Category Archives: Year of Saint John Mary Vianney

Praying for priests as an act of Mercy

Fr Ignacio Ortigas giving a blessing.JPGO my Jesus, I beg you on behalf of the whole Church:
Grant it love and the light of the your Spirit, and give power to the words of
priests so that hardened hearts might be brought to repentance and return to
you, O Lord.

Lord, give us holy priests; you yourself maintain them in
holiness. O Divine and Great High Priest, may the power of your mercy
accompany them everywhere and protect them from the devil’s traps and snares
which are continually being set for the souls of priests. May the power
of your mercy, O Lord, shatter and bring to naught all that might tarnish the
sanctity of priests, for you can do all things. Amen.

Saint John Vianney, pray for our priests.

The saint who disturbed the 19th century: John Mary Vianney

Rutler & Walsh.jpgThe life we lead is based on the influences we have. For some, like Father George Rutler, John Newman and John Vianney are two such influences. George Rutler, a priest of the Archdiocese of New York and pastor of the Church of Our Saviour (NYC) gave the Terrence Cardinal Cooke Theology Lecture tonight at Saint Joseph’s Seminary. Himself a convert, author, TV personality tried to dispel the florid presentations of the saint which detach reality from the soul. John Vianney (8 May 1786 – 4 August 1859) knew himself well as a farm boy who desired to serve the Lord as a priest in love. What ought to be resisted when thinking about Vianney is sugar coating his ministry and manner of living. His was not a life akin to pouring molasses on roast beef. The saint, in Catholic theology and as reminded by Rutler, is a person who shows us that living the gospel is possible, that conversion is possible, that real, self-giving love is possible because the saint shows us Christ. And since Christianity is not speculation but fact, the fact of the saint is a testament to the reality of Christ today.

John Vianney.jpg

Saint John Vianney loved his people in substantial ways: he revealed Christ to them and allowed Christ to speak through his priestly life in ways that challenged each person to take more seriously the desires of their heart and their state of life. Vianney was direct when it came to sin and sinful ways; he was devoted to the humanity of those whom he encountered, and he responded as Christ would if someone presented himself. Vianney may have been a poor student and a man of little sophistication as judged by the world, but he was a brilliant disciple of the Lord who acted like a shepherd for the flock. Like the apostle who is known for his zeal, the martyr his patience, the virgin her purity and the confessor his intellect, Vianney is known for his love. Can we model our lives accordingly?
Nearly 125 people attended the lecture tonight.

Saint John-Baptist-Mary Vianney hymn

St John-Mary Vianney2.jpgSing the God of awesome wisdom
Who has chosen for his own
Those of ev’ry age and nation
To hold fast to God alone
Through all changing styles and customs,
Hearts that only Christ enthrone.

In a faithless time of torpor,
John Vianney loved the Lord,
Preached the truth with ceaseless fervor,
Led his flock by deed and word,
And by his example fearless
Caused our God to be adored.

Lovingly he coaxed the sinner
To submit to Jesus’ way;
In humility and patience
To his Lord he knelt to pray
And, obedient to his calling,
Lived his teaching ev’ry day.

To the Trinity give glory,
Father, Son, and Paraclete:
Those on earth with those in heaven
Joining in one anthem sweet:
As the saints on earth gave witness,
Let us each our course complete!

87 87 87
James Michael Thompson (c) 2009, World Library Publications

Saint John-Baptist-Mary Vianney

St John-Mary Vianney.jpg

“O my God, come to me, so that You may dwell in me and I may
dwell in you.”

Father of mercy, you made Saint John Vianney outstanding in his
priestly zeal and concern for your people. By his example and prayers, enable
us to win our brothers and sisters to the love of Christ and come with them to
eternal glory.

Pope Benedict’s letter proclaiming the Year of the Priest for the 150th year of Saint John Vianney’s death

A Litany in Honor of Saint John Vianney

A brief biography of Vianney

Mass as joy and comfort…Christ’s Presence is what we need to be mindful of

In his 1986 Holy Thursday Letter to Priests, Pope John Paul II wrote:

The Mass was for John Mary Vianney the great joy and comfort of his priestly life. He took great care, despite the crowds of penitents, to spend more than a quarter of an hour in silent preparation. He celebrated with recollection, clearly expressing his adoration at the consecration and communion. He accurately remarked: “The cause of priestly laxity is not paying attention to the Mass!”

The Curé of Ars was particularly mindful of the permanence of Christ’s real presence in the Eucharist. It was generally before the tabernacle that he spent long hours in adoration, before daybreak or in the evening; it was towards the tabernacle that he often turned during his homilies, saying with emotion: “He is there!”

It was also for this reason that he, so poor in his presbytery, did not hesitate to spend large sums on embellishing his church. The appreciable result was that his parishioners quickly took up the habit of coming to pray before the Blessed Sacrament, discovering, through the attitude of their pastor, the grandeur of the mystery of faith.

Dear brother priests, the example of the Curé of Ars invites us to a serious examination of conscience: what place do we give to the Mass in our daily lives? Is it, as on the day of our Ordination — it was our first act as priests! — the principle of our apostolic work and personal sanctification? What care do we take in preparing for it? And in celebrating it? In prayng before the Blessed Sacrament? In encouraging our faithful people to do the same? In making our churches the House of God to which the divine presence attracts the people of our time who too often have the impression of a a world empty of God.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]
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