Pope Francis once said, “The Church must be a place of mercy freely given, where everyone can feel welcomed, loved, forgiven and encouraged to live the good life of the Gospel.” Everyone, especially those in the ministry, should remember this.
The Church doesn’t judge people for their mistakes, their sins, or their shortcomings as human beings. Instead, she accepts anyone and everyone for who they are, and forgives those who do wrong.
This is what St. John of Ávila always believed. In his nine years of spreading the faith in Andalusia, he became known as a “wise confessor, perceptive spiritual director, and an engaging preacher.” He stood for everything God and the Church did— accepting everyone as they come, believer or not of the Christian faith. (Read: 3 Messages From Pope Francis to Inspire the Youth)
St. John of Ávila, a friend to St. Ignatius of Loyola and St. Teresa of Ávila, among others, even put up colleges such as the University of Baeza in order for diocesan priests to teach and provide spiritual guidance to the youth. He has also been declared a Doctor of the Church for his contributions to the faith.
So in honor of this noble saint’s feast day today, My Pope Philippines encourages you to recite this prayer asking for his intercession.
Prayer to St. John of Ávila
Almighty and eternal God, who gave your holy Church blessed John of Avila as Doctor, grant that what he taught when moved by the divine Spirit may always stay firm in our hearts; and, as by your gift we embrace him as our patron, may we also have him as our defender to entreat your mercy.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Prayer from aleteia.org.