JOHN was born in France in 1786. As a boy, he worked in his father's fields. After work, he taught other children their prayers and catechism.Prayer
John was slow to learn, but a parish priest helped him to enter the seminary. After years of hard study, he became a priest.
Father Vianney was sent to the little parish of Ars. The people did not come to his church, so he began to visit them in their homes.
He ate very little and lived like the poorest of the poor. He did penance for his people and prayed for hours before the Blessed Sacrament. "That is the way to win souls to God," he said. He was often tormented by the devil who tried to keep him from saving souls.
Thousands came to hear him speak and to confess their sins to him. He often spent eighteen hours a day in the confessional.
Father Vianney spent forty years as the parish priest of Ars, dying at the age of 73.
Almighty and merciful God, in St. John Vianney, You have given us a priest who was outstanding in pastoral zeal. Through his intercession help us to win others for Christ and together with them attain eternal glory.
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