St Filippo Neri in Ecstasy, 1614 by Guido Reni
St. Philip Neri (feast day: May 26), as a devout layman, established an apostolate that focused on personal sanctification and ensuring the good of one’s neighbour. As the apostolate began to grow and as his vision of Christians living out their faith through virtue began to be realized, St. Philip Neri himself felt the call to deeper service as a priest. With the encouragement of his own confessor, he was ordained a priest and was soon serving the people of God as an ardent confessor with a great devotion for Eucharistic adoration. Through the work of his apostolate, St. Philip Neri was prophetic in his vision of the role of a sanctified laity within the Church and how the priest is called to lead that laity to continual conversion and deeper love for Christ. For these reasons, St. Philip Neri models for us Christ as Prophet.
As we contemplate the lives of these saints and where God may be calling us in our own life, may our prayer always be one of thanks to God for the gift of the saints and for the many gifts in our lives, as well as a prayer for our priests that God continue to give them the courage and grace necessary to live up to the office entrusted to them by Christ and the Church. St. Philip Neri, Pray for us!