Make an Ass Out of Me
St. John Vianney, a farm hand who in his youth taught other children their prayers and catechism. Ordained in 1815, though it took several years study as he had little education, was not a very good student, and his Latin was terrible. Assigned for a while to Ecully. In 1818 he was assigned to the parish of Ars, a tiny village near Lyons, which suffered from very lax attendance; he began visiting his parishioners, especially the sick and poor. Spent days in prayer, doing penance for his parishioners. Gifted with discernment of spirits, prophecy, hidden knowledge, and working miracles. Tormented by evil spirits, especially when he tried to get his 2-3 hours of sleep each night. Crowds came to hear him preach, and to make their reconciliation because of his reputation with penitents; by 1855 there were 20,000 pilgrims a year to Ars. Spent 40 years as the parish priest.
A professor once remarked (about St. John), "This fellow is a complete ass. What can he possibly accomplish?" Father Vianney replied, "If Samson armed only with the jawbone of an ass, could kill one thousand Philistines, imagine what God can do with the complete ass!"

No comments: