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The Oratory of St. Philip Neri in Udine

The Oratory of St. Philip Neri in Udine
The Oratory of St. Philip was situated in the heart of Udine and was attached to the church of St. Mary Magdalene. In the nineteenth century, both were subjected to hardships of every kind: suppressed by Napoleon, who reached Friuli in 1797 and returned again after a brief period of Austro-Hungarian rule, confiscated by the Italians after their arrival in Friuli, in 1866. There is no trace left of them today as the main Post Office was built where the Oratory stood once and the church was reduced to a gym after having auctioned all the furnishings, including the altars!

The Oratory was an important spiritual and cultural centre for Udine; highly learned priests worked there and made it a place of great spiritual awakening. The various suppressions and confiscations succeeded in closing it. The determination of Fr. Carlo, even the persistence of Padre Luigi, who, at the age of 42, also became a member of the Philipinerian Order following the example of his elder brother, could not do much to re-establish the same. After the death of Carlo, Luigi found it impossible to revive the Oratory even if he sold all the family assets. The Italian government evicted and confiscated all property, forcing him to seek accommodation with the Sisters of Providence.

The Oratory was one of the few initiatives that the saint could not succeed in realising.


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