Oratory of Saint Philip Neri; Oratorians

[emblem of the Oratorians] Founded by Saint Philip Neri at Rome, 1575, and promoted by Pope Gregory XIII. The rule, not officially constituted till 17 years after Saint Philip's death, was approved by Pope Paul V, 1612. The Congregation of Rome is composed of independent communities of secular priests under obedience but not bound by vows. The threefold object is prayer, preaching, and the sacraments. In close connection with communities of the Oratory is the Brotherhood of the Little Oratory, a confraternity of clerics and laymen whose exercises are a focus of spiritual life. The seat of the government is the church of Vallicella at Rome and there are Italian, Spanish and English foundations, the latter made by Cardinal Newman at Edgbaston, near Birmingham, in 1847. The London Oratory became known largely through the preaching and publications of Father Faber, that of Birmingham through the influence of Cardinal Newman. The French Congregation, though taking its origin and some of its rules from that of Saint Philip, is a distinct institution founded at Paris, 1611, by Cardinal de Berulle with the official title, "Congregation des Prêtres de l'Oratoire de N.S.J.C." Approved by Pope Paul V, 1613, and by Pope Innocent X, 1654, it was suppressed by the Revolution in 1792; reconstituted, 1852; approved, 1864, and its constitution confirmed, 1893; revised and again approved, 1925. It now exists as the "Congregatio Oratorii Jesu et Mariae Immaculatae." The Superior General resides at Paris. See also the congregation's web site.

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