26 May: St. Philip Neri – inflame us with that same fire

Altar in the room of St. Philip NeriDid you know that St. Philip Neri is a co-patron of Rome?

Deus, qui fideles tibi servos
sanctitatis gloria sublimare non desistis,
concede propitius,
ut illo nos igne Spiritus Sanctus inflammet,
quo beati Philippi cor mirabiliter penetravit.

Sublimo, according to the thorough Lewis & Short Dictionary, is “to lift up on high, to raise, elevate”.  Penetro is, in the first place, “to put, place, or set any thing into any thing”. You might use this verb to describe a person putting his foot inside a house. It can also mean “to betake one’s self” or “go” in some direction. For example, one way to say “to take flight” as in “run away” is se in fugam penetrat. After that, it is “to pierce into any thing; to enter, penetrate any thing”. In a related sense, penetralia are the interior of a place, or the secret places, even a sanctuary or chapel.

O God, who by the glory of sanctity 
do not cease not to raise on high
servants faithful to You,
propitiously grant,
that the Holy Spirit inflame us with that same fire
with which He wondrously entered into  Saint Philip’s heart.

We could say “pierced” instead of “enter”, but with fire I think that is the wrong image.

And here is the relic of the praecordium of St. Philip Neri in the chapel in the Oratory in Rome where the saint said Mass. The praecordium is not the heart itself, but it is close!

Praecordium S. Philippi Neri

O God, who never cease to bestow the glory of holiness
on the faithful servants you raise up for yourself,
graciously grant
that the Holy Spirit may kindle in us that fire
with which he wonderfully filled
the heart of Saint Philip Neri.

I don’t like that “filled” for penetravit, but you can see how they chose it.

This is my relic of St. Philip.



About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Saints: Stories & Symbols, WDTPRS and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Harold says:

    A question about the verb in the 2012 version collect: “O God, who never cease…” Why is it not “ceases?” I have noticed this in other prayers in the revised Missal as well.

    I have been told that it is in the vocative case and thus cease not ceases. Still, it is a little jarring to the ear. Would it have been better translated as “O God, you never cease..?”


  2. Mississippi R.C. says:

    my personal favorite St. Philip Neri lines is he would look in the mirror and say, Lord, look out for Philip today, he may betray you! what a great way to practice humility!

  3. PhilipNeri says:

    My fav St. Philip Neri story:

    A Roman lady confessed to gossiping. Philip Neri took her to the top of his church and broke open a feather pillow. The two watched thousands of feathers blow and swirl around the Roman streets and rooftops.

    Philip’s penance to the Gossiping Lady: “Gather all the feathers!”

    Fr. Philip Neri, OP

  4. Joseph-Mary says:

    I also have a lovely holy relic of the joy filled St. Philip Neri—it is most likely well over 100 years old I think.

  5. Supertradmum says:

    Harold, God is Three in One, maybe that is the reason.

    As to Philip Neri, he is one of my personal patrons. May he teach us to love God and others more and more. Beautiful photos, Father, and thanks.

  6. jcr says:

    Did music for “et ex praecordiis sonent praeconia” (Sacris solemnis) come into anybody else’s head?

  7. onearmsteve says:

    What would be the best St Philip Neri book recommendations?

  8. Terry1 says:

    Last year I represented our parish and helped carry the canopy that provided shelter for our Lord, Jesus Christ during a Feast of Corpus Christi procession. I have to admit that I was in awe at being so close to the Blessed Sacrament and realized what a great privilege it was to have a small part in this celebration. It was the first time I had felt joy since my mom had passed away a few weeks earlier. I could hardly wait for Mass to begin.

    Mass seemed a little different on that day, sort of like there was electricity in the air. I remember thinking for a moment how my faith had sustained me through a very tough stretch in my life that also included our oldest son surviving cancer and I also thought that everyone in church that day should have felt the increased presence of the Holy Spirit as Father was also offering the sacrament of confirmation to two young people during Mass.

    As Father was anointing the young lady and we were softly praying “Come Holy Spirit”, I felt a strange buzzing sensation swirling in a clockwise direction directly in the center of my breastbone. I was stunned and bewildered at what was happening to me. I could feel this sensation bore deeper into the thickest part of my bone and I could no longer feel where it had been, only that this stimulation was getting deeper. Suddenly this force entering me and pierced through my heart and my life changed.

    Instantly, I felt like all the burdens of life were behind me, like a great weight had been lifted from my body and a feeling of peace and calm enveloped me in a state of euphoria that I had never experienced before or since. There was also some confusion.

    At first I wondered if something truly good had just entered me or if something bad recently left. Deep down in my thoughts I not only felt unworthy of any gift from the Holy Spirit, but I was also embarrassed for myself. “Why me”, I asked? Never before had I thought that any of this should have been about me. It is now.

    I think the forgiveness of my sins was the great weight lifted from me. Knowing that, I am much more conscious of the burden I carried for my sins and now I am enthusiastic to go to confession.

    I never noticed any real change in myself for the first couple of months after the Holy Spirit touched me in a way that the Holy Spirit knew I needed. Then dad died, and finally I realized I had been given the strength to carry on, with confidence. The love I had for everyone has had new love poured on top of the old and it has never stopped. I used to be afraid and uncomfortable in the public’s eye and I led a reclusive lifestyle, now I willingly serve.

  9. John Nolan says:

    St Philip’s Day, London Oratory. Cardinal Burke celebrated, [Ordinary Form.] all the trimmings including cappa magna at the entrance, gloves and buskins etc., [Classic signs of the older form!] everything that drives liberals to apoplexy. Yet they will come to London, a city of ceremonial par excellence, and yet not accept that the ceremonial of the Roman Rite is actually of greater significance than all the royal and civic pageantry put together.

    [Can you say “Gravitational Pull”?]

Comments are closed.