St. John Mary Vianney

Feast day: August 4

St. John Marie Vianney was christened the same day he was born on May 8, 1786 in Dardilly, France. He was brought up in a Catholic home where the family frequently assisted the less fortunate.

He had a lot of trouble getting accepted for ordination since he struggled to learn things quickly. But his love, commitment, and ambition helped him reach the pinnacles of virtue.

Vianney was chosen to serve as the parish priest of the Ars parish in 1818. As a parish priest, Vianney observed that the devastation caused to the Catholic Church in France by the Revolution had led to religious ignorance and indifference. In addition to giving sermons against blasphemy and vulgar dance, Vianney spent time in the confessional. His strict sermons and moral Catechetical Instructions were later compiled in the well-known "Sermons of the Curé of Ars."

As of 1824, he began to experience attacks brought on by the Devil, who is said to have occasionally set fire to Vianney's bed. St. John Vianney led a life of devotion to God while holding fast to his faith. He was devoted to the Blessed Sacrament and spent a lot of time in prayer and mortification.

Vianney's popularity grew until, in 1827, travelers started coming to see him. It is reported that he welcomed up to 20,000 pilgrims every year for thirty years. His devotion to St. Philomena and the Virgin Mary was well known.

St. Vianney passed away on August 4, 1859, at the age of 73. The funeral was attended by more than 6,000 people and 300 priests, and the bishop officiated. On October 3, 1874, Pope Pius IX designated him "venerable," and on January 18, 1905, Pope Pius X pronounced him "blessed."

Pope Pius XI declared St. Vianney to be a saint in 1925, designating him as the patron saint of parish priests. His feast day, which falls on August 9, was added to the general Roman calendar. Later, it was changed to August 4, the day of his passing.

Prayer of St. John Vianney

I love You, O my God, and my only desire is to love You until the last breath of my life.
I love You, O my infinitely lovable God, and I would rather die loving You, than live without loving You.
I love You, Lord and the only grace I ask is to love You eternally...
My God, if my tongue cannot say in every moment that I love You, I want my heart to repeat it to You as often as I draw breath.

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