In his first General Audience held this summer in Castel Gandolfo, Benedict XVI invited priests to follow the example of St. John Vianney.

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St. John Vianney

In his first General Audience held this summer in Castel Gandolfo, Benedict XVI invited priests to follow the example of St. John Vianney.

To mark the 150th anniversary of the death of St. John Vianney, the Pope highlighted him as a dedicated confessor and a spiritual master.

St. John Vianney gained a following from all kinds of people, even those most opposed to Christianity, since, like the Pope, he communicated his deep friendship and closeness to Christ.

“The witness of St. John Vianney is always a relevant example for priests and for all people. Priests must maintain a close union with Christ, and help it grow and strengthen day by day.

Thus the Pope reminded the worlds priests that only if they experience an intimate personal union with Christ, may they be able to touch the hearts of people and lead them to the merciful love of God. This is the only path to help society reach the happiness and the joy it needs today.