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He is also known as the Cure of ARS.

He has ordained a priest because he was a good man. He struggled with his studies and was seen as rather ordinary in many ways.

He was sent as Parish Priest to the little village of Ars not far from Lyon in France.

John stayed there for the rest of his life because his parishioners would not let him go.

It was not long before John gained a reputation as a confessor.

He had the gift of deep perception and insight into people’s hearts.

He sometimes spent as much as 18 hrs a day hearing confessions.

Trains were especially organised to come to ARS, so many people wanted to come to confession to him.

The village became a place of pilgrimage during his lifetime. He remained a humble and simple living man all his life.

He also experienced some strange and unusual encounters with the powers of evil such as unexplainable noises trying to keep him up all night and being thrown out of bed, presumably to make him less effective in his dealing with people. His bed mysteriously caught fire one night!

Academic ability is a great gift. However, there are many forms of intelligence and also of ‘knowing’.

Certainly, St John was no great academic.

However, he certainly was able to profoundly touch the lives of many thousands. As many as 20,000 a year came to see him.

A widow (of a man who took his own life) came to see him because she was worried about her husband’s salvation.

She was waiting in the long line of people waiting to see him.

It took so long since there were so many people waiting.

She was about to go when he called out to her and told her not to worry because her husband was saved. He had made an act of contrition as he was falling!!

St John Vianney is the patron saint of Parish Priests.

Each of us is called by God to use wisely our gifts and to share them generously.

We all have gifts!


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