Monday, 31 October 2011

Bishop Mark Davies, The Year of Faith and the heart of St John Marie Vianney

During a celebration of Holy Mass on Sunday the 16th of October for people involved in the New Evangelization, the Holy Father announced that there would be a 'Year of Faith', to help Catholics to deepen their appreciation of their faith, to increase it and to be more open to sharing it with others. 

This news has already provoked positive reactions in the Catholic blogging world, but what concrete steps have been taken by the leadership? what lay initiatives have been born? Unsurprisingly given that the news was only given a couple of weeks ago not much at all. I have it from a very reliable source however, that one very significant thing will take place as a result of the action of the quite frankly fantastic Bishop of Shrewsbury, Mark Davies. The incorrupt heart of St John Marie Vianney, the Cure de Ars, will visit his diocese next year. Not only that, but there are, as yet unconfirmed, plans that the heart will not only be confined to Shrewsbury Diocese. The Catholic Community here has barely managed to relax after the fantastic visit of Pope last year, and the wonderful memories of the tour of the Relics of St Therese are still fresh in all our minds. It's clear that this is exactly the kind of initiative Pope Benedict had in mind for the year of faith, so what else but gratitude can be given to the Bishop Mark Davies for his excellent work for the Lord and his diocese.

Can any saint in modern times be said to have had a deeper and more attractive faith than St John Vianney? Could any saint teach us more profoundly what it means to appreciate our faith - most particularly in the sacraments - with all our heart?  It's more than obvious that what is needed in the Church in England and Wales and most of the western world for that matter, is a thorough renewal of our faith and confidence. St John Vianney encapsulates exactly what this means. Let's not forget that he was sent to the village of Ars, a place known for it's irreligious ways, and without money, assistance, or great intelligence he managed to turn the entire place around through his deep and simple faith. It was his faith which informed every aspect of his being and It's exactly his example which is needed in our land because a renewal of faith in the Church and the country start's with a renewal of our own Faith and lives. 

The heart of the patron saint of parish priests is very well travelled, going on regular tours around the world in order to inspire faith in the peoples; although it is usually kept in a shrine near the Basilica built in honour of the saint. In previous tours, long lines of people to go to confession have formed after praying before the heart. This is especially fitting as the saint was known for spending sometimes up to 17 hours per day hearing confessions.

The only problem I can see with all of this is that we're going to have to wait a whole year. Bring it on!!!!

St John Marie Vianney - Pray for Us!


  1. i wonder who the source was...

  2. DerbyBoy, i can promise you my source was not the bitter pill who also seem to have discovered this news. So much for my breaking news :(

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