Saint Jean Vianney Relic Pilgrimage

Saint Jean Vianney Relic Tour

Knights of Columbus conclude nationwide pilgrimage of Curé of Ars’ Heart

The major relic of the incorrupt heart of St. Jean Vianney was entrusted to the Knights of Columbus by the Shrine of Ars, France, for a 7-month national pilgrimage across the United States from November 10, 2018 through June 13, 2019.

In an effort to make the relic as widely available for veneration as possible, the Knights brought the relic to each of the 48 states in the continental United States, with additional stops in Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico.

In total, the relic traveled almost 36,000 miles — almost one and a half times the circumference of the Earth — and was available for over 1,200 hours of public veneration, allowing more than a quarter of a million pilgrims time to pray with and venerate the relic. The relic visited 97 dioceses, including 29 archdioceses. During its travels, the heart of the patron of parish priests was brought to 22 seminaries as well as many religious communities and homes for retired priests.

The pilgrimage’s full public schedule can be found below, along with additional resources, photographs, and social media content. For more information, see the February issue of Columbia and look for concluding coverage in the September issue.

To join the Knights of Columbus in financial support of the Shrine of Ars please click here.


City, State Location Date(s)

Baltimore, MD

St. Mary’s Spiritual Center & Historic Site

11/10/2018 to 11/11/2018

New Haven, CT

St. Mary’s Church

11/18/2018 to 11/19/2018

New Haven, CT

Knights of Columbus Museum

11/19/2018 to 11/25/2018

Hartford, CT

St. Joseph Cathedral


New Orleans, LA

St. Rita Catholic Church

12/01/2018 to 12/02/2018

Ocean Springs, MS

St. Alphonsus Church


Pensacola, FL

Basilica of St. Michael

12/03/2018 to 12/04/2018

Birmingham, AL

Cathedral of St. Paul


Atlanta, GA

Holy Spirit Catholic Church

12/07/2018 to 12/08/2018

Washington, DC

Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception

12/09/2018 to 12/12/2018

Gales Ferry, CT

Our Lady of Lourdes Church


Waterbury, CT

Basilica of the Immaculate Conception

12/22/2018 to 12/23/2018

Indianapolis, IN

Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral


Columbus, OH

Saint Patrick Catholic Church


Baltimore, MD

Archdiocese of Baltimore

01/11/2019 to 01/13/2019

Alexandria, VA

The Basilica of Saint Mary

01/15/2019 to 01/16/2019

Washington, DC

Saint John Paul II National Shrine

01/17/2019 to 01/20/2019

Marquette, MI

Saint Peter Cathedral

01/22/2019 to 01/23/2019

Hubertus, WI

Basilica of Mary Help of Christians

01/23/2019 to 01/24/2019

Notre Dame, IN

Basilica of the Sacred Heart


Cincinnati, OH

Old St. Mary’s Church


Altoona, PA

Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament


Philadelphia, PA

Cathedral Basilica of Sts. Peter & Paul

02/02/2019 to 02/03/2019

Wilmington, DE

Corpus Christi Parish


Washington, DC

Saint John Paul II National Shrine

02/14/2019 to 02/18/2019

Las Vegas, NV

St. Francis de Sales Church


Santa Clarita, CA

Saint Kateri Tekakwitha Parish


Inglewood, CA

St. John Chrysostom Church


Van Nuys, CA

St. Elisabeth Church


Oceanside, CA

St. Margaret Church


Los Angeles, CA

Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels

02/24/2019 to 02/25/2019

Hacienda Heights, CA

St. John Vianney Church


Carmel, CA

Carmel Mission Basilica


Redwood City, CA

St. Pius X Church


South San Francisco, CA

St. Augustine Church


Roseville, CA

Saint Clare Catholic Church

03/01/2019 to 03/02/2019

Novato, CA

Our Lady of Loretto


San Francisco, CA

Cathedral of St. Mary


Bend, OR

St. Francis of Assisi Church


Salem, OR

St. Joseph Parish


St. Benedict, OR

Mount Angel Abbey


Portland, OR

The Grotto


Portland, OR

St. Mary's Cathedral


Spokane, WA

Bishop White Seminary


Spokane, WA

Cathedral of Our Lady of Lourdes


Seattle, WA

Saint Benedict Church


Louisville, KY

St. John Vianney Church


Tell City, IN

St. Paul Church


Paducah, KY

St. John the Evangelist Church


Cape Girardeau, MO

St. Mary of the Annunciation Cathedral


St. Louis, MO

Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis


Jefferson City, MO

St. Joseph Cathedral


Leawood, KS

Church of the Nativity


Leawood, KS

Curé of Ars Church


Leawood, KS

St. Michael the Archangel Church


Atchison, KS

St. Benedict's Abbey Church


St. Joseph, MO

St. Joseph Cathedral


Lincoln, NE

Cathedral of the Risen Christ


Grand Island, NE

St. Mary Cathedral


Omaha, NE

St. Cecilia Cathedral


Sioux Falls, SD

Cathedral of St. Joseph


Fort Pierre, SD

St. John the Evangelist Church


Rapid City, SD

Cathedral of Our Lady of Perpetual Help


Laurel, MT

St. Anthony Church


Belgrade, MT

St. John Vianney Church


Idaho Falls, ID

Holy Rosary Catholic Church


Pocatello, ID

St. Anthony Chapel


Cottonwood Heights, UT

St. Thomas More Catholic Church


Shelby Township, MI

St. John Vianney Church


Detroit, MI

Sacred Heart Major Seminary


Yonkers, NY

St. Joseph’s Seminary, Dunwoodie


New York, NY

St. Patrick's Cathedral

04/06/2019 to 04/07/2019

Staten Island, NY

Our Lady Star of the Sea Church


Merrick, NY

Curé of Ars Church


Elmhurst, NY

Cathedral Prep School & Seminary


Douglaston, NY

Immaculate Conception Center


Brooklyn, NY

St. Thomas Aquinas Church


Brooklyn, NY

Xaverian High School


Merrick, NY

Curé of Ars Church


Saint Clair, PA

St. Clare of Assisi Church


Scranton, PA

St. Peter’s Cathedral


Minersville, PA

St. Nicholas Ukranian Catholic Church


Charleston, WV

Sacred Heart Co-Cathedral


Wheeling, WV

St. Joseph Cathedral


Greenburg, PA

Our Lady of Grace Parish


Fall River, MA

Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption


Providence, RI

Our Lady of Providence Seminary


Portland, ME

Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception


Manchester, NH

St. Joseph Cathedral


Worcester, MA

St. Peter’s Cathedral


Westfield, MA

St. Mary’s Church


South Burlington, VT

St. John Vianney Church

04/25/2019 to 04/26/2019

Albany, NY

Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception


Pittsfield, MA

St. Joseph Church


Stockbridge, MA

National Shrine of the Divine Mercy

04/27/2019 to 04/28/2019

Trumbull, CT

St. Catherine of Siena Church

04/29/2019 to 04/30/2019

Boston, MA

Cathedral of the Holy Cross


Braintree, MA

Archdiocesan Pastoral Center


Salem, MA

St. John Paul II Shrine of Divine Mercy


Walpole, MA

Blessed Sacrament Church


Newark, NJ

Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart


South Orange, NJ

Immaculate Conception Seminary


Phoenix, AZ

Ss. Simon & Jude Cathedral


Goodyear, AZ

St. John Vianney Catholic Church


Gilbert, AZ

St. Anne Catholic Church


Phoenix, AZ

St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church


Las Cruces, NM

Cathedral of the Immaculate Heart


El Paso, TX

St. Patrick's Cathedral


Gallup, NM

St. John Vianney Catholic Church


Gallup, NM

Sacred Heart Cathedral


Albuquerque, NM

Immaculate Conception Catholic Church


Rio Rancho, NM

St. John Vianney Catholic Church


Santa Fe, NM

Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish


Colorado Springs, CO

St. Mary's Cathedral


Fort Collins, CO

St. John XXIII Church

05/10/2019 to 5/11/2019

Cheyenne, WY

Cathedral of St. Mary


Denver, CO

St. John Vianney Theological Seminary


Denver, CO

Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception


Greenwood Village, CO

The Augustine Institute


Denver, CO

Cure D'Ars Catholic Church


Austin, TX

St. Mary's Cathedral

05/15/2019 to 05/16/2019

Fort Worth, TX

St. Patrick's Cathedral


Tyler, TX

Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception


Yukon, OK

St. John Nepomuk Catholic Church

05/18/2019 to 05/19/2019

Rogers, AR

St. Vincent DePaul Catholic Church


Nashville, TN

Cathedral of the Incarnation


Knoxville, TN

Cathedral of the Most Sacred Heart


Raleigh, NC

St. Joseph Catholic Church

05/24/2019 to 05/25/2019

Charlotte, NC

St. Patrick's Cathedral

05/25/2019 to 05/26/2019

Columbia, SC

Basilica of St. Peter


Bismarck, ND

Cathedral of the Holy Spirit

05/28/2019 to 05/29/2019

Fargo, ND

St. Mary's Cathedral

05/29/2019 to 05/30/2019

Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN

Cathedral of St. Paul

05/30/2019 to 05/31/2019

Des Moines, IA

Saint Augustin Church


Cedar Rapids, IA

Immaculate Conception Church


Libertyville, IL

National Shrine of St. Maximilian Kolbe


Pittsburgh, PA

St. Paul's Cathedral

06/04/2019 to 06/05/2019

Erie, PA

St. Peter Cathedral


San Juan, PR

Iglesia Santa Teresita


Ponce, PR

Catedral Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe


Mayagüez, PR

Catedral Nueatra Señora de la Candelaria


Maricao, PR

Parroquia San Juan Bautista


Aguadilla, PR

Parroquia Nuestra Senora de la Medalla Milagrosa


Harrisburg, PA

Saint Catherine Labouré Parish


In between public events, the relic will be traveling to seminaries, religious houses, and other locations for private veneration.


Early Life and Struggles

Born in a small village in France in 1786, Jean Vianney and his family suffered through the dark years of the French Revolution, when the faith was attacked, churches were destroyed, and bishops, priests and religious martyred. So dangerous were the times that young Jean had to receive his first Holy Communion in secret from a faithful priest. Yet hardship only increased Jean’s desire to serve Jesus and his people.

After the Reign of Terror ended in France, and following the Napoleonic wars, young Jean entered the seminary, where he met with more obstacles. He found studies difficult, struggling especially with Latin, and was about to be dismissed from the seminary when an official of his diocese interceded. Knowing the young man to be earnest and prayerful, the vicar general asked the seminary rector some simple questions: “Is he pious? Has he a devotion to Our Lady? Does he know how to say his rosary?” The rector admitted that Jean was “a model of piety.” The vicar general said that he should continue his studies and “the grace of God will do the rest.” At Jean Vianney’s ordination in 1815, the vicar general said, “The Church wants not only learned priests but, even more, holy ones.”

The Curé of Ars

Father Vianney was assigned to the small farming community of Ars, whose parish consisted of 260 people. Walking along the road, towing a few possessions in a cart, he thanked a local boy who pointed him the way, saying, “You have shown me the way to Ars; I will show you the way to heaven.” The political turbulence, anti-clericalism and religious skepticism of the age had taken their toll on the village, and the practice of the faith was poor. Father Vianney undertook a life of heroic penance and prayer to draw his people away from sin and closer to God. Known for his wise spiritual counsels and the gift of reading hearts, he soon became a “prisoner” of the confessional, hearing confessions for up to eighteen hours a day, as people came from across Europe and beyond to see him. He also exercised great charity, building an orphanage for homeless children and receiving beggars with an open heart and hand.

Due to his success in bringing souls to Christ, he became a target of the devil, who confronted the priest on various occasions. Undeterred, Father Vianney did not fall for the devil’s tricks and dismissed strange events by saying, “It’s just the devil.”

Jean Vianney died on Aug. 4, 1859, at the age of 73. Nearly 1,000 people attended his funeral, including the bishop and priests of the diocese. On Oct. 3, 1873, Pope Pius IX proclaimed him Venerable, and on Jan. 8, 1905, Pope Pius X beatified him. St. Jean Vianney was canonized by Pope Pius XI on May 31, 1925. In 1929, the Holy Father declared him patron of parish priests. His feast day is August 4.


  • Who is the sponsor of this relic pilgrimage?

    The Knights of Columbus, the world’s largest Catholic fraternal organization, is pleased to sponsor this major relic pilgrimage, through a generous loan from the Shrine at Ars, France. It is especially meaningful for the Knights to host the relic of the patron of parish priests, since the Order was founded in 1882 by a holy parish priest, Father Michael McGivney. His cause for sainthood is open at the Vatican, which has bestowed on him the title of Venerable, in recognition of his heroic virtue. The heart relic of St. Jean Vianney will be reverently displayed in cathedrals, churches, chapels and seminaries throughout the United States, from November 2018 to early June 2019.

  • What is a relic?

    In Catholic tradition, a relic is an object associated with a saint that may be offered to the faithful for veneration. Since the soul of a saint is united with God in heaven, an object associated with a saint is meant to draw a person closer to God. Neither the relic nor the saint are to be worshipped.

    Relics are classified in three categories:

    First Class – A physical part of a saint, such as a piece of bone or a lock of hair. The heart of St. Jean Vianney was taken from the saint’s body after his death in recognition of his burning love for God and humanity. It has remained intact, or incorrupt, for more than 150 years.

    Second Class – An object routinely used or touched by the saint during life, such as a piece of clothing, a book or a pen.

    Third Class –An object that is reverently touched to a first-class relic.

  • Do Catholics Worship Relics?

    No. The teaching of the Church is very clear that we are never to worship anything or anyone other than God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We venerate relics as holy objects that are associated with saints who now live in God’s presence. A relic is venerated in recognition of the fact that God has worked through a saint, and that an object associated with a saint is holy and can lead us to God. The healing power of relics comes from God alone and never from the object.

    Reference to an early form of relics can be found in the New Testament, when a women was healed by touching the hem of Jesus’ garment (Mt 9:18-26) and when cloths touched by St. Paul were used to heal the sick and drive out demons (Acts 19:12). A more developed use of relics began during the persecution of the early Church, when the faithful would retrieve the bones of martyrs and place them under the altar for Mass. To this day, Catholic churches place first-class relics in altar stones.

  • What is a reliquary?

    A reliquary is a special case that holds a relic. It may be small enough to fit in a hand or large enough to encase a saint’s body. The case used on this tour is a 17th century French reliquary.

  • Who made the painting of St. John Vianney that is traveling with the relic?

    The painting, or religious icon, was commissioned by the Knights of Columbus for this tour. The original was painted by Italian iconographer Fabrizio Diomedi, and copies have been made to accompany the relic.

  • Is the relic pilgrimage taking donations?

    Yes. Since the Knights of Columbus is covering all costs of the U.S. pilgrimage, donations made by the faithful during stops of the relic pilgrimage will benefit the Shrine at Ars, France, which is renovating its facilities to provide an even deeper spiritual experience for pilgrims.

  • How can I learn about the scheduled visits for the heart relic?

    The Knights of Columbus has posted a web page with a printable prayer card, a copy of the icon and the latest schedule updates. Visit:



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