…the patron saint of parish priests died. It is St. John Vianney’s Dies Natalis, the day he was born into the next lilfe.
Pope Benedict dedicated this year to priests because of this anniversary.
St. John Vianney’s heart is kept in a reliquary separate from the rest of his body. The heart is enshrined in a small chapel outside the basilica in Ars. The basilica houses both the entire parish church of Ars and the sepulchre of the saint.
Today, after Holy Mass in the Basilica, there was a somewhat rag-tag procession of the heart of the Curé through the town.
There is a monument down the hill from Ars which marks the place where the saint asked a boy to direct him to his new parish. (The priest was arriving on foot). He said to the boy: “If you tell me the way to Ars, I will tell you the way to heaven.”
Today the Curé’s heart was carried to this monument, as well as other places in the town. Looks like it was a pretty hot day over there. St. John Vianney never had air-conditioning, of course. And he hardly ever slept. And he ate only boiled potatoes.
But the main thing is that he loved the holy faith of the Church and never tired of teaching it.