Wednesday, August 2, 2006

Novena to St. John Vianney: Day 6 (Purity)

St. John Vianney, Model of Purity
O holy Priest of Ars, your life was a model of purity. Your life of chastity was a source of edification to all. You said that when a soul is pure all the court of heaven looks upon it with great joy. Today we are experiencing a great disregard for the virtue of purity; it is looked upon with ridicule by worldly standards. O great St. John Vianney, more than ever before, we need your prayers and help in avoiding sins of impurity. I ask you to help Father ___________________ to keep pure in mind and in body and give good example in his speech, conduct and in his faith. Obtain for him the strength necessary to combat temptations against the virtue of purity, which could lead him away from God. Unite your prayers with those of Mary Immaculate to implore God that Father ___________________ be pure in mind and heart and preserve him from those sins which are so displeasing to God. Recite the Novena Prayer.

Novena Prayer
O holy Priest of Ars, St. John Marie Vianney, you loved God and served Him faithfully as His Priest. Now you see God face to face in heaven. You never despaired but persevered in your faith until you died. Remember now the dangers, fears and anxieties that surround Father ___________________ and intercede for him in all his needs and troubles especially console him in his most difficult moments, grant him serenity in the midst of crisis, and protect him from evil. O St. John Vianney, I have confidence in your intercession. Pray for Father ____________________ in a special way during this novena.


From the St. Anthony Messenger:

John Baptiste Vianney, affectionately called the “Curé of Ars,” is the Catholic Church’s patron saint of parish priests. If you travel across the United States, chances are you will find a parish named after John Vianney (1786-1859) in almost every diocese.

He was a champion of the poor as a Third Order Franciscan and a recipient of the coveted French Legion of Honor. Vianney’s remarkable sanctity and commitment to his small rural parish in France drew over 100,000 pilgrims each year. People journeyed from all over Europe to attend his Masses or sit in his confessional where he spent up to 16 hours a day hearing penitents.

Recently, I had the pleasure of visiting France, and decided to research this unique, holy pastor. John Vianney’s parish in Ars is situated along the Rhone River, a 30-minute drive from Lyon, in France’s magnificent Beaujolais wine region. Vineyards, lovely birch trees, elms and willows line the gently rolling hills.

Pope John Paul II himself visited Ars in 1986 at the 200th anniversary of John Vianney’s birth and referred to the great saint as a “rare example of a pastor acutely aware of his responsibilities...and a sign of courage for those who today experience the grace of being called to the priesthood.”

The pope also emphasized the numerous hardships John Vianney overcame in his life to become a great priest, the first being his expulsion from the Grand Seminary in Lyon because he could not master Latin. It was only through the goodness of Father Balley, a family friend and local pastor who personally tutored Vianney, that the bishop of Lyon finally agreed to ordain him.

Read more about the Cure d'Ars in this article