TO ST. PHILIP NERI / by Joseph Castorino


Your happy heart desired to go abroad,

  On a mission to the exotic Far East;

Where you might convert lots of souls,

  And become a holy Jesuit priest.


But as a merry man with natural goodness,

  You were drawn by God to Rome;

You had no money and you had no plan,

  Yet the Eternal City became your home.


With Socratic discussions on street corners,

  You most pleasantly evangelized;

Yet you did it in such a fun-loving way,

  That the people never felt chastised.


One Pentecost something special happened --

  You felt the peace of The Dove;

When a globe of fire entered your mouth,

  You almost died of ecstatic love.


You inspired many in the confessional,

  So that the truth they understood,

And the people always heard you saying,

  “When shall we begin to do good?”