1515. St. Philip Neri was born on Saturday, 21st July at 6 hours of the night that is, at 2 A.M. (he
died at the same hour, 26th May 1595). He was baptized the next day, under the names of Filippo
Brocchi says that in those parts every one then took Romolo as a second name. The Saint s brother, born in 1520, was Antonio Romolo.
The Saint was born in the "Populo di S. Pier Gattolini." Brocchi says the house is now incorporated in the Convent of the Convertite, where there is a well, called Pozzo de S. Filippo. Before the birth of Antony in 1520 his father had left this house.
The Saint' s father, Francesco, married Lucrezia da Mosciano, ist April 1513. She was the Saint's mother, and her mother was Lena (not Lucrezia)
Soldi. Francesco did not marry a second time; it was his stepmother, Benedetta Lenzi, who kept house for him and was so attached to the Saint. Francesco died 9th October 1559. (CAPECELATRO.)
1520. At the age of five Philip shows extraordinary signs of goodness and obedience.
1522 or 23. The accident of the Ass: BACCI says it was at Castelfranco; GALLONIO seems to imply that it was at Florence.
1526. At the age of eleven he goes to the sermons of Fra Balduino, and frequents the Dominicans of S. Marco. (BACCI.)
About this time he studies grammar and afterwards rhetoric under Clemente.
1530 or 31. He has a dangerous fever. The fire in his father s house about the same time. (BACCI.)
The Saint leaves Florence for S. Germane and Rome. Romolo Xeri, to whom he was sent, was first cousin to his father Francesco, and " zio cugino" (oncle a la mode de Bretagne) of the Saint. See BROCCHI S pedigree, and supra, p. xv.
1533. GALLONIO says that the Saint was 18 years of age when sent to S. Germano, and that he stayed only a few days and then went to Rome in the year 1533. How, then, could he so often visit the Crucifix at Gaeta?
BACCI also says that he was about 18 when sent to S. Germano ; that after being there a few days he resolved to quit the world ; that he often visited the Crucifix at Gaeta ; that he remained there about two years, and then went to Rome in the year 1533. Here, too, there is clearly some mistake.
BROCCHI (vol. i. p. 478), without giving his authority, says it is a mistake to say that he was 18, that in fact he was only 15 when sent to S. Germano; that he stayed there about two years, and then went to Rome. At p. 498 he says Philip had not completed his 15th year when he went to S. Germano in 1529, and that he went to Rome in 1533, which would make his stay
at S. Germano at least three years.
The two accounts of BROCCHI are therefore hardly consistent, and difficult to reconcile with the account of the fever at Florence in 1530 or 31.
All agree that he arrived in Rome in 1533.
BERXABEI says he was almost 18 when he went to S. Germano, and that he stayed there two years ; but does not say in what year he went to Rome.
1533 St. Philip came to Rome in 1533, on the 21st of July, in which year he completed his 18th year. He went immediately to live in the house of Galeotto Caccia. Here he remained many years, apparently till he was ordained in 1551, leading the life of a hermit. The two sons of G. Caccia were called, the one Michele and the other Ippolito. Michele became later on Rector of the Church of San Donate in Citille near Florence, and Ippolito a Cistercian Monk under the name of Don Andrea according to MAXNI, Rcujionamenti tnll a Vita <li San F Hippo.
1534 or 35. GALLONIO seems to say he began to study philosophy in 1534. BACCI says after two years, ie. in 1535.
After philosophy he reads theology.
1537. GALLOXIO thinks it was in 1537 that he completed his studies, sold his books, and gave himself solely to prayer. He then began to visit the Seven Churches and the catacombs at night. BACCI reports that he was said by F. Cardone to have lived in the catacombs for ten years (also BROCCHI, vol. i. p. 479), though his domicile was with Caccia he also visits the hospitals at this time.
1538. He begins to frequent public places and to convert sinners.
1539. In this year he was " Sqmtt inato ai Ujfiziali di Palazzo dei Beneficiati " at Florence at his father's wish, but without success. (BROCCHI, p. 504.)
1544. A little before the feast of Pentecost 1544, just before completing his 2gth year, he received the miraculous
gift of the Holy Ghost and the palpitation of his heart.
1548. On the 1 6th August 1548, with Persiano Rosa he begins the Confraternity of the Most Holy Trinity at S. Salvatore in Campo. BACCI says that it was at first only for exercises of piety, and that in the jubilee year of 1550 they began to receive pilgrims and lastly convalescents. GALLONIO says they began with convalescents and took pilgrims in 1550.
1549. Converts Prospero Crivelli.
1550. He is miraculously saved, when he fell into a trench; gives alms to an angel; has a vision of St. John Baptist.
1551. In obedience to his confessor, Persiano Rosa, he receives the tonsure, four minor orders, and the sub-diaconate, in March 1551, at S. Tommaso in Parione, the diaconate on Holy Saturday, 29th March, at S. John Lateran, and the priesthood at S. Tommaso, 23rd May of the same year. He goes to reside at S. Girolamo, where he remains till 22nd November 1583.
The same year he begins to hear confessions.
He begins conferences in his room ; soon adds another room as the number of his hearers increase. (MARCIANO, vol. i, lib. i. p. 2.)
1551 or 52. Persecution by Teccosi and others which lasts two years.
1554. At S. John Lateran, St. Philip desires his companions to pray for a Jew.
Cures Prospero Crivelli and Domenico Saraceni.
1555 Grievous sickness.
1556. Cures Giovanni Battista Modio.
1557. Thinks of going to the Indies.
1558. Assists Gabriello Tana in his last illness.
Oratory constructed over the aisle of the church of S. Girolamo.
Prediction concerning Francesco and Giovan Battista Saraceni.
1559. The Pope s vicar forbids the visits to the Seven churches; stops the exercises at the Oratory for a fortnight ; and deprives St. Philip of his faculties.
Ecstasy at the Minerva.
The Saint's father dies at Florence, nth October. (BACCI.)
St, Philip weeps at the clothing of Francesco Basso.
1560. St. Philip assists F. Enrico Pietra in establishing the Congregation of the Fathers of Christian doctrine at S. Agata in Trastevere ; at the house of these fathers there is a room in which the Saint sometimes slept. (Breve notizia di Compayni del P. Cacciciyuerra, 8vo, Roma, 1712, pp. 22, 23.)
1561. Sebastian, the musician, dies in St. Philip s arms.
1562. Dangerous sickness.
Death of Giovanni Battista Salviati.
1564. The Saint accepts the government of S. Giovanni de Fiorentini. The Congregation of the Oratory begun there; the fathers go three times a day to S. Girolamo for the sermons and exercises.
1565. Pope Pius IV. dies in the arms of SS. Philip and Charles. (MARCIANO, vol. i. lib. ii. p. 167.)
1566. January. Predicts the election of St. Pius V.
1567. Another persecution.
1570. The sermons at the Oratory delated to St. Pius V.
1571. St. Philip s friendship begins with F. Agostino Adorno, founder of the Clerks Minor; when the Saint left S. Girolamo in 1583, F. Adorno occupied his rooms there. (MARANGONI, Vita Cacciaguerra, 8vo, Roma, 1712, p. 67.)
1571. Vision of the death of Animuccia.
1572. Restores Baronius to health.
Predicts the election of Gregory XIII. (BACCI.)
1574. The Florentines construct an Oratory at S. Giovanni, and the exercises are removed thither.
1575. The Saint obtains the church of Santa Maria in Vallicella. The Congregation erected there by Gregory XIII. (date of bull, July 15th).
First stone of new church laid by Cardinal Alessandro de Medici, i7th September.
1576. St. Philip sees the Madonna support roof of the church.
Four Fathers sent to Milan.
1577. Serious illness of the Saint.
yd February. The new church opened ; first Mass said by the Archbishop of Florence.
In April the sermons transferred to the Yallicella, and S. Giovanni quitted by the fathers.
Sth May. St. Philip elected Provost. (MARCIANO, vol. i. lib. i. p. 51.)
The priest Visconti joins the oratory and gives his house, the stable of which is turned into an Oratory. (MARCIANO, p. 51.)
1578. Many join the Congregation. GALLONIO says, " Coeterum intra paucos annos adeb crevit sociorum numerus, ut homines ad centum triginta, quamqudm non omnes confluentes admittebantur, Congregationi sese dediderint; at singulorum nomina ad unum recensere milii in animo non est."
Church of the Vallicella exempted from the jurisdiction of S. Lorenzo in Damaso.
1578-1583. During these years, when St. Philip was ill, he sent his penitents and gave up his confessional to P. Vittorio dell Ancisa. (Breve notizia, $c. $c., p. 55.)
1579. St. Charles during his visit to Rome at this time institutes three sermons on Saturdays at the Confraternity
of the Lombards, one of which was to be preached by a Father of the Oratory. St. Philip preached one day
in the presence of St. Charles. (MARCIANO, vol. i- P- 9-)
1580. St. Philip writes to the Bishop of Fermo about the proposed foundation of an Oratory in that city. 1 (Breve notizia, $c. <Jr., p. 87.)
1581 and 82. Convent of S. Elizabeth with some other houses purchased by Cardinal Cesi to enlarge the house of the Congregation.
1583, i6th March. The Miracle of Paolo de Massimi.
22nd November. St. Philip removes from S. Girolamo to the Vallicella.
1584. Converts Paleologo. (BACCI.)
1586. Dangerous illness in January.
Oratory at Fermo founded ; F. Rieci sent by S. Philip to Fermo several times ; also sends a copy of the Rules at first observed by the Fathers of Rome. (Respecting the foundation at Fermo, see "A Saint of the Oratory," by LADY AMABEL KERR.)
1587. iqth June. The Saint declared Praepositus perpetuus of the Congregation.
1590. St. Philip appears to St. Catherine of Ricci.
nth February. The relics of SS. Papias and Maurus translated.
Accession of Urban VII.
Predicts the election of Gregory XIV. (BACCI.)
1590 or 91. The Saint obtains from Gregory XIV. the chapel in his own room, and is dispensed from the Divine Office.
1591. Assists F. Niccolo Gigli at the hour of death.
1592. Dangerous illness.
Clement VIII. baptizes the four Jewish converts.
1593. 2nd July. He renounces his office of Perpetual Superior.
Baronius elected Superior.
1594. Barsum, Archdeacon of Alexandria, comes to Rome.
In May, illness and visit of our Blessed Lady.
1595. About Easter cures the gout of Clement VIII. Easter Day was 26th March.
30th March. The Saint taken ill ; ill during the whole of April.
ith April. Speaks of his approaching death in a letter to P. Vittorio dell Ancisa this letter is kept at the Stdbilite as a relic. (Breve notizia, $c. $c., p. 61.)
1st May. On Feast of SS. Philip and James he says Mass then three days without Mass then Mass daily.
12th May. New attack receives Viaticum from Cardinal Frederick Borromeo, and recovers.
23rd, 24th, and 25th May. He says Mass.
25th May. Feast of Corpus Domini.
26th May. At 2 A.M. (6th hour of the night) goes to Heaven.
27th May. Buried beneath the Choir, near the High Altar soon after the coffin was placed in little Chapel above first arch on the Epistle side of Church.
2nd August. First process begun. (BACCI.)
1596. Cardinal Cusano sends an offering to the tomb.
Baronius and Tarugi created Cardinals. (CAPECELATRO.)
1598. 29th March. The Pope gives leave for Mass to be said in his room. (BACOi.)
1599. Church consecrated by Cardinal of Florence (afterwards Leo XL). (BACCI.)
Offering of Mgr. Visconti, Bishop of Cervia, to the tomb.
The Saint s body found incorrupt. (BACCI.)
1600.-6& July. Xero del Nero begins the chapel in honour of the Saint. (BACCI.)
1602. 24th and 25^ May. The Sacred Body translated to new chapel ; first Mass said by Cardinal Tarugi. (BACCI.)
1615. May 2$th. Blessed Philip is beatified by Paul V. (BACCI.)
1622. March 12th. Blessed Philip is canonized by Gregory XV. (BACCI.)
1639. The coffin is opened and the body is again found incorrupt. ( BACCI.)
1669. Office of St. Philip made a double of precept for the whole Church by Clement IX.
Alexander VIII. granted the proper Mass of the Saint to the whole church. ( BACCI.)
1726. Benedict XIII. commanded the feast to be observed, as of precept, in Rome, and introduced the custom of holding a Papal Chapel in the Chiesa Nuova on the feast of the Saint. (BACCI.)
1855. Pius IX - grants a Special Mass for la Festa del Mimcolo on March i6th at the Palazzo Massimo. (CAPECELATRO.)
NOTES ON THE CHRONOLOGY OF ST. PHILIP'S LIFE
BROCCHI, Vita del SS. Fiorentini, vol. i. p. 490, gives the pedigree of St. Philip, from
Neri of Castelfranco, A.D. 1330. He says the surname Neri is an abbreviation of
The Arms, which he says are accurately taken from the tomb of the said Neri, have the stars with eight points, not mullets of rive points, as they are usually drawn.
1 These notes are taken almost entirely (except where otherwise stated) from the Life of the Saint written by GALLONIO in the form of Annals and published in Rome in 1600 under the following title : Vita Beati P. Philippi Nerii Florentini Congrcgationis Oratorii Fundatoris in Annos Digcsta. Auctore Antonio Gallonio Romano cjusdem Congregationis Prcsbytcro. Cum Privilcgio Summi Pont. Romae apud Alo/jsium Zannettum anno Jubilei, MDC.
On the reverse of title-page to the first edition occurs the following " Approbatio," which may be of interest to the Reader :
" Nos Angelas Vellius Praenestinus Congregationis Oratorii Praepositus Generalis, et Deputati, Vitae Beati Philippi Nerii Florentini ejusdem Congregationis Fundatoris, libros tres b, P. Antonio Gallonio editos, per duos nostrae Congregationis Sacerdotes recognosci mandavimus : quos cum illi approbaverint, eosdeq ; Amplissimi S.K.E. Cardinales infrascripti approbent, probamus etia, ut imprimi possint, modo placuerit Reverendissimis Dominis Vicesgerenti, et P. Magistro Sacri Palatii. Datum Romae die SS. Christi martyrum Papiae et Mauri quarto Kal. Februarias an. 1600.
" Omnia, quae de Beato Philippe Nerio conscripta sunt, partim propriis me oculis vidisse, partim certo gravissimorum virorum sermone cognovisse attestor ego
Octavius Tituli S. Alexii Presbyter Card. Paravicinus.
Federicus S. Mariae Angelorum Presb. Card. Borromaeus.
Franciscus Maria Card.Tituli S. Bartholomaei Archiepiscopus Senen.
Caesar Card. Baron ius Tituli SS. Nerei et Achillei.
Alphonsus S. Sixti Presbyter Card. Vicecomes.
Angelus Vellius Praepositus.
Petrus Peracchionus j
Germanicus Fidelis I D .
Thomas Bozzms |
Juvenalis Ancina ;
P. Episcopus Ravellen, Vicesgerens :
F. Gregorius" Servantius Reverendissimi P. Magistri Sacri Palatii socius.
Bacci's Life of St. Philip, Contents Page