Saint John Marie Vianney was born on May 8, 1786, into a peasant family in the village of Dardilly near Lyons in southeastern France. He was a quiet, patient, and deeply religious young man who wanted to become a priest but found it nearly impossible to learn Latin. His life was interrupted when he was drafted into the French army.

On his way to join his assigned unit he stopped in a church to pray. The regiment left for Spain without him, and Jean Baptiste had to hide for two years until he was no longer wanted for the army. In 1811 he entered a seminary. Three years later he was dismissed because he was unable to grasp the theological subtleties he was supposed to study. But the bishop of Grenoble was sufficiently impressed by Vianney’s firm character and level-headed judgment to ordain him a priest in 1815. After a three-year testing period, Vianney was assigned to the village of Ars as pastor.

The new curé brought a mixture of kind understanding and personal strength to the people of Ars. In the beginning his sermons were directed against drinking, swearing, and dancing. He tried to show his parishioners the value of resting from work on Sunday and of going to church regularly. His rigorous fasts and his prayers that lasted well into the night proved to the people that he was more strict with himself than with them. Gradually the spirit of Ars changed. It became a model of Christian behavior. More and more frequently visitors from other towns asked the curé of Ars to hear their confessions. His spiritual vision had grown to the point where his insights into their problems were very helpful. By 1845 Vianney was patiently spending more than 12 hours a day in the little confessional box of the parish church, while people who had come to Ars from all over France waited in long lines to ask his advice.

Vianney’s success as a confessor was accompanied by increased personal difficulties. During the few hours of rest he allowed himself at night, he was disturbed by strange noises, sometimes by such discomfort that he felt he was being physically beaten. Once his bed caught fire. He understood these troubles to be persecution by the devil and reacted by intensifying his own prayers and penances. He was 73 when he died on Aug. 4, 1859. The curé of Ars was canonized a saint in the Roman Catholic Church in 1925 and declared heavenly patron for all parish priests in 1929.

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  1. Oh what a sweet saint! Dear St John Vianney, pray for us. Especially pray for our protection against the snares of the devil. Would love to see your incorrupt body someday! Thank you for sharing this GREAT Saint to the world! 🙂

  2. Wht a Saint. Dearest St Vianney,pray 4 us,interced 4 us 2 God 2 grant us protectn 4rm evil n grant our desires dt r nt evil.AMEN

  3. Dearest St John Vianney,
    Please intercede as Patron Saint, and pray for all priests around the world. That they may emulate your disposition and shepherd their flock by being exemplary in their vocation.

  4. Oh dearest St. John Vianney, Please pray for the Church especially Our Religious. Thank you St. John for your intercession.

  5. I love him because by all human standards this saint wasn’t even priest material, ye his life shows us that God wants to use us all to further His kingdom. St. John Vianney is a saint of hope.

  6. Dearest St. Vianney help our parish priests through this drought of vocations and make it a time for the laity to step up to support these holy men who lead us.


  7. Saint Jean-Baptiste-Marie Vianney, pray for us! With three priests like you on earth at the same time, the evil one said his kingdom would fall. Your suffering the torments of hell on earth, protected by Our Lady, ensured your place in Heaven. Suppress demonic possession currently disabling many men and women who could be better used to serve the Kingdom of God. So many get caught in a net naively and need strong saints to set them free. Help release many souls from Purgatory by your intercession so that they may return the favour and join all holy angels and saints resisting the sinful betrayals and offences against the most Sacred Heart. Amen.


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