THE Hierarchy of England and Wales has appointed Sunday, May 31, as a Day of
Prayer for Africa.
There will be exposition of the Blessed Sacrament in the churches throughout t h c country and the faithful are urged to receive Holy Communion and to pray that the difficulties now apparent in so many parts of the African Continent may give place, in the words of the encyclical Fidel Donum, to a "spirit of peace and mutual understanding."
111111111111111111111-1 1.111111111 11111,111111111ALI
favourite St. Philomena's altar, at the altar of the gilded statue of Our Lady of Ars where he dedicated his whole parish to the care of the Mother of Clod, and at the altar of St. John the Baptist, another favourite of St, Jean Vianney.
Outside (behind the Basilica— planned by St. Jean Vianney in honour of St. Philomena, but after his death built and dedicated to himself) another great crowd of several thousand was hearing Mass in an enormous covered auditorium. They were singing, the tune was catching and attractive. What was it? Few knew.
They were in fact singing the increasingly popular Getineau Psalms the joyous refrain echoing right down the village street. This auditorium would. I think, have pleased the Curd, it is built on part of the site of the village square where he so often rebuked his people for their excessive and immoral dancing.
And the people of Ars today? They work in the fields, run a few tasteful souvenir shops, and a few stores. But, sadly mused one priest, the spirit of Ars is not what it had become at the time of the Cure's death.
But the Cure's spirit is there still for last year more than 300,000 pilgrims visited the village, among them 6,000 priests. This s'ear the number may well be doubled. And now, even more than before the great intentions are for an increase in vocations, for the sanctification of the clergy and the laity, and for peace.
A large sack of cement stands at the feet of St. Jean's statue in Iris palish church. An appeal above it asks for donations to pay for it and speed the work of building a new hostel for priests.
Ars has changed very little since St. Jean Vianney died 100 years ago. Most of the houses are the same, the little parish church is almost just a.s he left it. Alongside is the tiny presbytery where he lived and where pilgrims are startled and almost silenced at the sight of the burnt mattress and
Continued on Page 10, col. 5