Thursday, August 6, 2009

Priesthood honored along with St. John Vianney

Video of St. John Vianney
Now it is the feast of St. John Vianney, the patron of parish priests, who went home to the Lord 150 years ago today. John Vianney grasped the unique dignity enjoyed by the priest as a minister of Christ’s grace, and he sought to conform his whole life to this mystery. He deeply understood what the priest is for, especially his divinely-willed service to Christian truth.
"When men want to destroy religion they begin by attacking the priest, because where the priest is no more, there is no more sacrifice, and where there is no more sacrifice, there is no more religion.”
“Leave a parish for twenty years without a priest, and beasts will be worshipped there.”
How fitting then that Pope Benedict XVI has chosen the 150th anniversary of St. John Vianney’s death to call the whole Church to observe a Jubilee Year for Priests, during which he hopes priests and laity alike will grow in the understanding of the ministerial priesthood and its essential teaching, sanctifying, and governing roles in the life of the Church.