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High Five a Priest Today

August 4, 2009



Because it’s a nice and fun thing to do, but it’s also the feast of St. John Marie Vianney, patron saint of parish priests, and especially this year during the Year of the Priest, a patron for all priests (including monks and other types of non-diocesan priests). Remember his hands are uniquely consecrated when you do give your high five, so give thanks for his priesthood as well. It’s a tradition in the Church to reverence the hands of priests (by giving brief solemn chaste kiss on their palms), especially after their ordination.

St. John Vianney, believe it or not, is the only canonized diocesan priest, outside of the apostles and Church Fathers (but they didn’t really have dioceses then, so it doesn’t really count).  St. John came from a very ordinary background, but went on to have one of the most extraordinary interior and apostolic (exterior works) lives.  He almost didn’t make the grade in seminary, and years later, as the Cure of Ars, France, would become a much-demanded spiritual advisor, hearing confessions up to twenty (!) hours a day. You’ll hear more about him this Year of the Priest, and about his importance in the Church.

Articles/ Resources on St. John Marie Vianney & the priesthood:

Things to do (via

  • The Collect (Opening Prayer at Mass, also used in the Liturgy of the Hours) praises St. John Vianney’s zeal for souls and his spirit of prayer and penance. Say a special prayer today that by his example and intercession we too may win the souls of our brothers for Christ.
  • Say a prayer for priests that they may persevere in their vocation. If you haven’t been to confession for a while resolve to do so right away and be sure that you remember to say an extra prayer for your confessor.
  • From the Catholic Culture library: Pope John XXIII holds St. John Vianney as a model for the priesthood in this Encyclical.
  • Read this longer life of the Cure of Ars and also these excerpts from his sermons.
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