Saturday, October 15, 2011

"riveted to that rude seat, a prisoner of sinners."

"the confessional was the instrument of his crucifixion.  He was 'a martyr of the confessional,' says the Abbé Monnin.  He might have fled from sinners and have hidden himself in a cloister or in a desert; the love of souls made him stay at Ars.  He who had spent his youth in the fields, in the pure atmosphere of his native hills, remained, on days when a serene sky calls men into the open country, riveted to that rude seat, a prisoner of sinners.  His was a refined and sensitive heart, and he loved the beauty of Nature.  Once upon a time he, too, walked in the smiling vale of the Fontblin where the aspens rustle; even now he was only divided from it by a few houses and the walls of his church.  However, of his own will, he deprived himself, for a space of thirty years, of the pleasure of tasting its charm, its pastures, its restful shade!"

Abbé Francis Trochu, The Curé d'Ars: St Jean-Marie-Baptiste Vianney (1786-1859) according to the Acts of the process of canonization and numerous hitherto unpublished documents, trans. Dom Ernest Graf, O.S.B. (London: Burns Oates & Washbourne Ltd., 1951 [1927]), 475.

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