SHREWSBURY, England, NOV. 4, 2011 (Zenit.org).- The heart of the patron saint of parish priests will tour the Diocese of Shrewsbury this July, providing an occasion to pray for the renewal of the priesthood.
The relic of St. John Vianney will be in the diocese for a four-day visit.
Three intentions are being proposed for the occasion: the renewal of the ministerial priesthood, new and generous vocations, and the renewal of the missions and life of all parishes in the diocese.
Priests venerate the heart of the Cure of Ars during a priests retreat I attended
at Ars in September 2005.
The relic will be accompanied by Bishop Guy Bagnard of Belley-Ars, France, and two priests of his diocese.
Bishop Mark Davies of Shrewsbury requested the relic tour when he met with Bishop Bagnard in September. The English bishop had taken young Shrewsbury clergy and the diocese's three seminarians to Ars.
"I am delighted we can welcome this relic of St. John Vianney to England," Bishop Davies said. "The Scriptures speak of the saints as those 'witnesses' who encourage us in our faith. This visible reminder of the heart of a simple and extraordinary pastor will encourage us to look to that love and truth found at the heart of the Catholic priesthood, for St. John Vianney said simply: 'The priesthood is the love of the heart of Jesus.'"