When Pope Benedict XVI recently proclaimed June 2009 through June 2010 The Year of the Priesthood, dedicated to Saint John Vianney, Leonardo Defilippis was overjoyed. That’s because Defilippis, the director and star of the feature film THÉRÈSE, has been working for two and a half years on a new live production on John Vianney, which will open on August 4, 2009, the 150th anniversary of the saint’s death. The U.S. tour of VIANNEY will travel to parishes, theaters, seminaries, universities and throughout the Catholic school system, as a significant contribution to the year-long celebration and renewal of the priesthood and family life.Read the rest by clicking below:
“The Pope’s focus on John Vianney is right on target,” says Defilippis. “The Curé of Ars is the saint who will inspire all of us, especially young people, with a deeper understanding of the heroic life of the priest. I believe we’ll see a tremendous upsurge in vocations from this Year of the Priesthood - because our youth are seeking a radical choice, a way to make a difference in our world, and John Vianney points the way through his dramatic life of self-sacrifice and his struggle with evil.”
Father John Cihak, pastor, seminary professor and Vianney scholar, who has recently been appointed to a Vatican Congregation, agrees. “St. John Vianney is pivotal in bringing about a renewal of holiness among priest and laity alike…We need a drama to help create this spiritual renewal. Writing books and articles about the Curé of Ars is good, but nothing gets a saint into the minds and hearts of people today better than drama and film.”
Leonardo Defilippis’s new production tells the story of the Curé of Ars (1786 – 1859), from his childhood during the French Revolution through his death after forty years as the parish priest in the tiny village of Ars, France, where pilgrims from all over the world flocked to his confessional and to hear his preaching. During that time, Ars went from a decaying community with a lax spiritual life to a vibrant Christian center, a model of holy living for the world, a place of such radiant peace the many of the thousands of people who came to visit described it as “heaven on earth...
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