(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Wednesday invoked St. John Vianney – the famous “Curé d’Ars” – during his final blessing at the weekly general audience. The feast day of Saint John Vianney is celebrated on 4 August.
“A special greeting to the young people; the sick and infirm; and newlyweds,” – Pope Francis said – “Tomorrow we celebrate the memorial of St. John Vianney, patron of priests, and especially parish priests.”
He then asked for the saint’s intercession for their special intentions.
“May his great humility be an example to you, dear young people, to live life as a gift of God; may his trusting abandonment to Christ the Saviour sustain you, dear people suffering illness, in the hour of suffering; and may his Christian witness give courage to you, dear newlyweds, to profess your faith without shame,” the Holy Father said.
St. John Vianney was born in France in 1786. He served as a parish priest in the small town of Ars. His reputation for holiness drew thousands of people to listen to his sermons, and he would often spend over 12 hours a day listening to confessions.
He died on 4 August 1859. He was beatified in 1905, and canonized twenty years later.
St. John Vianney, pray for all priests!