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A GREAT MILESTONE FOR ST. ANDREW CATHOLIC PARISH-RIRONI –GROUNDBREAKING CEREMONY FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF A NEW CHURCH

The Construction of a new Church for St. Andrew Catholic Parish, Rironi, is set to begin following a ground-breaking ceremony on Sunday, 15th November 2020.

The occasion, led by His Eminence John Cardinal Njue, who was hosted by the Christians under the leadership of the Fr. In-charge, Fr. Peter N. Kiarie and the assistant, Fr. Peterken Njonge was a great milestone to the development of the parish.

The church to be constructed will be a 1,200 seater, with other ammenities including a meeting hall. This will replace the current Church, which is small for the growing population.

St. Andrew Rironi was an outstation for 42 years under different parishes until 23rd July 2016 when it was inaugurated as a parish. The parish has two outstations; St. Peter-Mithiga and St. Maximilian Kolbe-Gatimu.

In his Homily, His Eminence commended the parishioners for the project saying that time has come and everyone must be present today as yesterday is gone. He said the era where parishioners leave during projects and come after completion to claim ownership is gone. “Everyone must participate. The project is existential and thus all must be of good will and claim ownership,” he said.

“The question to everyone should be what legacy will each leave behind? What is the heritage that we will leave for the children?” He reiterated that everyone present was there as the family of God and everything we do should be for the greater glory of God.

The parish is home to the late Fr. Paul Njoroge, one among the first Kenyan Catholic priests. His parents and a friend in the late 1950s donated ¼ acre of land each, for the construction of a church. The first Holy Mass was celebrated in August 1956 by Fr. Meade under the fig tree that still stands to date next to the Church compound.

By Felista – PCA Rironi parish 




LEVERAGING ON THE CLERGY TO EMPOWER OUR YOUTH, LEAP

His Lordship Bishop David Kamau yesterday launched LEAP (learning, Engaging, Awareness, Practical) program targeting all priests working with young people in the Archdiocese of Nairobi.

LEAP, a program initiated by the Youth office, is a program meant to empower the youth on different capacities including financial management. The program, held at St. Paul’s Chaplaincy, was attended by 36 priests from different parishes. The program seeks to promote the social doctrine of the Catholic Church, in a manner suitable for our current times.

Speaking at the launch, His Lordship Bishop Kamau noted that the initiative whose timing is very relevant is highly welcome. “The program seeks to Learn, through Engaging with others, increasing Awareness, and calling to Practical action”, he added.

Fr. Edwin Hunja, who is the Archdiocesan Youth Chaplain, was keen to note that this is a program the office has been thinking of and the collaboration between the youth office and the LEAP initiative couldn’t come at a better time. He also encouraged the priests present to keep inspiring the youth, as they are the church of tomorrow.

The priests were trained on several topics including personal developments, self-awareness, mitigating negative social influences, addiction to substance and drug abuse and sexuality and reproduction.

This was the first training in a long series running up to next year where the youth office in collaboration with the LEAP initiative target to train youths in every parish of the archdiocese of Nairobi.

CARDINAL NJUE CELEBRATES 34 YEARS AS A BISHOP, 47 AS A PRIEST.

The Eucharistic celebration to mark the 34th episcopate anniversary of His Eminence John Cardinal Njue was held at the Holy Family Basilica yesterday.

The Mass led by the Cardinal was concelebrated by several priests. The Basilica was full of Christians while ofcourse maintaining social distance.

Born in 1944 in Kiini Village, Embu North, to Joseph Nyaga Kibariki and Monica Ngima Nyaga, the journey to priesthood began in the year 1961 when he joined Nkubu minor seminary. It was there that God helped him nurture his priestly vocation.

On 6th January 1973, he was ordained a priest by His Holiness Pope Paul VI in St. Peter Basilica, Rome. On returning to Kenya, Fr. John Njue served in Kariakomu Parish in Meru Diocese till July 1975, when he was appointed to be a formator at St. Augustine Senior Seminary, Mabanga in Bungoma. He was first the Dean of Students and later became the Rector.

On 9th June 1986, His Holiness Pope John Paul II appointed Fr. Njue as the first Bishop of the newly created diocese of Embu. He received his Episcopal consecration on 20th September 1986 from Jozef Cardinal Tomko.

Candidly elaborating to the congregants, Cardinal Njue stated that things were not as easy at that time but he did pull through with the help of God, “I will never forget that situation, and indeed the closeness of God, 34 years, it is time to tell God thank you” he said.

Cardinal Njue’s list of service to man and to God is endless with the church initiating successful programs towards self-sustenance, with events like the Family Day and other programs initiated under his stewardship.

John Cardinal Njue has also served as Apostolic Administrator of the Vicariate of Isiolo, Coadjutor Archbishop of Nyeri and Apostolic administrator Ngong diocese. He has been the Archbishop of Nairobi from 1st November 2007 where he has served with dynamism and dedication. Happy 34th anniversary John Cardinal Njue.

THE LONG ROAD TO SAINTHOOD; CARDINAL OTUNGA 17th ANNIVERSARY.

The 17th anniversary of the Servant of God, Maurice Michael Cardinal Otunga was celebrated yesterday by catholic faithful at the Holy Family Basilica.

The Eucharistic celebration was led by His Eminence, John Cardinal Njue, and concelebrated by other priests among them Fr. Lawrence Njoroge, the vice postulator for the cause of beatification and canonization.

His Eminence noted the process of Otunga’s Beatification is almost concluding the second stage and urged Christians to keep praying for the process.

In the homily, Fr. Lawrence Njoroge recalled on the life of Cardinal Otunga describing him as just, honest and a firm leader who spoke and stood for the truth. “He was an example of how God wants us to live as human beings and as Kenyans. He touched everyone in a unique way,” he said.

Sr. Esther Ichugu, who is the secretary to Otunga’s beatification committee, urged Catholics to remain patient as the Archdiocese of Nairobi works on ensuring that it meets all the conditions for beatification and eventual canonisation of the late Cardinal.

“Christians have the responsibility to pray especially for a successful, extra ordinary miracle in order to move to the third stage which is beatification,” she said.

Cardinal Otunga, the first Kenyan Cardinal in the history of the Catholic Church, died on 6th September 2003 at the age of 80.

 

Attached find speech by Sr. Esther  Ichugu 

“SERVANT OF GOD MAURICE MICHAEL CARDINAL OTUNGA’S 17TH ANNIVERSARY BRIEF SEP 2020

Your Eminence, John Cardinal Njue the petitioner of this cause, priests present, Religious men and women, Family members of the SOG Cardinal Otunga, all the Central committee members, all the faithful in this Mass and following us elsewhere.

Good Morning, God is good!

Today we mark the 17th Anniversary of the Servant of God, Maurice Michael Cardinal Otunga’s death. “A gracious gift” to the church in Kenya and indeed to each one of us. Though sleeping, he is quite visible and present in our minds and hearts. His legacy is quite evidence and his reputation vibrant. Each one of us is longing for such a time that he will be exalted on the Altar and the obvious question is When?

Towards the end of last year 2019, we had the presence of the Postulator Dr. Waldery Hilgeman from Rome, and in collaboration with His Eminence John Cardinal Njue the Petitioner, they appointed Rev, Fr. Prof. Lawrence Njoroge (here present) as the new Vice Postulator. Fr. Lawrence embarked on the process with a lot of zeal and he been addressing some few points and gaps in the biography. We are certain that he will be through within a very short time. The biography is one part of the Positio. The “Positio” comprises of three (3) parts; i) the biography, ii) Summary of the Witnesses and iii) summary of the documents. This is the reason why it takes much time because; the three parts must be correlated.

In any process to sainthood, the mother church takes each step at a time and thoroughly examines each stage before proceeding to the next.

In his address, Dr. Hilgeman also emphasized very much on the reputation to Holiness which MUST go hand in hand with a Sign (miracle). He echoed the constant appeal by His Eminence to the Christians to pray for the cause and spread the devotion of the SOG Cardinal Otunga in order to have an extra-ordinary miracle. Each one of us therefore, has a great responsibility in this process.

Thank you all for the support you render to the Beatification office and the entire process.

In this corona pandemic era, let us implore God through the intercession of the Servant of God, who is a model of prayer to relief us of this sickness.”

Sr. Esther Ichugu – Administrator

Prayer for the Beatification of the Servant of God

O God, you granted your Servant Maurice Micheal Cardinal Otunga the Grace to be an exemplary pastor at the service of the church, making him a symbol of humility and love for the poor and less fortunate in the society, while denying and detaching himself from the pleasures of the world.

Grant, we beseech thee, that we may also learn to respond faithfully to the demands of the Christian vocation, converting all moments and circumstances of our life into opportunities of loving you and our neighbours with joy and kindness, and of serving the kingdom of God with humility.

We humbly request you to grant your servant cardinal Otunga a share in the Glory of Heaven which is promised to those who have served you well. Through his intercession Bless the Church, our country, Our Families and Children, and grant us the favours we humbly request.. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.

 

“BE PROUD OF WHO GOD HAS MADE YOU TO BE”, CARDINAL TELLS CWA.

The Archdiocesan CWA’s patron feast day was celebrated uniquely with the Eucharistic Celebration led by His Eminence the Cardinal, yesterday. Unlike all the previous years’ celebrations where thousands of women from the 114 parishes of the archdiocese gather at St. Mary’s Msongari grounds, or at times at Kiriti grounds in Mang’u where the CWA has a project, these year’s celebrations were held at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Parish, Ruiru.

In the homily, John Cardinal Njue encouraged women to be proud of their special vocation and to support their husbands especially during this corona pandemic. He exhorted women to embrace the great responsibility bestowed on them, even as they seek to imitate St. Monica, their patron saint.

Through the coordination by the CWA leaders and the Archdiocesan CWA chaplain, Fr. Jude Waweru, 120 women were commissioned and incorporated to the diocesan level. This was a small number representing the hundreds of others who will be commissioned in their respective parishes.

CONSTITUTIONALISM, NOT JUST A CONSTITUTION: A SCORECARD ON CONSTITUTION OF KENYA 2010

PREAMBLE

The law, epitomized by the Constitution, is the glue that binds citizens of a nation. When that glue is weakened, the nation falls apart, and people suffer. Appreciating this, religious leaders in Kenya have been at the forefront of protecting and defending the rule of law and adoption of moral values. We draw much inspiration from the words
recorded in Deuteronomy 17: 18 – 19

Also it shall be, when he (the king) sits on the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write for himself a copy of his law in a book, from the one before the priests, the Levites. And it shall be with him, and he shall read it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the Lord his God and be careful to observe all the words of this law and these statutes.

And also from the Quran Sura 4 Verse 135

O you who believe! Stand out firmly for justice as witnesses to Allah, even though it be against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, be he rich or poor, Allah is a Better Protector to both (than you).

1. Aspirations of Kenyans

For more than three decades, Kenyans pushed for, fought for, and some even died demanding for a new constitution for our beloved nation. They aspired for a Constitution that would ensure justice, peace, security and liberty for all; a Constitution that treats all Kenyans as equal, provides equal opportunities, and ensures equitable distribution of responsibilities and resources. Kenyans aspired for better government, national cohesion, and stability of the nation. Have these been achieved?It is with this in mind that we have met here at Ufungamano House to celebrate and commemorate ten years from the day the Constitution of Kenya 2010 was promulgated, and to draw up a scorecard on its implementation.

2. Weakening Accountability

This Dialogue Reference Group is appalled at the downward spiral of descent into the madness of uncontrolled corruption being witnessed in our nation. This trend is immoral and is contrary to the teachings of God, and we fully condemn it.

The information in public arena indicates that the country has received more than 190 billion Kenya Shillings to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic. However, there has been great lack of transparency and accountability in the expenditure of these funds, which has lent credence to the accusations that most of the money has been misappropriated. It is inconceivable for us that a Kenyan can sit and plot how to steal money meant to save the lives of Kenyans!!

The reports of corruption touching on the Covid-19 funds are a condemnation on the Executive and Parliament, who have a sworn duty to protect the lives and resources of Kenyans. We remind you that every time you abet corruption by failing to exercise your oversight mandate, you are breaking your oath of office.

Procedurally, we note that corruption in Kenya is perpetuated by bureaucratically instigated opacity in public finance manifested by:

One, lack of details on expenditure information provided to Parliament

Two, lack of information on procurement

Three, lack of a comprehensive information portal accessible to the public on Covid-19 funds, and

Four, Lack of information on acquisition and distribution of Covid-19 related materials

To remedy this, we call upon His Excellency the President to cause the relevant ministries and departments to:

i) Provide to the public details of all funds received through
taxation, donations, grants, and loans and earmarked to the Covid-19
pandemic response

ii) Provide to the public detailed expenditure information on all funds and donations earmarked for Covid-19 pandemic response

iii) Publish the names of companies and beneficiaries of Covid-19 procurement processes, social protection programmes and distribution of testing kits and Personal Protection Equipments acquired by the government through purchase or donation

iv) Immediately institute prosecution of all persons who are implicated in the misappropriation of Covid-19 pandemic response funds

On their part, we call upon all the Members of Parliament to end their perpetual partisan and ethno-centric bickering and execute their constitutional mandate of oversighting national revenue and its expenditure. For once, rise up and protect the lives and interests of Kenyans, as is required of you by Article 94 (4) of the Constitution of Kenya 2010.

3. Readiness for 2022 General Elections

We are greatly concerned that politically, Kenya is exactly where it was in 2015. Though we are a mere 21 months to the next General Elections, we do not have a functional elections management body, the constitutionally required electoral boundaries review has not been undertaken, the voters’ register has not been updated, the operational, procedural and philosophical shortcomings that hampered the 2017 General Elections have not been addressed meaning that they will come to play once more, and political actors are blatantly whipping up ethnic emotions while enforcement agencies watch helplessly.

While we remember the mediation we undertook in 2016 to resolve the crisis touching on the Independent Elections and Boundaries Commission so as to safeguard the 2017 general elections, this is a role we passionately hoped and prayed no one would ever need to play again.

We therefore call upon Parliament to fulfil the promise made in 2016 and put in place necessary amendments to the Independent Elections and Boundaries Commission Act to provide for replacement of Commissioners who leave office, and to safeguard the appointment of the Commissioners from political party influences. The leadership and operational crisis
at the IEBC must be brought to an end without further delay so that the preparations for 2022 General Elections are undertaken by a body that elicits public confidence that it can deliver free and fair polls.

On their part, we call upon the National Police Service, the Kenya National Commission for Human Rights, and the National Cohesion and Integration Commission, to enforce the law against any persons who engage in hate oriented political mobilisation.

4. Constitution of Kenya 2010 Scorecard

Today, we join Kenyans in marking 10 years since the new constitution was promulgated. In the lead up to the referendum of 2010, some of the institutions represented here in the DRG advised Kenyans not to vote for the draft. Nonetheless, we accepted the results of the referendum and publicly committed to support the implementation of the Constitution,
awaiting an appropriate time to address the issues they had reservations about.

Over the last ten years, we have monitored the implementation of the Constitution of Kenya 2010, and heartily appreciate the different institutions that have embraced the new dispensation.

We have in this meeting undertaken a detailed review of the implementation of the Constitution, and prepared a Chapter-by-Chapter Scorecard that highlights the achievements and pending work. We will share this with the public.We nonetheless wish to highlight the following overall concerns regarding the implementation of the
Constitution:

i) Lack of civic education and weak inculcation of the Constitution and Constitutionalism in the lives of Kenyans, leading to weak demand from citizens for fidelity to the Constitution

ii) Though Kenyans embraced devolution as a means of reducing the over-lordshipness of the central government, the Executive is currently clawing back on the gains and is growing larger every day. The oversight role of Parliament has been severely eroded, reducing both houses to mere rubber-stamps of the Executive, while the Judiciary constantly claims that it is being intimidated.

iii) The National Values espoused in the Constitution have not been integrated in national life, and Kenyans continue to suffer from the effects of leadership that lacks ethics and integrity

iv) Constitutional Commissions have largely underperformed, with accusations that appointment to their boards are largely made to reward political party cohorts which reduces their commitment to the mandates of the bodies

v) Elections are still divisive, violent, expensive, and mostly lack transparency and fairness

Recognizing this, we reiterate that for a better Kenya, we require a greater sense of constitutionalism, not necessarily a different constitution. With this in mind, we recommend:

a) To all Citizens, please familiarize yourself with the Constitution, and actively engage in oversight of its
implementation. We especially encourage you to hold the Recall Clause as your safeguard to hold Members of Parliament and County Assemblies to account when they derogate the Constitution. Please determine in your hearts to forthwith reject all corrupt leaders.

b) To the Presidency and the Executive: Deal decisively with corruption and resist the temptation to manipulate the
other arms of government, and we especially urge you to complete the process of appointment of the 41 judges nominated by the Judicial Service Commission. Push for a culture of constitutionalism, morals, values and ethics to take root in the nation to replace the current culture of corruption, greed and lawlessness.

c) To Parliament: Enact all the outstanding laws required to ensure constitutionalism takes root. We especially bring to
your attention the need to pass a law to actualize the Two Thirds Gender Rule.

d) To the Judiciary: Deal decisively with impunity, and weed out judicial officers who engage in corruption. All the holy
writings speak strongly against corruption on the part of judges, who are meant to uphold justice. We strongly recommend immediate commencement of the recruitment of the next Chief Justice so that the process is not affected by political emotions as we draw closer to the 2022 elections.

e) To County Governments: Stop devolving corruption and focus on service delivery, knowing that Kenyans supported
establishment of the counties so as to bring services closer to the people.

5. Conclusion

We conclude by remembering that the Constitution of Kenya 2010 recognizes the supremacy of the Almighty God of all creation. As we commemorate 10 years of the implementation of this Constitution, we
request each Kenyan to take a moment and pray to God with the words of our National Anthem:O God of all Creation, Bless this Our Land and Nation, Justice be our shield and defender. May we dwell in unity, peace and liberty, plenty be found within our borders.May God bless Kenya now and forever more: Signed on this 26th day of August 2020 at Ufungamano
House, Nairobi: Institution Name SignatureEvangelical Alliance of Kenya Hindu Council of Kenya Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops National Council of Churches of Kenya Organisation of African Instituted Churches Seventh Day Adventist Church Shia Asna Ashri Jamaat Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims

Courtesy: Catholic Media Network in Kenya

COME TO CHURCH WITHOUT FEAR, PRIEST ASKS CHRISTIANS

Places of worship are now in their second phase of reopening after the Inter-Faith Council observed 90% compliance by churches on the regulations set by the government.

Parishes across the archdiocese have ensured that all the guidelines are followed to the letter, however, that has not translated to the number of Christians coming back to church for fear of contracting the disease.

“Let Christians come back to church and come together to pray for the sick amongst us as this is the time to be witnesses as Christians,” said Fr David kimani Fr. In-charge Our Lady of Visitation Makadara. 

“We who are coming to church, let us reach out to all those who are afraid to come to church and encourage them to come back to church” he added.

With increased number of Masses, from 4-6, so as to adhere to the Covid-19 safety regulations the parishoners of Makadara attended all Masses in large numbers.

These new regulations come as a relief to the bigger churches that could hold a larger number of Christians at a go.

 

Photo: Taken at Our Lady of Visitation – Makadara Parish

IMITATE MARY IN FAITH, BISHOP KAMAU URGES CHRISTIANS

Christians have been urged to be ready to be used by God to bring positive change in the world. The exhortation was made by the auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Nairobi, Rt. Rev. David Kamau, during the homily to mark the Archdiocese Family Day.

The prelate asked the Christian community of God to remain focused by fulfilling God’s will as Mother Mary did. He reiterated on the need to never give up despite the current harsh situation due to the corona pandemic, strongly urging the Christians to pray the rosary as it is a powerful weapon.

The celebrations, which were held on the solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, were held at the Holy Family Basilica, with the Mass being led by His Eminence, John Cardinal Njue.

Unlike the past ten family days, around 200 Christians attended, chosen to represent the various solidarity groups and ecclesial leadership. A few priests and nuns also attended.

The Holy oils were blessed during the colorful event that was animated by Kikuyu Deanery.

The Cardinal thanked all the Christians for their support always. He announced that despite the harsh economic times, parishes have contributed Sh93 million so far.

The archdiocese Family day is an annual event that brings the Christians from the 114 parishes together so as to celebrate Mass together and also to raise funds towards self-sustenance as well as for the diocesan projects.

“The next Family day will be on Saturday 14th August, 2021’, His Eminence announced.

ARCHDIOCESAN FAMILY DAY 2020: CELEBRATING DIFFERENTLY

The celebration of the archdiocesan family day will be held on Saturday at the Holy Family Basilica. This great pastoral event in the archdiocesan calendar will be on 15th August, the solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Despite the Corona Pandemic, the great fete will still be held, albeit, without the usual throngs of christians as well as the decor, pomp and color that always come to live during similar past events, because the archdiocese plans to comply fully with the government’s health regulations due to COVID 19.

This annual celebration, which is in its 11th year, having started way back in 2010, will be attended by a congregation of 100 participants, inclusive of the clergy. The organising team, led by the Procurator, Fr. Simon Ng’ang’a, and the Pastoral Coordinator, Fr. Wallace Ng’ang’a, has identified the participants. All the 14 deaneries will be represented by their Deans and a section of the Deanery Pastoral Council executives. Others will be representatives of the various solidarity groups in the archdiocese level, archdiocesan finance council members, as well some members of the secretariet. This stands in total contrast to the over 20,000 congragation from all the 114 parishes, and the over 200 priests, both diocesan and missionary, who attended the 2019 Family Day on 10th August at St. Mary’s Msongari, the exquisite venue that has hosted all the previous Family days.

Noting that this celebrations are coming when christians and the whole population are grappling with the challenging times in almost every sector due to the pandemic, the day will be dedicated to pray so that all may keep faith despite all the challenges. It will also be used to pray for the victims of the pandemic as well as those on the front line, and for all humnaity since all are affected.

As usual, in preparation to this great event, the archdiocesan Liturgical team, led by Fr. Bernard Kabiu prepared a Novena, which all the Christians in the archdiocese have been praying since Thursday, 6th August. The pastoral letter by the ordinary, His Eminence John Cardinal Njue, on this occasion was relased mid-July.

The Holy oils (Oil of the sick, Catechumenate and Chrism), will be blessed during that Mass. The Holy Thursday Chrism Mass in which the oils are blessed, was not held since by that time, the church had been closed at the onset of the COVID19.

This will be indeed a unique Archdiocesan Family Day celebration.

(Cover photo Family Day 2018, Album Family Day 2019)






St. John M. Vianney, the Cur of Ars, Patron of Parish Priests

“If we really understood the priest on earth, we would die: not of fear, but of love.” St John Vianney’s whole life could be summed up in this saying attributed to him.

Known as the “Curé d’Ars,” Jean-Baptiste-Marie Vianney was born on 8 May 1786 in France in the town of Dardilly, near Lyons. His devout Catholic parents were farmers, and from an early age, John worked in the fields. Without formal education, as a young man he was functionally illiterate; but thanks to his mother’s teaching, Vianney was able to memorise and understand numerous prayers, and live a devout religious life.

“I would win many souls for God”

At that time in France, the winds of Revolution were blowing. Young John made his Confession at home, rather than in a church, to a “non-juring” priest – that is, a priest who had not sworn loyalty to the revolutionary government. The same priest gave him his First Communion in a barn, during an “underground” Mass. At the age of 17, John Vianney felt the call to the priesthood. “If I am to be a priest,” he said, “I will win many souls for God.” But the path to ordination was not an
easy one, due to the corrupted morals of the day. It was only thanks to some wise priests – including Father Balley, the parish priest of d’Écully, that he finally received Holy Orders on 13 February 1815, at the age of 29.

Long hours in the confessional

Three years later, in 1818, Father John Vianney was sent to the town of Ars, which, with just 230 residents, was little more than a small French village. Here the young priest dedicated all his efforts to the spiritual care of the faithful. He visited the poorest families, restored the village church, organized patronal feast days. He also founded La Providence, a home for girls.
But it was for his dedication to the Sacrament of Confession that the Curé of Ars is best known. He was always available to hear Confessions and offer forgiveness, spending up to sixteen hours a day in the confessional. Crowds of penitents travelled from every part of France to make their Confession to the holy priest. In time, Ars became known as “the great hospital of souls.” St John Vianney himself would keep vigils and fast to assist the expiation of the sins of the faithful. “I’ll tell you my recipe,” he told one of his confreres. “I give sinners a small penance, and the rest I do in their place.”

Patron of parish priests

Having given his whole life for God and his parishioners, John Vianney died on 4 August 1859. He was 73 years old. His relics can be found in Ars, in the sanctuary dedicated to him, which is visited by some 450,000 pilgrims every year. He was beatified by Pope St Pius X in 1905, and canonized twenty years later by Pope Pius XI. In 1929, the same Pope proclaimed him the “heavenly patron of all parish priests throughout the world.” During the centenary of his death in 1959, Pope St John XXIII dedicated an encyclical to St John Vianney, pointing him out as exemplary model for priests. Fifty years later, Pope Benedict XVI inaugurated a “Year of Priests” on the 150th anniversary of his
birthday into heaven, in order “to deepen the commitment of all priests to interior renewal for the sake of a stronger and more incisive witness to the Gospel in today’s world.”

 

(Source: Vatican News)

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