St. John Vianney

I can never forget that August 4 is the feast of the Cure d’Ars. I was 16 and entered the convent on that day. Our family lived in Louisiana, the convent was in Boston. I was sent home on November 4 — exactly 3 months later. It was simultaneously a testing time, a trying time, a wonderful time, a memorable time.

So August 4 made an impression on me, and now 29 years to the day, it still brings back vivid memories.

But that wasn’t the point of this post. I started thinking about the date, then the saint, then the books I have really liked about St. John Mary Vianney. And since I love to talk about books….here I am!

I haven’t seen many people talk about the Children’s books by Magnificat, also distributed by Ignatius Press. I’ve been requesting my library to carry them, especially the saint biographies. I have been super pleased! The illustrations are beautiful, not cartoony. The text really paints a human portrait of a saint, but not written in childish text. The biographies have inspired my boys to imitation of virtues and prayerful life. What more can I ask from a saint biography? These biographies are the answer for shorter books before a child is ready for chapter books.

John Mary Vianney: The Holy Cure of Ars is the first in the series we read. The book truly captures his life and service. The book accurately portrays the beloved priest of Ars but in a loving and inspiring manner for children. Reading this book aloud to my boys made me love this little saint all over again.

The Chapter book I highly recommend is The Man Who Fought the Devil by Eva K. Betz. She is one of my favorite Catholic authors. Neumann Press has reprinted this wonderful book. I have to admit that I was a little scared in reading about his fights with the devil (but a “good” scared, such “fear of the Lord” and doing what’s right!). But if your child is super sensitive, hold off until he/she can handle it a little better. But as far as gripping and well-written biography, this is excellent. I haven’t listened to the recording so I can’t recommend it or not (Librivox is SUCH a mixed bag!), but there is a Librivox recording. The image on the Librivox page is the front cover of the original book. Neumann Press reprint doesn’t have this image.

For teens and adults, the classic by Abbe Francois Trochu The Cure D’Ars : St. Jean-Marie-Baptiste Vianney is a MUST read, although don’t read before bedtime. I read this as a young woman, and was a little scared by the devil’s nightly visits. Now that I’m older I realize I’m too sinful to have the devil spend so much time on me, but rational thought doesn’t always flow at night-time. Otherwise, such an inspiring and wonderful look at this humble and holy saint.

I know I’ve been quiet, and I have lots of posts planned, but in time!

8 thoughts on “St. John Vianney

  1. Jenn
    Thank you! I had no idea there were children’s books for JMV. I’ll have to buy some for my Sebastian Vianney:) oops I forgot his name day yesterday.

    • These books are really wonderful, Erin! They are top of my list for picture books now. I think they were originally done in French, and I think French artists. I was discussing these with a Trappist priest last weekend. St. Bernadette, St. Francis, St. Therese, and John Vianney so far.

      • Dear Jenn,

        It is a french book, edited in 2009 by Mame in Paris. It belongs to a french serie (un saint, une histoire) with books about Therese of Liseux and Saint Bernadette of Lourdes. The book has been written by Sophie de Mullenheim. She wrote also other children-books (fiction). At the web, you find some interviews with her, in French. The illustrations are by Adeline Avril.
        I know the book of Trochu. I have been once in Ars, ten years ago. You can see the basilica. Within the basilica, they preserve the original village church with the pulpit. You can also visit the prebitery of the cure d’Ars. At the moment, there is also an internaional seminary. When do you come to Europe again?
        I eread this sincere and beautiful post with interest.

      • Thank you, Hans! I thought it was originally done in French, so it’s nice for it all to be confirmed.

        At this point, no plans to go to Europe again. I don’t think it would be for another 4 years at the earliest! My husband and I want to do Italy and France — big ideas, but no budget.

        Do you have any plans to come to the States?

  2. Jenn, you were so young at 16 to enter the convent! I would love to hear your story about that! I’ll just hop over for a cup of coffee and we will have a good ol’ heart to heart and I will bring along my favorite books that you might not yet know. These will probably all be in the German language, because you know all the good English books already! My little girls love playing with little boys, so everyone is busy and happy and we can really just relax and get to know each other irl! I can’t wait! :-))))

  3. Hi Jenn,

    Wow, I didn’t know they did Saints biographies either. I’m glad you mentioned it! We just bought the children’s Bible a few months ago and I’m really pleased with it so, that make these books worth getting!

    I hope all is well with you and your family!

  4. Such lovely books! Thanks for recommending them. I have looked at them, but hesitated because they were saints I had books on already. (If you make it to AK, you have to pop in!)

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