Today, we celebrate a wonderful little man who became a wonderful priest and declared a saint: St. John Vianney or the Cure de Ars. He was not a great intellectual or a well-travelled missionary to exotic places. No, he was simply a parish priest who did that job very well.
Mostly, he spent hours upon hours each day hearing the confessions of the many souls who would travel to Ars. He was quite simply the “good shepherd,” the Pastor, of Ars who brought spiritual healing to anyone who came to him. He was an ordinary man who did his job extraordinarily well.
I have been fortunate to attend retreat in Ars, France on at least three occasions in my priesthood. His small parish church and priest house is as inspiring as the small town itself. As we celebrate his memorial today, I ask you to pray for your priests and ask the intercession of St. John Vianney, the patron of parish priests, to protect us during this time of attack and religious persecution. May your soul be refreshed in your prayer with him today.
May this time be your time to respond to His invitation to grow into something very beautiful.