ST PHILIP BENIZI, CONFESSOR – MEMORIAL: 23rd AUGUST
Philip was born at Florence, of the noble family of Benizi. In a remarkable vision he was called by the most blessed Virgin Mary to the Order of her Servants [the Servites], recently founded.
First he withdrew to a grotto on Monte Senario, where he led a life hard indeed by the constant chastising of his body, but sweet by reason of his meditation on the sufferings of Christ the Lord.
Then he founded sodalities of the Seven Dolours of the Mother of God throughout Europe and a great part of Asia.
Having been proclaimed General of his Order against his will, burning with a strong and ardent love of God and travelling about through many cities of Italy, he settled the disputes of the citizens which were arising in these cities, recalled many to the obedience of the Roman Pontiff, and led the most abandoned of men to penance.
Finally at Todi, in 1285, in the act of embracing Christ the Lord hanging from the cross, which he used to call his “book”, he died a very holy death. Pope Clement X added him to the number of the saints.
O God, who through St Philip, your Confessor, gave us an outstanding example of humility, grant that your household may follow his example by scorning worldly prosperity and ever seeking the things of heaven. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
– From: An Approved English Translation of the Breviarium Romanum, Burns & Oates, London, 1964