Fr Paul reads from the Gospel of Matthew (13: 54-58) in which Jesus says ‘A prophet is only despised in his own country and in his own house’. Afterwards, Fr Paul shares a little about Saint John Vianney whose memorial we celebrate today. Fr Paul says John Vianney was the son of a peasant farmer, and he was a slow and not so promising candidate for the priesthood. He was eventually ordained on account of his devoutness rather than any achievement or promise. In 1818 he was sent to be the parish priest of Ars-en-Dombes, an isolated village some distance from Lyon, and remained there for the rest of his life because his parishioners would not let him leave. He was a noted preacher, and a celebrated confessor: such was his fame, and his reputation for insight into his penitents’ souls and their futures, that he had to spend up to eighteen hours a day in the confessional, so great was the demand. The tens of thousands of people who came to visit this obscure parish priest turned Ars into a place of pilgrimage. The French State recognised John by awarding him the medal of the Légion d’Honneur in 1848, but he sold it and gave the money to the poor. John is also the patron saint of parish priests. So today Fr Paul invites us to pray, ‘St John Vianney…Pray for us!’