MEMORIAL: MAY 26
St. Philip Neri was born at the beginning of the 16th century in Florence, Italy. While learning the family business at the age of 18, he experienced a mystical vision that drove him to conversion to Catholicism, and he moved to Rome. During his time in Rome, he focused on a life of prayer and asceticism. He began caring for the poor and telling everyone he could about Jesus in an effort to bring a divine love of God back to Rome.
After refusing to become a priest for many years, he eventually accepted ordination for the purpose of bringing the sacraments to the people he served. St. Philip received a vision from God of a world burning with the love of God that went into his heart. From that time on, St. Philip had a swollen heart which caused him no pain. While knowing many saints of his time, St. Philip spent most of his time with the people of Rome, evangelizing them through his conversation and humor. He started the Congregation of the Priest of the Oratory and built a new church. St. Philip died at the age of 80 and is the patron saint of humor and joy.