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A Message from Father Nathan
My dearest people who are all close to my heart
Lots of love, blessings, and prayers to you all.
the feast of St. John Vianney who is the patron saint of priests
This week we will celebrate the feast of St. John Vianney, the patron saint of all the pastors. St. John Vianney, in full Saint Jean Baptiste-Marie Vianney, also called Cure d’Ars, (born May 8, 1786, Dardillly, France—died August 4, 1859, Ars, canonized May 31, 1925, feast day August 4 (formerly August 9), a French priest who was renowned as a confessor and for his supernatural powers.
patron saint of parish priests
He is the patron saint of parish priests In 1818 he became priest of the small village of Ars, which he made a model parish and from which reports of his holiness and his supernatural powers soon spread. He was known for his devotion to the Virgin Mary and to St. Philomena and was dedicated to the sacrament of reconciliation (confession) for his parishioners.
From 1824 he suffered attacks that he believed were caused by the Devil, who allegedly on one occasion set fire to Vianney’s bed. By 1827 Ars had become a pilgrimage site, and, every year from 1845 until Vianney’s death, about 20,000 persons visited Ars to see Vianney and especially to make their confession to him. The holy cure spent as many as 12 to 15 hours daily in his confessional.
Pope Pius XI canonized him. St. John Vianney’s mother was a woman of great piety, leading him into the way of religion at an early age.
“I owe a debt to my mother: he said, and added, “Virtues go easily from mothers into the hearts of their children, who willingly do what they see being done”
What was his method? What analyses had he made, and what pastoral plans had he organized? In a word: None!
He had only his priesthood lived to the point where he truly became, more and more, day by day, “another Christ”. His priesthood brought him to a most exalted state:
“Since the priest is important”, he wrote, “the priest will only be understood in Heaven. If we were to understand him on this earth, we would die of love”. “After God, the priest is everything. Leave a parish without a priest for 20 years and beasts will be worshipped there”,
as happens today, to the satisfaction of God’s enemies who seek to corrupt priests in order to corrupt his people.
No one has expressed better than he how “frightful” it is to be a priest, to have the mandate to absolve people and to make God present in a host:
“How a priest is to be pitied when he celebrates Mass as an ordinary event. How unfortunate is a priest without an inner life!”
Fr. Vianney celebrated Mass early in the morning and it was apparent to everyone that he was fulfilling the Sacrifice of the Son of God on the Cross. He was absolutely certain that Mass is everything because it is from this sacrifice that salvation comes, and in those moments, God is adored as befits Him.
“If I were to meet a priest and an angel”, he used to say, “I would greet the priest first and then the angel….If there were no priests, the passion and death of Jesus would serve no purpose. What use is a treasure chest full of gold if there is no one who can unlock it? The priest has the key to the treasures of Heaven”.
May he bless me that I may also radiate Christ to you. Please pray for me that I may be faithful minister and to the Holy Mother Church.
God bless you all.
With lots of love and blessings,
Ever wanting to be faithful to your service,
— Fr. Sahayanathan Nathan
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