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The Secret of the Curé d'Ars

The Secret of the Curé d'Ars

By Henri Ghéon

220 pp

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About the Book

The life of St. John Vianney, also known as the Curé d'Ars (priest of Ars), is marked by boundless humility and obedience to God. When this simple French priest was assigned in 1818 to the parish of Ars, a town of just 250 people, few would have guessed that it would lead to his international recognition. Disturbed by the religious ignorance and indifference brought about by the French Revolution and openly displayed by his congregation, John Vianney began work in his parish that quickly flowered into a radical spiritual transformation of the community and its surrounding inhabitants. By 1827 he was receiving visitors from all over France and beyond, sometimes spending up to sixteen hours a day in the confessional. Despite his success in Ars, Vianney longed for a contemplative life free from his public obligations; but even though he fled from these several times, he always returned to Ars, where he died in 1859. Henri Ghéon's portrayal of this saint is thoroughly engaging while avoiding being overly sentimental; he presents a man of great holiness and inner turmoil, but most of all, of dedication to his parish and community.

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