Saint Philip Neri (Dictionary of World Biography: Renaissance)
Article abstract: As a priest living in Rome during the Counter-Reformation, Saint Philip Neri stood apart from the religious politics of his time and influenced countless Catholics to reform their lives and return to traditional spirituality. Called the “Apostle of Rome,” he founded the Congregation of the Oratory, which inspired both laymen and clergy to lead lives of holiness and charitable works.
Saint Philip Neri was born in a poor section of Florence, ruled at that time by the Medicis. His father, Francesco Neri, was unsuccessful in his career as a notary and thus turned to alchemy, losing the family’s financial security through his improvidence. When Philip was five years old, his mother, Lucrezia da Mosciano, died shortly after giving birth to her fourth child. The household, by all reports a happy one, was thereafter managed by a woman who was either the mother-in-law of Francesco, or his second wife.
Young Philip, unlike many other saints, showed no evidence of a precocious interest in religion. Yet even as a child he was noted for his charm and sweetness of disposition, personal qualities which would characterize his relationships with others throughout his life. His nickname was “Pippo Buono” (good little Philip). His formal schooling with the Dominican fathers probably ended when he was about sixteen, and thereafter he was self-educated. In 1532, he went to San Germano to...
(The entire section is 2049 words.)
Want to Read More?
Subscribe now to read the rest of this article. Plus get complete access to 30,000+ study guides!