In a film of Mabel's life St John Vianney would be little more than a cameo role, occupying just a few minutes on screen; in reality, he, and all those who supported her with their prayer, were powerful, though largely unseen elements of her story. There is indeed a power in praying for others - whether they are aware of this or not - and a strength and solace which comes from knowing we are prayed for. So today's feast is a good reminder for me of all those for whom I have ever said I will pray, to continue keeping them in the ever-widening open Heart of Jesus - and to thank God, too, for all those who have ever prayed for me. I'm sure there have been some very powerful 'cameos' in my life, some known to me, others from beyond a veil - long may they continue!
I expect John Vianney will be incredibly busy today with requests for prayers on behalf of priests, especially those who are struggling or facing persecution. But, confident that there's no such thing as 'too busy' in heaven, I'm asking him to spare a bit of time for today's Mabels: those who are seeking God, and those running away from him; those feeling the tug of God's presence and desire for them, and - especially - the ones doing their best to resist. May John Vianney's prayers, and ours, help to ensure that God will, indeed have complete mastery over their - and indeed all our - hearts.