[Pope Benedict XVI:] "In order to favor this tendency of priests towards spiritual perfection, upon which the effectiveness of their ministry principally depends, I have decided to call a special 'Year for Priests' which will run from 19 June 2009 to 19 June 2010". [This year marks] "the 150th anniversary of the death of the saintly 'Cure of Ars', Jean Marie Vianney, a true example of a pastor at the service of Christ's flock".The Pope will inaugurate the Year on 19 June, presiding at Vespers in St. Peter's Basilica where the relics of the saintly 'Cure of Ars' will be brought for the occasion by Bishop Guy Bagnard of Belley-Ars, France. He will close the year on 19 June 2010, presiding at a "World Meeting of Priests" in St. Peter's Square.During the course of the Year, Benedict XVI will proclaim St. Jean Marie Vianney as patron saint of all the priests of the world. A "Directory for Confessors and Spiritual Directors" will also be published, as will a collection of texts by the Supreme Pontiff on essential aspects of the life and mission of priests in our time.The Congregation for the Clergy, together with diocesan ordinaries and superiors of religious institutes, will undertake to promote and co-ordinate the various spiritual and pastoral initiatives which are being organised to highlight the role and mission of the clergy in the Church and in modern society, and the need to intensify the permanent formation of priests, associating it with that of seminarians.
Holy See Press Office
Note: Currently, Saint John Mary Vianney, is the Patron Saint of Parish Priests - declared so by the Pope who canonized him, Pius XI. More papal words on Saint John Mary Vianney: Sacerdotii Nostri Primordia (John XXIII).