This contribution is divided into three parts. In the first part, the author demonstrates how the figure of the Curé of Ars goes through the presbyteral spirituality of most of the Nineteenth and Twentieth centuries: his sanctity – recognized when he was still alive and claimed during his funerals – has been admitted by all the popes of the last century from Pius X who beatified him, to John XXIII who celebrated the first centennial from his death to John Paul II who dwelt on the figure of John Mary Vianney on several occasions. In the second part, the author describes Vianney’s historical background, the tensions characterizing the revolutionary and restoration periods in France, to allow a comparison with the present ecclesial situation. Hence the author turns to a reflection on the spiritual, human and pastoral characteristics of the Curé of Ars to show his up-to-date relevance according to what stressed and underlined by recent popes as regards, in particular, his aspiration to sanctity, his passion for man and his longing to God.

(Author: Ennio Apeciti)

Summary ed.27 (I/2010)