This year marks the 150th anniversary of the death -- the heavenly birthday -- of St. John Marie Vianney!
St. John Marie Baptiste Vianney is commonly known as the Cure' D'Ars, a title which expresses his divine calling, the care of his parish in Ars, France. But, as so often happens with saintly souls, God's hand worked through St. John, and in fulfilling his role of parish priest so perfectly, the fruits of his labor have spread throughout the world. His wisdom and example is as pertinent now as it was 150 years ago. Today is a perfect opportunity to recommend our own parish priests to the prayers of the Cure' D'Ars, the patron saint of all parish priests!
Prayer for Parish Priests
Dear Saint John Vianney, your childhood dream was to be a Priest, to win souls for God. You endured years of toil and humiliation to attain the Priesthood. You became a Priest truly after God's own heart, outstanding in humulity and poverty; prayer and mortification. Totally devoted to the service of God's people. The Church has exalted you as model and patron saint of all Parish Priest, trusting that your example and prayers will help them to live up to the high dignity of their vocation to be faithful servants of God's people, to be perfect imitators of Christ the Savior Who came not to be served but to serve, to give His Life in ransom for many.
Pray that God may give to His Church today many more Priests after His own Heart. Pray for all the Priests under your patronage, that they may be worthy representatives of Christ the Good Shepherd. May they wholeheartedly devote themselves to prayer and penance; be examples of humility and poverty; shining modelss of holiness; tireless and powerful preachers of the Word of God; zealous dispensers of God's Grace in the Sacraments. May their loving devotion to Jesus in the Eucharist and to Mary His Mother be the Twin Fountains of fruitfulness for their ministry. Amen.
Words of the Cure' D'Ars:
"Private prayer is like straw scattered here and there: If you set it on fire it makes a lot of little flames. But gather these straws into a bundle and light them, and you get a mighty fire, rising like a column into the sky; public prayer is like that."
"All the good works in the world are not equal to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass because they are the works of men; but the Mass is the work of God. Martyrdom is nothing in comparison for it is but the sacrifice of man to God; but the Mass is the sacrifice of God for man."
"I tell you that you have less to suffer in following the cross than in serving the world and its pleasures."
"Prayer is to our soul what rain is to the soil. Fertilize the soil ever so richly, it will remain barren unless fed by frequent rains."
"When our hands have touched spices, they give fragrance to all they handle. Let us make our prayers pass through the hands of the Blessed Virgin. She will make them fragrant."
"All our religion is but a false religion, and all our virtues are mere illusions and we ourselves are only hypocrites in the sight of God, if we have not that universal charity for everyone - for the good, and for the bad, for the poor and for the rich, and for all those who do us harm as much as those who do us good. "
"If we could comprehend all the good things contained in Holy Communion, nothing more would be wanting to content the heart of man. The miser would run no more after his treasures, or the ambitious after glory; each would shake off the dust of the earth, leave the world, and fly away towards heaven."
"Christian wife! Follow in the footsteps of the ideal of all womanhood, the Blessed Mother of God; in joy and in sorrow, she will be your advocate at the throne of her Son."
St. John's life story can be found here.
Excerpts from his sermons can be found here.
You can find a list of his writings here.
There is a wonderful coloring page here, that can be entered in a coloring contest!