Saturday 4 August 2018

# Saints

Saint John Vianney

The 4th of August is the feast day of Saint Jean-Baptiste-Marie Vianney, T.O.S.F. (8 May 1786 – 4 August 1859), also known as John Vianney and the “Curé d’Ars” (i.e., Parish Priest of Ars). He is the patron saint of parish priests; Personal Apostolic Administration of Saint John Mary Vianney; Archdiocese of Dubuque; confessors; and Archdiocese of Kansas City.

Saint John Vianney was born to a French farming family, one of six children with devout Catholic parents. He was baptised the same day he was born. At the age of four years old, the French Revolution started and the Catholic priests had to go into hiding. As they risked their lives every day to offer up the Sacrament, Saint John Vianney looked to them as heroes. He took his First Holy Communion and Confirmation in secrecy. When peace returned, Saint John Vieney studied to enter the priesthood. However, he had difficulty with his studies because of his education due to the revolution’s disruption. But he eventually became ordained as a parish priest and was sent to a small country town of Ars. Due to the French Revolution, many souls in the little town were indifferent to or had ignorance of the Faith. Saint John made many penances for the people and in return received graces for their conversion. He was known as a miracle worker, for his gift of prophecy, hidden knowledge and discernment of spirits. People came from far away to see him. He would spend 11-12 hours a day in the confessional and 16 hours in the summer. 20,000 pilgrims travelled annually to Ars by 1855. He was tormented by evil spirits throughout his life, especially when he tried to sleep. When he died he had served 40 years as a parish priest and in his funeral over 300 priests and 6,000 people attended his funeral.