Philip Neri, priest - May 26th
St Philip Neri (d. 1595, Rome, Italy) (Relics: Rome, Italy)
First Class Relics
(The New Church)
Via del Governo Vecchio 134
*This church is located along the Corso Vittorio Emanuele.
*The body of St Philip Neri is enshrined in the left transept of this church. His private rooms can be visited on certain days of the week. They are located in the right wall of the left transept. St Philip Neri spent the last 12 years of his life at Chiesa Nuova.
*In 1597 this church received the skulls of Saints Nereus and Achilleus. They rest within reliquaries in the sacristy and are sometimes brought out for public veneration on May 12th.
*The additional remains of Saints Nereus and Achilleus are said to rest within a porphyry urn under the main altar of this church. In 1870 they were stolen from the church of Santi Nereo e Achilleo; however, they were later recovered and are now said to rest here.
Churches of Honor in Rome
San Sebastiano Fuori Le Mura
(Saint Sebastian Outside the Walls)
Via Appia Antica 136
*This church is southeast of the Aurelian Walls.
*Tradition claims that within the catacombs located under this church St Philip Neri experienced such an enlargement of his heart due to a supernatural infusion of God’s love that two of his ribs cracked.
*These same catacombs also at one time housed the remains of St Sebastian (d. 288). At some point, however, these remains were removed. Some of these remains are now located within an urn in a chapel on the left side of the nave. This is the chapel with the very impressive statue of St Sebastian created by Giuseppe Giorgetti.
*Directly across from this chapel on the right side of the nave is a reliquary chapel that contains the column to which St Sebastian was tied and an arrow that pierced his flesh. Also within this same reliquary chapel are some small relics said to be from St Peter, St Paul, St Andrew, and a number of other saints including the pope, St Fabian (d. 250). St Fabian was originally buried in the Catacombs of San Callisto but later his remains were moved to this church.
*This church also has an ancient tradition connecting it to St Peter and to St Paul. The Depositio Martyrum shows that in the year 258 pilgrims came to San Sebastiano Fuori Le Mura on June 29th, the Feast Day of Saints Peter and Paul, to honor these two great saints. Therefore, it is presumed that at one time this church housed the remains of both St Peter and St Paul.
San Giovanni Battista dei Fiorentini
(Saint John the Baptist of the Florentines)
Via Acciaioli 2
*This church is just east of the Vatican. It is next to the Tiber River and the Corso Vittorio Emanuele.
*St Philip Neri became rector of this church in 1564. He also founded the Congregation of the Oratory at this church.
*A relic of St Mary Magdalene’s foot rests in a shrine to the left of the main sanctuary.
San Girolamo della Carità
(Saint Jerome of Charity)
Via di Monserrato 62/a
*This church is near Piazza Farnese.
*St Philip Neri lived here from 1551 to 1583.
*In the left transept is a spectacular chapel honoring St Philip Neri. A marble statue of the saint is surrounded by a gilded frame. The ceiling opens up revealing a small domed space filled with further statues of angels.
*This church was built on the site of the house of St Paula. Tradition claims that St Jerome (d. 420) lived in this house when he was secretary to Pope St Damasus I (d. 384).
Sant'Agostino (Saint Augustine)
*This church is near Piazza Navona.
*Prior to his ordination, St Philip Neri prayed in front of the crucifix located within the fifth chapel on the right side of the nave. Through these prayers he was inspired to sell all that he had and to give his life completely to the Lord.
*Relics of St Monica (d. 387) rest in the chapel to the left of the main altar.