Around 1830, the village of Ars began attracting huge crowds of visitors each day. Why did thousands of pilgrims come daily to this small village? The pilgrims had no other purpose than to meet its parish priest and especially to have him hear their confession.
For this, they waited for hours, sometimes all night! His exceptional holiness and numerous miracles irresistibly attracted men and women of all ages and walks of life in search of the truth. This priest was Jean-Marie-Baptiste Vianney. He lived in extreme austerity and he made his village a fervent and exemplary community. Long before his death in 1859 he was the most famous priest in France. He is now considered the Patron and exemplar of priests worldwide. This classic and comprehensive biography written by Abbé Francis Trochu reveals how Jean-Marie-Baptiste Vianney overcame numerous obstacles to becoming a priest. He exercised intense simplicity, humility and pastoral zeal to help him transform a miserable village disaffected with religion into a town attracting thousands of pilgrims a year. Canonized in 1925 by Pope Pius XI, during the 150th anniversary of his death in 2009, The Year of the Priest was launched by Pope Benedict XVI to renew priestly sanctity all over the world.