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Friday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Other commemorations: Bl. Pierre Vigne, priest (RM); Sts. Priscilla and Aquila (RM)
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Gospel verse, Jn 16:13a; 2:26 p.m.:
When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you to all truth and remind you of all that I have told you.
Today the Roman Martyrology commemorates Blessed Pierre Vigne (1670-1740), French priest, was beatified on October 3, 2004 by Pope John Paul II and proposed to the universal Church as an example of a tireless missionary and apostle of the Most Blessed Sacrament.
The Church also honors Sts. Priscilla and Aquila, a 1st century Jewish couple from Rome who had been exiled to Corinth, were friends of St. Paul in the 1st century and mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles. They welcomed Saint Paul when he visited this city and were probably converted by him.
Pierre Vigne was born on August 20, 1670 in Privas (France), a small town still suffering the effects of the religious wars of the previous century. His father (Peter Vigne), an honest textile merchant, and his mother (Frances Gautier) married in the Catholic Church and had their five children baptized in the Catholic parish of Saint Thomas de Privas. Two girls died in infancy. Peter and his two older siblings, John-Francis and Eleonore, lived with their parents in relative comfort.
At the age of 11, Pierre was chosen by the parish priest to act as a witness, signing the parish register of baptisms, marriages or deaths. After receiving a good level of education and instruction, in her late teens, her life was suddenly transformed by a new awareness of the presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. This experience led him to center his life on Jesus, who offered himself on the Cross out of love for us, and in the Eucharist, never ceases to give himself to all men. In 1690, he entered the Sulpician Seminary of Viviers. He was ordained a priest on September 18, 1694 in Bourg Saint Andeol by the Bishop of Viviers. He was sent as curate to Saint-Agrève where, for six years, he exercised his priestly ministry, in friendship with his parish priest and loved by his parishioners. He was always careful to discern in the events of life what the Lord was asking of him, and he felt called elsewhere. With understandable hesitation at first, then with growing certainty, he pursues his spiritual journey along new paths. His desire to work as a missionary among the poor was central to his decision to join the Vincentians in Lyons in 1700. There he received a solid formation in poverty and the conduct of “popular missions” and, with his fellow priests , begins to visit towns and villages in the work of evangelization. In 1706, he left the Vincentians “of his own free will”. Today more than ever, he is passionate about saving souls, especially the poor living in the countryside. After a period of research, his vocation takes shape with increasing clarity. He becomes an “itinerant missionary” applying his own pastoral methods, while submitting his ministry to the authorization of his hierarchical superiors. For more than thirty years, he tirelessly traveled on foot or on horseback the paths of Vivarais and Dauphiné, and even further. He faced the fatigue of being constantly on the move, as well as difficult weather conditions, in order to make Jesus known, loved and served. He preached, visited the sick, catechized children, administered the sacraments, even going so far as to carry “his” confessional on his back, ready at any time to celebrate and to grant God’s Mercy. He celebrated mass, exposed the Blessed Sacrament and taught the faithful the prayer of adoration. Mary, “Beautiful Tabernacle of God among men” was also honored in her prayer and her teaching. In 1712, he came to Boucieu-le-Roi, where the terrain favored the erection of a Stations of the Cross. With the help of parishioners, he built 39 stations across the village and countryside, teaching the faithful to follow Jesus from the Upper Room at Easter and Pentecost. Boucieu becomes his place of residence. He gathered a few women there, instructing them to “accompany the pilgrims” on the Way of the Cross and to help them pray and meditate. It was there that he founded the Congregation of the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament. On November 30, 1715, in the church of Boucieu, he gave them the cross and the religious habit. He invited them to assure a continuous adoration of Jesus present in the Eucharist and to live together in communion. Anxious to give young people access to education, thus helping them to grow in their faith and their Christian values, Peter Vigne opened schools and also founded a “training school” for teachers. This is why, whenever Pierre Vigne was in Lyon on business, he never failed to call on his former seminary tutors, the priests of Saint-Sulpice, to meet his confessor and spiritual director. Attracted by the Eucharistic spirituality of the Priests of the Blessed Sacrament, founded by Monseigneur d’Authier de Sisgaud, he was accepted as an associate member of this society of priests on January 25, 1724, in Valence, and benefited from their spiritual and temporal adhesion. by continuing to accompany his young Congregation, Pierre Vigne persisted in his apostolic works, and to make the fruits of his missions more accessible, he found the time to write books: rules of life, works of spirituality, in particular the one entitled, “meditations on the most beautiful book, Jesus Christ suffering and dying on the Cross”. The physical strength of our pilgrim for God, the demands of his apostolic activities, the long hours spent in adoration and his life of poverty, testify not only to a fairly robust physique, but above all to a passionate love of Jesus Christ who has loved his own to the end (cf. Jn 13:1). At 70, the effects of exhaustion begin to be felt. During a mission in Rencurel, in the Vercors mountains, he fell ill and had to interrupt his preaching. Despite all his efforts to celebrate the Eucharist once more and to encourage the faithful to love Jesus, sensing his near end, he again expresses his missionary zeal, then withdraws in silent prayer and reflection. A priest and two sisters came hastily to accompany him in his last moments. On July 8, 1740, he will join the One he so loved, adored and served. His body was brought back to its final resting place in the small church of Boucieu where it remains to this day. – Taken from the Vatican websiteThings to do:
Sts. Priscilla and Aquila
Aquila was a Jew, born in Pontus in what is now Turkey. He emigrated to Rome where he met and fell in love with Priscilla. After their marriage, they worked together as tentmakers; together they converted to Christianity. When Emperor Claudius expelled the Jews from Rome in AD 49, they were forced to leave the city.
They are known by the Letters of Saint Paul, their intimate friend, and by his testimony in the Acts of the Apostles.
Aquila and Priscilla moved to the Greek city of Corinth, a cosmopolitan city where the cult of Aphrodite was very strong. There they met Paul, who worked as a tentmaker to support himself so as not to be a burden to anyone. After being expelled from the synagogue, Paul settled in the house of Titius Justus, near the house of Aquila and Pricilla. When Paul decided to return to Syria, the couple accompanied him on part of the trip but stopped in Ephesus. The three friends later reunited in Ephesus, a meeting point of culture, religion, and commerce. Indeed, Saint Paul founded a church there and lived there himself for two years. While continuing to work as tentmakers, Priscilla and Aquila helped instruct converts, including Apollos, a Jew from Alexandria who was well versed in the scriptures. Their catechetical teaching was made credible by their love for each other. Their house became a point of reference for the new Christian community, a domestic church, where the disciples of Christ gathered to listen to the Word of God and celebrate the Eucharist. Saint Paul remembered his time with Priscilla and Aquila who, he said, “risked their skin for my life”. Aquila and Priscilla returned to Rome after the expulsion order against the Jews was lifted. Throughout their lives they worked as missionaries, always witnessing to the risen Christ. Nothing is known of their deaths.Things to do: