Shrine of St. John Vianney, Ars-sur-Formans

The Sanctuaire de St. Jean-Marie Vianney (Shrine of St. John Vianney) is a Catholic shrine in Ars, a small city northwest of Lyon, France.


History of Shrine of St. John Vianney

St. Jean-Marie Vianney (1786-1859) is a Catholic saint who was parish priest (curé) of Ars. He is better known as St. John Vianney in English.

During his lifetime, St. John Vianney founded an orphanage for girls and became internationally famous for his spiritual direction. He was known for his powerful sermons, personal example of holiness and his ability to perform miracles. He was said to be able to read souls in the confessional and predict future events.

Throughout France there was a saying, "There is a holy man in Ars; go and see him." And people did - between 1830 and 1845 an average of 300 people visited Ars every day to meet with St. John Vianney. He slept only two hours a night so he could serve all the pilgrims, and spent up to 17 hours a day hearing confessions.

The Curé of Ars also ate little, dressed in old clothes and slept on a hard bed. He was said to have been attacked by the Devilregularly, including one famous incident in which the Devil set the saint's bed on fire.

St. John Vianney died on August 4, 1859. In 1874, Pope Pius IX declared him Venerable, and he was canonized a saint by Pius XI in 1925. The feast day of St. John Vianney, the patron saint of parish priests, is celebrated each year on August 4.

What to See at Shrine of St. John Vianney

Located near Lyon, the Sanctuary of St. John Vianney contains several sites of interest to pilgrims and tourists alike. It has two churches: the old 12th-century church (Église) where St. John Vianney preached, and a new basilica (Basilique) that displays his preserved body in a glass case. The saint's heart is enshrined in a smaller separate building, the Shrine of the Cure's Heart.

Pilgrims can also visit the home of the Curé of Ars, which was preserved the way he left it. It contains the very bed set on fire by the devil as well as the saint's rosary, breviary, library and other personal items. Other sights include the Underground Church designed for large groups of pilgrims, a film on the life and work of the saint, a wax museum, and the orphanage founded by the Curé (La Providence).

Quick Facts on Shrine of St. John Vianney

Site Information
Names:Shrine of St. John Vianney
Styles:Romanesque Revival
Dedication: St. John Vianney
Status: active
Visitor and Contact Information
Coordinates:45.993205° N, 4.822826° E
Address:Rue Jean-Marie Vianney
Ars-sur-Formans, France
Phone:0474/08 17 17
Email:[email protected]
Hours:Open daily
Lodging:View hotels near Shrine of St. John Vianney
Note: This information was accurate when first published and we do our best to keep it updated, but details such as opening hours and prices can change without notice. To avoid disappointment, please check with the site directly before making a special trip.


  1. Kevin Wright, Catholic Shrines of Western Europe, 35-38.
  2. Sanctuaire d'Ars - official website (French with some English pages)
  3. St. Jean-Baptiste-Marie Vianney - Catholic Encyclopedia
  4. John Mary Vianney - Patron Saints Index

More Information

© Calystee
© Calystee
© Mr Gourmand
© Calystee

Map of Shrine of St. John Vianney, Ars-sur-Formans

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