Would you go to him ? (St.. Jan Vianney)
There is still a stone house in Ars in France to this day. Here it passed 100 years ago, a village parish priest lived, pcs. Jan Vianney. Hundreds of pilgrims and tourists come to Ars every year, young and old, educated and simple. They pass in concentration through the poor apartment of Fr.. John Vianney and they head towards the church. In it, they stop by the old one, uncomfortable confessional, in which Fr.. Vianney. Why are they coming here ? Who was Fr.. Jan Vianney, that his person still interests and attracts people to this day ?
Young John Vianney was raised by his parents in a spirit of fidelity to the Church. He had no special abilities for learning. He dreamed about it, to become a priest. Therefore, through diligence and solid work, he tried to get the necessary information. Thanks to God's help and your diligence, he has achieved his goal. Soon after his ordination to the priesthood, he was assigned to the parish priest of Ars. It was a small parish with the poor, a neglected church.
From the first days of his stay in this village, Fr.. John tried to get to know his parishioners in all possible ways. He did not wait, until they come to him, but he walked around the village himself, visited houses, in which they lived, he watched their work. He spoke cordially with them. He soon realized, that awaits him arduous work, so that his parishioners' lives become truly Christian.
The visits taught him more. He knew from then on, what the people of Ars need. He told them about it in his sermons, simple and clear. He took all the listeners by the heart. He was slowly gaining respect and understanding. It led to a life change. He finally achieved the goal of his work - their conversion. It took place in the sacrament of penance.
People, who have known his goodness in their talks, kindness and heart, they opened their consciences with more confidence. And those, who still had some resistance, they convinced themselves by looking at its very simple, modest, and even a poor way of life, deep concentration during the celebration of the services, frequent prayer in a modest church and the ability to forgive them, who consciously caused him much trouble.
Old confessional, everyone is watching today, witnessed this, what was happening in souls with him. It is indeed a deep mystery, but we know from these, who were there, that many a sinner came here with great fear, often plagued by anxiety of conscience for many years, uncertainty or awareness of unimportant confessions. Here he was forgiven, understanding and guidance for a new life. Nobody left here without consolation. He knew, that the good Father still loves him, who is in heaven.
There, who obtained forgiveness from God through Fr.. Jana, they spoke of him to others as a good confessor, who knows people's hearts. Mouth-to-mouth message spread quickly to the surrounding villages. People began to come to Ars in increasing numbers. Some out of curiosity, others in disbelief, and all departed transformed by meeting Christ forgiving in the sacrament of penance.
Ks. Jan spent more and more time in the confessional. In winter, approx 10 hours, and in the summer even to 18 hours. The work was extremely hard. He never complained of fatigue, heat or cold. He always served everyone with all dedication. He started the working day early in the morning, and it ended late at night.
One day, however, despite the large group of people awaiting him, did not come to the confessional. He didn't have the strength to get up from the bed. A brief and severe illness began, and then death, which followed 4. VIII. 1859 r. It filled everyone with deep regret, who knew him. Crowds of people came to the funeral. In this way, they wanted to show their gratitude for everything, what God gave them through the hands of the parish priest of Ars during his priesthood work, lasting over 40 years.
Pius X proclaimed him the patron saint of parish priests, because throughout his life he was a wonderful example of genuine concern for the religious life of his parishioners.
If you are interested in the figure of Fr.. Jana Vianneya, you can learn a lot about him from the article : "A real portrait of the patron saint of the parish priests of the world" placed in ,,Catholic Guide "z 1961 r. s. 504-505, and even more from the book by Franciszek Trochu ,,The Pastor of Ars ".