Jean Baptiste Marie Vianney was born the fourth of six children on May 8, 1786, in Lyon, France. He was a French Catholic priest venerated in the Catholic Church as Saint John Vianney and the patron saint of parish priests. He is popularly known as the “Curé d’Ars,” parish priest of Ars, France.
His early life concurred with the dreadful and anti-Catholic French Revolution. Growing up in a devout community, he attended clandestine Masses in private residences and on farms presided by priests in hiding. His deep and profound faith was probably developed by growing up seeing the daring and courageous dedication of his community.
He is attributed for his saintly life, mortification, persevering ministry in the sacrament of confession, and ardent devotion to both the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Philomena. On August 4, 1859, at 73, he went home to the Almighty Creator. He became one of those known as “incorrupt saints,” a phenomenon by which the saints’ mortal bodies do not ever decompose.
What miracles were attributed to St. John Vianney?
St. John Vianney tried to deflect the recognition for the miracles the Lord worked through him. In his faithful life and beyond, he performed marvelous miracles by the grace of God.
Miracles of Conversion
For this great saint, the utmost miracles of all that occurred in Ars were the miracles of conversion. He compared what the Lord has done for Lazarus to the conversion of people from a state of mortal sin to grace. The sacrament he implored the most was to heal the wounds of the souls of his people. As a confessor, he was blessed to have witnessed a lot of souls being saved by God’s grace. He directed people towards the confessional, where the Almighty God works his greatest of miracles every day.
Multiplication of Flour
There was once, in La Providence, a case of the limited supply of flour, which the people needed to bake bread. People sent them wheat, but the mill couldn’t grind it. They had an amount of flour that could only bake three loaves of bread. It was not enough to feed all the girls in the school. The people then went to the Curé, who was St. John Vianney.
When they told the priest their concern, he calmly told them to use what they had. They obliged and took what flour they had. To their astonishment, the trough was filled and overflowed with the dough when they kneaded it. It was as if they worked with a large sack of flour.
Miracle of the Wine
The Curé, once, came to his people. He reported that their cask full of wine had split, and the contents had spilled onto the ground. Indeed, the barrel was empty. The people tried to retrieve whatever they could from the sand. They were able to gather two tiny pails of clear wine. Into the empty barrel, they poured what little wine they collected. In the days that came, it was by God’s providence that they kept drawing from the cask. Everyone was in awe.
Multiplication of the Corn
There was a time when the Ars orphanage and school ran out of food to serve the children. The people asked for the priest’s help. He then bowed his head, prayed, and sent one of the staff to check the previously empty attic.
Giving her a cup, he instructed her to bring down some corn. Out of sheer obedience, the young woman went and returned immediately with the news that she couldn’t open the door. When others went to help, they learned that the door wouldn’t open because the attic became filled with corn from ceiling to floor.
Physical Cures from Diseases
When St. John was living, people came to him for a cure for their dreadful diseases. He always directed them to the Lord and the intercession of the Saints, especially St. Philomena. Once, he said that he is not the one working the miracles.
Humbly, he said he was only a poor and ignorant man who tended to the sheep. As he pointed his people to turn to St. Philomena, he told them he never asked for anything through her without receiving it.
There was once a girl who hadn’t been able to speak in two years. He asked her to go pray at St. Philomena’s altar. The girl went and was cured at the end of her prayer.
A paralyzed woman on one side of her body came to the lowly saint. The latter instructed her to talk to St. Philomena, which the woman followed at once. Almost instantly, the woman received miraculous healing.
A mother brought her child with a massive tumor under his eye. The humble priest suggested taking her child to St. Philomena’s altar. Before going, the mother asked for his blessing. As the Curé raised his arm, the mother took his hand to touch her child’s tumor. The tumor immediately and miraculously disappeared.
St. John Vianney’s holy life is inspiring.
No matter how St. John Vianney tried to pass the credit to the Lord or St. Philomena, all these miracles pushed the devotees to ascribe them to him. Influenced by the lives of the saints before him, he used their wisdom to portray Jesus Christ. His burning love for the Savior manifested in his celebrations of the Eucharist, his confessions, and his teachings. In his capacity, he walked boldly in the footsteps of the Savior while accepting and using the available gifts of the Church in the nineteenth century.
St. John Vianney is a model, disciple, and priest. He took the same path as the Savior, spreading the good news and working miracles. In the time lent to him, it was his destiny to live and love. Most of all, he is a powerful intercessor for the salvation of the souls of his people and their otherwise hopeless bodily cures.
Get inspired and be blessed by the music from St. John Vianney’s life. The Curé of Ars is a marvelously recorded score performed by an incredible lineup by Angelus Music. Visit our website at https://www.angelusmusic.com/ and find inspiring and soulful tunes. Share it with your family, friends, and community and give them the gift of spiritual music today.