St. John Eudes and St. John Mary Vianney Set as Models for Priests

Source: FSSPX News

On Wednesday, August 19, during the public audience in Castel Gandolfo, Benedict XVI spoke in favor of a solid formation for priests, and quoted as an example St. John Eudes (1601-1680), the promoter of the devotion to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary, and one of the masters of the French school of spirituality in the 17th century. Like St. John Mary Vianney, St. John Eudes is a “great figure of the priest” for the Church, the pope stressed in front of a crowd of faithful from the whole world. “Through a mysterious design of Providence, my venerable Predecessor Pius XI canonized John Eudes and the Curé d'Ars together, on 31 May 1925, holding up to the whole world two extraordinary examples of priestly holiness.” On this occasion the pope emphasised “the apostolic zeal of St John Eudes, which he focused in particular on the formation of the diocesan clergy.”

On that same day, August 19, in an interview granted to the Osservatore Romano, Archbishop Jean-Louis Bruguès, secretary of the Congregation for Catholic Education, announced the release of a “brief, incisive, and very clear” text concerning the training of seminarians before the end of the Year for Priests (June 19, 2009 - June 11, 2010). The French Archbishop was keen to recall the importance of education and stated that “without knowledge, charity is ineffectual.” “Most of the young men who come to houses of formation in countries such as Italy, Spain, France, Germany, and the United States,” he observed, “have good professional training, even a high-level university education for some, but they are not  ‘educated men’, and they especially lack Christian culture and education.” Thanks to the document in preparation, the Congregation for Catholic Education hopes to “place the best priests to work for the training of seminarians” and wishes that “the training be adapted to the physiognomy of the younger generations.” “We must get this message across to seminarians: you have been chosen, and it is an honor, be happy to be priests. I would like seminaries to be a school teaching the joy of being a priest. This is the first dimension. And the second is that the training given in the seminaries be the best possible. When we receive bishops on their ad limina visits, our prefect (Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski — Ed.) likes to repeat: ‘Do not hesitate to place your best priests at the service of the training of seminarians, it is worth it’.” (Sources: Osservatore Romano/Apic/Imedia)