Curé D'ars

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Jean-Baptiste-Marie Vianney, the Curé d’Ars, was not the most intellectual or wealthy of priests, but he was said to have remarkable powers of healing and clairvoyance, and was somehow able to financially support hundreds of needy people. Fortean Picture Library.

Curé D’ars

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

The man popularly known as the Curé d’Ars (the Curate of Ars), renowned for the healings that occurred around him, was born Jean-Baptiste-Marie Vianney at Dardilly, France, on May 8, 1786. He entered the priesthood as a young man, and he completed his studies at Ecully and the seminary at Verrieres. He was plagued by his inability to master Latin, but he finally completed his studies and was ordained in 1815. He was initially posted at Ecully. In 1818 he became the parish priest at Ars. Among his early accomplishments was the founding of an orphanage for girls.

Although of average intellectual accomplishment, as the Curé d’Ars, Vianney soon gained a reputation for his abilities in offering people spiritual counsel. Church members found him insightful and even supernatural in content. They began to come to him from neighboring parishes and then from across France, and finally from other countries. Hearing confessions became the most time-consuming part of his days. His ability to have paranormal information about an individual’s past or future became the matter of many testimonies. The number of healing stories, especially accounts of children, multiplied during and after his life.

It was said that he was plagued with a poltergeist, a noisy spirit that moves objects, for most of his adult life. He noticed that the manifestations were worse when a person was coming to him seeking consolation. He attributed the poltergeist to the devil.

Along with the clairvoyance and healings, people were amazed at the financial resources he was able to accumulate. He personally had no money, and his family was not wealthy. However, he regularly supported more than a hundred women and children, and he provided for the poor and destitute by overseeing the building of a number of institutional homes. With little publicity, the finances were regularly available to meet his commitments.

Vianney died at Ars on August 4, 1859. He was proclaimed venerable in 1874, beatified in 1905, and canonized in 1925. In 1929 he was declared the patron of parish priests.


de la Varende, Jean. The Curé d’Ars and His Cross. Belgium: Desclee Company, 1959.
de Saint Pierre, Michel. The Remarkable Cure of Ars: The Life and Achievement of Ars. Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Company, 1963.
Ghéon, Henri. The Secret of the Curé d’Ars. Trans. F. J. Sheed. New York: Sheed & Ward, 1937.
Trochu, Francis. The Curé D’Ars: St. Jean-Marie-Baptiste Vianney. Rockford, IL: Tan Books and Publishers, 1927.
The Encyclopedia of Religious Phenomena © 2008 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.