This holy priest who died in 1591, exercised the apostolic ministry at Rome for about fifty years, and in the midst of a frivolous and corrupt society became the advisor of Popes, of Cardinals, and some of the most distinguished persons of his time.
Until recent years his feast was kept in Rome as a holy day of obligation and the Pope himself used to go in state to celebrate Mass at his tomb in St. Mary’ in Vallicella. He instituted the Congregation of the Priests of the Oratory; he desired to reawaken the religious spirit in Christian society through the frequenting of the holy sacraments and through catechetical instruction.
Stern and severe towards himself he was full of gentleness towards others and even humorous when on occasion required it. St. Philip was able to raise the dead to life, to hear their confession, to converse with them, and then, at their request to open to them once more the gates of eternity by the sign of the cross. He refused all ecclesiastical honors, even the cardinalate. He was so filled with love at the Holy Mass, that he used to spend three hours in offering the Holy Sacrifice.
(Source: The New Roman Missal by Father Lasance).
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