Did St Philip Neri play a practical joke on me?

For St Philip Neri's feast day, which was celebrated on May 26th, I did a post for the Herald on the witty, quirky Italian saint. 

I've known people who pray to St Philip who say that when he answers your prayers, he arranges for a practical joke to happen at the same time that the prayer is answered. 

I wonder did St Philip Neri play a practical joke on me. Tuesday, May 26th was a very busy day for me, so I was up at 6 am with the plan of writing the post on St Philip Neri, filing it early and turning my full attention to a book that I'm editing for an American author. I thoroughly enjoy working during peaceful early morning, hearing bird song and drinking several pots of strong English breakfast tea.

That morning I was researching the jokes that St Philip Neri played on the extremely earnest Cesare Baronius. St Philip Neri sent him to the wine shop with the strict instruction to taste all the wine and make sure he found the best one, after Baronius had wetted his palate with every type of vino, he told St Philip that he had found the right one, only for St Philip to tell him casually, 'I only need half a bottle'. 

Well, when I was writing up this account, my laptop shut down suddenly and the screen went black. There was no battery left - and no way of powering the computer because the electronic flex had broken and looked like a rope that had been pulled apart. Would I make my deadline?  I imagined ringing my editors and telling them that my copy would be late because I'd have to write the piece, using my thumbs on my mobile phone... Then I had the bright idea of getting a new electronic lead.  Once procured, the laptop came alive again, but my piece had not saved and I had to write up the account of St Philip sending Baronius shopping for wine.  In the same way Baronius had to taste wine over and over, I had to write up that story twice.  Maybe it was for the best, I'm not likely to forget beleaguered  Baronius seeking out the right wine any time soon! 

Recently Restored Statue of St Philip Neri in my parish, the London Oratory. This photo was on Facebook. 


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