Monday, May 26, 2003

a few one-sentence stories of St. Philip Neri

A member of Philip's household (who later became a cardinal) was much too serious, to the point of gloominess ---- Philip sent him to a wedding breakfast to sing the Miserere.

One young man sought permission to use a hairshirt, and Philip consented ---- as long as the gentleman wore it over his other clothes. The gentleman did so, and learned humility in the razzing he got from his chums.

The more people talked about Philip's alleged holiness, the zanier he behaved ---- he would rather be reputed for his insanity than for his sanctity.

Philip was so attuned to the interior reality of the Eucharist that before he celebrated, instead of recollecting himself, he had to deliberately distract himself with the reading of joke books or the pulling of a prank in order to fulfill the external rite. [He was also known to occasionally levitate and often spend time in ecstasy while celebrating Eucharist, so celebrated privately to avoid making a scene.]

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