Who is St. John Vianney
The care of souls obsessed John Vianney. Appointed in 1817 as Pastor to Ars, soon converted most of the 230 people who lived in the little French Village. A few minutes in his confessional was enough to turn hardened Sinners into Saints. People said he could read their conscience is, see their past sins, and predict the future. For many years, 300 penitents a day came to him by train from Lyons, which had to maintain a ticket office just for Arsenal. He spent 12 to 17 hours a day hearing confessions, stopping only to preach at 11 a.m. This Ars disciplined himself harshly as prayer for the conversion of Sinners. For example, he ate one meal a day, often only boiled potatoes.
The devil seemed to take notice of the Cure of Ars. For 30 years day and night he put up with intrusions he regarded as diabolical, including poltergeists, noises, personal violence, and even mysterious burning of his bed. “The grappin and I are almost mantes,” he would say.
John Vianney blended strictness and gentleness. He upheld the Commandments with uncompromising severity and love to people with motherly tenderness. His preaching, for example, emptied the pubs of Ars and restored the Sunday observance. When he wasn’t in the confessional, the priest was rescuing abandoned children. He crowded orphans into the homes of his friends. Once he brought a child to an associate who objected, “but there’s no bed.” ” there’s always yours,” he said and left the child at the door.
Worn out by the constant stream of visitors and by his lifelong austerity, Saint John Vianney died at the age of 73.
Here is the rule for everyday life: Do not do anything which you cannot offer to God.