Vatican, 04 August, 2023 / 11:55 am (ACI Africa).
A century after the patron saint of priests, St. John Vianney, died on Aug. 4, 1859, Pope John XXIII reflected on the life of the saint and what it means to be a holy priest.
In contemplating his life, one immediately thinks of a priest who lived out great penance and whose “only motives were the love of God and the desire for the salvation of the souls of his neighbors,” John XXIII said.
The saintly pope reflected on the life of Vianney in an encyclical titled Sacerdotii Nostri Primordia. The encyclical was written in 1959 for the 100th anniversary of Vianney’s death.
After struggling with his studies, John Vianney was ordained a priest in 1815. Shortly afterward, he was assigned to Ars, France, near his hometown of Dardilly. There, he spent the majority of his priesthood.
The devoted pastor was known for his dedication to the poor, his counseling to those in need, and for founding La Providence, an orphanage for girls.