Rome, December 12, 2009. “The priesthood is the love of
Jesus’ heart,” said St John Maria Vianney, the Curé of
Ars and patron saint of priests. The 59 Legionary priests
who were ordained in the Basilica of St Paul Outside
the Walls on the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe
understand these words from the experience of their own lives.
the new book Os Llamo Amigos (I Call You Friends)
the newly ordained priests tell the story of how they
came to discover their calling to the priesthood as a
gift of love. The stories are written in the original
languages of the priests, many of whom are Spanish-speakers. (The
stories in English can also be read online at this link.)
Ranging in age from 30 to 40, with two
over 50 years of age, the new priests come from
11 countries: Brazil, Canada, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy,
Mexico, Spain, the United States, Venezuela, and Vietnam.
are as varied as the men who tell them. Jiøí,
from the Czech Republic, lived his childhood and youth under
the Communist regime in his country. Nicolas, from France, graduated
with a degree in biotechnology and was an officer in
the French Navy. David was a DJ in various discotheques.
Joachim, from Germany, climbed Mount Kilimanjaro. Richard, from the States,
ran the Boston Marathon in under 3 hours. Tham, from
Vietnam, was only two weeks old when his family boarded
a raft and fled Communist Vietnam in the pre-dawn darkness.
Raoul, from Canada, felt called by God after four of
his friends died in two separate car accidents. Manuel piloted
small planes and loved hunting.
As diverse as their temperaments,
interests, backgrounds, and cultures may be, at some point they
were all touched by the love of Christ and felt
that mysterious call to follow him in the priesthood.
immediately; others needed years for the call to sink in.
But each of the men gave their “yes” and have
repeated it all the way to the altar. Their stories
are unique miracles, signs of the Holy Spirit’s action all
The individual vocation stories can also be read online
at this link.