Tuesday, August 4, 2009

August 4: Feast Day of St. John Vianney (1786-1859)

Pope Benedict XVI proclaimed this A Year for Priests (starting 19 June 2009). One of the greatest priests was St. John Vianney, whose feast day is today, August 4. Here is what catholic.org says about him:
St. John Vianney, Priest (Patron of priests) Feast day - August 4 Universally known as the "Cure of Ars)," St. John Mary Vianney was ordained a priest in 1815. Three years later he was made parish priest of Ars, a remote French hamlet, where his reputation as a confessor and director of souls made him known throughout the Christian world. His life was one of extreme mortification.

Accustomed to the most severe austerities, beleaguered by swarms of penitents, and besieged by the devil, this great mystic manifested a imperturbable patience. He was a wonderworker loved by the crowds, but he retained a childlike simplicity, and he remains to this day the living image of the priest after the heart of Christ.

He heard confessions of people from all over the world for the sixteen hours each day. His life was filled with works of charity and love. It is recorded that even the staunchest of sinners were converted at his mere word. He died August 4, 1859, and was canonized May 31, 1925.

1 comment:

CJ Baer said...

I'm not sure I understand the concept of canonization of "saints". It almost seems to elevate the works of man to a point of idolatry.

-CJ