7 Quotes from St. John Vianney on the Feast of the Guardian Angels

In recent years, the relationship I have with my Guardian Angel has grown and developed into a more intimate friendship. I will often ask for my Guardian Angel’s assistance, not nearly as much as I should, but I do ask him to protect me more than I did when I was a child or even as a young adult. Each of us has a spiritual protector that follows us throughout our entire life from the moment we are conceived till the day we pass into eternity (Ps 34:7, Mt 18:10, Acts 12:15). Our Guardian Angels are there to assist us, but they will never interfere with our free will. It is important to get to know your Guardian angel, but we should never ask for their name.

In regards to the Angels, I would like to share a story with you I once heard – A young woman was walking home alone from her friend’s house one night. During the day, a prisoner had escaped from jail and was on the loose, but the girl felt that she would be safe since her house was only one block away. As she was walking home, someone began to follow her. She turned around quickly to see who it was and it happened to be the man that had escaped. As she started to walk faster, he also picked up his pace. But all of sudden, she turned around and man was running in the opposite direction.

In the morning, she found out that the man had been caught and wanted to notify the police that he was following her too. She made her way to the police station. As the man was being brought out for transfer to another location, she caught sight of him. She said to him, why did run from me last night? He responded, I wasn’t going to come any closer to you, not with those two huge guys walking beside you. She asked what two guys. The man replied – the two guys dressed in white and glowing. The “two huge guys dressed in white and glowing” were more than likely Guardian Angels because the girl was all by herself, at least to the visible world.

This story might not be a common occurrence in daily life and the angels don’t interfere with God’s plans for our lives, however, this story simply states that although we do not see these invisible creatures in the visible world, it doesn’t take away from the fact that they are there.

The Guardian Angel by Pietro da Cartona

The Guardian Angel by Pietro da Cortona

Now let’s turn our attention to the 7 quotes from St. John Vianney for the Feast of the Guardian Angels

1. “Our Guardian Angels are our most faithful friends, because they are with us day and night, always and everywhere. We ought often to invoke them.”

2. “The Angels take great pleasure in helping us with our enterprises, when they are in accordance with God’s will.”

3. “That which above all should inspire us with veneration for the holy Angels is their unswerving loyalty to God.”

4. “What joy it is to know that when we go out of the house, we are never alone en route.”

5. “The first thing about the Angels that we ought to imitate, is their consciousness of the Presence of God.”

6. “It is our Angels who ask God to grant us a deep sorrow for our sins.”

7. “With what humility should we assist at Mass, if we realized that our Guardian Angel was kneeling beside us, prostrate before the Majesty of God! With what eagerness should we not ask him to offer our prayers to Jesus Christ!”

If you don’t know what the Catholic Church teaches on the Theology of Angels, I would suggest you read last year’s post from my Quick Lessons from the Catechism Series.

On a more personal note, this day has a significant meaning for my writing. It was on this day three years ago that Kevin Knight first posted a blog post I wrote about the Angels on New Advent. The title of that post is – The Angels Were Not Invented by Hallmark Cards & Gifts.

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.