St Philip Neri
Philip’s Florentine family intended him for a merchant’s life but he preferred serving God, and in 1533 went to Rome for philosophy and theology studies.
He lived as a layman for 17 years, founding a lay brotherhood for common worship and caring for the sick and pilgrims. He experienced an ecstasy in the catacombs, and was later ordained.
With priest friends he founded the Congregation of the Oratory in 1575. Something of a celebrity to all Romans, rich and poor, Philip was known as “the apostle of Rome.”