Parish Priest of Ars



The Enemy could not withstand the innumerable conversions of the penitents and did not suffer that those souls were taken away from his power, seeking with all the means of forsaking Don Vianney from his extraordinary love for sinners, yet his faith in our Lord was a seal and Defense wall.

Tormented by the devil

"Cover with the armor of God to resist the devil's pitfalls. Our battle is not against creatures made of blood and flesh, but against the Principals and Potentials, against the rulers of this world of darkness, against the spirits of evil dwelling in the heavenly regions".
(Eph. 6,11-12).

From 1824 to 1858, for a period of about thirty-five years, the Curato d'Ars was overwhelmed by the external obsession of the Malignant. Don Vianney's struggles with the devil helped make his charity more alive and more disinterested.

The Poor Shepherd heard each night lacerate the covers of the bed, this ugly joke lasted for a while and since he was not a fool, he hardly believed in extraordinary things.

She heard, in the silence of the night, shouting and knocking bangs at the doors in the courtyard of the canonical, while inside there was a tumult of thunder, as if rolling several cars or noises similar to knife blades with quick shots on the buckets.

It was a real fight, and, to support it, the holy man had no other resource than his patience and his prayers. "Sometimes," his confessor said, "I asked him how he rejected the attacks. He replied, "I turn to the good God, I make the sign of the cross, and I address a few words of contempt to the devil. Moreover, I have noticed that the noise is stronger and the more insistent assaults, when, the next day, there must be some great sinner. "In the early days, I was afraid - he trusted Msgr. Mermod, one of his most faithful friends and penitents - I did not know what it was, but now I'm happy: you mean that the next day's fishing is always excellent. The devil has disturbed me very much this night, tomorrow there will be many people."

Then, lying on the poor straw hat, he tried to rest. He was finally about to sleep. Suddenly he jerked, ripped from crying to sleep, from luggage, from shaky shots. It would have been said that a blacksmith hammer broke through the doors of the canonical. Immediately, without the move of the gate, the Curato d'Ars realized with horror that he was near the devil. "I do not invite him to come in, Don Vianney said between the facet and the annoyance, but he joins the same!"

He slammed the chairs, shook the heavy furniture of the room and shouted with a terrifying voice: Vianney, Vianney! Ah! You're not dead yet! One day I'll have you! Or, by shouting as animals, he imitated the groans of a bear, the screams of a dog, and slumped on the blankets of the bed, shaking furiously.

The demon imitated the sound of a hammer sticking nails in the floor or bound a barrel with iron rims; He tapped the drum on the table, on the fireplace, on the bucket, or sang in a squeaky voice, and the Curtain repeatedly felt a hand touching his face or like mice running around his body.

One night he heard the sound like a swarm of bees; She got up, turned on the candle, went to pull the curtains away, but saw nothing.

Another time, the devil attempted to overthrow him from the bed, pulling the straw hat. In the room, barefoot bats flew across the beams, clinging to the bed tendons. Other times on the floor, for hours, there was the constant exasperation of a flock of sheep. Under the room, in the dining room, they heard the kicks of a horse up to the ceiling to fall down on the floor with four paws. These infernal hells wore the poor Curse of Ars, but they could not bring it down.

Towards 1820, Don Vianney had transported from the canonical church an old canvas, representing the Annunciation. The picture was hanging on a staircase wall. Now, the devil froze on that picture and covered it with garbage. She had to get her out of that place.

Margherita Vianney, one night as she passed the canonical chamber, heard the Curato d'Ars leave the room before one day to go to church. "A few minutes later," he said, "a violent noise broke out near my bed, as if five or six men had hit hard on the table or closet." I was afraid, I got up and lit a lamp, but I saw that everything was perfectly in When I came home, told him what had happened, he told me that he was the demon. Sometimes he also bothered to get back to school. Me, sometimes, grabs me for my feet and drags me to the room."

One day in 1838, Dionysius Chaland of Bouligneux, a young philosophy student, confessed to the chamber of the Curato d'Ars. In mid-confession, as he himself says, a general disruption shook the room, even the kneeling shaken like everything else. She got frightened. The Curate held him by the arm. "It's nothing, he said, it's just the devil!"

It was February 23, 1857. That morning Don Vianney had begun to confess. A few minutes before seven, the people who passed near the canonics saw flames coming out of the curated room. He ran to warn him when he was already leaving the confessional to go to celebrate the Holy Mass. The Guardian handed over the key, so that he would turn it off and answer it unmoving: That is the villain of a demon.

Devilish obsessions diminished in number and intensity, the more the Saint was aging. The spirit of darkness, having failed to diminish the courage of this heroic, dejected soul, abandoned the struggle; Or perhaps better, God disposed that this life so beautiful, so pure, so calm in appearance, despite the internal trials, ended in a deep peace.

From 1855 until his death, Don Vianney was almost no longer tormented by the devil at night. His sleep was, however, too difficult, because some assaults ceased to be a persistent cough, which alone was enough to keep him awake. But this did not stop him from interrupting his endless performances for the confession ministry. "If I could sleep for an hour or half an hour, during the day, he said, I feel I will start my work again." This hour or half-hour, he passed into his room, shortly after lunch. Spreading on the straw hat, he tried to fall asleep, but even in these short moments the devil took advantage, sometimes, to give him boredom.

Finally, the Evil One did not come back again, and surely it was not regrettable that Don Vianney saw a "similar companion" move away. He did not even disturb him in his agony, as he did with other Saints. Even before his terrestrial trial ended, the Curate of Ars had brought a definitive defeat to Satan.

Might interest