“Mondays with Mary” – The Marian Prayer of Saint John Vianney

Saint John Vianney, Patron of Parish Priests, notably known as the Curé of Ars, is a saint that I have drawn from many times in my writings. His simple yet profound sayings have impacted me in the course of my life, most especially the last twelve years or so. I was first introduced to him in 2006, then in 2009, I was reintroduced through a small booklet with many of his quotes contained in it. If you are unfamiliar with this great French saint, I would encourage you to read more about him. To read my other post about him and the Blessed Mother, read that one here.

St. John Vianney was asked once how long he loved Our Lady, his response, “I loved her almost before I could know her.” If I was a betting man, I imagine many of the saints would say the same exact thing about the Blessed Virgin Mary. So, for today’s “Mondays with Mary”, here is a Marian Prayer written by the Curé of Ars –

O most holy Virgin, Mary, who evermore stands before the most holy Trinity, and to whom it is granted at all times to pray for us to your most beloved Son; pray for in all my necessities; help me, protect me, and obtain for me the pardon of all my sins. Help me especially at my last hour; and when I can no longer give any sign of the use of reason, then encourage me, make the sign of the cross for me, and fight for me against the enemy. Make in my name a profession of faith; favor me with a testimony of my salvation, and never let me despair of the mercy of God. Help me to overthrow the tempting enemy.

When I can no longer say: “Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, I place my soul in your hands,” I ask you to say it to me; when I can longer hear human words of consolation, comfort me. Leave me not before I have been judged, and if I have to atone for my sins in purgatory, pray for me earnestly; and admonish my friends to procure for me a speedy enjoyment of the blessed vision of God. Lessen my sufferings, deliver me speedily, and lead my soul into heaven with you: that, united with all the elect, I may there bless and praise my God and you for all eternity. Amen. (Split into two paragraphs for easier reading).

 O, Most Blessed Virgin Mary…Pray for Us

Saint John Vianney…Pray for Us

7 Quotes from St. John Vianney on the Sanctification of Daily Life

From time to time, I enjoy reading through the thoughts of St. John Vianney because they bring comfort and consolation when I am enduring daily trials. Although I firmly believe in Jesus Christ and His Catholic Church, it doesn’t go without saying that daily life is a grind…it’s hard. Nowhere in the Gospels does Jesus say that life is a bed of roses, actually, he tells us to pick up our cross and follow him. Even in the Resurrection; the Cross is present.

So knowing that daily life is toil, what must we do to successfully make it through each day? In the life of the saints, particularly St. John Vianney, believed that if we sanctified our days, in other words, we made our days holy through prayer and sacrifice, we could endure the daily struggles of life and grow in holiness.

With today being the feast day of St. John Vianney, here are 7 Quotes on the Sanctification of Daily Life from him. I would encourage you to read through these, truly take them to heart and always remember that Jesus Christ is in control, no matter how difficult life may seem.

St. John Vianney 3

1. “In your work, offer your difficulties and troubles quite simply to God…and you will find that His blessing will rest upon you and on all you do.”

2. “Receive, O my God, all my thoughts and all I am going to do today, in union with all You bore out of love for me during Your life on earth.”

3. “When we do something we dislike, let us say to God: ‘My God, I offer you this in honor of the moment when you died for me.’”

4. “OH! How easily we could win Heaven day by day just by doing what we have to do – but by doing it for God!…”

5. “Do not try to please everybody. Try to please God, the Angels, and the Saints – they are your public.”

6. “When we cannot come to church, let us turn towards the Tabernacle and make a spiritual Communion. A wall cannot separate us from God.”

7. “Those who go often to Mass during the week, do their work very much better than those who, for want of faith, think they have no time for it.”

Let us pray: O, St. John Vianney, you endured daily struggles as the Priest of Ars, but through daily prayer and sanctification brought many souls to Jesus Christ. Intercede for us daily and assist us in sanctifying our day, so that we, through your guidance may bring those we encounter on a daily basis closer to Jesus Christ and His Catholic Church. Amen.

12 Words from St. John Vianney to the 21st Century on the Importance of Prayer

Realizing that the season of Lent is nearly upon us, there is the chance many people are trying to decide what they should “give up” for this penitential season at the last minute. During the season of Lent, we enter the desert with our Lord Jesus Christ and turn our attention to three important practices – Praying, Fasting, and Almsgiving. Instead of giving something up this year, why not do something instead.

Prayer is one of the most important practices during Lent, however, it shouldn’t be just during the penitential seasons we are praying more, we should be praying all the time and without ceasing. As St. Paul says in 1 Thessalonians 5:17, “Pray without ceasing.”

St. Teresa_of_AvilaPrayer, first and foremost, is our simple conversation with God, as St. Teresa of Avila teaches us. However, we can also offer up God our work as prayer that we might do a good job in the office, in the courtroom, in the classroom, on the streets, in the parish, in the convent or with our children. Prayer is essential for our personal relationship with Jesus Christ and so many of the saints knew this well.

If you are struggling to pray or you don’t pray much at all, I would challenge you to find time during the day to pray this Lent. If you don’t set time aside and find a quiet place to pray, this season will pass by quickly and the conversation with God will continue with your silence.

To show us how important prayer is to our lives with God, below are 12 words from the great parish priest, the Cure D’Ars, Saint John Vianney.

St. John Vianney

1. “There is no one who cannot pray – and pray at all times and in all places; by night or day, when hard at work or resting; in the country, at home, or when travelling.”

2. “Those who do not pray stoop towards the earth like a mole trying to make a hole to hide itself in.”

3. “When we pray with attention and humility of mind and heart, we quit the earth and rise to Heaven. We reach the outstretched arms of God. We talk with the Angels and the Saints.”

4. “God is everywhere ready to hear your prayers.”

5. “Those who do not pray think only of temporal things like the miser who, when a silver Crucifix was presented to him to kiss, remarked: ‘That cross weighs at least ten ounces.’”

6. “You can pray by putting yourself quite simply in touch with God. When one finds nothing more to say to Him but just knows He is there – that in itself is the best of prayers.”

7. “Troubles melt away before a fervent prayer like snow before the sun.”

8. “There is one thing everyone can do, whether they find it hard to meditate or not, and that is to make up their mind in the morning to cultivate some particular virtue during the day, to practice the interior Presence of God, and to live their life in union with Him.”

9. “Prayer makes time seem to pass quickly, and so pleasantly, that one fails to notice how long it is.”

10. “St. Colette saw and spoke to Our Lord as we speak to each other. How often do we come to church without knowing what we come to do, or what we wish to ask!”

11. “Do not the continual needs of our soul and body warn us to have recourse to Him who alone can supply them?”

12. “I often think that when come to adore Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, we should obtain everything we want, if we would ask for it with a very lively faith and a very pure heart.”

Let us pray: O, St. John Vianney, you prayed often to God for the many souls you were given to care for during your time as a priest. Help us by interceding on our behalf so that we might converse with Our Lord Jesus Christ on a daily basis and pray without ceasing. Amen.

“Mondays with Mary” – 10 Memorable Quotes about the Blessed Virgin Mary from St. John Vianney

I don’t know about you, but I love reading the Lives of the Saints and the many great things they said in the course of their lifetime. What makes the Saints so special for us today is that they are as human as we are and the life we live today, with all the struggles, sufferings, and the day in and day out hardships, they also endured. Every saint in heaven, either canonized officially by the Church or not, sought to live a life of sanctity here on earth, as we do today.

The greatest of the Saints read the Lives of the Saints before them. I can think of St. Ignatius of Loyola and St. John Bosco. Both led very different lives, but there were two things that united them in the end, their love for Jesus Christ and His Church and their zeal for the saints that came before them. I think reading the Lives of the Saints and their words can only assist us as we continue to walk on this earth seeking holiness.

St. John VianneyA great little book I own is the Thoughts of the Curé D’Ars a.k.a. Saint John Vianney. It’s small enough to fit into your back pocket, purse, or car console (which is where mine is usually kept). Often at stop lights or when sitting in traffic, I will take out this little book and read the practical wisdom he shares on a variety of subjects regarding faith and life.

For today’s “Mondays with Mary”, I provide you 10 memorable quotes from St. John Vianney on the Blessed Virgin Mary. Read them, read them again, pray with them, and utilize them when you see fit. They are very good!

1. “Avarice is an inordinate love of riches and the good things of this life. Jesus Christ, to cure us of it, was born in extreme poverty, deprived of all comforts. He chose a Mother who was poor. He willed to pass as the Son of a humble workman.”

2. “Happy is he who lives and dies under the protection of the Blessed Virgin.”

3. “I LOVE St. Joseph so much because he had the care of the Blessed Virgin.”

4. “Humility is like a pair of scales: the lower one side falls, the higher rises the other. Let us humble ourselves like the Blessed Virgin and we shall be exalted.”

5. “Let us live as the Blessed Virgin lived: loving God only, desiring God only, trying to please God only in all that we do.”

mary-baby-jesus1

6.  “The Blessed Virgin is like a good mother who, not content with looking after all her children in general, watches over each one separately.”

7. “Jesus on the Cross said to the disciple whom He loved: “Behold your Mother!” How sweet are those words to the Christian who is able to understand what depths of love they contain!”

8. “JESUS CHRIST, after having given us all He could give, that is to say, the merit of his toils, His sufferings, and His bitter death; after having given us His Adorable Body and Blood to be the Food of our souls, willed also to give us the most precious thing He had left, which as His holy Mother.”

9. “The Blessed Virgin’s life was full of sorrow…Every time her tender glance fell upon her Divine Son, she suffered…”

10. “It is impossible to meditate with devotion upon the Mysteries of the Rosary and live in a state of sin.”

10 Words from St. John Vianney to the 21st Century on the True Presence of Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament

Although today is the Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, in the Church’s Roman Liturgical Calendar it’s also the memorial for Saint John Vianney. He is known as the Cure D’Ars, the Priest of Ars. He converted thousands to the Catholic faith during this lifetime as a priest. Pope Pius XI declared him the “Patron of Parish Priests” in 1929.

As a good priest should, he loved celebrating Holy Mass and had a profound devotion to the True Presence of Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament. He spent countless hours in the Confessional for he loved the souls under his care.  He received grace and strength from the Blessed Sacrament.

Below are 10 words from St. John Vianney to the 21st century on the True Presence of Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament.

Holy Eucharist in Monstrance

  1. “How pleasing to Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament is the short quarter of an hour that we steal from our occupations, from something of no use, to come and pray to Him, to visit Him, to console him.”
  2. “Do not be afraid of people saying that going to Mass on a weekday is only for those who have nothing to do…Are you ashamed to serve God for fear of being despised?”
  3. Our Lord is hidden in the Blessed Sacrament, waiting for us to come and visit Him.”
  4. “After the reception of the Sacraments, when we feel the love God growing cold, let us instantly make a Spiritual Communion.”
  5. “What happiness do we not feel in the Presence of God, when we are alone at His feet before the Sacred Tabernacle!…Redouble your fervor, you are alone to adore your God; His eyes rest upon you alone.”
  6. “When we want to obtain anything of the good God, let us, after Holy Communion, offer Him His well-beloved Son, with all the merits of His Death and Passion; He will be able to refuse us nothing.”
  7. When a soul has received the Sacrament of the Eucharist worthily, it is humble, mortified, charitable, and is capable of the most sublime sacrifices. In short, it is no longer the same.”
  8. “When we come from our Communions, if anyone said to us: “What are you taking home with you?” we should be able to reply: “I am carrying away Heaven!
  9. “To what outrages does Our Lord expose Himself in the Blessed Sacrament that He may remain in the midst of us! He is there to console us, and therefore we ought often to visit Him.”
  10. “Happier than those who lived during His mortal life, when He was only in one place, we find Jesus Christ today in every corner of the world, in the Blessed Sacrament.”

Let us pray: Heavenly Father, you gave us the great parish priest, St. John Vianney, who was full of pastoral zeal and grace. Through his intercession, help us to win more souls for Jesus Christ so that we all may attain Heavenly and eternal glory with you. Amen. 

This post is dedicated to Bishop James S. Wall, Bishop of Gallup, New Mexico; Rev. Chad King, Parochial Vicar of Saint Gabriel the Archangel in Phoenix, AZ; Rev. Daniel Liu, Campus Minister at Saint Peter Catholic Student at Baylor University, Texas; and Rev. Daniel Pattee, TOR, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Theology at Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio.

Thank you for all you do as PRIEST.

St. John Vianney – The Parish Priest

Today is the memorial of St. John Vianney or as many people know him “The Cure D’Ars” – the (parish) priest of Ars. He was born on May 8, 1786 and died on August 4, 1859. To read a detailed account of his life, please see the website Catholic Online. Below is a very short explanation of his later life and a part of his life as a priest I enjoy since I frequent the Sacrament of Reconciliation often.

The little town of Ars was a sinful place filled with immorality, religious apathy and thoughtlessness. St. John Vianney always tried to help the sinners of the town, although he did try to leave three times to join a monastery (sin can do that to you!). However, he came back each time ready to fight the sinful acts of the people. He arrived in Ars at the age of 31 and was there till his entrance into heavenly glory. He ended up converting his entire parish and became known as a great confessor and spiritual director to many. He converted thousands of people to the Catholic faith. Many people could not resist his words in the confessional.

One of the things I like about St. John Vianney is that he devoted many hours of his day at the parish offering the Sacrament of Reconciliation to his parishioners. He would often sit in the confessional for 13-17 hours and had the spiritual gift of reading the souls of his penitents. He had a great compassion for the souls in his care, as a parish priest should.

Like St. Pio of Pietrelcina, who also had the gift of reading souls and sitting in the confessional at hours on end, St. John Vianney suffered from attacks by the devil. The devil once said to him that if three men existed on earth like him that his kingdom (Satan’s) would be destroyed.

In 1925, St. John Vianney was canonized a saint. In 1929, Pope Pius XI declared him the “Patron of Parish Priests.”

While in graduate school at Franciscan University of Steubenville, I spent time in Philadelphia with friends. One time when I was there, I met John Volk. He was involved with the Archdiocese of Philadelphia Men’s Conference. During a conversation about being men of God, he gave me the booklet, Thoughts of the Cure D’Ars. At his request, I have kept this booklet in my car and often read from it at stoplights or when sitting in traffic. It’s a great little booklet of sayings from St. John Vianney.  I would encourage you to purchase this booklet as well. Below are ten insights from “The Cure D’Ars.” There are many more in the booklet!

“Almighty God sends no trial without consolation.” – On Suffering (M.).

“Do not be afraid of people saying that going to Mass on a weekday is only for those who have nothing to do….Are you ashamed to serve God for fear of being despised?” – Eucharistic Meditation 25

“Remember that when the priest gives you absolution, you have but one thing to think of – that the Blood of the good God is flowing over your soul to purify it and make it as bright as it was made by its Baptism. – Catechism on the Sacrament of Penance (M.).

“Let us live as the Blessed Virgin lived: loving God only, desiring God only, trying to please God only in all that we do.” – Sermon on the Feast of the Assumption.

“He who does not pray is like a hen or a turkey that cannot rise into the air. He who prays is like an intrepid eagle!” – On the Joys of the Interior Life (SP.).

“Never let your home be without a crucifix upon its walls, to the end that all who enter it may know that you are a disciple of a Crucified Lord, and that you are not ashamed to own it.” – On Home Life (F.).

“If we could only see the joy of our Guardian Angel when he sees up fighting our temptations!…” – On Temptations

“Humility is to the various virtues what the chain is to the Rosary; take away the chain and the beads are scattered, remove Humility and all virtues vanish.” – Maxim (T.).

“The devil writes down our sins – our Guardian Angel all our merits. Labor that the Guardian Angel’s book may be full, and the devil’s empty.” – Catechism on Sin (M.).

“The Saints never complain.” – Maxim (M.).  

St. John Vianney…Pray for Us.