John Vianney became renowned for his dedication to the sacrament of reconciliation (confession) for his parishioners. In fact, not long after his ordination as a priest in a little village in France called the village of Ars, the words spread about him and his divine powers. And it is said that within 30 years he received up to 20,000 pilgrimages each year.
That’s how much people loved him.
They all wanted to be in the presence of a holy man. To experience the eternal love, beauty, wisdom, and power that was flowing through him. And it is my hope that these words and the power behind them will make it possible for you to experience that eternal love, beauty, wisdom, and power as well.
18 Life-Changing Lessons to Learn from St. John Vianney
1. You either belong wholly to the world or wholly to God. ~ St. John Vianney
2. Do not try to please everybody. ~ St. John Vianney
“…Try to please God, the angels, and the saints – they are your public.”
3. The soul hungers for God, and nothing but God can satiate it.
“… Therefore He came to dwell on earth and assumed a Body in order that this Body might become the Food of our souls.”
4. It is always springtime in the heart that loves God. ~ St. John Vianney
“When the heart is pure and simple it cannot help loving, because it has discovered the source of love which is God.” ~ John Vianney
5. Do not do anything which you cannot offer to God.
“Here is a rule for everyday life: Do not do anything which you cannot offer to God.”
6. The people most tempted are those who are ready to sacrifice everything for the salvation of their poor souls.
“So, you will ask me, who then are the people most tempted? They are these, my friends; note them carefully. The people most tempted are those who are ready, with the grace of God, to sacrifice everything for the salvation of their poor souls, who renounce all those things which most people eagerly seek. It is not one devil only who tempts them, but millions seek to entrap them.” ~ St. John Vianney
7. Prayer is to our soul what rain is to the soil…
“… Fertilize the soil ever so richly, it will remain barren unless fed by frequent rains.”
“My little children, your hearts, are small, but prayer stretches them and makes them capable of loving God. Through prayer, we receive a foretaste of heaven and something of paradise comes down upon us. Prayer never leaves us without sweetness. It is honey that flows into the souls and makes all things sweet. When we pray properly, sorrows disappear like snow before the sun.”
8. In your work, offer your difficulties and troubles quite simply to God…
“… and you will find that His blessing will rest upon you and on all you do.” ~ St. John Vianney
9. “How good is our God!
“… When we can no longer come to Him, He comes to us.”
10. The Lord is more anxious to forgive our sins than a woman is to carry her baby out of a burning building. ~ St. John Vianney
11. O, how great is the priest! … If he realized what he is, he would die. ~ St. John Vianney
12. If we could comprehend all the good things contained in Holy Communion nothing more would be wanting to content the heart of man.
“The miser would run no more after his treasures, or the ambitious after glory; each would shake off the dust of the earth, leave the world, and fly away towards heaven.”
13. OH! How easily we could win Heaven day by day just by doing what we have to do – but by doing it for God!… ~ St. John Vianney
14. We make war upon Him with the means He gave us to serve Him.
“Oh, how senseless we are! the good God calls us to Him, and we fly from Him! He wishes to make us happy, and we will not have His happiness. He commands us to love Him, and we give our hearts to the devil. We employ in ruining ourselves the time He gives us to save our souls. We make war upon Him with the means He gave us to serve Him.”
15. The first thing about the angels that we ought to imitate, is their consciousness of the Presence of God. ~ St. John Vianney
16. Humility is like a pair of scales…
“… the lower one side falls, the higher rises the other. Let us humble ourselves like the Blessed Virgin and we shall be exalted.” ~ St. John Vianney
17. A priest goes to Heaven or a priest goes to Hell with a thousand people behind. ~ St. John Vianney
18. To serve the Queen of Heaven is already to reign there…
“… and to live under her commands is more than to govern.”
BONUS St. John Vianney Quotes
“We must say many prayers for the souls of the faithful departed, for one must be so pure to enter heaven.” ~ St. John Vianney
“The man of impure speech is a person whose lips are but an opening and a supply pipe which hell uses to vomit its impurities upon the earth.”
“All our religion is but a false religion and all our virtues are mere illusions and we ourselves are only hypocrites in the sight of God, if we have not that universal charity for everyone – for the good, and for the bad, for the poor and for the rich, and for all those who do us harm as much as those who do us good.”
“The sign of the cross is the most terrible weapon against the devil. Thus the Church wishes not only that we have it continually in front of our minds to recall to us just what our souls are worth and what they cost Jesus Christ, but also that we should make it at every juncture ourselves: when we go to bed, when we awaken during the night, when we get up, when we begin any action, and, above all, when we are tempted.
“The virtue of obedience makes the will supple. It inspires the courage with which to fulfill the most difficult tasks.”
“God commands you to pray, but forbids you to worry.”
“We put pride into everything like salt. We like to see that our good works are known. If our virtues are seen, we are pleased; if our faults are perceived, we are sad. I remark that in a great many people; if one says anything to them, it disturbs them, it annoys them. The saints were not like that – they were vexed if their virtues were known, and pleased that their imperfections should be seen.”
“On the Way of the Cross, you see, my children, only the first step is painful. Our greatest cross is the fear of crosses. . . We have not the courage to carry our cross, and we are very much mistaken; for, whatever we do, the cross holds us tight – we cannot escape from it. What, then, have we to lose? Why not love our crosses, and make use of them to take us to heaven?”
“We must take great care never to do anything before having said our morning prayers…The Devil once declared that if he could have the first moment of the day, he was sure of all the rest.”