25 May 2010

Newmanology and S Philip Neri

In his distractingly moving peroration to his Second Spring sermon - arguably the most superb piece of rhetoric to emerge from the nineteenth century - Blessed John Henry Newman talks about the habit of the English seminarians in Rome of going to S Philip Neri before returning to the perils of the English Mission, for his blessing. "They went for a Saint's blessing; they went to a calm old man who had never seen blood, except in penance; ... and therefore came those bright-haired strangers to him, ere they set out for the scene of their passion, that the full zeal and love pent up in that burning breast might find a vent, and flow over, from him who was kept at home, upon those who were to to face the foe. Therefore one by one, each in his turn, those youthful soldiers came to an old man; and one by one they they persevered and gained the crown and palm - all but one, who had not gone, and would not go, for the salutary blessing.

"My Fathers, my brothers, thsat old man was my own S Philip. Bear with me for his sake ...".

Who was the one who would not go?

1 comment:

William Tighe said...

Anthony Tyrrell?