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Relic of ‘Holy Priest’ Offers Chance to Pray for Church and her Ministers


VAN NUYS, Calif. (CNS) — In the few moments she spent up close and personal with the incorrupt heart of Saint John Vianney during its visit to Saint Elisabeth of Hungary Church in Van Nuys Feb. 22, Milagros “Lally” Guiao only asked the legendary saint for one thing. “Give us holy priests.” There were plenty of other things Guiao could have asked the French saint’s intercession for during the relic’s only stop in the San Fernando Valley during its Feb. 20-26 tour through several parishes of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. But as the reawakening clergy abuse crisis continues to afflict the Catholic Church, Guiao and her husband, Rey, a deacon at Our Lady of Peace Church in North Hills, believe the relic’s visit could not have come at a better time. “Becoming a priest at this time in our church is not easy; there are a lot of challenges and difficulties,” said Deacon Guiao, who noted that Saint John Vianney himself suffered and faced persecution during his life. “We want our priests to remain faithful to their vocations, to continue to encourage and strengthen the parish and the flock that they were given,” added the deacon. The Los Angeles visit was part of a six-month “Heart of a Priest” tour throughout the U.S. sponsored by the Knights of Columbus, whose members stand guard over the relic in shifts at all hours during its public exposition.