At the time, these catacombs were the only ones discovered in Rome, though now there are many more which can be visited by the public today, including San Sebastiano.
San Girolamo della Carita
Located near the famous Roman landmark of Campo dei Fiori, the narrow historic streets of the neighborhood of the church of San Girolamo della Carita are the very same the saint walked; and faded paintings of the saint can be spotted on random street corners in the area.
The church was built on the site of a devout Roman woman's house where St. Jerome stayed in the 4th century when he was compiling the Vulgate – the principal Latin version of the Bible used by the Catholic Church.
After being ordained a priest in 1551, Neri came to live at San Girolamo. There he would meet many friends, among them St. Charles Borromeo and St. Ignatius of Loyola. It is also where he informally started his congregation of priests, called the "Oratory," which received papal recognition in 1575.
The saint's rooms and private chapel, located above the church, can be visited with an advance reservation with the Sisters of St. Philip Neri, who maintain the church.
Another way to experience the life of the saint is through music, the rector of San Girolamo della Carita, Fr. Filippo Goyret, told CNA. Many churches in Rome put on beautiful concerts of classical music free of charge, including San Girolamo. Music, Goyret said, was very much "part of the spirit of St. Philip Neri."
San Giovanni dei Fiorentini
From San Girolamo, a stretch of the historic Via Giulia connects to Piazza dell'Oro and San Giovanni dei Fiorentini. This church was built starting in 1523 by Florentines living in Rome.
After he was ordained a priest, Neri served as rector at the Florentine parish for about a dozen years, though he continued to live down the street at San Girolamo.
In the church of San Giovanni dei Fiorentini is a side chapel dedicated to the saint, with a bust of his head and a painting depicting him with the Virgin Mary, as well as a simple, wooden cross he used to pray before.
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Neri discovered the ancient cross at the church when he became rector, Munns said, noting that the saint considered the symbol of the cross to be vital to his relationship with Christ.
Munns explained that Neri had realized his mission in Rome was to follow the example of Christ in bringing healing to people in hospitals, and in Rome at the time "there was a lot to heal in terms of both physical and spiritual needs."
"He took strength for this mission from this cross."
From San Giovanni, just five minutes down one of the historic center's main streets, lies the church of Santa Maria in Vallicella – commonly called "Chiesa Nuova," or the New Church – where St. Philip Neri spent the final 12 years of his life.
The church received the nickname of "New Church" because it was built on the site of a smaller parish church the Oratory had outgrown.