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Love, Knowledge and Holiness: St. John Vianney - Family Reflection Video

Love, Knowledge and Holiness: St. John Vianney - Family Reflection Video

Learn more about our faith  |  Holy lives of inspiration

After the French Revolution in the 1790’s, parts of France were left in social chaos. Extreme atheist factions had gotten control in some areas and the aftermath was a material, social, and spiritual collapse. This was still the case in a rural village in south central France called Ars when a young priest named Jean (John) Marie Vianney arrived there 20 years later, in 1818.

In the seminary, he really struggled with studies and wasn’t seen as very talented or promising. He was sent to this very difficult village and something unexpected happened as the area started to turn around spiritually and socially. Never the great scholar, the Curé of Ars, as he is still called, excelled in love, knowledge of God, and in holiness! When he arrived, he was rejected by local people but then he won their confidence and their hearts. As then people from far and wide travelled for his spiritual counsel and to confess their sins. He was an amazing shepherd of souls.

When the prophet Jeremiah prophesied about days to come when the law of the Lord would be written in people’s hearts, Jerusalem was in shambles, in total chaos because of the people’s infidelity. His words would have seemed absurd at the time, as the prophet had a vision of the coming of Emmanuel, God with Us, who would come as Sacrifice of this New Covenant, the Word made flesh whose Body and Blood would nourish and fill His people: the beginning of a New Creation.

Since his life on earth, Saint John Vianney has remained a powerful witness for us of these days to come, which in some sense are already here. We too are to witness to the New Covenant that one enters by proclaiming, as did Saint Peter, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” Our times seem to be very challenging, while for good reason we keep wondering, “How long, O Lord?”

Recognize that our brains are small and our vision short: the Lord knows what He is doing. He wants us to open our hearts to embrace the Infinite Love Who embraces us so He can live in us. Jeremiah foresaw this. Saint John Vianney did it. May we do the same.

Saint John Vianney, pray for us.

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About Father Jim Phalan, C.S.C.

Father James Phalan, C.S.C., is a Catholic priest, member of the Congregation of Holy Cross and the National Director of Family Rosary. He served as a missionary for many years travelling the globe to help people come to Jesus through Mary as part of the Family Rosary team. Now he is happy to be serving back at home in the USA!