Saint Philip Neri
Apostle of the Laity, Philip begins to evangelize
Being of the Laity and never feeling worthy to be a priest, Philip Neri desired nothing but to serve as a lay man.
He had been preaching in the hospitals, then on the street corners waiting for the office workers to leave for lunch or home. He would speak to them, instruct them with the true teachings of the Church.
He taught with such love, such fire that more and more came, and stayed longer and longer, until they began following him, visiting the poor and the infirmed; and the Confraternity of the Laity was formed!
The Confraternity was not only filled with these young people, now on fire for the Faith, but with the nobility.
The Apostolate took on the care of poor pilgrims coming to Rome for the Holy Year.
Since most of them arrived sick, tired, without much to eat, having walked hundreds of miles under the worst conditions, they had need not only of a place to stay, but often a hospital.
Saint Philip and his Confraternity set up the first pilgrims’ houses in Rome, where they could stay a short time, convalesce or receive more intensive hospital care.