A Poem in Honor of the Feast of St. Philip Neri (1515-1595)

A Poem in Honor of the Feast of St. Philip Neri (1515-1595) May 27, 2014


Philip, on thee the glowing ray

Of heaven came down upon thy prayer,

To melt thy heart, and burn away

All that of earthly dross was there.

Thy soul became as purest glass,

Through which the Brightness Incarnate

In undimm’d majesty might pass,

Transparent and illuminate.

And so, on Philip when we gaze,

We see the image of his Lord;

The Saint dissolves amid the blaze

Which circles round the Living Word.

The Meek, the Wise, none else is here,

Dispensing light to men below;

His awful accents fill the ear,

Now keen as fire, now soft as snow.

As snow, those inward pleadings fall,

As soft, as bright, as pure as cool,

With gentle weight and gradual,

And sink into the feverish soul.

The Sinless One, He comes to seek

The dreary heart, the spirit lone,

Tender of nature proud or weak,

Not less than if they were his own.

He takes and scans the sinner o’er,

Handling His scholars one by one,

Weighing what they can bear, before

He gives the penance to be done.

Jesu, to Philip’s sons reveal

That gentlest wisdom from above,

To spread compassion o’er their zeal,

And mingle patience with their love.

—— Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-1890)



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