Thursday, August 03, 2006

Triduum in Honor of Saint John Mary Vianney

TRIDUUM OF PRAISE IN HONOR OF
ST. JOHN MARY VIANNEY
Patron of Priests


Ecce Sacerdus Magnus
Qui in diebus suis placuit Deo.
Benedictionem omnium gentium
dedit illi
et testamentum suum
confirmavit super caput eius.

Day 1
A Model of Priestly Fidelity

“Ah! My friend, virtue demands courage, constant effort
and help from on high.
You should work and fight as long as you are in the world."


EXPOSITION OF THE RELICS

Relics of St. John Mary Vianney are brought to be exposed for the veneration of the faithful throughout the triduum. They are displayed prominently beneath his image suitably decorated for the occasion. The presider carries them to the place of exposition assisted by two ministers bearing candles. Standing, he may incense them. A fitting hymn is sung.

DAILY PRAYER

O St. John Mary Vianney, Patron and Model of All Priests, you show us what it means to be a priest after the Heart of Jesus.

O Holy Priest of Ars, you lived a life of total dedication to Christ and His Church. You spent your life wholly at the service of the flock, devoting your self entirely to the work of the ministry. Day and night you labored for souls, ministering to them and praying in their behalf. Nothing could weary your generous heart.

You never gave up on your flock even when they seemed impossible. You shunned all riches and honor so only Christ will be your treasure and crown. With joy you embraced the radical poverty of the Gospel so with empty hands you can freely embrace God’s people.

You rooted yourself on Jesus, always fixing your eyes on him in every task or trial. Even when times were most difficult, you anchored yourself to the Eucharist and to Mary, your pillars of strength. In prayer and sacrifice you found holiness, your most powerful tool in drawing the flock to Jesus.

Teach us your example that we who aspire to be priests may become holy shepherds for God’s people. Pray to the Lord of the Harvest to send more laborers to gather his people into the fold and nurture the flock. Ask our High Priest to sanctify his priests so our Holy Church may ever increase in holiness under the guidance of holy pastors. Amen.

READING
1 Cor 9, 16-19. 22-23.

Preaching the Gospel is not the subject of a boast; I am under compulsion and have no choice. I am ruined if I do not preach it! If I do it willingly, I have my recompense; if unwillingly, I am nonetheless entrusted with a charge. And this recompense of mine? It is simply this, that when preaching I offer the Gospel free of charge and do not make full use of the authority the Gospel gives me.
Although I am not bound to anyone, I made myself the slave of all so as to win over as many as possible. To the weak I became a weak person with a view to winning the weak. I have made myself all things to all men in order to save at least some of them. In fact, I do all that I do for the sake of the Gospel in the hope of having a share in its blessings.

SHARING

The presiding priest or another priest imparts a short reflection. After the sharing, a song may be sung.

Hymn: Kung ‘Yong Nanaisin (Francisco, SJ) / Narito Ako (San Andres)

MEDITATION

“The Curé of Ars is truly a model of strong will for those preparing for the Priesthood. Many of the trials which followed one after another could have discouraged him: the effects of the upheaval of the French Revolution, the lack of opportunities for education in his rural environment, the reluctance of his father, the need for him to do his share of work in the fields, the hazards of military service. Above all, and in spite of his intuitive intelligence and lively sensitivity, there was his great difficulty in learning and memorizing, and so in following the theological courses in Latin, all of which resulted in his dismissal from the seminary in Lyons. However, after the genuineness of his vocation had finally been acknowledged, at 29 years of age he was able to be ordained. Through his tenacity in working and praying, he overcame all obstacles and limitations, just as he did later in his priestly life, by his perseverance in laboriously preparing his sermons or spending the evenings reading the works of theologians and spiritual writers. From his youth he was filled with a great desire to "win souls for the good God" by being a priest, and he was supported by the confidence placed in him by the parish priest of the neighboring town of Ecully, who never doubted his vocation and took charge of a good part of his training. What an example of courage for those who today experience the grace of being called to the Priesthood!
–Pope John Paul II, Letter to Priests on Holy Thursday 1986

A brief period of silence is observed.

PRAYER FOR THE DAY

O St. John Mary Vianney, Our Model of Priestly Fidelity, no cross was too heavy to prevent you from following your Master.

Your faith remained ardent and your vocation even blossomed amid spiritual slackening and religious persecution in your youngest years. A difficult and trying formation did not hinder you from following God’s call to service. You were given a parish that seemed desperate to all but which was to you a sweet yoke that you accepted ungrudgingly, even with joy. The bitter persecution, even of your brother priests and beloved parishioners, was not enough to exhaust your admirable patience. Not even the devil with his most violent manifestations could sway you away from your Lord nor distract you from your mission. You surpassed the dark night of spiritual trial, with your enduring love for Jesus and consuming desire for the good of the flock.

Teach us to be like you especially in these difficult times. Help us realize that true discipleship is to take up the Cross of Jesus and to follow him in the way to Calvary. Only then, in dying to ourselves, we can give life to the flock as you and your Master did. Amen.

CLOSING PRAYER
By the presider

V. Pray for us, blessed John Mary Vianney,
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Father, you give us St. John Mary Vianney as patron and model for all priests. May we who honor you by celebrating his memory profit by his example and grow in our knowledge and love of you and our desire to serve your people through Christ our Lord. Amen.


Day 2
A Model of Priestly Service

“When the heart is pure, it cannot stop loving,
because it has rediscovered the source of love, which is God.”

VENERATION OF THE RELICS

Standing, the presider may incense the image and relics of St. John Mary Vianney. A fitting hymn is sung.

DAILY PRAYER

O St. John Mary Vianney, Patron and Model of All Priests, you show us what it means to be a priest after the Heart of Jesus.

O Holy Priest of Ars, you lived a life of total dedication to Christ and His Church. You spent your life wholly at the service of the flock, devoting your self entirely to the work of the ministry. Day and night you labored for souls, ministering to them and praying in their behalf. Nothing could weary your generous heart.

You never gave up on your flock even when they seemed impossible. You shunned all riches and honor so only Christ will be your treasure and crown. With joy you embraced the radical poverty of the Gospel so with empty hands you can freely embrace God’s people.

You rooted yourself on Jesus, always fixing your eyes on him in every task or trial. Even when times were most difficult, you anchored yourself to the Eucharist and to Mary, your pillars of strength. In prayer and sacrifice you found holiness, your most powerful tool in drawing the flock to Jesus.

Teach us your example that we who aspire to be priests may become holy shepherds for God’s people. Pray to the Lord of the Harvest to send more laborers to gather his people into the fold and nurture the flock. Ask our High Priest to sanctify his priests so our Holy Church may ever increase in holiness under the guidance of holy pastors. Amen.

READING
John 12, 24-25

Jesus said:
“I am the Good Shepherd.
I Know my sheep and my sheep know me
in the same way that the Father knows me
and I know the Father;
for these sheep I will give my life.”

SHARING

The presiding priest or another priest imparts a short reflection. After the sharing, a song may be sung.

Hymn: Ang Mabuhay sa Pag-ibig (Tabuena-Hontiveros, SJ) / Ang Mabuting Pastol (Hontiveros, SJ)

MEDITATION

“The confessional, the answering of letters, and the woes of others, good works, debts to be paid, his curate’s temper, the tricks of Satan, toothache and gastric pains, the maddening pricks of the hair shirt, want of food and sleep: add to that doubts as to his vocation and a pressing feeling of his unworthiness—for we must put all these things together, since all were pressing on him at once—did ever man have so many crosses? M. Vianney was a poor man with a poor body and his poor body could hold out no longer. Yet the poor body stayed at its post, hung on somehow. The whole thing is mysterious. He no longer had that minimum which is necessary for life itself yet his intense activity never slackened. Sometimes, when he was driving himself back to the task in hand—mounting into the pulpit, maybe, or entering the confessional—he was seen to crumple up, as though he was being squeezed dry of his very substance. Then suddenly his task would pull him together; grace gave back the strength that was wanting, the priest revived the man.”
–G.K. Chesterton, The Secret of the Curé d’Ars

A brief period of silence is observed.

PRAYER FOR THE DAY

O Saint John Mary Vianney, our Model of Priestly Service, like a good Shepherd you gave your life for your sheep.

You spared nothing for yourself and gave your all to your people. All your time and strength you spent, feeding them at the Lord’s banquet, preaching to them His Word, hearing their confessions, counseling them, teaching them catechism, caring for their poor and orphans, visiting their homes and farms, curbing the ills of society, even extending your aid to other sheep when helping your brother priests in their parishes. You pleaded to God in their behalf and offered for them your many sacrifices. Nothing can weary your zeal. Nothing for you was ever too much in the service of God’s people.

Teach us to be selfless and generous, to serve God and his Church with all our heart, all our mind and all our strength. Let us never grow tired and weary of serving the Church. May we always be ardent ministers on fire with the love of Jesus and zealous for the salvation of souls. Amen.

CLOSING PRAYER
By the presider

V. Pray for us, blessed John Mary Vianney,
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Father, sustain the good work we have begun in your Name. May we who keep these days in honor of St. John Mary Vianney, faithful priest of your Son, enjoy his help and protection in our own pilgrimage to you and service to your people though Christ our Lord. Amen.


Day 3
A Model of Priestly Spirituality

“You open your heart to him
and you feel happy in His Holy Presence.
This is the best of all prayers.”


VENERATION OF THE RELICS

Standing, the image and relics of St. John Mary Vianney may be incensed by the presider. A fitting hymn is sung.

DAILY PRAYER

O St. John Mary Vianney, Patron and Model of All Priests, you show us what it means to be a priest after the Heart of Jesus.

O Holy Priest of Ars, you lived a life of total dedication to Christ and His Church. You spent your life wholly at the service of the flock, devoting your self entirely to the work of the ministry. Day and night you labored for souls, ministering to them and praying in their behalf. Nothing could weary your generous heart.

You never gave up on your flock even when they seemed impossible. You shunned all riches and honor so only Christ will be your treasure and crown. With joy you embraced the radical poverty of the Gospel so with empty hands you can freely embrace God’s people.

You rooted yourself on Jesus, always fixing your eyes on him in every task or trial. Even when times were most difficult, you anchored yourself to the Eucharist and to Mary, your pillars of strength. In prayer and sacrifice you found holiness, your most powerful tool in drawing the flock to Jesus.

Teach us your example that we who aspire to be priests may become holy shepherds for God’s people. Pray to the Lord of the Harvest to send more laborers to gather his people into the fold and nurture the flock. Ask our High Priest to sanctify his priests so our Holy Church may ever increase in holiness under the guidance of holy pastors. Amen.

READING
John 15, 5-7

Jesus said:
“I am the vine, you are the branches.
He who lives in me and I in him will bear fruit abundantly,
for apart from me you can do nothing.
A person who does not live in me is like a withered rejected branch,
picked up to be thrown in the fire and burnt.
If you remain in me and my words in you,
you may ask whatever you want and it will be given you.
My Father is glorified in your bearing much fruit
and becoming my disciples.”

SHARING

The presiding priest or another priest imparts a short reflection. After the sharing, a song may be sung.

Hymn: Pagkakaibigan / Pastorale (Francisco, SJ)

MEDITATION

The Curé of Ars is a model of priestly zeal for all pastors. The secret of his generosity is to be found without doubt in “his love for God”, lived without limits, in constant response to the love made manifest “in Christ crucified”. This is where he bases his desire to do everything to save the souls ransomed by Christ at such a great price, and to bring them back to the love of God. Let us recall one of those pithy sayings which he had the knack of uttering: "The priesthood is the love of the Heart of Jesus." In his sermons and catechesis he continually returned to that love: "O my God, I prefer to die loving you than to live a single instant without loving you... I love you, my divine Savior, because you were crucified for us... because you have me crucified for you." For the sake of Christ, he seeks to conform himself exactly to the radical demands that Jesus in the Gospels puts before the disciples whom he sends out: prayer, poverty, humility, self-denial, voluntary penance. And, like Christ, he has a love for his flock that leads him to extreme pastoral commitment and self-sacrifice. Rarely has a pastor been so acutely aware of his responsibilities, so consumed by a desire to wrest his people from the sins of their lukewarmness. "O my God, grant me the conversion of my parish: I consent to suffer whatever you wish, for as long as I live." Dear brother priests, nourished by the Second Vatican Council which has felicitously placed the priest's consecration within the framework of his pastoral mission, let us join Saint John Mary Vianney and seek the dynamism of our pastoral zeal in the Heart of Jesus, in his love for souls. If we do not draw from the same source, our ministry risks bearing little fruit!
“–Pope John Paul II, Letter to Priests on Holy Thursday 1986

A brief period of silence is observed.

PRAYER FOR THE DAY

O St. John Mary Vianney, Our Model of Priestly Spirituality, you lived a life firmly rooted on Jesus, your source of strength.

You said the Mass with all the love of your heart and your prayers with all devotion. You celebrated the feasts of the Church with great care and solemnity and led your people with joy to the Lord’s Banquet. In the early hours of the morning and the late watches of the night, you stood before the tabernacle, gazing at Jesus while Jesus gazed at you. With filial confidence you tenderly embraced the Mother of Jesus and made the saints of God your friends. You shunned no hardship or sacrifice which you offered to God for your flock, like a shepherd who lays down his life for the fold.

It was with this holiness, shining beyond your humble appearance, that you drew your people to Jesus. It was from this inexhaustible fount of wisdom that you drew knowledge and counsel to instruct and guide your flock. Nothing could weary you because you drew from Jesus, your infinite source of strength.

Teach us always to cling to Jesus, as branches to the vine. That nourished by his grace and especially through His Holy Sacraments, we may grow in holiness and be able to sanctify others also. Let us never shrink from our weakness or rely too much on our strength. Make us always realize that without God we are nothing. Let us always trust that we God we can do everything. Amen.

CLOSING PRAYER
By the presider

V. Pray for us, blessed John Mary Vianney,
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Father, bless us as we (prepare for tomorrow’s feast to) honor John Mary Vianney, your lowly servant who by his holiness of life and faithful service shepherded the flock after the Heart of your Son. May we who implore his intercession on earth be granted a share of his spirit, be able to share his mission and so one day come to partake of his heavenly crown through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Individual veneration of the relics may follow. Meanwhile, suitable hymns are sung and/or the Litany in Honor of St. John Mary Vianney may be recited.

LITANY IN HONOR OF SAINT JOHN VIANNEY

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
God the Holy Spirit,
Holy Trinity, One God,

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us.

Saint John-Mary Vianney,
St. John Vianney, endowed with grace from infancy,
St. John Vianney, model of filial piety,
St. John Vianney, devoted servant of the Immaculate Heart of Mary,
St. John Vianney, spotless lily of purity,
St. John Vianney, faithful imitator of the sufferings of Christ,
St. John Vianney, abyss of humility,
St. John Vianney, seraph of prayer,
St. John Vianney, faithful adorer of the Most Blessed Sacrament,
St. John Vianney, ardent lover of holy poverty,
St. John Vianney, true son of St. Francis of Assisi,
St. John Vianney, exemplary Franciscan tertiary,
St. John Vianney, tender friend of the poor,
St. John Vianney, penetrated with the fear of God's judgment,
St. John Vianney, fortified by divine visions,
St. John Vianney, who was tormented by the evil spirit,
St. John Vianney, perfect model of sacerdotal virtue,
St. John Vianney, firm and prudent pastor,
St. John Vianney, inflamed with zeal,
St. John Vianney, faithful attendant on the sick,
St. John Vianney, indefatigable catechist,
St. John Vianney, who preached in words of fire,
St. John Vianney, wise director of souls,
St. John Vianney, especially gifted with the spirit of counsel,
St. John Vianney, enlightened by light from Heaven,
St. John Vianney, formidable to Satan,
St. John Vianney, compassionate with every misery,
St. John Vianney, providence of the orphans,
St. John Vianney, favored with the gift of miracles,
St. John Vianney, who did reconcile so many sinners to God,
St. John Vianney, who did confirm so many of the just in the way of virtue,
St. John Vianney, who did taste the sweetness of death,
St. John Vianney, who does now rejoice in the glory of Heaven,
St. John Vianney, who gives joy to those who invoke thee,
St. John Vianney, heavenly patron of parish priests,
St. John Vianney, model and patron of directors of souls,

Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world,
Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world,
Hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world,
Have mercy on us.

Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.

V. Pray for us, blessed John Mary Vianney,
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let Us Pray

Almighty and merciful God,
you bestowed upon
blessed John Mary Vianney
wonderful pastoral zeal
and a great fervor for prayer and penance,
grant, we beseech you,
that by his example and intercession
we may be able to gain the souls
of our brethren for Christ,
and with them attain to everlasting glory,
through the same Lord Jesus Christ
your Son,
Who lives and reigns with you
and the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever.

Amen.



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