Today is the Feast of St Philip Neri, founder of the Congregation of the Oratory.
The Oxford Oratory celebrated with First Vespers, Brnediction and Blessing with the Relic of St Philip yesterday evening, Sung Lauds this morning and a Solemn Mass this evening.
The preacher was Fr Robert Ombres OP from Oxford Blackfriars who spoke of the influence on St Philip of the Dominicans in Florence who educated him, and, in the background of Savanarola, who St Philip always held in reverence. Savonarola had been executed seventeen years before St Philip was born, but he was a significant influence on him. As Fr Ombres argued whereas Savanarola had his bonfires of the vanities in 1490s Florence St Philip in Rome baptised the products of the Renaissance in the service of Christ and His Church - music, art, architecture, literature. Both were men of fervour, zealous for souls, but who applied it in very different ways and with very different results.
The Vision of St Philip Neri
Giuseppe Passeri 1654-1714
May St Philip continue to pray for the Oratories, for all Oratorians and for all formed in the Oratorian tradition.