Neri, St. Philip De

, founder of the congregation of priests of the Oratory in Italy, was born July 23, 1515, of a noble family at Florence. His piety and zeal acquired him uncommon reputation. He died at Rome, 1595, aged eighty, and was canonized by pope Gregory XV. 1622. The congregation founded by St. Philip de Neri was confirmed, 1574, by pope Gregory XIII. and took the name of the Oratory, because the original assemblies, which gave rise to its establishment, were held in an oratory of St. Jerome’s church at Rome but it differs from the congregation of the Oratory founded by cardinal de Berulle, in France. Its members take no vows; their general governs but three years; their office is to deliver such instructions every day in their church as are suited to all capacities. Each institution has produced great numbers of men who have been celebrated for their learning, and services to the Romish church. It was at St. Philip de Neri’s solicitation that cardinal Baronius, who had entered his congregation, wrote his Ecclesiastical Annals. 2