary: An Ignatian Perspective
Fr Stephen Fields SJ

Monday, March 3
The Call to Conversion: An Oratorian perspective
Msgr Andrew Wadsworth

Blessed John Henry Newman wrote about his patron St. Philip Neri and his times in one sermon in two parts published in his Sermons Preached on Various Occasions, "The Mission of St. Philip Neri", Part 1 and Part 2. He particularly notes the influence of Savonarola on St. Philip Neri:

So was it with the Lord of grace Himself, when He came upon earth; so it is with His chosen servants after Him. He grew up in silence and obscurity, overlooked by the world; and then He triumphed. He was the grain cast into the earth, which, while a man "sleeps and rises, night and day, springs up and grows whilst he knoweth not." He was the mustard seed, "which is the least of all seeds, but, when it is grown up, becometh a tree, and shooteth out great branches, so that the birds of the air dwell under its shadow." He grew up "as a tender plant, and as a root out of a thirsty land"; and "His look was, as it were, hidden and despised, wherefore we esteemed Him not." And, when He began to preach, He did not "contend nor cry out, nor break the bruised reed, nor quench the smoking flax"; and thus "He sent forth judgment unto victory." So was it in the beginning, so has it been ever since. After the storm, the earthquake and the fire, the calm, soothing whisper of the fragrant air. After Savonarola, Philip.

1. Philip was born in Florence within twenty years after him. The memory of the heroic friar was then still fresh in the minds of men, who would be talking familiarly of him to the younger generation,—of the scenes which their own eyes had witnessed, and of the deeds of penance which they had done at his bidding. Especially vivid would the recollections of him be in the convent of St. Mark; for there was his cell, there the garden where he walked up and down in meditation, and refused to notice the great prince of the day; there would be his crucifix, his habit, his discipline, his books, and whatever had once been his. Now, it so happened, St. Philip was a child of this very convent; here he received his first religious instruction, and in after times he used to say, "Whatever there was of good in me, when I was young, I owed it to the Fathers of St. Mark's, in Florence." For Savonarola he retained a singular affection all through his life; he kept his picture in his room, and about the year 1560, when the question came before Popes Paul IV. and Pius IV., of the condemnation of Savonarola's teaching, he interceded fervently and successfully in his behalf before the Blessed Sacrament, exposed on the occasion in the Dominican church at Rome. This was in his middle age.

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