Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Prayer to St. Philip Neri

On May 26 Holy Mother Church celebrates the feast of St. Philip Neri, often referred to as the Saint of the Joyous Heart. As we near the end of the Paschal season of the Church, may we reflect on the words of Fr. Prosper Gueranger: “...Joy is the leading feature of the Paschal Season, a supernatural joy, which springs from our delight at seeing the glorious triumph of our Emmanuel, and from the happiness we feel at our own being delivered from the bonds of death. This interior Joy was the characteristic of [...Saint Philip Neri]. His heart was ever full of a jubilant enthusiasm for what regards God; so that, we could truly apply to him those words of Scripture: A secure mind is like a continual feast (Prov. xv. 15).” 
Remembering that, although the Paschal season of the Church soon draws to a close, the joy of the Risen Christ and our Eternal Reward should remain always in our hearts, may we strive to imitate St. Philip Neri in his joyful love for God and all he met.

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Prayer to St. Philip Neri
O my dear and holy Patron, Philip, I put myself into thy hands, and for the love of Jesus, for that love's sake which chose thee and made thee a saint, I implore thee to pray for me, that, as He has brought thee to heaven so in due time He may take me to heaven

And I ask of thee especially to gain for me a true devotion such as thou hadst to the Holy Ghost, the Third Person in the Ever-blessed Trinity; that, as He at Pentecost so miraculously filled thy heart with His grace, I too may in my measure have the gifts necessary for my salvation.

Therefore I ask thee to gain for me those His seven great gifts, to dispose and excite my heart towards faith and virtue.
Beg for me the gift of Wisdom, that I may prefer heaven to earth and know truth from falsehood :
The gift of Understanding, by which I may have imprinted upon my mind the mysteries of His Word:
The gift of Counsel, that I may see my way in all perplexities:
The gift of Fortitude, that with bravery and stubbornness I may battle with my foe:
The gift of Knowledge, to enable me to direct all my doings with a pure intention to the glory of God:
The gift of Religion, to make me devout and conscientious:
And the gift of Holy Fear, to make me feel awe, reverence and sobriety amid all my spiritual blessings.

Sweetest Father, Flower of Purity, Martyr of Charity, pray for me.
--Bl. John Henry Newman

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In the far North our lot is cast,
Where faithful hearts are few;
Still are we Philip’s children dear,
And Peter’s soldiers true.

Founder and Sire! to mighty Rome,
Beneath St. Peter's shade,
Thy early vow of loyal love
And ministry was paid.

The solemn porch and portal high
Of Peter was thy home;
The world’s Apostle he, and thou
Apostle of his Rome.

And first in the old Catacombs,
In galleries long and deep,
Where martyr Popes had ruled the flock,
And slept their glorious sleep,

There didst thou pass the nights in prayer,
Until at length there came,
Down on thy breast, new lit for thee,
The Pentecostal flame;-

Then, in that heart-consuming love,
Didst walk the city wide,
And lure the noble and the young
From Babel’s pomp and pride;

And gathering them within thy cell,
Unveil the lustre bright
And beauty of thy inner soul,
And gain them by the sight.

And thus to Rome, for Peter's faith
Far known, thou didst impart
The lessons of the hidden life,
And discipline of heart.

And as the Apostle, on the hill
Facing the Imperial Town,
First gazed upon his fair domain,
Then on the cross lay down,

So thou, from out the streets of Rome
Didst turn thy failing eye
Unto that mount of martyrdom,*
Take leave of it, and die.

--Blessed John Henry Newman

God bless!

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