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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

EWTN Press Release: Oct. 11, 2011


EWTN Global Catholic Network to Premiere ‘Vianney Speaks’
With St. Luke Productions’ Acclaimed Filmmaker Leonardo Defilippis

Editors: See Free Story, Based on a Defilippis Interview, Following Press Release


Irondale, AL – St. John Vianney was such a holy priest, he knew a penitent’s sins even before he confessed them, he was attached by the devil almost every night, and he converted every single soul in his parish – so people came to Ars as much to experience his parishioners as the saint himself.

Hear this saint’s life-changing sermons in the EWTN Original Co-Production, “Vianney Speaks” with acclaimed Actor and Filmmaker Leonardo Defilippis. The program will air 1 p.m. ET, Friday, Oct. 14, and 5 a.m. ET and 10 p.m. ET, Saturday, Oct. 15 – exclusively on EWTN. (Find EWTN at www.ewtn.com/channelfinder.)

“The majority of people have never heard any sermons like this from the pulpit,” Defilippis said. “They are very moving. Vianney was known to weep in front of people; he would also be thunderous; he would shake people up! I decided to take some of these sermons and put them into a dramatic format. I could have done it in [an EWTN] studio with a simple set, but we decided to go even further and put it into a cinematic format so you felt as if you were in Ars itself.”

Defilippis calls Vianney one of the most important saints in our Church and in Christianity. “I say that because he is directly connected with the very structure of the Church itself. He’s a priest, pastor, and patron saint of all priests, all bishops, all pastors. The parish is the foundation from which every saint comes. St. Francis, Mother Teresa, all grew up in a parish. They got their sacraments, their vocation, from priests.”

The sermons selected for this program are true masterpieces and include Vianney’s warnings about the enemies of our salvation. “[Satan] said to St. John Vianney himself, ‘I’m with you even in the Mass, as you’re doing the consecration, when you’re in the confessional. When a penitent leaves, I’m with them.’ [The devil] does the same with families; he goes after the mother and the father. He told John Vianney, ‘When the parents are mine, the children are mine.’ Our greatest weapon [against the devil] is the rosary.”

To learn more about the television special and to view movie trailers and videos, visit www.vianneyspeaks.com.

To learn more about the Curé of Ars, check out the many resources available from EWTN Religious Catalogue. There you will find the “Vianney Speaks” DVD, http://bit.ly/nxUGuT; an episode of EWTN’s award-winning “My Catholic Family” animated children’s TV series on St. John Vianney (in both English and Spanish), http://bit.ly/p3tD5T; a classic book by Abbe Francis Trochu entitled “The Cure D’Ars: St. Jean-Marie Baptiste Vianney,” http://bit.ly/pnSTvb; and many other related items. Just go to http://www.ewtnreligiouscatalogue.com and search for “Vianney” and “St. John Vianney.”

EWTN Global Catholic Network, in its 30th year, is available in over 160 million television households in more than 140 countries and territories. With its direct broadcast satellite television and radio services, AM & FM radio networks, worldwide short-wave radio station, Internet website www.ewtn.com, electronic and print news services, and publishing arm, EWTN is the largest religious media network in the world.
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“Vianney Speaks” Could Change Your Life
By Michelle Laque Johnson
St. John Vianney was such a holy priest, he knew a penitent’s sins even before he confessed them, he was attached by the devil almost every night, and he converted every single soul in his parish – so people came to Ars as much to experience
But was he one of the most important saints in Church history, as some claim? Hear some of Vianney’s life-changing sermons and decide for yourself when acclaimed Actor and Filmmaker Leonardo Defilippis brings this saint to life in the EWTN Original Co-Production “Vianney Speaks.” Airs 1 p.m. ET, Friday, Oct. 14, and 5 a.m. ET and 10 p.m. ET, Saturday, Oct. 15 – exclusively on EWTN.

“Vianney Speaks” grew out of an original play that Defilippis wrote on the saint – one he has performed across the country. There are a few snippets of Vianney’s famous sermons in the play, which showcases the life-changing experiences people had after going to confession to Vianney and how the devil attacked him. But after reading Vianney’s sermons, Defilippis knew they deserved greater attention in and of themselves.

“The majority of people have never heard any sermons like this from the pulpit. They are very moving. Vianney was known to weep in front of people; he would also be thunderous; he would shake people up! I decided to take some of those sermons and put them into a dramatic format. I could have done it in [an EWTN] studio with a simple set, but we decided to go even further and put it into a cinematic format so you felt as if you were in Ars itself.”

By tradition, Vianney was considered exceedingly dumb; in fact, he barely made it through the Seminary. At least one of his fellow seminarians was so outraged about his ordination that he circulated a petition against him – and Vianney was so humble he asked if he could sign it! Little did either of these men know that this underdog’s sermons would be so profound that some now say he should be made a doctor of the Church.

Undoubtedly, this humble man heard more confessions than any other priest in Church history. “He heard confessions for 41 years straight, 365 days a year,” Defilippis said. “He started out a couple hours a day and then went to 16 to 18 hours a day. He had a bigger stream of pilgrims coming to him than to any parish church in Church history.”

Small wonder since he cared about everything and everyone. For example, Defilippis says there is the story about a mother who was worried about her son getting married at age 15 or 16 to another girl around the same age, so she decided to travel to Ars to ask Vianney for his advice. However, when she got to the church and saw how packed it was, she realized it would take weeks to see the popular priest, and she knew she had to get back to her children. As she prepared to leave, Defilippis says Vianney burst out of the confessional, walked down the aisle and said to her, “Do not be afraid. Let them marry. They will be okay.” And he walked away.

“He took care of even the simplest thing that a mother or father or child would worry about it,” Defilippis said. “These kinds of things happened all the time! He is one of the most of the most important saints in our Church and in Christianity. I say that because he is directly connected with the very structure of the Church itself. He’s a priest, pastor, and patron saint of all priests, all bishops, all pastors. The parish is the foundation from which every saint comes from. We all come from the parish structure. St. Francis, Mother Teresa, all grew up in a parish. They got their sacraments, their vocation, from priests.”
St. John Vianney also warned people about “the enemies of our salvation” – warnings that you will hear in “Vianney Speaks.”

Says Defilippis: “We forget that the devil is alive and well, and he’s in the Church. He said to St. John Vianney himself, ‘I’m with you even in the Mass, as you’re doing the consecration, when you’re in the confessional. When a penitent leaves, I’m with them.’ [The devil] does the same with families; he goes after the mother and the father. He told John Vianney, ‘When the parents are mine, the children are mine.’ Our greatest weapon [against the devil] is the rosary,”
As for this week’s program, Defilippis said he hopes that people will put themselves in the proper frame of mind before tuning into “Vianney Speaks.”

“You want to get into the right mode to absorb something so rich and so beautiful, to settle down and get focused” he said. “A lot of us are so busy, it’s hard for us to take that time and just listen and be quiet. It’s hard for me too. Therefore, you miss so much! What we all do is think that everything revolves around what we have to accomplish – and it doesn’t really matter. In the end, God accomplishes it. God really should take all the credit.”

Watch “Vianney Speaks” – and take it to heart. To God be the glory!
Note: To learn more about the television special and to view movie trailers and videos, visit www.vianneyspeaks.com. To learn more about the Curé of Ars, check out the many resources available from EWTN Religious Catalogue. There you will find the “Vianney Speaks” DVD, http://bit.ly/nxUGuT; an episode of EWTN’s award-winning “My Catholic Family” animated children’s TV series on St. John Vianney (in both English and Spanish), http://bit.ly/p3tD5T; a classic book by Abbe Francis Trochu entitled “The Cure D’Ars: St. Jean-Marie Baptiste Vianney,” http://bit.ly/pnSTvb; and many other related items. Just go to http://www.ewtnreligiouscatalogue.com and search for “Vianney” and “St. John Vianney.”

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