Trumbull church hosts saint’s heart next week

The relic of the heart of St. John Vianney will be at St. Catherine of Siena as part of a year-long pilgrimage.

The Parish of St. Catherine of Siena will host a relic, the heart of St. John Vianney, on April 29 and April 30. This is the only public event in the Diocese of Bridgeport during the relic’s national tour that runs through June.

According to Bridgeport Diocese spokesman Brian Wallace, Vianney is the patron saint of parish priests and confessors.

Hartford Archbishop Emeritus Daniel Cronin will celebrate Mass April 29 at 7 p.m. There will be an all-night vigil immediately following the Mass until 7 a.m. April 30. Excerpts from Vianney’s homilies will be read every hour on the hour. Confessions will be heard from 8:30 p.m. until midnight. Participants are welcome at any time for any duration.

On April 30, St.Catherine Pastor Joseph Marcello will celebrate Mass at 9 a.m. Students from local Catholic schools will attend. Members of the public are also welcome.

St. John Vianney was born in 1786 and served as a parish priest in the French town of Ars. He was noted for his dedication to the poor, his counseling of those in need, for founding an orphanage for girls, and for his work as a confessor. Wallace said he spent as many as 18 hours a day hearing the confessions of people who had traveled from across Europe.

Pope Pius XI canonized Vianney in 1925. His heart is kept at the Shrine of Ars, but has been lent to the Knights of Columbus for this national pilgrimmage that began in New Haven in 2018..

The Catholic Church teaches that a relic is offered to the faithful for veneration, but neither the relic nor the saint is worshipped.

St. Catherine of Siena is located at 220 Shelton Road in Trumbull.