Monday, August 4, 2014

St John Baptist Vianney

St. John Baptist Vianney (1786-1859)
The patron saint of priests, St John Marie Baptist Vianney, whose feast we celebrate today, was meant to be a holy priest, even though he had a very tough time in his studies, especially Latin. When he was ordained, he was sent to a little town in France called Ars, which was very liberal and had no faith at all. However he gently changed the whole town as people went to confession, attended Masses and with his patience and holiness, transformed a simple town into a pilgrimage site. He was made the patron of all parish priests during the Year of the Priest, proclaimed in 2009 by Pope Benedict XVI. These are some of his popular quotes:
'Never forget that it is at the beginning of each day that God has the necessary grace for the day ready for us. He knows exactly what opportunities we shall have to sin, and will give us everything we need if we ask him then.'
'Prayer is nothing else than union with God. When the heart is pure and united with God it is consoled and filled with sweetness; it is dazzled by a marvelous light.'
'Man has a noble task: That of prayer and love. To pray and love, that is the happiness of man on earth.'
'When we pray properly, sorrows disappear like snow before the sun.'
"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."
"Prayer is the inner bath of love into which the soul plunges itself."
"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."
"When we go before the Blessed Sacrament, let us open our heart; our good God will open His. We shall go to Him; He will come to us; the one to ask, the other to receive. It will be like a breath from one to the other."

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