On Friday, May 24, 2019, relics of St. John Vianney visited Belmont Abbey’s Mary Help of Christians Basilica on its national tour. The tour is sponsored by the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic fraternal organization for men, with the intention of praying for priests and vocations.
St. John Vianney (1786 –1859), a parish priest in the small French town of Ars, was well known for his gentle pastoral manner and great humanity. Many miracles were worked at his intercession. After his death, Pope Pius XI canonized him in 1925 and he has been looked to as a patron saint of parish priests and model of priestly holiness. When his body was exhumed, his heart was found to be preserved and is a focus of devotion, but not an object of worship.
The May 24th visit coincided with Solemnity of Mary Help of Christians, the Patroness of Belmont Abbey.
After the visit to Belmont Abbey, the relic traveled to St. Joseph Catholic Church in Raleigh, NC, and St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Charlotte, NC. Belmont Abbey College students who attended the January 2019 SEEK Conference in Indianapolis also had the opportunity to venerate the relic. The veneration is open to the public. Donations will be accepted for the St. Jean Vianney Shrine in Ars, France, for capital improvement.
Abbot Placid Solari anticipated a great opportunity for healing coming from the veneration, saying, “I am very happy that we have this blessing of having the heart of St. John Mary Vianney for veneration in our Abbey Basilica, especially on our patronal feast of Mary Help of Christians. I hope in particular that the veneration of St. John Vianney and the help of his prayers will inspire vocations to the priesthood and religious life in our diocese and here at the Abbey.”
May 24, 2019
6:00 am – 6:30 am Vigils
7:30 am- 8:00 am Lauds
8:00 am-10:30 Public Veneration
11:00-12:00 PM Solemnity Mass of Mary Help of Christians
More information on the pilgrimage tour can be found here.