The Papal Artifacts’ Collection is primarily dedicated to artifacts connected to the papacy. Individual popes, their biographies and multiple items belonging to them, including first and second class relics, make up the majority of this Collection. But that isn’t all it is.
Father Kunst has a deep devotion to the saints as can be readily seen in viewing the Saints & Blesseds section of this site. We invite you to visit Papal History/Saints & Blesseds to view the many canonized and beatified men and women who make up this section of the Collection. St. Jean Vianney is one of them.
St. Jean Vianney: 1842 Documentation for the Celebration of 24 Low Masses
The document is an 1842 legal arrangement to celebrate annually 24 low masses for the intentions of the donor, (Saint Jean Vianney) which are specified below.
The document is signed by the notary and dated 1 April 1842– that of the registration of the records kept by the notary.
Translation of the Document
1st April 1842
In the presence of Maître Raffin, notary in Trévaux, department of Ain, and in the presence of the witnesses named below.
The appearing party :
Mr. Jean-Marie Vianney, priest serving the chapel of ease of Ars, distrct and borough of Trévaux, dwelling in Ars has declared making, by the present, a gift between living persons to the church council of the said chapel of ease of Ars, of an annual annuity of sixty francs, at five percent bound rate of interest, registered in the name of the donor in the general ledger of public debt with the number five hundred thirty-five, with dividend rights for the whole semester from the date of the acceptance of the present donation.
This donation has made it the responsibility of the church council of the church of Ars to have twenty-four low masses celebrated annually to thank God for having preserved the Holy Virgin from original sin and to ask for his protection for the children who are not yet born so that they will receive the grace of baptism.
The stipend for each of the masses to be celebrated in perpetuity in the said church of Ars will be of one franc and twenty-five cents, making a total of thirty francs, payable to the serving priest of the church fo Ars.
Which acte :
Written and read to those present, in the town of the commune of Ars in the house of Madame Favier.
The first of April, eighteen hundred forty-two, in the presence of Mr. Jean Pertinaud, teacher, and Jean Picard, blacksmith, both inhabitants pf Ars , who have signed below along with the appearing party and the notary.
Signed : Jean-Marie Vianney, priest, Pertinaud, Picard, Raffin, notaire.
Registered in Trévaux, the fourth of April 1842, Folio 41, R°cse Z & 4. (This needs to be verified with the original document in the register.) Reçu : one franc and ten cents, in coin. Signé d’Auburton
Copy issued by Maître Gayot, notary in Trévaux (Ain) undersigned, in his position as immediate successor to Maitre Raffin, and as such, the holder of his records.
A chapel of ease takes the overflow of congregants.
Further Information Regarding This Legal, Notarized Document
This was a legacy (gift) from Jean-Marie Vianney for masses to be said in perpetuity, which would be paid for from the interest accrued from his original gift.
It was a very common occurrence in wills for people to set aside money for the saying of masses, usually for the soul of the departed, but in this case, for other reasons.
This is similar to a will—a legal document, because it was signed by a notary (here Gayot), which was most likely a copy asked for after the death of the original notary, Raffin.
The people mentioned, including Jean Vianney, would have signed the original document in the presence of Raffin.
When a notary wrote an official document, he also made a copy for himself to be kept in his minutes (records), which are legal documents also.
‘Expedition’ (at the bottom of the second page) means a copy of the document sent by the notary. Since he signs it, it is a legal document.
Papal Artifacts is grateful to Dr. Jennifer Walski of Bordeaux, France, for her gracious help in the translation of this document.