Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Parish priest and Pope

As recounted at Rorate Caeli, Pope Saint Pius X, pictured here as a young parish priest, remains a marvelous example for all those who have the "cure of souls".

Rorate Caeli illustrates the connections between this great Pope and the Patron of parish priests, Saint John Vianney:

"His life was mysteriously and providentially connected to the patron of parish priests, St. John Vianney, the Curé d'Ars.

"In the last year of Vianney's life, the young Sarto was ordained to the sacred priesthood - exactly 150 years ago, on September 18, 1858. While Fr. Sarto was a parish priest, Vianney was declared venerable. On the very anniversary of the Venerable John Vianney's death, Cardinal Sarto was elected the Successor of Peter. And it was Pope Pius X who beatified Fr. Vianney. Both were members of the Third Order of Penance (Secular Franciscans)."

Pope Saint Pius X shows us that in holiness of life are kept in balance both the "medicine of mercy" and the severity necessary to condemn evil. As Vicar of Christ he wrote: "the condemnation of error is itself a work of mercy since by pinning down error, those labouring under it are corrected and others are preserved from falling into it." (Iota Unum)

As this society seeks a renewed sincerity and single-mindedness in the apostolate of increasing priestly vocations on the part of the whole Church, so this saintly Pontiff is commended to all as a heavenly patron whose intercession will increase the flood of divine graces in this regard.

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