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Feast of Year for Priest Patron Celebrated Today

August 4, 2009
curedarsToday marks the 150th anniversary of the death of St. John Marie Vianney.
As many of our readers know, this holy priest is the patron not only of parish priests, but of the Year for Priests that Pope Benedict XVI launched this past June 19th, on the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
This isn’t the first time that John Vianney has been chosen as a catalyst for priestly renewal.  In 1959, Pope John XXIII released the encyclical Sacerdotii Nostri Primordia, using St. John Vianney as the foundation to discuss priestly life.  His humble simplicity and his love for God is well recorded in many biographies and it’s worth taking the time to familiarize yourself with this great saint (here’s one or two places to start!).
This year offers not only the opportunity to learn more about this holy pastor, but also as the Holy Father said during his August 2nd Angelus address, it is a “precious occasion to deepen the value of the priestly mission in the Church and in the world.”
The feast day also coincides with the opening day of the Knights of Columbus’ 127th Supreme Convention.  The Knights, founded by Venerable Fr. Michael J. McGivney, have always been an ardent supporter of priests and priestly vocations.  Included in the opening Mass program is the following prayer for priests.  Today may be a good day to begin the daily practice of saying this prayer for all those who have answered God’s call to this vocation.
We thank you, God our Father, for those who have responded to your call to priestly ministry. Accept this prayer we offer on their behalf: Fill your priests with the sure knowledge of your love. Open their hearts to the power and consolation of the Holy Spirit. Lead them to new depths of union with your Son. Increase in them profound faith in the Sacraments they celebrate as they nourish, strengthen and heal us.
Lord Jesus Christ, grant that these, your priests, may inspire us to strive for holiness by the power of their example, as men of prayer who ponder your word and follow your will.O Mary, Mother of Christ and our mother, guard with your maternal care these chosen ones, so dear to the Heart of your Son.  Intercede for our priests that, offering the Sacrifice of your Son, they may be conformed more each day to the image of your Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  Amen.
St. John Vianney, universal patron of priests, pray for us and our priests.
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