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Easter: May 26th

Solemnity of the Ascension (for certain ecclesiastical provinces); Memorial of St. Philip Neri, priest

Other Commemorations: St. Eleutherius, pope and martyr (RM) ; Other Titles: Philip Romolo Neri; Apostle of Rome; Amabile Santo


May 26, 2022 (Readings on USCCB website)


Vigil for the Ascension: O God, whose Son today ascended to the heavens as the Apostles looked on, grant, we pray, that, in accordance with his promise, we may be worthy for him to live with us always on earth, and we with him in heaven. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever.

Ascension: Gladden us with holy joys, almighty God, and make us rejoice with devout thanksgiving, for the Ascension of Christ your Son is our exaltation, and, where the Head has gone before in glory, the Body is called to follow in hope. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever.

St. Phillip Neri: O God, who never cease to bestow the glory of holiness on the faithful servants you raise up for yourself, graciously grant that the Holy Spirit may kindle in us that fire with which he wonderfully filled the heart of Saint Philip Neri. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever.


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Solemnity of the Ascension, Entrance Antiphon, Acts 1:11:

Men of Galilee, why gaze in wonder at the heavens? This Jesus whom you saw ascending into heaven will return as you saw him go, alleluia.

Preface I of the Ascension of the Lord:

It is truly right and just, our duty and our salvation,
always and everywhere to give you thanks,
Lord, holy Father, almighty and eternal God.

For the Lord Jesus, the King of glory,
conqueror of sin and death,
ascended (today) to the highest heavens,
as the Angels gazed in wonder.
Mediator between God and man,
judge of the world and Lord of hosts,
he ascended, not to distance himself from our lowly state
but that we, his members, might be confident of following
where he, our Head and Founder, has gone before.

Therefore, overcome with paschal joy,
every land, every people exults in your praise
and even the heavenly Powers, with the angelic hosts,
sing together the unending hymn of your glory; as they acclaim:

St. Philip Neri, Communion Antiphon, Jn 15:9:

As the Father loves me, so I also love you; remain in my love, says the Lord, alleluia.

In the United States, the ecclesiastical provinces of Boston, Hartford, New York, Newark, Omaha, and Philadelphia have retained the celebration of the Solemnity of the Ascension on the proper Thursday while all other provinces have transferred this solemnity to the Seventh Sunday of Easter, May 29. If transferred to Sunday, today is observed as the Memorial of St. Philip Neri, priest, with the following Mass readings: Acts 18:1-8 and Jn 16:16-20.

Stational Church >>>

>>>Today marks the beginning of the Pentecost Novena to the Holy Spirit, honoring the original novena (9 days of prayer) of the Apostles and Mary, awaiting the promised coming of the Paraclete. Catholic Culture has several versions to use. We also highly recommend this 10-Day Devotion to the Holy Spirit from the St. Josemaria Institute, taken from The Handbook of Prayers. The actual timespan between Ascension Thursday and Pentecost is 10 days, so you can choose a 9 or 10 day devotion. If you choose a 9-day devotion, end a day early or start Friday after Ascension Thursday.<<<

St. Philip Neri (1515-1595) was born in Florence and died in Rome. He lived a spotless childhood in Florence. Later he came to Rome and after living for fifteen years as a pilgrim and hermit was ordained a priest. He gradually gathered around him a group of priests and established the Congregation of the Oratory. He was a man of original character and of a happy, genial and winning disposition. A great educator of youth, he spent whole nights in prayer, had a great devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, and burned with an unbounded love for mankind. He died on the feast of Corpus Christi.

The Roman Martyrology also commemorates St. Eleutherius (also Eleuterus), who governed the Church for 15 years, after the persecution of the Emperor Commodus. He died in 192.

Ascension Thursday
Station with San Pietro in Vaticano (St. Peter's in the Vatican):

For the solemnity of the Ascension, we return again to St. Peter's in the Vatican. Here we join Peter and the other apostles watching Jesus ascend triumphantly into heaven. The Church acclaims Him in His holy humanity, invited to sit on the Father's right hand and to share His glory. But Christ's Ascension is the pledge of our own. Filled with an immense hope, the Church looks up towards her leader, who precedes her into the heavenly home and takes her with Him in His own person. The whole life of the Church is placed between our Lord's Ascension and His return on the last day. Confident that she does not wait in vain, she preaches His Gospel and spreads His grace everywhere until the day when He returns in all His Father's glory for those whom He came down to earth to snatch from Satan's power.

For further information on the Station Churches, see The Stational Church.
Alan Howard: St. Peter's Basilica Information
Rome Art Lover: Basilica di S. Pietro in Vaticano

St. Philip Neri
This gracious, cheerful saint was Rome's apostle of the sixteenth century (1515-1595). A peculiar charism was his burning love of God, a love that imperceptibly communicated itself to all about him. So ardently did this fire of divine love affect him during the octave of Pentecost in his twenty-ninth year that the beating of his heart broke two ribs. It was a wound that never healed.

For fifty years the saint lived on in the intensity of that love which was more at home in heaven than on earth. Through those fifty years his was an apostolate to renew the religious and ecclesiastical spirit of the Eternal City, a task he brought to a happy conclusion. It is to his credit that the practice of frequent Holy Communion, long neglected in Rome and throughout the Catholic world, was again revived. He became one of Rome's patron saints, even one of the most popular.

Philip Neri loved the young, and they responded by crowding about him. As a confessor he was in great demand; among his penitents was St. Ignatius. To perpetuate his life's work, St. Philip founded the Congregation of the Oratory, a society of secular clergy without religious vows. The purpose of his foundation was to enkindle piety among the faithful by means of social gatherings which afforded not only entertainment but religious instruction as well. Joy and gaiety were so much a part of his normal disposition that Goethe, who esteemed him highly, called him the "humorous saint." It was his happy, blithe spirit that opened for him the hearts of children. "Philip Neri, learned and wise, by sharing the pranks of children himself became a child again" (epitaph).

As a youth Philip Neri often visited the seven principal churches of Rome. He spent entire nights at the catacombs, near the tombs of the martyrs, meditating on heavenly things. The liturgy was the wellspring of his apostolic spirit; it should likewise motivate us to Catholic Action.

—Excerpted from The Church's Year of Grace, Pius Parsch

Patron: Rome; United States Army Special Forces.

Symbols: Rosary; lily; angel holding a book.

Things to Do:

St. Eleutherius
Eleutherius was born at Nicopolis in Greece. He was a deacon of Pope Anicetus, and was chosen to govern the Church during the reign of the emperor Commodus. At the beginning of his pontificate he received letters from Lucius, king of the Britons, begging him to receive himself and his subjects among the Christians. Wherefore Eleutherius sent into Britain Fugatius and Damian, two learned and holy men; through whose ministry the king and his people might receive the faith. It was also during his pontificate that Irenaeus, a disciple of Polycarp, went to Rome, and was kindly received by Eleutherius. The Church of God was then enjoying great peace and calm, and the faith made progress throughout the whole world, but nowhere more than at Rome. Eleutherius governed the Church fifteen years and twenty-three days. He thrice held ordinations in December, at which he made twelve priests, eight deacons, and fifteen bishops for diverse places. He was buried in the Vatican, near the body of St Peter.

—Excerpted from The Church's Year of Grace, Pius Parsch.

Symbols: Model of Tournay cathedral; flaming oven; dragon; scourge; angel bearing scroll.

Things to Do:

  • Read more about St. Eleutherius at New Advent.

  • Read this account of St. Eleutherius at

  • Read this account of St. Eleutherius from the Lives of the Eartly Popes, Chapter 5, by Thomas Meynick.