There is no end to the stories in the Papal Artifacts Collection, and upon his 6th reading of the definitive biography of this great saint, the curator, Father Richard Kunst, kept a record of the passages which contain information about the very artifacts he has garnered connected to one of his favorite saints, Jean Vianney.
I think it’s good to have formal records of what is in this Collection. Trochu’s 1927 biography of this great saint enables me to verify the artifacts enumerated below.–Fr. Kunst
Here are the pages in the biography containing information about the artifacts below.
Breviary: Page 324
Father Kunst purchased this breviary at auction in France. The person owning it lived close to Ars, Jean Vianney’s home. Her great grandmother had recently died and this breviary was found among her belongings.
A note came with it from a mortician who said he had had it in his possession since 1918. No one knows its origin before that time.
When a priest or deacon is ordained they vow to pray faithfully the liturgy of the hours. It is one of the main signs of priesthood. At the time of Jean Vianney the liturgy of the hours consisted of eight volumes. Currently it is four volumes.
Both during his lifetime and after his death it is known that people would steal his breviaries as relics, so we can appreciate that items belonging to him were taken. This breviary may have been one of those taken.
This volume is signed, Jean Marie Vianney, Cure d’Ars. It is one of three items in the collection that are Father Kunst’s favorites.
A Reliquary Containing First & Second Class Relics of St. Jean Vianney, Page 330
The reliquary presented here contains the following relics of the Cure d’Ars:
A handkerchief, cassock, confessional chair (wing chair), quilts, mattress, blood, muscles, hair, table napkin (or towel), a medal, and a bandage or dressing for a wound.
The very large blue cloth in the reliquary is itself a relic and is from the curtains of his confessional.
(The medal is pictured in the 1st & 3rd pictures.)
The reliquary is still sealed at the back and is in very good condition.
The Vial of Blood, Page 453
The Vial of Blood
This 1st class relic, a vial of St. Jean Vianney’s blood is in a glass reliquary. It contains a substantial amount of his (coagulated) blood, making it an unusual relic of this great saint.
The word, relic, comes from the Latin reliquiae, meaning remains. Relics are the actual remains or an object associated with a saint or martyr. These remains or objects are esteemed and venerated in many religious traditions because of their association with the person.
Relics are in classes. 1st class relics are the actual remains of the person being venerated. 2nd class relics are objects, for example, clothing, that have touched the person being venerated. The reliquary is the container or shrine in which sacred relics are kept.
A Sweat Cloth & Letter of Authenticity Regarding the Relic, Page 476
An 1861 Lottery Ticket Involving the Building of the Ars Church, Page 579
Translation of the Lottery Ticket
Front of Ticket
Series number: 59 200,000 tickets at 50 cents Ticket number: 15
The Ars Lottery
Under the patronage of Monseigneur the Bishop of Belley
authorized by the government for the construction in Ars (Ain) of a church planned by the now deceased Mr. Vianney, curé d’Ars.
4000 prizes for the 4000 series of 50 tickets — prizes offered by Mr. the Curé of Ars, while he lived: his watch and his prie-dieu.
Price of ticket: 50 cents
Price of the series: 25 francs
Members of the commission appointed by the Prefect of the Department the 7th of November 1860. (Note: See names of the commission listed on lottery ticket.)
1. A few months before his death, the Cure d’Ars took out a subscription under these terms: I will pray God for those who will help me build a beautiful church at Saint Philomena P. 1000 francs 2 April 1859, J.M.B. Vianney, Curé d’Ars.
2. Mr. Vianney set up in perpetuity in his own vestry 15 masses per year for all his benefactors.
3. The old church will be preserved because of its imperishable memories.
The drawing will take place the 1st of November, 1861 at the Boarding School of the Brothers of the Holy Family at Ars.
Note on Back of Lottery Ticket
I will pray God for those who will help me build a beautiful church at (?) Saint ? Philomena ? P 1000 francs… Jean M ? B? Vianney, Cure d’Ars, 2 April 1859
Papal Artifacts is grateful to Dr. Jennifer Walski of Bordeaux, France, for her generosity in the translation of this item.