Monday, 4 August 2008

Memorial of Saint John Mary Vianney

So who is this saint for whom we celebrate the memory of today? Here's something on him from Wikipedia:

- patron saint of parish priests
- born and baptized on 8 May 1786 in the town of Dardilly, France
- related to priests as though they were heroes, since the French Revolution forced those priests to hide from the government in order to carry out the sacraments in their parish
- recruited by Napoleon's armies in Spain (though his recruitment was a mistake, since privately tutored theological students in the archdiocese of Lyon were exempt from conscription) but deserted and lived in a communal village called Les Noes where other deserted troops had hid themselves
- returned to Ecully legally under an Imperial decree, passed in 1810, which granted all deserters from the years 1806 to 1810 to be exempt from punishment
- became "Curé d'Ars" (the parish priest of Ars, a remote town not far from Lyons) shortly after the death of his mentor, M. Balley, who was the curé [parish priest] of Ecully
- began to be known internationally, and people from distant places began traveling to hear his sermons. Also performed miracles throughout his life, e.g. supernatural knowledge of the past and future, and healing the sick (especially children)
- died at age seventy three on 4 August 1859, proclaimed venerable by Pope Pius IX on 3 October 1874 ; declared Blessed and proposed as a model to the parochial clergy on 8 January 1905 by Pope Pius X; canonized by Pope Pius XI in 1925.
- His feast day falls on the anniversary of his death (August 4).

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