Saints are always an inspiration and guidance in our spiritual journey. May this series on the life of the saints named “The Ambassadors of the Divine Love” help us to know the lives of the saints more closely and thus to follow them wholeheartedly. Editor
When we hear the word ‘saint’ we may think of a person who was always immersed in the divine things and being filled with the special gifts of God. But like all of us the saints are also born in ordinary families facing all the trials and tribulations of life.
Then what makes a person a saint? Is it because they loved Jesus more? Or they did a lot of sacrifice and mortification? Or born in a foreign land? If not, what is the real reason?
I find the life of St. John Marie Vianney as the best answer to all these questions. He was born in a very ordinary family. Out of his utmost love for Jesus, he joined the seminary to be a holy priest. Since he was very poor in studies, authorities thought of sending him back. But he was allowed to continue in the seminary only because of his deep devotion to Mother Mary and because he knew to recite the holy rosary. By the grace of God, John completed his studies and became a priest.
After a few years of his priestly life, Fr John was appointed as the parish priest of Ars. It was a place known for the immoral life people led. But knowing all this, he prepared himself to take on the appointment. On his journey to Ars, being confused of the way, John asked a shepherd boy for directions. When the boy showed him the way, John told him: “You showed me the way to Ars and I will show you the way to heaven”.
In his parish, Fr John did not do anything extraordinary. But his loving nature, the Fatherly approach and the intense prayer life attracted and deeply touched the lives of the people. Through his life, they experienced the love of God. So, the people started flowing into Ars. He led the people into conversion through the sacrament of reconciliation. And the grace of God was showered into the lives of the people of God through his humble ministry. As we celebrate the Feast of St. John Marie Vianney on august 4th let us seek his intercession so that we may experience the mercy of God through the ministry of the Church.
Fr Joby Edathazhe CST