A daily study of the Network’s diverse faiths
Saint Jean-Baptiste Vianney (St John Vianney, Jeanne-Baptiste-Marie Vianney, Curé d’Ars) (1786-1859). Feast Day commemorating the death of the French Catholic priest whose education was disrupted by the 1789-99 French Revolution. When in 1802 the Catholic Church was re-established in France by Napoleon Bonaparte, Vianney only had until 1809 for his ecclesiastical studies before he was drafted into Napoleon’s armies. In 1811 that he was tonsured, 1814 appointed subdeacon, 1815 ordained deacon and priest and 1818 parish priest. He became internationally known for his priestly and pastoral work in Ars, due to the radical spiritual transformation of the community and its surroundings. Catholics attribute this to his saintly life, mortification, persevering ministry in the sacrament of confession, and ardent devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. When he began his priestly duties, Fr Vianney realised that many people were either ignorant of or indifferent to religion as a result of the French Revolution. He spent long hours each day working to reconcile people with God and his fame spread until people began to travel to him and from 1827 it is said he received up to 20,000 pilgrims each year until his death. St John Vianney would often say: “Private prayer is like straw scattered here and there: If you set it on fire, it makes a lot of little flames. But gather these straws into a bundle and light them, and you get a mighty fire, rising like a column into the sky; public prayer is like that.” Vianney died at 73 and his Bishop presided over his funeral with 300 priests and more than 6,000 people in attendance. Before he was buried, Vianney’s body was fitted with a wax mask. In honour of the 150th anniversary of his death, the Pope declared a Year of the Priest, running from the Feast of the Sacred Heart on 19 June 2009 to 19 June 2010 to encourage priests to strive for spiritual perfection. The Vatican Postal Service issued a set of stamps to commemorate the Anniversary and a stamps were issued in France on the 200th anniversary of his birth. Venerated in Catholic Church and remembered in Anglican Communion with a commemoration on 4 August. Patron Saint of parish priests worldwide, as a true example of a pastor at the service of Christ’s flock. Image: picclick.co.uk.
Prayer As did St John Vianney, we love You O our God and our only desire is to love You until the last breath of our lives. We love You, O our infinitely lovable God, and we would rather die loving You, than live without loving You. We love You, Lord and the only grace we ask is to love You eternally. O God, if our tongues cannot say in every moment that we love You, we want our hearts to repeat it to You as often as we draw breath. Amen
Battle of Alcácer Quibir (Battle of Three Kings معركة الملوك الثلاثة, Battle of wadi al-Makhazin, معركة وادي المخازن). Anniversary of the 1578 northern Morocco battle of Sunni Muslim Ottoman Morocco against Christian Portugal with the deposed Moroccan Sultan Abu Abdallah Mohammed II allied with King Sebastian I of Portugal against the Moroccan army of the new Ottoman Sultan of Morocco Abd Al-Malik I, who was the uncle of the deposed Sultan. All three leaders were lost during the conflict, which thus became known in Morocco as the Battle of the Three Kings. Abd al-Malik was gravely ill before the battle and died from natural causes due to the effort of riding. Abu Abdallah Mohammed drowned in a river as he attempted to flee. Sebastian’s body was never found, leading to the Portuguese messianic Once and Future King myth of Sebastianism (Sebastianismo), similar to that of King Arthur and based on the still-current belief of King Sebastian’s return to save Portugal. The death of Sultan Abd Al-Malik was concealed during the battle until the total victory of his forces had been secured. He was succeeded as Sultan by his brother Ahmad al-Mansur, who conquered Timbuktu, Gao and Djenné after defeating the Songhai Empire. For Portugal, the battle of Alcácer was an unmitigated disaster and Philip II of Spain invaded and was crowned Philip I of Portugal in 1581, resulting in the integration of the country into the 60-year dynastic Iberian Union with Spain. Image: niltonroberto.jusbrasil.com.br.
Bl William Horne (d1540). Feast Day commemorating the death of the married Carthusian lay brother, a member of the London Carthusian Charterhouse, a 1084 enclosed eremitic order that does not put forward causes for their members and generally has no active apostolate outside their Charterhouses. Carthusian life is dramatically different from Benedictine Monasticism, the predominant form in the West, and the Carthusians are now a small order with 25 houses worldwide and just 350 male and 75 female members. During the Fifteenth-Century Bohemian Wars between Czech proto-protestant Hussites and Holy Roman Empire Catholics, the Carthusian houses and other Catholic institutions came under attack and in 1419 the Prague Charterhouse was burned down, as was the Mauerbach Charterhouse on the outskirts of Vienna by Ottoman troops during the 1529 Siege of Vienna, being targeted again by the Ottomans during the 1683 Battle of Vienna. In 1572, during the Dutch Revolt, the Charterhouses of Delft and Roermond were attacked. In the 1789-99 French Revolution, numerous Carthusians were persecuted with other Catholic religious and lay persons. Carthusian priests were required to take the anti-Papal Oath of the Civil Constitution of the Clergy and refusal meant imprisonment in former slave ships anchored in the Charente River at Rochefort, 800 priests and clergy dying there in 1794 due to the inhumane conditions. In 1936, during the Spanish Civil War, Carthusians were affected by the widespread anti-clericalism, including those from the Montalegre Charterhouse on the Portuguese border. In September 1944, monks from the Tuscan Charterhouse at Certosa di Farneta opened their doors to German troops and twelve Carthusians were killed, including two Germans, a Swiss, a Venezuelan and a Spaniard. In 1537, during the English Reformation, the London Charterhouse was dissolved and its members imprisoned and later executed, eighteen of them being numbered amongst the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales. William Horne was arrested for refusing to accept King Henry VIII as head of the Church, and objecting to the imprisonment of Catholics and destruction of the monasteries. He was martyred at Tyburn, London with two companions, being hanged, drawn and quartered on 4 August 1540. They were among the members of the Carthusian monastic order who have been persecuted and killed because of their Christian faith and their adherence to the Catholic religion. Alternative Feast Day 4 May. Image: idlespeculations-terryprest.blogspot.com.