Saint John Vianney

Saint John Vianney

Jean-baptiste-Marie Vianney, or better known as John Vianney was born May 8, 1786 to Matthieu and Marie in Dardilly, France. It was here that he lived for twenty years being raised up in a beautiful Catholic home along with his five siblings. 

A few years after his birth, under the anticlerical Terror phase of the French Revolution Priests and religious were highly persecuted and forced to work in secrecy. This led young John to believe priests were truly heros. Inspired by this bravery John studied his Catechism and received his First holy communion and later the sacrament of confirmation in secret.

At the age of twenty John was allowed to leave the family farm and pursued a higher education in Italy. Due to the French Revolution his education in his early years was often interrupted, making education far more difficult. His education was then once again interrupted when he was drafted into Napoleon Bonaparte’s army. 

John’s time in the military was short lived as he fell ill two days into his service requiring his hospitalization. It was from here that John fled to the mountains where he stayed as a Military deserter for the next year until granted amnesty. Once free he returned to Italy where he attended a minor seminary. He joined his heroes as a priest in August of 1815. 

Fr. Vianney spent many hours in the confessional and preaching the catechism to parishioners whose knowledge of the Faith was indifferent due to the French Revolution. His hard work and devotion to the Church led to his popularity and it is said that he received up to 20,000 pilgrims a year. 

Upon his death in 1859, Fr. Vianney was viewed as a champion of the poor and left behind a grand legacy of faith. He is known as the patron saint of parish priests and is celebrated on his feast day of August 4th. 


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. Amen

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