Our parish patron, Saint John Vianney, was a humble and holy man, who grew up at a time when French Catholics practiced their faith in secret. He was drafted for Napoleon’s Army, yet never fought. He studied for the priesthood, yet was considered too slow to be ordained. When he was finally granted Holy Orders, he was sent to minister in a small village of 230 souls. In time pilgrims from all over Europe traveled to him, more than 20,000 each year.
It is said Father Vianney spent 12-18 hours a day hearing confessions. He was not known as a powerful speaker or a great leader, but people were drawn to him. When he died, 300 priests attended his funeral along with 6,000 faithful.
We know John Vianney was a man of prayer with special devotion to the Virgin Mary and to Saint Philomena. Some of our favorite quotes from Saint John Vianney talk about the importance of prayer:
“If we really loved the good God, we should make it our joy and happiness to come and spend a few moments to adore Him, and ask Him for the grace of forgiveness; and we should regard those moments as the happiest of our lives.”
“When you awake in the night, transport yourself quickly in spirit before the Tabernacle, saying: ‘Behold, my God, I come to adore You, to praise, thank, and love you, and to keep you company with all the Angels …”
“Our Lord is hidden there, waiting for us to come and visit him and ask him for what we want. He is there, in the Sacrament of his love, sighing and interceding unceasingly for sinners before God his Father. He is there to console us … See how good he is!”
In the spirit of Saint John Vianney, we offer these links to collections of Catholic Prayers: