"A nice guy, but not bright"
That is also what other priests thought of him after he was ordained a priest (to everyone’s amazement).
He was assigned to a parish in the boondocks, to a town where very few people cared about Church (thus limiting the damage some feared he might clumsily do).
Nothing much was heard for a while, but as the years passed, everyone in the region noticed that many, many people were passing through the small town with the not-so-bright priest.
They were people from all parts of the country and from all walks of life, but they were all people who shared the same need – the need for conversion, the need for forgiveness – and nobody was a more grace-filled minister of conversion and forgiveness than this not-so-bright priest in the boondocks.
As many as twenty thousand people would come to him every year and he would spend as much as 18 hours a day in the confessional.
The man whom other priests had thought was not too bright, would outshine them all and would become their patron saint.
St. Jean Baptiste Marie Vianney, the Curé d'Ars, the patron saint of parish priests, died 150 years ago today.
(updated from a previous post)