Notable quotations from Pope Benedict XVI and official teachings of the Roman Catholic Church
...In his pastoral service, as simple as it was extraordinarily fertile, this unknown parish priest ... was so successful in identifying with his ministry that he became, even in a visibly and universally recognizable manner, an alter Christus, an image of the Good Shepherd Who ... lays down His life for His sheep. After the example of the Good Shepherd, he gave his life in the decades of his priestly service.
His existence was a living catechesis that acquired a very special effectiveness when people saw him celebrating Mass, pausing before the tabernacle in adoration or spending hour after hour in the confessional.
... The center of his entire life was the Eucharist, which he celebrated and adored with devotion and respect.
Another fundamental characteristic of this extraordinary priestly figure was his diligent ministry of confession... St. John Mary Vianney ... distinguished himself as an excellent, tireless confessor and spiritual director.
He did his utmost with preaching and persuasive advance to help his parishioners rediscover the meaning and beauty of the sacrament of Penance, presenting it as an inherent demand of the Eucharistic presence.
...What makes the Cure of Ars holy was his humble faithfulness to the mission to which God had called him; it was his constant abandonment, full of trust, to the hands of divine Providence... He won over even the most refractory souls by communicating to them what he himself lived deeply, namely, his friendship with Christ.
He was "in love" with Christ and the true secret of his pastoral success was the fervor of his love for the Eucharistic Mystery, celebrated and lived, which became love for Christ's flock, for Christians and for all who were seeking God.
Let us pray that through the intercession of St. John Mary Vianney, God will give holy priests to His Church and will increase in the faithful the desire to sustain and help them in their ministry.
(Source: General Audience, August 5, 2009)
Published by: Presentation Ministries, 3230 McHenry Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45211, (513) 662-5378, www.presentationministries.com