Today we honor St. Phillip Neri. one of our Church's most likable holy men. Born to a wealthy Florentine family in 1515. Phillip at eighteen was sent to Venice to learn that family's shipping business. After some success at that, he was set free to study the Bible. and to wonder the streets of Rome, questioning people about their relationship with God.
He became a favorite with two of Rome's classes of young people. He became the protector to all the young women who's poverty sent to selling their bodies. Begging for support from his rich friends in Florence, he set up hundreds of those ladies in honorable businesses in Rome. Then, while studying Theology on his own, he had scores of young seminarians coming to him in their evenings for religious discussions.
The older clergy in Rome, seeing Phillip as a fine influence on students, gave him a chapel from where they could increase participation in their studies and in aiding the poor. With the pope's blessing, these groups became the start of the Church's Ortorian Fathers.