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Rome Reports

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Rooms dedicated to St. Philip Neri open to honor his feast day on May 26

St. Philip Neri was born in Florence in 1515, yet transferred to Rome in 1533. His artifacts and relics remain here, at St. Mary in Vallicella parish, the church where he was for many years. 

Now, two main rooms house his belongings, under the care of the Congregation of the Oratory of St. Philip Neri, who reside on the premises. 

One of the congregation's newest priests, Fr. Simone Raponi, explained that the original rooms where the saint resided were destroyed soon after his death.

“Unfortunately in 1621 a firecracker launched from Castel Sant'Angelo during a celebration hit these rooms. They were then destroyed due to a fire. The priests here immediately went to get the objects. They recovered all the stones that made up his room and brought them to the rooms that had been built in the convent toward Monte Giordano."

Thus, after salvaging the remnants of the burned rooms, these new rooms were created, dedicated to the saint and the memory of his life as a confessor and mentor to the young. 

"St. Philip welcomed them to his prayer rooms, beginning at one in the afternoon. He would read the lives of the saints, the sacred scripture and heroic pages of Church history to these young people.”

The rooms contain the chalice he used to celebrate Mass, his rosary, glasses and crucifix. Personal items can be found in these rooms, such as his bed, pillows or shoes. 

Additionally, larger items just as the pulpit where he preached from and the confessional where he spent countless hours of time are also present. 

"Many people come from far away. There are many come from Latin America, who are also fascinated with this figure of St. Philip Neri. He is a versatile saint. He is loved by young people, older people, prelates and priests, but also by people who are not close to the Church.”

Every year, on his feast day on May 26, the rooms open up to the public for the entire day. It is a day of celebration remembering the saint, whose body is preserved at the church where his congregation keeps his legacy alive today.