August 4: ST. JOHN MARIE VIANNEY. Patron of Universal Clergy.

Patron of Priests. Short bio + prayer

Born near Lyons, France, St. John (1786-1859) was ordained priest in Grenoble and assigned to the parish of Ars where he spent most of his life.

Nearly refused admittance into the seminary due to ‘his ignorance,’ then denied ordination for failing the exam, a good bishop finally recognized the sanctity of our simple Saint. ‘He has devotion to Our Lady? He knows how to say the Rosary? He is a model of piety? Very well then! I summon him to come up for ordination! The grace of God will do the rest.’ And the ‘rest’ is history! Denied the faculties of hearing Confessions until later, this magnificent Saint was to spend three-fourths of his life in the Confessional, with lines up to 8 days long waiting to confess to him and to hear him preach.

He was outstanding for his steadfast care of souls, for his spirit of prayer and mortification, but above all, for his tireless dedication to the Sacrament of Penance. He spent close to 42 years in the confessional, drawing energy from his intimate and constant friendship with our Lord in the Eucharist. Pius XI declared him Patron of the Universal Clergy.

How did this ‘ignorant’ priest gain the distinguished title, ‘Patron of Universal Clergy?’ How did he gain wisdom equal to that of the Church Fathers? It was not admidst books in libraries, but on his knees, in prayer . . . He sought wisdom nowhere else but in Jesus Christ, in His death and in His Cross.

Let us pray to the Curè d’Ars, that he obtain for us holy priests!”

Yes, dear friends, let us ask God through the intercession of Our Lady, Mother of Priests and St. John Maria Vianney, for the holiness, fidelity and apostolic zeal of all the priests in the world, especially those who are in most need, so that all may have the same dispositions as the Curé d’Ars when he prayed:

“I love You, O my God, and my only desire
is to love You until the last breath of my life.

I love You, O my infinitely lovable God,
and I would rather die loving You, than live without loving You.

I love You, Lord and the only grace I ask is to love You eternally…

My God, if my tongue cannot say in every moment that I love You,
I want my heart to repeat it to You as often as I draw breath.”

Let us pray:

Almighty and merciful God, who made the Priest Saint John Vianney wonderful in his pastoral zeal, grant, we pray, that through his intercession and example we may win brothers and sisters in charity for Christ and attain with them eternal glory. Through our Lord.

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