Monday, October 23, 2006

Finding Saint John Vianney

My kids and I really enjoyed Alice's post on visiting the relic (his heart - which is incorrupt) of St. John Vianney in New York. Not the first time I've been jealous of those New Yorkers (I dreamed of finding a good excuse for a road trip to visit the Fra Angelico exhibit at the Met last year).

This got me thinking, though. You see, we are privileged to have in our possession a relic of St. John Vianney. We've never sought out relics on purpose, but we've ended up with a beautiful little collection that really amazes me. They've all been given to us at one time or another (and most connect with family names somehow) - the St. John Vianney was in a box of relics that the priest at John's old parish handed out after daily Mass one day (he seemed to consider them rubbish). For most of the early years of I kept the relic on top of my computer and I considered him one of our patrons.

The really sad thing is that I lost this relic. The time was three years ago - a week before Christmas. I was 39 weeks pregnant with Frank (#6) and we were moving to a larger house (just across town from our old house). The sale was really insane and we didn't know for sure that we were moving until the afternoon of the day we closed. I had been packing a lot of things (and many things were boxed up in our wonderful old shed for showing the house) but we really weren't all the way packed - things were too uncertain. We had to rent and start packing a U-Haul truck that morning we closed, even though we weren't quite sure because otherwise we were going to be stuck without help moving (John's family was going away that weekend). And our timing was tight with Christmas and a new baby coming. The family that bought our old home had major troubles with financing, a number of people involved in the process had thrown extra, unnecessary glitches into the process and we were almost ready to give up, but there was this big hitch - we needed a new car (the old one only held 7) and we really needed to take care of the new mortgage before a new car loan.

Anyway, things worked out, we suddenly found our house full of relatives and friends - we ran off to sign the papers and when we got back I drove the kids right over to the new house (where it was a bit less crazy). So we moved, celebrated Christmas, welcomed a new baby two weeks after Christmas (the one time I was REALLY glad that mine are usually two weeks past due-date), bought a new (used) mega-van and eventually settling in. But the St. John Vianney relic has never turned up. I'm sure there are places it could be, afterall, just a few days ago, while looking for the haircutting scissors I found a torn-up note in a dresser drawer which I recognized as my notes on negotiations regarding the offer made on our old house. So, I have decided to renew my search. He must be around here somewhere!


arlawless said...

Good luck on finding him! I know how painful it can be to lose something precious. Like you said, he's gotta be around there somewhere. :-)

Looks like you need to pray to St. Anthony to find St. John Vianney! ;-)

BTW, the parish I went to growing up in Arizona was St. John Vianney. Gosh, I loved that church/community. It holds a very special place in my heart.

Love2Learn Mom said...

That's funny, John was joking about that at dinner - needing St. Anthony to help. :) By the way, Happy Anniversary! I thought about you all day, on the big day, and didn't manage to do anything about it. :( Hope you had a great trip.

That's neat about your parish. The saints have interesting ways of endearing themselves to us I think.

arlawless said...

Thank you! How sweet of you to think of us. We spent our anniversary at my brother's house in Marblehead, Massachusetts, just hanging out with him and his family, my parents, and my other brother and his wife. It was a nice low-key day after a full week of non-stop sightseeing around New England!

Alice said...

I am praying that you find St. John Vianney.

Once, I was desperately (and I mean desperately) looking for a relic of St. Gianna Molla I thought I had lost. I called Lissa in Virginia to ask her to pray, leaving a message on her machine. She called me back moments later to say, "I think I can solve your problem--I have it." How this came about with me in NY is a long and circuitous story, but, I guess what I am trying to say is that there is always hope!

Love2Learn Mom said...

Oh, Alice that is so funny (and wonderful!) Thanks for sharing!

For some strange reason that reminds me of the time we belonged to a St. Anthony's parish when a man was going around stealing statues. He stole a huge, beautiful statue of St. Anthony from our parish but I think all of us had a rather confident sense that St. Anthony was, ahem, up to the task. :) The man did end up returning all of the statues later.

Thanks for the prayers!