Saturday, August 04, 2007

Cure d'Ars and Latin

Incorrupt Body of Saint Jean Baptiste Marie Vianney

Today is the feast day of Saint John Vianney, the Cure d'Ars. As I was reading about him, something interesting jumped out at me, especially in light of the recent motu proprio "Summorum Pontificum" and all the hoopla from certain sectors about Latin.

I find it rather Providential that the Patron Saint of Diocesan Priests was horrible at Latin. Yet, not only did he become a Saint, but he is the Patron of Diocesan Priests. As the pope noted, many Saints, including Saint John Vianney, became Saints under the "Tridentine" form of the Mass. So, although Saint John Vianney's Latin wasn't stellar, he knew enough to offer the Mass and become a Saint.

And in this day, when priests (supposedly) have much more formation, and many are able to get through the academics easily with passing grades, and we, in general, in our modern society, need to know much more just to survive on a day to day basis, priests (and laity) should be able to learn enough Latin to go to Mass.

I keep saying again and again, the Latin is not that hard. So much of the English language's vocabulary is derived from Latin. As Father Reginald Foster once commented: "Latin is not only for intellectuals. Back in ancient Rome, even beggars and prostitutes could speak and understand it."

And I think we've all seen tons of statistics that say the belief in the Real Presence has been dropping over the last forty years ... which is odd if the vernacular really helps that much with people understanding their Faith.

Anyway, may Saint John Vianney pray for all our diocesan priests, that they might gain the knowledge of Latin which he never had.

The Roman Sacristan on his soapbox




1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your this and others relevan to our Catholic relegion and, for those of us with many years of reading the large print. The last paragraph should be an awaking for some parish priests. God Bless. jc