August 24, 2019 (St. Peregrine Laziosi Diocesan Shrine/ Jasper Christian Gambito) On August 23, 2019, the Servite Community celebrated the feast day of St. Philip Benizi. The mass was presided by Rev. Fr. Deogracias Ma. Alejandria, OSM, Vicar-provincial of the St. Peregrine Philippine Vicariate, and was concelebrated by Rev. Fr. Bryan Ma. Eala, OSM, Rev. Fr. Fred Ma. Biong, OSM, Rev. Fr. Nady Ma. Meren, OSM, Rev. Fr. Edgar Ma. Benedi-an, OSM, Rev. Fr. Jesus Ma. Diaz, OSM, Rev. Fr. Albert Ma. Tulang, OSM, Rev. Fr. Vincent Ma. Badongen, OSM, and assisted by Rev. Deacon Ricky Ma. Sister, OSM.

Prior to the feast day of the saint, a Triduum (3-day period of prayer) was held at the St. Peregrine Laziosi Diocesan Shrine wherein on the 3rd and last day of the Triduum, the Order of Secular Servants of Mary (OSSM) received two (2) new probationary members with the Rite of Promise and current members renewed their commitment to the Third Order of the Order of Servants of Mary. Rev Fr Nady Ma. Meren, OSM, a council member of the St. Peregrine Philippine Vicariate and representing the Vicar-provincial, presided and accepted their renewed commitment to the Order.

St. Philip Benizi is a Florentine Servite Friar who entered the Servite Order in 1253 and was ordained as priest in 1259. Soon after his ordination, he was appointed to various positions within the order until in 1267 when he was elected as the order’s general superior. A zealous preacher, he was instrumental in the propagation of the order during his tenure as its head. Apart from his virtuous and zealous life, St. Philip is a hallmark example of humility. When he heard the rumors that he was being considered to be elected as pope after the passing of Clement IV, he hid in a cave in Mount Thuniat until the election was finished.  In his brief homily, Rev. Fr. Deogracias Alejandria, OSM, mentioned that St. Philip was instrumental in the formation of the young Peregrine Laziosi, who later also became a saint, for it was Peregrine’s encounter with Philip in Forli that he had a change of heart and aspired to join the Servites. Fr. Alejandria added that we are blessed to have these saints for they constantly remind us of God’s love towards mankind. In commemoration of one of the miracles attributed to St. Philip Benizi – the provision of food to the Friars of Arezzo during the time of war and great famine – and customary tradition every feast day of St. Philip Benizi, bread and water were blessed and distributed to everyone.