Saint John Vianney, Curé of Ars

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On occasion I like to dig into the past to recycle a “lightly read” post. This one dates back to 2012:

Saint John Vianney had a tough go of it in becoming a priest. His meager early education left him without adequate academic skills necessary for the seminary and His inability to master Latin too was a great obstacle.Born at the time of the French Revolution, the church was under attack from the population,and many times as a youth his mass attendance was in secret.Drafted into Napoleons Army towards the latter part of the war; an illness kept him from his first enrollment and a missed appointment kept him from the second; with that the threat desertion charges kept him in hiding. In Seminary his academics were so challenged that he nearly was let go, but a priest convinced the seminary to allow him to continue due to his devotion to Christ. Needles to say since he was not the most successful of students, when it came time to receive assignments he was sent somewhere he could do little harm. That place was the small parish of Ars, France; population 230 .

It seemed though that this simple minded priest was just what this religiously challenged population needed. The French Revolution had addressed the political and social structure of the country. The Church had been a great part of the Political landscape; and a large part of the revolution was against its power and its wealth.France was moving towards a secular society.  Perhaps in that great struggle that was going on nationwide, the personal struggles of John Vianney proved to be his greatest asset. In the turmoil of the revolution, perhaps a eloquently educated Priest of letters would have raised suspicion or even contempt, being socially and intellectually so far removed from struggling small town parishioners. Perhaps rather than academics it was simplicity and sincerity that won these town-folks over. While the cure of Ars might have been challenged in the academics of Christianity, he was a champion in the practice of the faith, and he could guide his flock in that faith in a language they could understand. He understood Christ and he lived his teachings.John Vianney understood Jesus’s language,he understood what it meant when he said: “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. “For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
IN that town of Ars, population 230; John Vianney greeted 20,000 pilgrims and was known to spend 10 hours listening to their confessions. Perhaps John Vianney’s greatest skill in academics was something his teachers failed to grasp, the value of humble sincerity and the faithful practice of what you preach

Kateri Tekakwitha

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Here is a post from a number of years ago, and it is proof that prayers are answered. Today “Blessed” Kateri Tekawitha is now “Saint” Kateri Tekawitha , the first Native North American Saint. The painting of her is by Father Chauchetière. It hangs in the sacristy of St. Francis Xavier Church on the Kanawaké Mohawk Reservation , near Montréal, Québec. On her death this priest witnessed the scars from her encounter with smallpox miraculously and almost immediately disappear from her face.

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Prayer for the Canonization
of Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha
O God, who, among the many marvels of Your Grace in the New World, did cause to blossom on the banks of the Mohawk and of the St. Lawrence, the pure and tender Lily, Kateri Tekakwitha, grant we beseech You, the favor we beg through her intercession, that this Young Lover of Jesus and of His Cross may soon be counted among the Saints of Holy Mother Church, and that our hearts may be enkindled with a stronger desire to imitate her innocence and faith. Through the
same Christ Our Lord. Amen.

Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha, pray for us.

Kateri Tekakwitha’s date of canonization is 21 October 2012
Memorial 14 July

Kateri was born in1656 of a Catholic Algonquin mother(Tagaskouita) and the Mohawk chief Kenneronkwa in the village of Ossemenon(Auriesville) along the Mohawk river in northern New York. A smallpox epidemic that swept through that region took the lives of Kateri’s(Catherine’s) parents and her  brother. This disease also left her with the diseases characteristic scars, limited vision , and also physically weak. She was adopted by her aunt and uncle(Chief of the Turtle Clan) at four years of age. Since Kateri’s mother was Christian, see encouraged that faith in Kateri. Her father however was of a Native American religion and had an opposite opinion on the subject. Her uncle too discouraged her interest in Christianity. The battle between Christianity, and her families Native American religion would be a source of friction for much of Kateri’s life. Kateri was a devout follower of Christ; she was baptized at the age of 20 by the Jesuit priest Father Jacques de Lamberville. On Christmas Day of 1677 Kateri received her first holy communion. In March of 1679 she professed her vow to perpetual virginity. She devoted her life to teaching prayers to children, helping the sick and aged. On 17April1680 she died at 24-years of age. The last words she uttered were “Jesus, I love you”: “lesos konoronkwa.” Shortly after her death her scars from smallpox began to disappear.

O God, who desired the Virgin St. Kateri Tekakwitha to flower among Native Americans in a life of innocence, grant, through her intercession, that when all are gathered into your Church from every nation, tribe and tongue, they may magnify you in a single canticle of praise. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

KATERI TEKAWITHA embraced Jesus Christ, even though many in her family and tribe rejected her for it. Kateri Tekawitha will be the first canonized Native American saint. She is a source of great pride among the many Native Americans who are devout Catholic’s. Her sainthood is an answer to their years of prayer in the past and she will certainly be a faithful intercessor for all Americans in the years to come. Throughout the Northeastern United States and Canada there are many Native American Tribes that enthusiastically embraced Christianity and they are active, vibrant, devout followers of Jesus and his Church today. The memorial and the canonization of Kateri Tekawitha, the “Lilly of the Mohawks” is an especially festive an joyous occasion for them as it is for all in her region.

Nativity of John the Baptist

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 A Recycled post from June 24, 2012

(Let me add a little note: I have not recycled posts before, but I have an inkling I shall continue this on a weekly basis. I have not come up with a clever name yet, nor decided on which day that recycling will occur.Finaly, there might be some “new material” surrounding the aged writing.)

No other prophet of the Old Testament is celebrated in the liturgical year other than John the Baptists. There is no feast day for Moses, or Elisha or Elijah or Isaiah. There are no prophets mentioned in the New Testament after John. In the New Testament the prophecy ends with John. The nativity of John and the nativity of Jesus too are curiously similar: Jesus born of a virgin, John of a barren elderly. Jesus’s annunciation is greeted with Mary’s Magnificat; the annunciation of John leaves Zechariah dumbfounded. It is only after John’s birth that Zachariah tongue is freed to proclaim his canticle to God. At the visitation John while still in Elizabeth’s womb, leaps for Joy at the arrival of Mary, pregnant with Jesus.

The joy at the nativity of John the Baptist is expressed in the Benedictus, the canticle of Zechariah sung at John’s birth. It opens “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come to his people and redeemed them. He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David.” The savior Jesus the Christ is the reason John leapt for joy! This is the hope of the people of YHWH, and blessed be the Lord is a characteristic opening of Jewish prayer, it is a prayer of thanksgiving for the fulfillment of Israel’s promise of the Messiah, the redeemer of Israel: The promise of the throne of David fulfilled in Christ.

The canticle opens both Jewish and Christian in character. It continues “As he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets, who are from the beginning: Salvation from our enemies and from the hand of all that hate us….” The canticle acknowledges the work of the prophets, the message of YHWH spoke of in the Old Testament. Zachariah’s song then turns to his own son John.” And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him, to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins,”

This is the mission of John the Baptist, to prepare the way of the Lord Jesus the Christ. The voice of one crying in the wilderness, make way for the Lord! How fitting it is that the Liturgy of the Hours starts the day with Zachariah’s Benedictus and ends with Mary’s Magnificat. The song at the beginning of the day announces John’s role, a herald who prepares YHWHS people for the Lord; and the Magnificat, Mary’s song at the announcement of the arrival of that Lord, Jesus the Christ.

Saint John Vianney, Curé of Ars

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Saint John Vianney had a tough go of it in becoming a priest. His meager early education left him without adequate academic skills necessary for the seminary and His inability to master Latin too was a great obstacle.Born at the time of the French Revolution the church was under attack from the population, many times as a youth his mass attendance was in secret.Drafted into Napoleons Army towards the latter part of the war; an illness kept him from his first enrollment and a missed appointment kept him from the second; with that the threat desertion charges kept him in hiding. In Seminary his academics were so challenged that he nearly was let go, but a priest convinced the seminary to allow him to continue due to his devotion to Christ. Needles to say since he was not the most successful of students, when it came time to receive assignments he was sent somewhere he could do little harm. That place was the small parish of Ars, France; population 230 .

It seemed though that this simple minded priest was just what this religiously challenged population needed. The French Revolution had addressed the political and social structure of the country. The Church had been a great part of the Political landscape; and a large part of the revolution was against its power and its wealth.France was moving towards a secular society.  Perhaps in that great struggle that was going on nationwide, the personal struggles of John Vianney proved to be his greatest asset. In the turmoil of the revolution, perhaps a eloquently educated Priest of letters would have raised suspicion or even contempt, being socially and intellectually so far removed from struggling small town parishioners. Perhaps rather than academics it was simplicity and sincerity that won these town-folks over. While the cure of Ars might have been challenged in the academics of Christianity, he was a champion in the practice of the faith, and he could guide his flock in that faith in a language they could understand. He understood Christ and he lived his teachings.John Vianney understood Jesus’s language,he understood what it meant when he said: “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. “For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
IN that town of Ars, population 230; John Vianney greeted 20,000 pilgrims and was known to spend 10 hours listening to their confessions. Perhaps John Vianney’s greatest skill in academics was something his teachers failed to grasp, the value of humble sincerity and the faithful practice of what you preach