The "Patron Saint of Joy" is a powerful intercessor for those who need more joy in their lives.
Living in the midst of a world surrounded by violence, oppression, disease and poverty is not always easy. In fact, it is often depressing.
This reality, as well as any number of circumstances in our own personal lives, can easily put us in a foul mood, living in a constant state of despair or anger.
Yet, God calls us to something more.
Pope Francis has said previously during a Mass at Santa Marta, “The Christian ‘identity card is joy, the Gospel’s joy, the joy of having been chosen by Jesus, saved by Jesus, regenerated by Jesus; the joy of that hope that Jesus is waiting for us, the joy that – even with the crosses and sufferings we bear in this life – is expressed in another way, which is peace in the certainty that Jesus accompanies us, is with us.”
The Holy Father charged Christians to help others find Jesus, “so that they may rejoice in the Gospel and have this joy which is truly of the Gospel. ”
When we find it difficult to be joyful, one heavenly person to turn to is the “Patron Saint of Joy,” St. Philip Neri. He was known to have a joyful heart and attracted many people through his jubilant example.
Here is a short prayer to St. Philip Neri that can help a soul weighed down by the anxieties of the world see the joy of the Gospel in a new way.
O holy St. Philip Neri, patron saint of joy, you who trusted Scripture’s promise that the Lord is always at hand and that we need not have anxiety about anything, in your compassion heal our worries and sorrows and lift the burdens from our hearts. We come to you as one whose heart swells with abundant love for God and all creation. Hear us, we pray, especially in this need (make your request here). Keep us safe through your loving intercession, and may the joy of the Holy Spirit which filled your heart, St. Philip, transform our lives and bring us peace. Amen