The Jubilee Relic of St. Philip Neri
St. Philip Neri, founder of the Congregation of the Oratory,
was born in Florence on July 21, 1515. The worldwide Oratorian family is celebrating the 500th anniversary of St. Philip’s birth with a Jubilee Year, which began on the vigil of his feast day, May 25, 2015, and will conclude on May 26, 2016. One aspect of this observance is a special relic of St. Philip that is visiting Oratories around the world. We are hosting the relic this weekend.
About the Relic
The relic is a first class relic of St. Philip Neri, taken from his heart, which has special significance. On Pentecost in 1544, as St. Philip was praying to the Holy Spirit in the Catacomb of St. Sebastian, he had a mystical encounter – a powerful experience of the love of God – which transformed him, and left even a physical effect. His heart became enlarged, and radiated warmth for the rest of his life. When he prayed, his pulse could sometimes be heard and even felt across the room. He could calm troubled souls by holding them close to his heart.
The reliquary, a bust of St. Philip, was designed and sculpted especially for this Jubilee Year. It was blessed at the Oratory in Seville, Spain, before beginning its pilgrimage to Oratories around the world. Thus far, the reliquary has visited 28 Oratories and Communities-in-Formation in 9 countries.
The Jubilee Indulgence
In celebration of this Jubilee Year of our Holy Father St. Philip Neri, Pope Francis has attached a Plenary Indulgence, subject to the usual conditions (sacramental Confession, Holy Communion, and prayer for the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff).
During the Jubilee Year, which runs from May 25, 2015 to May 26, 2016, the indulgence can be gained in any church of a canonically established Congregation of the Oratory. To gain the indulgence, a pilgrimage must be made, or one should take part in a service or devotion in honor of St. Philip Neri, concluding by saying the Our Father and Creed and prayers to the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Philip. The indulgence may be applied to the faithful departed.
Note: This article is part of our ongoing series on St. Philip Neri and the Oratory, in celebration of the 500th anniversary of the birth of St. Philip.
Please direct any questions or comments to Fr. Jeff.