St. John Vianney is a great example for priests. He is the patron saint of parish priests. St. John Vianney was born in 1786 and died in 1859. He was the pastor of the French village of Ars for forty one years (1818-1859). St. John Vianney was known for patronage of confessors.
St. John Vianney inspires all to believe that everything is possible with the help of God. St. John Vianney had many obstacles before he could become a priest. His father refused to send him away and he was only ordained because the leaders thought that God would make him successful if he wanted him to be. He had to travel very far to be ordained as well. St. John Vianney was sent to the tiny village of Ars in 1818. There were not many people here and the church life was not strong at all. This spot was his assignment as a priest and he worked very hard to build up the faith in this area. The people there were struggling and did not think he would last long there. In fact, they did not want him to last long at first. St. John Vianney visited the people of his church often and encouraged them to be faithful and come to church. He helped the sick and poor in his parish and led as a leader of great example. His prayed for days in front of Jesus and St. John Vianney often prayed for the members of his church by doing penance for them. He has great knowledge when it came to speaking about what God wanted for his people. He worked miracles and had many gifts of spirit from God that helped him his preaching. He was able to heal the sick. His words were wise and crowds began to appear at all his preachings. 20,000 pilgrims came here a year once he built up a great reputation as a preacher. People walked for miles to hear him speak the word of God. Towards the later years of his life word spread so far about his God given ability to preach. People from all over the world came to visit, listen to him, and get his help. Weather was not an issue for these people. His preaching's were more important than anything else for a lot of people. It may have been just hours of talk, but pilgrims made the effort to come. People left their parishes to come and go to church at St. John Vianney's parish. The transformation of the town into a lifeless and faithless area was drastically changed because of St. John Vianney. He brought life, hope, faith, and spirit and helped with every one's problems. St. John Vianney the confessor spent nearly twenty hours in confessionals sometimes. He was in the confessionals for hours on end each day. He converted sinners like no other priest. Sinners who wanted and needed repentance knew he would be the one to change their lives. He sometimes heard three hundred confessions each day. He ignored the necessities of life and concentrated on doing the work for God. He sometimes ate only a little bread a day. He was in so way more concerned about his health than preaching and hearing confessions.
St. John Vianney faced some problems when sent to Ars. Some small problems included the lack of faith the members of his town had in him. They did not believe he could do anything to help the suffering town, and they did not care about him because they had no faith and could not relate. They were just waiting for him to leave because they did not think he could last there. St. John Vianney over came this minor problem by proving he was one of the most intelligent, hard-working, spiritual, and well-spoken priests who could turn around a suffering town and inspire thousands. In addition, other priests were jealous of his God given ability and success. They accused him of dirty rumors. Some members of the parish fell for this terror and were mad he changed their parish. They hurt his home and possessions. He was hurt while he fought with the devil one night. This problem was dealt with by the help of God. He continues to live his life as God had called. He continues to help and preach to others. His problems relate to modern day problems of priests. Today priests still have difficulties getting ordained. It is a long hard process and some bail out on it or get asked to leave who should not have been. Also, the duty of becoming a priest can be looked over by a lot of people. St. John Vianney lacked support to become a priest and a lot of priests today face this problem as well. The town did not accept him at first. Many new priests in a parish today have to adjust and show their abilities and faith to new parishes. Sometimes it is hard to be accepted as a new priest today. Priests today also get rumors spoken about them, along with everyone in the world. It is hard to deal with but priests are inspirational because they all know the best way to deal with the pain that comes their way, especially St. John Vianney.
Repentance by confessing one's sins is the most important sacrament St. John Vianney spoke about. He knew that the sacrament of Penance brought people closest to God. God would always be there to hear confessions and would always forgive someone when they really needed forgiveness. St. John Vianney saw the gift God gave us of forgiveness as a factor that could bring us closest to God because God realizes that you care. God realizes you want to change for the better. Confessing sins brings relief and happiness to all those who confess. This is why St. John Vianney preaches about its importance. It is clear he sees this as important because he heard over 20,000 confessions in his life. This is remarkable. Hours and hours of his life were spent in confessional hearings. He heard hundreds of confessions a day. His lack of sleep and food were not sufficient enough to carry out his life of hard work in preaching about faith. He could not keep up with his hard work and eventually died. However, it is clear that by hearing confessions his whole life he wanted to make his message clear that asking for forgiveness is necessary to have a great faith with God.
St. John Vianney had a great devotion to Jesus. This means a lot to me because he showed how important is it to live a life like Jesus would want us to. It is very important to ask for forgiveness of our sins so that we can become closer to Jesus and God. This is meaningful to me because the relationship with Jesus and devotion to his is the most important thing in life because it leads people to heaven. St. John Vianney was an inspirational priest who showed that everything is possible with the help of God. St. John Vianney is the perfect example for all priests. St. John Vianney is the perfect example for all human beings.
- Fournier, Catherine. "Saint John Vianney". Domestic-Church.com. 2010. Web. 5 February 2010. < http://www.domestic-church.com/CONTENT.DCC/19980701/SAINTS/VIANNEY.HTM>.
- "Saint John Mary Vianney". Saints.SQPN.com. 15 January 2010. Web. 5 February 2010. <http://saints.sqpn.com/saint-john-mary-vianney/>.