Jean-Marie Baptiste Vianney

AKA:
Saint Jean Vianney
Birth Name:
Jean-Marie Baptiste Vianney
Birth Date:
May 8, 1786
Birth Place:
Dardilly, Lyonnais, France
Death Date:
August 4, 1859
Place of Death:
Ars-sur-Formans, Ain, French
Age:
73
Cause of Death:
Extended illness
Cemetery Name:
Basilica of Ars
Claim to Fame:
Historical Figure
The little town of Ars, France, about 20 miles north of Lyon, has become famous through the holy life and labors of St. John Vianney, its beloved Cure. The story of Jean Vianney emphasizes how God uses the simple and under-rated people to confound those who are regarded as wise by the world. A man who was considered only marginally fit to be a priest and became a saint. Saint Jean Vianney was a French Catholic priest who is venerated in the Catholic Church as a saint and as the patron saint of parish priests. He is often referred to as the "Curé d'Ars" (i.e. the parish priest of Ars), internationally known for his priestly and pastoral work in his parish in Ars, France, because of the radical spiritual transformation of the community and its surroundings.

As the story goes …

Jean Vianney had difficulty learning Latin, and twice failed his final exams required for ordination. He was finally ordained at the age of 30, but was thought to be so incompetent he was placed under the direction of Fr. Balley, a holy priest in a neighboring village, for further training. Because of his apparent ineptness, he was assigned to the poor parish of Ars, a tiny town known for its dances, taverns and drunkenness. Little was expected of him.

The new Cure decided that God would convert the town by its pastor doing penance for his parishioners. Jean Vianney gave his mattress to a beggar. He slept on the floor in a damp room downstairs, in the attic or on a board in his bed with a log for a pillow; he scourged himself with an iron chain; he ate almost nothing, two or three moldy potatoes in the middle of the day which he hung from the ceiling on rope so the rats wouldn’t eat them, and sometimes going two or three days without eating at all. He slept only two hours each night, rising shortly after midnight, going to the church where he remained kneeling without support until it was time for him to say Mass.

Within ten years of his assignment to Ars, an average of three hundred people visited Ars daily. In the year 1858 an estimated 100,000 pilgrims flocked to Ars. The frail Cure began hearing confessions at 1 o’clock in the morning, and he spent from 13 to 17 hours a day in the cramped confessional.

St. John Vianney died peacefully on August 4, 1859. His body was exhumed was found dried and darkened, but incorrupt. Today, a wax mask covers his face. In 1904, his still intact heart was removed and is displayed in a reliquary in a separate chapel. St. John Vianney, who as a student had difficulties being accepted for the priesthood, was canonized in 1925 and was named later the Patron of Parish Priests throughout the world. Pilgrims can also visit the home of the Curé of Ars, which was preserved the way he left it. It contains the bed set on fire by the devil as well as the Saint’s rosary, breviary, library and other personal items.

Cemetery Information:

Final Resting Place:

Basilica of Ars

Rue Jean Marie Vianney

Ars-sur-Formans, , 01480

France

Europe

Grave Location:

Basilica of Ars

Grave Location Description

The village now contains two churches: the old 12th-Century church where St. John Vianney preached and a new Basilica of Ars, where you can observe his preserved body in a glass reliquary as you enter the sanctuary.

Grave Location GPS

45.99231780066776, 4.822953428625423

Visiting The Grave:

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