SAINT JEAN MARIE VIANNEY [1786-1859]
Born on 8 May 1786 in Dardilly, near Leon, in a family of farmers, Jean Marie Vianney’s childhood was marked by the dedication and love of his parents. The context of the French Revolution will exercise a strong influence on his formative years: he will make his first confession at the foot of the large clock in the hall of the house where he was born, and not in the village church, and will receive absolution from a clandestine priest.
Two years later, he makes his First Communion in a barn, during a clandestine Mass celebrated by a rebel priest. At 17, he decides to respond to God’s call: “I would like to win souls over to the Good Lord”, he will tell his mother, Marie Béluze. His father, however, opposes this project for two years, as there is a shortage of hands in his father’s house.
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