Millenniums from today, when most possessions from the greater Milwaukee area have been discarded and recycled, there will remain, ironically, one icon painting and it will probably be my first icon- that of St John Vianney.
The scientists will analyze it in all ways determining, for example, that acrylic is very resilient. Also, and most importantly, art historians will cite it as an example to prove that the peoples of this region were a somewhat backward group of highlanders that lacked education and refinement. Of course this is true and I will not be posting a picture of it any time soon.
A friend wrote that "he was about as attractive as Mother Theresa... the real beauty is from within."
The top of the old church front without the tower. It was removed during the French Reign of Terror when all churches were to become Temples of Reason. The statue of Mary was installed later. St John Vianney arrived in Ars in 1818, not long after restrictions against Catholics were lifted under Napoleon. The old church is still attached to the newer Shrine of St Philomena/ St John Vianney. The local population would not permit the dismantling of the old church to make way for a grander, 20th century structure so architects had to devise a plan to work it in. Also, the old church has been left "as is" with what appears to be little updating- not even painting! Only cleaning and maintenance takes place.
("From the beginning of our priesthood") was the second encyclical issued by ST. Pope John XXIII, and was issued on 1 August 1959. It commemorated the 100th anniversary of the death of St. John Vianney, the patron saint of priests.
My family put this all together for the Vianney tour in 2009. It was our "job" for this promotion.