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Thursday 20 May 2021

Dear Father Philip! Holy Sire!

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Watch Thursday's Mass, Novena, & Benediction here.

Today we have another of Father Faber's hymns: Philip and England,  as part of our novena in preparation for St Philip's Day. Here you can find the text of the novena prayers: SPN Novena; and here are the words of the hymn:

Philip and England

Dear Father Philip! holy Sire!
We are poor sons of thine,
Thy last and least,—then to our prayers
A father’s ear incline.

Busy and blithe in hidden cell,
Or crowded street no less,
We use thy modest wiles to save
The world by cheerfulness.

Mid strife and change, cold hearts and tongues,
How much we owe to thee!
This sunny service! who could dream
Earth had such liberty.

Look at the crowds of this sweet land,
Dear Father Philip! see
How shepherdless they wander on,
How lone, how hopelessly!

Then make us sons of thine indeed,
Fill us with thy true mirth,
Thy strength of prayer, thy might of love,.
To change these hearts of earth.

By thee for Mary’s household hired,
May burning heart and word
So preach her, that her name may be
In England like a sword.

In Philip’s name, in Philip’s way,
To God and Mary true,
In this our own dear native land
Good work we fain would do.

Jesus and Mary be the stars
That shine for us on high:
God and St. Philip! brothers! be
Our gentle battle-cry.

By haughty word, cold force of mind,
We seek not hearts to rule;
Hearts win the hearts they seek! Behold
The secret of our school!

Words: Fr Wilfrid Faber, Cong. Orat., 1849.