Saint of the Day: St. Philip Neri

(H/T The Anchoress)Pat Gohn, over at Pathos, has a column on the joyful Saint. She begins with a riddle that got my favorite deacon in hot water with a class of 2nd graders.  Heh. He scandalized them by saying the word hell.

In honor of St. Philip Neri’s feast day here’s a quick riddle:

Question: How do you get holy water?

Answer: Boil the hell out of it!

Okay, tell me that didn’t bring a little smile to your face? (Or, if not, humor me. Some days you’ve just got to find joy wherever you can!)

Today the Catholic Church honors St. Philip Neri who lived in Rome during the 16th century. Known as a humorist and a jokester, St. Philip’s unbounded cheerfulness was legendary.

I know I need a good dose of joy on any given day. Having a fairly serious temperament as a first-born, my seventh grade homeroom teacher was fond of calling me out by saying: “You’ll catch more flies with honey than with vinegar, Missy.” Even back then, I was pretty sure the Good Lord gave me my two younger sisters, and later, my own three children so I could learn to lighten up and be of good cheer. Their childlike antics and charm often got me smiling.

St. Philip Neri’s wisdom was rooted in the delight he took in being a Child of God. Such a life was worthy of celebration and joy! Philip’s witness reminds me that a sad saint really is a sad saint. In other words, if God loves you and you know it, kindly inform your face!

St. Philip knew that, over time, the Christian needs to cultivate an attitude that was worthy of the long road to heaven:

Cheerfulness strengthens the heart and makes us persevere in a good life. Therefore, the servant of God ought always to be in good spirits.

Did you ever meet someone whose laughter and love was contagious? This was St. Philip. Continue reading….

Christian inform your face. Well I have written before on joyless Catholics here.

It is a timely reminder that we are called to joy as we celebrate the season of endless Alleluias.

About Susan Kehoe

I am the wife of a Catholic deacon living in Des Moines Iowa. My husband Larry was ordained in 2006. We have two children and five grandchildren.. Our daughter and her family live in Ireland, and our son and his family live in Franklin Massachusetts.
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