Most weeks there may well be a number of feast days. We don’t necessarily celebrate them all. Some saints are more important in certain parts of the country than others and will be celebrated more on a local level, whilst other saints will be celebrated everywhere. So each week we will comment on the feast-days that we should celebrate in our regional Church.
Tuesday August 4th – St.John Vianney.
Born near Lyon, the son of a farmer, he was a shepherd on his father’s farm with very little schooling. At the age of 20 he began studies for the priesthood. Finding studies difficult, especially Latin, he was nevertheless admitted to holy orders because he was known to be so very devout. In 1817 he became Parish Priest of Ars-en-Dombe, a remote and unimportant village of about 250 inhabitants. He spent the rest of his life there. He excelled at preaching and counselling. His insight into persona difficulties seems to have been helped by supernatural gifts of reading the secrets of hearts. Every day John preached at 11ma. Just before his death, when visitors were reputed to number about 20,000 per year, he often spent as much as 16 hours a day hearing Confessions. He is patron of all the priests of the world.
Thursday August 6th – Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord.
On this day we celebrate the famous moment when Jesus, in full view of his disciples, was transfigured on Mount Tabor. According to the Gospel, his clothes became a brilliant white, as he welcomed into his presence Moses and Elijah, who represented both the Law and the Prophets. The disciples wanted to stay there. But Jesus knew he had to face his Passion in Jerusalem. Even today 1000s of people travel to Mount Tabor to the shrine built on the scene of the Transfiguration.
Saturday August 8th – St.Dominic.
Born in Spain, St.Dominic became a priest in the late 12th Century. As he travelled through France he encountered many heresies which he tried to counteract. However, because he travelled on horseback and stayed at the best hotels and inns, the locals were not impressed by him. So Dominic, along with three Cistercians, began a more modest way of living and preaching according to the Gospel values. He continued this work for over 10 years and brought many people back to the faith. His fellow preachers gradually became a community, and in 1215 he founded a religious house at Toulouse, the beginning of the order of preachers, the Dominicans as we know them today.