Memorial for Saint Jean Marie Baptiste Vianney & Devotion to Saint Philomena
On the calendar of saints, Terry Jones, an exuberant and brilliant hagiographer, has noted that tomorrow, September 4th, is a Memorial Date for Saint Jean Marie Baptiste Vianney, one of our favorite saints!
Jean Marie wanted to be a Parish Priest. That was his lifelong dream. It eluded him for many years. Jean Marie was a poor student and was rejected for entry into Priesthood several times.
He never stopped dreaming, though. He was determined to become a Priest. Jean Marie held a child-like innocence. His thought and prayers were always for the best. He simply sought to bring out what was good and just in the world.
He became known as a Confessor, one whom ordinary people sought out to acknowledge their sins, seek forgiveness, and lead more righteous lives. Soon he was known as the Cure d’Ars. The Confessor of Ars, a small town in the area now known as Provence, France.
A role model for Saint Jean was Saint Philomena. He is often described as having a “child-like” fascination with Saint Philomena. It’s no wonder, then, that saint Philomena is known as the patroness invoked for safe childbirth, and the patron of infants, babies, and youth.
A few months ago, we travelled to Paris and mailed gifts from the Chapel of the Miraculous Medal, on Rue de Bac, where the bodies of saints Mary Catherine Laboure and Louise de Marillac, and the heart of Saint Vincent de Paul are all on display.
Very recently we received a kind thank you note, pictured above, and a gift from a lady named Marie. She wrote to thank us for sending a souvenir from the Chapel. And, she included the gift of a medal of saint Philomena, Saint Jean Marie’s revered saint.
The life of the Cure d’Ars, his devotion to saint Philomena, and the kindness of a lady, Marie, along with the diligence of hagiographer, Terry Jones, leave us appreciating child-like innocence. It exists in so many youthful joyful spirits. At its heart, is the notion that simple joy and innocence can, and ought to be, shared at any age, young, old or otherwise.