Tuesday, 4 August 2009
Happy Feast Day of St John Vianney! Having let the blog slip somewhat over the summer, it seems appropriate to mark the 150th anniversary of the man who is a model for priests and seminarians everywhere. St Jean Vianney was intitally thought to be unsuited to the priesthood because of his difficulty with latin and the academic courses at the seminary, but on the merit of his evident goodness and zeal he was ordained priest and soon sent to the small village of Ars near the city of Lyon. He prayed to God that he might endure any suffering God sent him on behalf of the conversion of his parish, taking very literally his task as mediator between God and men. His frequent visits to his parishioners, his obvious devotion to the Mass and the Eucharist, and his presence in the confessional brought about a change that affected not only Ars but the surrounding towns and cities, so that even Lyons eventually had a special rail service to Ars to cater for all those who wanted to be confessed there! The words of the Gospel today, that Jesus 'felt sorry for them because they were harassed and dejected, like sheep without a shepherd,' are reflected in the Cure's own life of self-giving to the Church.
I really wish someone in Hollywood would make a drama about the Cure's life - I know he would hate it, but it would be a great tool for evangelisation, and his life would make a great movie!