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Saint John Vianney
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Religious Figure
    (May 8, 1786-August 4, 1859)
    Born in Dardilly, France
    Catholic priest and canonized saint in the Catholic Church
    Patron saint of priests
    Known as an outstanding and much loved spiritual director/confessor
    Also known as the Cure' d'Ars
    Feast day is August 8th
    Full/real name: Jean-Baptise Marie Vianney
    He had considerable academic trouble in the seminary especially in Latin.
    In direct conflict with the teaching of the Catholic Church, he refused to grant absolution during confession unless the penitent promised to give up dancing.
    When his bed caught on fire one time he claimed that it was an assassination attempt by Satan.
    He practiced extreme mortification and fasting (surviving almost entirely on boiled potatoes).
    He was devoted to Saint Philomena who probably never existed.
    He was French.
    He was much sought after as a confessor and spiritual director, often spending 16 - 18 hours a day hearing confessions, and was known for giving common sense spiritual advice.
    He didn't attend school until he was twenty years old.
    After being drafted into the French army during Napoleon's war with Spain, he deserted and founded the first school in the village where he hid out.
    He founded an orphanage for young girls.
    Pope John XXIII wrote the encyclical, 'From the Beginning of Our Priesthood' in his honor.
    Up to an estimated 20,000 people including foreigners and royalty came to see him for guidance every year and over 6,000 people attended his funeral.

Credit: tom_jeffords

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