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Rest in Peace, John Vennari

I was away from my office for most of the day today, and while I was gone came some sad news: John Vennari — husband, father, Catholic champion, and editor of Catholic Family News — has passed on to his eternal reward after a difficult battle with cancer.

I know that his wife, children, and many friends grieve his passing. Having only met him briefly on one occasion in 2015, I can nevertheless tell you that he was one of the kindest and most gracious men I’ve had the pleasure of meeting. He saw me from across a crowded gymnasium where we were both in attendance to hear Cardinal Burke speak, and he made his way in my direction to introduce himself, and to congratulate me on the work we do here at 1P5. As a man who has been doing this for decades, his warm, genuine, and unsolicited welcome to the new kid on the block spoke volumes to me about the kind of man he was. I never could have imagined at that time that our two-minute encounter would be the first and last time we would have occasion to speak.

I fear that my thoughts on his passing may be too bold, because I do not bear the pain of his loss as those closest to him do, but I found myself today thinking about the profound joy he must be experiencing at this moment. Here was a man who clearly loved God and His holy Church. Who had a profound and public devotion to Our Lady. A tireless warrior who fought for the Church for most of his life. Who had the benefit of time to offer up his suffering in preparation for death. Who received last rites and the Apostolic Pardon and spent his final days with those he loved most. I am the last person to canonize a man at the moment of his passing, but if this man is not in heaven, released from the sorrows of the Church Militant (and enjoying full and unfettered knowledge of the Third Secret of Fatima), he must be on a very short waiting list. I’ll pray for the repose of his soul, but I’m already asking for his intercession.

What a tremendous blessing to have such a happy death. Would that we could all be so fortunate.

His family released a statement on Facebook today, which I have taken the liberty of reproducing here:

(February 24, 1958 – April 4, 2017)

Dear Friends,

Joseph John Vennari died on Tuesday, April 4, 2017 at 10:46 a.m. E.S.T. It is not only Passion Tuesday, but the 98th anniversary of the death of Blessed Francisco of Fatima – the first Tuesday (the day dedicated weekly to the Holy Face) in April (the month dedicated to the Holy Face).

John received the traditional Sacraments and blessings of the Church several times during the past weeks and months. On Sunday, April 2, Holy Mass was offered in his hospital room. John was able to receive Holy Viaticum one last time, as well as Extreme Unction and the Apostolic Blessing.

John died wearing the Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, and the cord of St. Philomena, with the St. Benedict Crucifix (with the special ‘Happy Death’ indulgence attached) next to him. He died shortly after the recitation of 15 decades of the Holy Rosary and during the recitation of the ‘Commendatory’ prayers for the dying, and being blessed with Holy Water. He died with his wife Susan and a close family friend at his side. Immediately after his death, another Rosary was prayed for the repose of his soul.

Please keep the repose of John’s soul in your Masses, Holy Communions, prayers and sacrifices. Funeral arrangements will be posted shortly. May John’s soul, and all the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen.

Thank you and God bless you,
The Vennari Family

℣. Eternal rest, grant unto him, O LORD,
℟. And let perpetual light shine upon him.
℣. May he rest in peace.
℟. Amen.

18 thoughts on “Rest in Peace, John Vennari”

  1. I met John for the first time 20 years ago at Midwest Catholic Conference in South Bend, Indiana. He was a warm, gracious gentleman most zealous for Tradition. May the angels greet him into paradise.

  2. Promises made to those who recite the Rosary, wear the Brown scapular, and defend Our Lady of Fatima, are promises kept. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. How blessed the death of those who pray those words at the hour of their death. The final sign of faith is the surest sign of faith.

  3. What a beautiful passing for Our Lady’s servant! I learned so much from John through the Fatima Center’s videos. He will be missed, but now we can console ourselves with the thought that he will be our intercessor in our prayers for Catholic restoration. I pray that his family be comforted.

  4. Why will no one say his age…….blessing to his family and may his soul rest in peace. Sad he died in a confused and pastorally failed Church.

  5. It’s very apropos that he should die on the same day as Blessed Francisco of Fatima, given the fact that he spread devotion to the Holy Face of Jesus and the full Message of Fatima.

    May Our Lord, Our Lady, St. Joseph, St. John the Theologian, Blessed Jacinta, Blessed Francisco and the entire heavenly host welcome him soon in heaven!

    Eternal memory!


  6. He was indeed one of the greats among God’s warriors for His Church and His people. I have been praying for him and offering Masses for his healing, but God had other plans. I will now pray for his release from whatever purgatory he may have to endure, and yes, at the same time ask for his intercession. Also praying for God to console and comfort his family and those closest to him. In a way, it seems he has left a gigantic hole in the ministry of restoring the Church of Christ, but he surely will be better apt to help in that battle from the Heavenly realm. So, maybe looked at from that prospective, we may just have a benefit beyond that which we realize.

    May he rest in the peace of Christ.

  7. My husband died in the same manner, with all the sacraments the Church can provide, and God came for him on the feast of Divine Mercy. How can one not speculate, even though I offer my 6:30 a.m. mass every morning for the repose of his immortal soul, how can we not believe he is with the God to whom he was faithful his entire life? May I dare to hope John Vennari and Don Schabow are – today – at this very moment – enjoying the embrace of the One they loved with all their hearts?

  8. Out of the depths have I cried…rest in peace in John. We lost a true giant of the traditional Catholic movement. He had a great sense of humor. Never met him in person, but received a note from him when there was mix up in a mailing. Gracious and funny man. A great teacher and defender of the faith. An advocate for the message of Fatima. I have many of his cds. They were a great help in dealing with the modern errors. He will be sorely missed. Ora pro nobis.

  9. The Church has lost a great defender of the “Truth.” A tireless man of God, His church and love of the Blessed mother was his goal in life. He truly will be missed!! John, may you rest in peace!


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