Saint John Vianney is being staged as a one-man production titled “VIANNEY” and will be debuting in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston on August 4, 2009 AD. This is in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the death of this patron saint of parish priests. The play will continue in other dioceses across America.
Leonardo Defilippis plays the role of Saint John Vianney as he performs at various churches across the archdiocese. Mr. Defilippis’s one-man stage production opens amidst the chaos of the French Revolution, a time which mirrors the secularization, materialism and anti-religious sentiment of today. Against this dramatic backdrop, a simple ignorant peasant priest enters the backwater town of Ars, a place where no one cares much about their faith, or sees the Church as particularly relevant. They don’t expect much out of John Vianney.
The life of Saint John Vianney was also known as the Curé d’Ars. He became well known due to his supernatural knowledge of the past and future. His advice was sought by bishops, priests, religious, young men and women in doubt as to their vocation, sinners, persons in all sorts of difficulties and the sick. In 1855, the number of pilgrims had reached twenty thousand a year. His direction was characterized by common sense , remarkable insight, and supernatural knowledge. He would sometimes divine sins withheld in an imperfect confession.
On October 3, 1874 AD Jean-Baptiste-Marie Vianney was proclaimed Venerable by Pope Pius IX and on January, 8 1905 AD, he was enrolled among the Blessed. Pope Pius X proposed him as a model to the parochial clergy. In 1925, Pope Pius XI canonized him. His feast is kept on August 4.
For a schedule of where the play will be staged click here.
This drama will also be staged across other dioceses, for more information click here.
(Biretta tip: Vanessa Barnes of the Houston Roman Catholic Examiner)