Saturday, May 1, 2010

St. John Vianney (May 8, 1786 to Aug. 4, 1859

All families have a favorite priest. Ours was Father Paul and we've known him for more than 35 years.
He was with us for numerous weddings and funerals, and it wouldn't be a party without him there. He loved the way my mom cooked and I still remember him calling our house to say he'd love chicken cutlets for dinner. When he was eating "light," it might be just eight meatballs with spaghetti or six hamburgers off the grill. The evening culminated with card games like High-Low-Jack, and Father Paul would be right in there cursing with everyone else.
He was also the person I could count on when I needed a new rosary blessed. When my parents put the addition on our house, I insisted Father Paul bless each and every room including the two bathrooms and the basement.
One of last times I saw him was when he served my mother's funeral Mass many years ago. I selected and did the first reading (Ecclesiastes 3), and Father Paul said in all his years, he'd never seen a daughter keep her composure at such an emotional time.
He is a very special person in our family which brings to mind the patron saint of priests.
St. John Vianney was born on May 8, 1786 in Dardilly, France. He was ordained in 1815 and could be found hearing confessions between 12 to 16 hours a day. He had a deep devotion to the Blessed Mother.
St. John Vianney was known as the Cure D'Ars. He died on Aug. 4, 1859 in Ars-sur-Formans, France. Canonized: 1925. His feast day is Aug. 4.

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