On August 6th, a performance of Vianney in California started with a bang. The audience was incredibly responsive – they laughed and cried right from the beginning of the show.
On stage as the Curé of Ars, Leonardo interacts with characters on a big video screen throughout the show. That night, during the scene where John Vianney figures out that it is the devil who is attacking him, the frightening image of the devil on the screen suddenly froze. The show stopped. Leonardo ran behind the statue of Mary on the stage and waited.
Johnny, the stage manager, was in a panic, but he remained outwardly calm. “Ladies and gentlemen,” he announced, “we’re having technical difficulties. Let’s all pray a Hail Mary.”
The audience didn’t say just one Hail Mary – they kept praying while Johnny and the parish music director went into action. After 20 minutes of scrambling and praying, Johnny hit a button, and a frozen image of Saint Philomena appeared on the screen. The pastor in the front row whispered, “Please move, please move.” In answer to his prayer, her image came to life, and the story took off again.
As Vianney ended, the audience erupted in joy and thanksgiving. They wanted to see this play, and the devil wasn’t going to stop them. It was truly a miraculous night, despite many challenges.
The faith of the people we meet on tour is truly extraordinary. Praise God for their examples of trust – what a gift!