St John Vianney the patron saint of Diocesan Priests was an extraordinary Priest. In a sense it is difficult for most of us to live up to his standard. Saints like St John Vianney are here to inspire us and to teach us about holiness and how to be Diocesan Priests.
St John Vianney found his seminary studies difficult because during the France Revolution, the schools were closed for a period of time, making it difficult for him to learn Latin.
In his first parish of Ars, few Catholics practiced their faith, but eventually he converted the parish by his preaching, his many hours in the confessional and by his severe personal penance.
There was also another side to St John Vianney. He longed to live a quiet life and join a monastery. He even attempted to join a monastery at least twice with no success. He was concerned about his own sanctity since at that time there were no Diocesan Priests who had become saints. However he eventually became the first Diocesan Priest to be canonized.
St John Vianney can teach us many lessons about the Priesthood, the struggles of being a Diocesan Priest and more importantly the pathway to holiness. We give thanks for his life and we ask St John Vianney to pray for the Priests of our country and for more Priestly vocations.
St John Vianney pray for us. (Feast day 4th August)
Kind regards and God bless
Fr. Eamon Kennedy
3rd August 2013