The Oxford Oratory celebrated the Feast Day of its Founder, St Philip Neri, Apostle of Rome, with a special High Mass, sung in Latin, by the Abbot Cuthbert Johnson OSB of Quarr Abbey, Isle of Wight, on Friday, writes Peter Jennings. In his sermon Abbot Johnson said: "One of the great sons of the Oratory, the Venerable John Henry Cardinal Newman, (who set up the English Congregation of the Oratory at Maryvale in 1848), wrote of Saints Benedict, Dominic, Ignatius Loyola, that they were three venerable Patriarchs, and that the Religious Orders which they founded divide between them, the great moments in the history of the Church." St Philip Neri 1515-1595, (who founded the Oratory in Rome during 1575), is known as the Apostle Rome. Abbot Johnson continued: "Rome became Saint Philip's home. He loved the Roman Church, he understood its weaknesses, and he loved and gave ready obedience to the successor of Saint Peter. It was in Rome that Philip met in person the third of the venerable Patriarchs, Ignatius Loyola. "Newman declared that Saint Philip 'learned from Benedict what to be, and from Dominic what to do, and from Ignatius how he was to do it'." Abbot Cuthbert concluded: "When St Benedict in the Rule speaks about the monastery church, he calls it the Oratory and says let its name describe what it is - a place of prayer and consequently let nothing else be done or kept there. "The Feast of Saint Philip is an occasion to recall to his sons, the Fathers of the Oratory, to remember what their name implies, Oratorians - men of the Oratory, of prayer. And just as Benedict says of the monastery's Oratory that nothing else is to be done or kept there that does not relate to prayer, let them renew within them the spirit of their holy founder."
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