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400th anniversary of Oratorian constitutions

Catholic World News - February 24, 2012

L’Osservatore Romano has published an essay commemorating the 400th anniversary of Pope Paul V’s approval of the constitutions of the Congregation of the Oratory, the society of apostolic life founded by St. Philip Neri. There are now 568 Oratorians worldwide, according to Vatican statistics.

“The holy Father Philip would direct with paternal inspiration the spirit and will of each one of his sons, in accordance with the temperament of each, considering himself satisfied to see them fired by piety and fervent in the love of Christ,” the constitutions state. “Only gradually and with gentle tact did he continue to test and to ascertain as a manifestation of the Lord's will what, by daily experience, was congenial and useful to them, day after day, in the achievement of holiness. And he would say persuasively that this kind of life really was especially suited to secular priests and lay people, and was in conformity with the divine will.”

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