Vatican City – In the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the death of the saintly Cure of Ars, St. Jean Marie Vianney, the Holy Father Benedict XVI announced this morning that, there will be a special Year for Priests June 19, 2009 to June 19, 2010, with the theme: “Faithfulness of Christ, faithfulness of priests." The Holy Father will inaugurate the Year with Vespers on June 19, Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Day for the Holiness of Priests, in the presence of the relics of the Cure of Ars, brought for the occasion by the Bishop of Belley-Ars. He will close the Year on 19 June 2010, presiding at a "World Meeting of Priests" in St. Peter's Square.
During this Jubilee Year, Benedict XVI will proclaim Saint Jean Marie Vianney “Patron Saint of all the priests in 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.