Saint John Mary Vianney

4th August

Saint John Mary Vianney is also known as the Curé d’Ars (Curé is another word for chaplain).

Vianney lived in France during very troubled times, especially during his childhood. It was the time of the French Revolution, during which people could not practice their religion in public.

When he was still a boy, Mass and the Eucharist were celebrated in secret. Vianney stayed strong in his beliefs and although he was not a very intelligent person, God chose him to become a priest.

He became known for his exemplary life of simplicity and sincerity, based on his love for Jesus, and for his sweet and convincing words that redirected many people toward God. This happened in Ars, a small village in France where Vianney was a chaplain. Vianney was declared the patron saint of priests and chaplains.

We are very blessed to be surrounded by beautiful churches and by priests who are willing to offer their help and service every day. We often take this blessing for granted. We do not appreciate this Family, our own parish church, a family that unites us with the Universal Family – the Catholic Church.

Let us help the children to see the parish church more as a family!

Encourage the children to make a small project about their parish church. Suggest to them that they will be journalists for one day so as to search for information about their own parish church (if they are still young, give them this information yourself). It would be interesting for them to find an occasion where they can speak with the parish priest and to become familiar with him.

They can gather information on:

  • The full name of the parish priest
  • The work of the parish priest
  • To whom is the parish church dedicated
  • The feast day of the parish church
  • The mass schedule
  • Whether there are:
    • Other priests
    • Other churches
    • Any convents
    • Groups of laity that work within the parish church

During prayer, encourage the children to say a thanksgiving prayer to God for their parish church, for the churches that surrounded us, for all the priests who bring Christ to us during the Eucharist.

Saint John Mary Vianney was born in a small family of farmers and he used to take care of sheep. It was very difficult for Vianney to become a priest, but he never gave up. When he became a priest, he was made the chaplain of Ars, where people had apathy towards God. With his determination and with God’s help, Vianney managed to direct plenty of people towards God, especially through to the Sacrament of Confession.

Today choose to do a jigsaw puzzle! It is very important not to stop in the middle of this activity so that you learn not to give up and to be determined to finish whatever you start.

You can also put a biscuit on your forehead. Use your facial movements to drop the biscuit into your mouth without using your hands! Do not give up and keep on trying! If you are determined to do it, you will succeed for sure!

How to use this space

God speaks to us in many ways, including through the Saints of the Church. Here you will find useful background and activities to better understand the holy life, helping you to connect the saints to daily life in a meaningful way.