Bringing The Grotto to You: Day 11

St. Philip Benizi’s Retreat

Servite Saint Philip Benizi (1233-1285)

Born to a noble family in Florence, Italy, Philip studied in Padua and Paris, earning a doctorate in medicine and philosophy. He joined the Servite Order in 1253; in time he became renowned for his preaching. He was instrumental in the future Saint Peregrine Laziosi joining the Servite order.

In 1267 Philip was chosen as general superior (prior general) of the order. He was influential in reforming the religious order, and was eventually considered a possible candidate for the Papal Throne, after Pope Clemete IV dies in 1268. This so distressed Philip that he fled and lived in a cave until the papal election was over.

St. Philip Benizi’s Retreat (1927)

This shrine is one of the earliest installations at The Grotto, and represents his time spent as a hermit in the mountains of Montagnata, Italy.

With the Papal Tiara at his feet, he is represented praying at the entrance of the cave where he lived while in hiding.

During this time he redoubled his penances, eating only herbs and drinking at a fountain, ever since held to be miraculous by reason of its healing qualities, and called “St. Philip’s Spring.”

St. Philip was one of the shining lights of the early Servite Order, both intellectually and spiritually.

The Grotto is a ministry of the Servite Friars, The Order of Friar Servants of Mary. To learn more about the Servites, please click here.

St. Philip’s gifts of compassion and generosity, as well as his leadership abilities and his commitment to reconciliation, were readily recognized within his Servite community as well as the Church at large. His Feast day is August 23.

A Prayer to St. Philip Benizi

Loving God, we give you thanks for the life of Philip Benizi, the Servite saint who placed his gifts at the service of others.

Help us to live our lives with his spirit of generosity. Like Philip, may we be your instruments of reconciliation and unity wherever we encounter conflict and strife.

As the steadfast service of Mary inspired Saint Philip, so too may we follow her footsteps as faithful and loving disciples of Jesus.

We ask this through Christ our Lord.


The Grotto’s lower level

St. Philip Benizi’s Retreat is located on the lower level at The Grotto, not far from the Gift Shop and the Stations of the Cross Path.

The lower level is open and free to all.

Pets, properly restrained, are allowed on the lower level, except in the buildings. The forested paths make for a wonderful walk with your furry friend.

The Series

We hope you are enjoying our daily feature A Place of Sanctuary: Bringing The Grotto to You.

We thank you for your continued support at this difficult time.