150th anniversary of St John Mary Vianney's death
As has been announced, the
Holy Father Benedict XVI has decided to establish a special
Year for Priests
on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of
the death of St John Mary Vianney, the holy Curé
d'Ars, a shining model of a Pastor totally dedicated to the service of
the people of God.
Year for Priests
which will begin on 19 June 2009 and will
end on 19 June 2010, the gift of special Indulgences is granted as
described in the Decree of the Apostolic Penitentiary, published on 12
Shortly the day will come
on which will be commemorated the 150th anniversary of the pious
departure to Heaven of St John Mary Vianney, the Curé
d'Ars. This Saint was a wonderful model here on earth of a true Pastor
at the service of Christ's flock.
Since his example is used
to encourage the faithful, and especially priests, to imitate his
virtues, the Supreme Pontiff Benedict XVI has established that for this
occasion a special Year for Priests will be celebrated, from 19 June
2009 to 19 June 2010, in which all priests may be increasingly
strengthened in fidelity to Christ with devout meditation, spiritual
exercises and other appropriate actions.
This holy period will begin
with the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, a day of priestly
sanctification on which the Supreme Pontiff will celebrate Vespers in
the presence of the holy relics of St John Mary Vianney, brought to Rome
by the Bishop of Belley-Ars, France.
The Most Holy Father will
likewise preside at the conclusion of the Year for Priests in St
Peter's Square, in the presence of priests from across the world who
will renew their fidelity to Christ and the bond of brotherhood.
May priests commit
themselves, with prayer and good works, to obtaining from Christ the
Eternal High Priest, the grace to shine with Faith, Hope, Charity and
the other virtues, and show by their way of life, but also with their
external conduct, that they are dedicated without reserve to the
spiritual good of the people
something that the Church has always had at heart.
The gift of Sacred
Indulgences which the Apostolic Penitentiary, with this Decree issued in
conformity with the wishes of the August Pontiff, graciously grants
during the Year for Priests will be of great help in achieving the
desired purpose in the best possible way.
A. Truly repentant priests
who, on any day, devoutly recite at least morning Lauds or Vespers
before the Blessed Sacrament, exposed for public adoration or replaced
in the tabernacle, and who, after the example of St John Mary Vianney,
offer themselves with a ready and generous heart for the celebration of
the sacraments, especially Confession, are mercifully granted in God the
Plenary Indulgence which they may also apply to their deceased
brethren in suffrage, if, in conformity with the current norms, they
receive sacramental confession and the Eucharistic banquet and pray for
the Supreme Pontiff's intentions.
Furthermore the Partial
Indulgence is granted to priests who may apply it to their deceased
confreres every time that they devoutly recite the prayers duly approved
to lead a holy life and to carry out in a holy manner the offices
entrusted to them.
B. The Plenary
Indulgence is granted to all the faithful who are truly repentant
who, in church or in chapel, devoutly attend the divine Sacrifice of
Mass and offer prayers to Jesus Christ the Eternal High Priest, for the
priests of the Church, and any other good work which they have done on
that day, so that he may sanctify them and form them in accordance with
His Heart, as long as they have made expiation for their sins through
sacramental confession and prayed in accordance with the Supreme
Pontiff's intentions: on the days in which the Year for Priests begins
and ends, on the day of the 150th anniversary of the pious passing of St
John Mary Vianney, on the first Thursday of the month or on any other
day established by the local Ordinaries for the benefit of the faithful.
It will be most
appropriate, in cathedral and parish churches, for the same priests who
are in charge of pastoral care to publicly direct these exercises of
devotion, to celebrate Holy Mass and to hear the confession of the
The Plenary Indulgence
will likewise be granted to the elderly, the sick and all those who
for any legitimate reason are confined to their homes who, with a mind
detached from any sin and with the intention of fulfilling as soon as
possible the three usual conditions, at home or wherever their
impediment detains them, provided that on the above-mentioned days they
recite prayers for the sanctification of priests and confidently offer
the illnesses and hardships of their lives to God through Mary Queen of
Lastly, the Partial
Indulgence is granted to all the faithful every time they devoutly
recite five Our Fathers, Hail Marys and Glorias, or
another expressly approved prayer, in honour of the Sacred Heart of
Jesus, to obtain that priests be preserved in purity and holiness of
This Decree is valid for
the entire duration of the Year for Priests. Anything to the contrary
Given in Rome, at the
Offices of the Apostolic Penitentiary on 25 April, the Feast of St Mark
the Evangelist, in the year of the Incarnation of our Lord 2009.
Cardinal James Francis
Bishop Gianfranco Girotti,
Titular Bishop of Meta
L. + S.
Prot. N. 136/09/1