Father’s Column – January 27, 2019

Posted on January 27, 2019 View all news

Laudetur Jesus Christus! Gelobt sei Jesus Christus!
Sia lodato Gesù Cristo! Praised be Jesus Christ! 

As we prepare for the visit of the uncorrupted relic heart of St. John Vianney this Tuesday, please find this biography of him from the Roman Breviary. I encourage everyone to come and pray before the relic of this great priest, praying especially for priests today, that they might model this heavenly patron. This visit is a tremendous honor for Old St. Mary’s, so please take advantage of this opportunity and tell your family and friends. St. John Vianney’s heart is usually in Ars, France. So for those who will never make it there, this is a rare opportunity!

“John Mary Vianney, born of pious peasants in the village of Dardilly in the diocese of Lyons, gave many signs of holiness from his infancy. When, at the age of eight, he was taking care of the sheep, he would sometimes by word and example instruct little boys, kneeling before a statue of the Mother of God, in the use of the Rosary; and at other times, entrusting the flock to his sister or to another child, he was wont to seek out a more retired spot, that he might more readily devote himself to prayer before an image of the Virgin… That he might be initiated into letters, he was sent to the parish priest of the village of Ecully; but as he was very slow to understand, he encountered almost unsurmountable difficulties in his studies… Having most laboriously passed through the course of theology, he was found to be sufficiently suitable to receive holy orders.

In the village of Ecully, under the guidance of the parish priest, whose assistant he had been appointed, he strove with all his strength to attain to the higher degrees of pastoral perfection. After three years had gone by, he was sent, like an Angel from heaven, to the small village of Ars, which not so long after was included in the diocese of Belley, and in a most brilliant manner he entirely renewed the condition of his neglected and forsaken parish. Continually engaged for many hours daily in hearing confessions and in giving spiritual direction, he introduced the frequent reception of the Eucharist, and organized pious sodalities: and in a remarkable manner he inspired into souls a tender devotion to the Immaculate Virgin. And, deeming that it is the duty of the pastor to expiate the sins of the flock accredited to him, he spared neither prayers, nor vigils, nor mortifications and continual fastings. Since Satan could not endure such great virtues in this man of God, he assailed him, first with mere annoyances, and afterwards in open combat.

Throughout a period of twenty years, nearly one hundred thousand persons of every class flocked to Ars, not only from France and from Europe, but even from the distant regions of America. Worn out by labours rather than by old age, having foretold the day of his death, he went to rest in the embrace of the Lord, on the 4th day of August, in the year 1859… After he became illustrious for many miracles, Pius X added him to the number of the Blessed , and Pius XI, in the holy year numbered him with the Saints in heaven and extended his feast to the universal Church, and on the fiftieth anniversary of his own priesthood, appointed him the heavenly patron of all parish priests.” – The Roman Breviary