Festival of San Felipe Neri

  • Neri

Event Category: Mexico Observance

  • Festival of San Felipe Neri. The feast day of the so-called “Saint of Joy,” so-called because Father Neri reportedly loved to laugh, to sing, to tell jokes. There will be music and dancing and, of course, fireworks (look for a castillo,at the Oratorio Church at the Plaza Cívica).

    Expect fireworks and fun on both Saturday and Sunday for more than the festival to the Sacred Cross in Valle de Maiz.  It is also the feast day for San Felipe Neri, founder of the Oratorio order of priests.  San Felipe Neri was unusual in that he believed it was joy, laughter and music that brought you closer to God.  Hence he started an order of priests called Oratorios, as in a complex piece of religious music.  The Oratorio church here has the best choirs and organ music concerts.
    You can tell the Oratorio priests in town as they are fond of full length cassocks and capes.  I’ve no idea what they wear on their feet but I never hear them coming.  So if you turn around to see what appears to be a Mexican vampire with a long flowing cape, that’s simply an Oratorio.
    San Felipe Neri is often confused with a local priest named for him that built the church in Atotonilco where the revolution from Spain started.  Local Felipe Neri believed it was pain and suffering that brought you closer to God and slept in an open casket in Atotonilco to remind folks.  (Sidebar:  Made it really easy when he did die as they slapped on the lid and buried him under the altar.)
    San Felipe Neri will be celebrated all weekend as his Oratorio church was built upon where the indigenous worshiped before the Spanish arrived.  Since the indigenous are still here, it is the most active church town where the congregation is certain to celebrate the order’s founder.
    On Saturday at 6:30 is a procession from the Aurora to the Oratorio but expect celebrations through out the weekend.


    Joseph Toone is the Historical Society’s short-story award winning author of the SMA Secrets book series.  All books in the series are Amazon bestsellers in Mexican Travel and Holidays.  Toone is SMA’s expert and TripAdvisor’s top ranked historical tour guide telling the stories behind what we do in today’s SMA.  Visit HistoryAndCultureWalkingTours.com, and JosephTooneTours.com.


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