Pray for us!
With the whole Church we rejoice at the canonisations today in Rome of St John XXIII and St John Paul II; we ask their prayers for our Oratory and Parish.
St John XXIII had a strong personal devotion to St Philip. On his Feast Day in 1903, calling to mind the Mass of St Philip he had just attended at the Chiesa Nuova, he wrote in his journal, "St Philip is one of the saints most familiar to me and his name is linked with so many dear and personal memories. I feel I have a special love for him and I commend myself to him most trustfully ... O my good Father Philip, you understand me even if I do not put my thoughts into words. Time is drawing on; where is that faithful copy of you I was to have made of myself? ... Blessed Philip, help me to prepare my soul as a dwelling for the Holy Spirit. I lean my frozen heart closer to yours which burns with love and with the Holy Spirit. Make my heart burn too."
On his first St Philip's Day as Pope in 1979, St John Paul II went to the Chiesa Nuova to pray for the people of Rome. On that occasion he said, "I could not fail to visit this holy place, loved by the Romans, to venerate the one who was designated 'The Apostle of Rome', St Philip Neri, the Joint Patron Saint of this noble city. My coming was a duty, it was a need of the soul and it was also an anxious expectation! ... St Philip continues to be our 'Father'. Let us invoke him! Let us listen to him ... convinced that he who loved Rome so much when he was alive, continues to protect and help his sons."
St John XXIII, St John Paul II, and, of course, St Philip, pray for us!