A MODEL FOR THE PRIESTS OF OUR TIMES

It is our experience that the life of St John-Mary Vianney, while not exhausting all the possibilities of what the priest can be, remains a source of inspiration and a point of reference for all priests. Named as patron saint of all the Parish Priests of the world by Pope Pius XI, he has been unceasingly proposed by his successors as a model for the clergy. St John Paul II said that “The figure of the Curé of Ars does not fade.” Then in 1986 during his visit to France, he declared three times: “The Curé of Ars remains, for all countries, a unequalled model of the fulfilment and the holiness of the ministry.”

Benedict XVI, in his turn, said: “Far from reducing the figure of St John-Mary Vianney to an example, however admirable, of the devotional spirituality of the 19th Century, it is instead necessary to grasp the prophetic force which distinguishes his human and priestly personality as something very up to date.” His example of life handed over to God, of the deep coherence between his teaching and his pastoral action, makes him a model for every priest, whatever the context of his mission. What strikes us is that he was entirely identified with his ministry in the radical gift of himself. Each priest experiences in his life a gulf between what he preaches and how he really lives. In the Curé of Ars we see a convergence that made one pilgrim say, having seen him: “I have seen God in a man.”

INSPIRED BY THE CURÉ OF ARS

“A good shepherd, a shepherd according to the heart of God, is the greatest treasure that the good God can give to a parish, and one of the most precious gifts of the divine mercy.” 

The Curé of Ars

A MODEL FOR THE PRIESTS OF OUR TIMES

It is our experience that the life of St John-Mary Vianney, while not exhausting all the possibilities of what the priest can be, remains a source of inspiration and a point of reference for all priests. Named as patron saint of all the Parish Priests of the world by Pope Pius XI, he has been unceasingly proposed by his successors as a model for the clergy. St John Paul II said that “The figure of the Curé of Ars does not fade.” Then in 1986 during his visit to France, he declared three times: “The Curé of Ars remains, for all countries, a unequalled model of the fulfilment and the holiness of the ministry.” Benedict XVI, in his turn, said: “Far from reducing the figure of St John-Mary Vianney to an example, however admirable, of the devotional spirituality of the 19th Century, it is instead necessary to grasp the prophetic force which distinguishes his human and priestly personality as something very up to date.” His example of life handed over to God, of the deep coherence between his teaching and his pastoral action, makes him a model for every priest, whatever the context of his mission. What strikes us is that he was entirely identified with his ministry in the radical gift of himself. Each priest experiences in his life a gulf between what he preaches and how he really lives. In the Curé of Ars we see a convergence that made one pilgrim say, having seen him: “I have seen God in a man.”

“Oh!

How great

is the priest!”

A FAVOURED INTERCESSOR

In his time, a great number of people came to Ars to meet with St John-Mary Vianney. They were seeking advice, a prayer or a strengthening of their faith. Still today the Curé of Ars attracts crowds of lay people and priests. By his simple life, filled with faith, he speaks to the people of our age and calls each of them back to the fundamental reality of our lives: “God is there”.

Convinced of his powerful intercession, our Society turns towards him to ask that we priests may always be more conformed in our ministry to the gift of grace we received at our Ordination.


A FAVOURED INTERCESSOR

In his time, a great number of people came to Ars to meet with St John-Mary Vianney. They were seeking advice, a prayer or a strengthening of their faith. Still today the Curé of Ars attracts crowds of lay people and priests. By his simple life, filled with faith, he speaks to the people of our age and calls each of them back to the fundamental reality of our lives: “God is there”.

Convinced of his powerful intercession, our Society turns towards him to ask that we priests may always be more conformed in our ministry to the gift of grace we received at our Ordination.


A LEGACY TO HAND ON

Our Society seeks to allow the figure of St John-Mary Vianney, who by his own life was able to bring about a renewal in the priestly life of the universal Church, to shine out. We wish to hand on what we have learned from the Curé, which the Church recognises as essential for each priest-disciple of Jesus. We love to hear Benedict XVI tell us that “the teaching which continues to be handed on from St John-Mary Vianney to us is that, at the foundation of his pastoral commitment, the priest must have an intimate personal union with Christ, which he must cultivate and allow to grow day by day. It is only if he is in love with Christ that the priest can teach others about this union, this intimate friendship with the Divine Master, that he can touch the heart of people and open them up to the merciful love of the Lord. It is only in this way, therefore, that he will be able to hand on the enthusiasm and spiritual vitality to the communities with which the Lord entrusts him.”


“It is the priest

who continues

the work

of Redemption

on earth.”

A LEGACY TO HAND ON

Our Society seeks to allow the figure of St John-Mary Vianney, who by his own life was able to bring about a renewal in the priestly life of the universal Church, to shine out. We wish to hand on what we have learned from the Curé, which the Church recognises as essential for each priest-disciple of Jesus.

We love to hear Benedict XVI tell us that “the teaching which continues to be handed on from St John-Mary Vianney to us is that, at the foundation of his pastoral commitment, the priest must have an intimate personal union with Christ, which he must cultivate and allow to grow day by day. It is only if he is in love with Christ that the priest can teach others about this union, this intimate friendship with the Divine Master, that he can touch the heart of people and open them up to the merciful love of the Lord. It is only in this way, therefore, that he will be able to hand on the enthusiasm and spiritual vitality to the communities with which the Lord entrusts him.”

Sacerdotii Nostri Primordia

Saint John XXIII – 1959

Letter to priests

Saint John Paul II – 1986

Homily in Ars

Saint John Paul II – 1986

Lecture with priests in Ars

Saint John Paul II – 1986

Letter to priests

Benedict XVI – 2009

General Audience

Benedict XVI – 2009

Homily for Chrism Mass

Pope Francis – 2014

THE PRIEST OF ARS WELCOMES YOU !

Situated in the place where Pope John Paul II celebrated Mass in 1986, the International Priests’ Foyer of the Society of St John-Mary Vianney is a guest house at the service of the priesthood. Run by priests, consecrated persons and lay members of the SJMV, it is open to all priests.

Everyone can feel at home, in its simple and warm environment of prayer, just like the welcome which the Curé of Ars, in his day, gave to his fellow priests. Set up to help priests to make a pilgrimage to Ars, the Foyer also organises retreats and study sessions. The Foyer welcomes priests and seminarians alone or in groups for times of retreat and renewal.

THE PRIEST OF ARS WELCOMES YOU !

Situated in the place where Pope John Paul II celebrated Mass in 1986, the International Priests’ Foyer of the Society of St John-Mary Vianney is a guest house at the service of the priesthood. Run by priests, consecrated persons and lay members of the SJMV, it is open to all priests.

Everyone can feel at home, in its simple and warm environment of prayer, just like the welcome which the Curé of Ars, in his day, gave to his fellow priests. Set up to help priests to make a pilgrimage to Ars, the Foyer also organises retreats and study sessions. The Foyer welcomes priests and seminarians alone or in groups for times of retreat and renewal.

A TRAINING IN THE GRACE OF ARS

Marked by the grace of Ars and the charism of the Society of St John-Mary Vianney, the seminary accomplishes its mission of forming priests who, following the Curé of Ars, wish to be made holy by making their brothers holy. To live in the seminary, the school of the Gospel, means following Christ like the Apostles, and allowing oneself to be placed by Christ at the service of the Father and of men, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and to be configured to Christ the Good Shepherd, so as to render a more faithful priestly service in the Church, for the world. Being formed for the priesthood means being trained to give a personal answer to the most basic question posed by Christ: “Do you love me?” The response, for the future priest, can only be the complete gift of one’s whole life.

A TRAINING IN THE GRACE OF ARS

Marked by the grace of Ars and the charism of the Society of St John-Mary Vianney, the seminary accomplishes its mission of forming priests who, following the Curé of Ars, wish to be made holy by making their brothers holy. To live in the seminary, the school of the Gospel, means following Christ like the Apostles, and allowing oneself to be placed by Christ at the service of the Father and of men, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and to be configured to Christ the Good Shepherd, so as to render a more faithful priestly service in the Church, for the world. Being formed for the priesthood means being trained to give a personal answer to the most basic question posed by Christ: “Do you love me?” The response, for the future priest, can only be the complete gift of one’s whole life.