1929: Sheed & Ward, London. First edition. Octavo, original paper boards over cloth spine, original dust jacket. Top edge slightly dusty but boards are sharp and clean, mild offsetting to gutters and early owner signature to free front endpapers, toning to spine of dust jacket. Item #261
"OF ALL GREAT HEARTS, THE GREATEST IS STILL THE HEART OF A SAINT" First edition in English of the story of St. Jean Vianney—the patron saint of parish priests—complete with a previously unpublished portrait by L. Janmot ("the only known portrait from life"). This simple priest, laboring in a remote French village, became famous for his "extraordinary gifts as a confessor. It was said that he had an ability to read souls. With disarming simplicity, the Cure d'Ars was apparently able to discern the secrets of his penitents, and unlock the barriers that prevented them from knowing and loving God. This gift attracted a growing stream of penitents which gradually expanded so as to lay claim to nearly all of his waking hours. Fixed in his cramped confessional, shivering in the winter, stifling in the summer, he would sit, ten, twelve, as many as eighteen hours a day" (Robert Ellsberg, All Saints). Benedict XVI described Fr. Vianney as "a true example of a pastor at the service of Christ's flock." Canonized by Pope Pius XI in 1925, Vianney was declared the patron saint of parish priests in 1929. Translated from the original French edition by F.J. Sheed and appended with G.K. Chesterton's prefatory "The Challenge of the Curé D'Ars." Complete with original dust jacket, printed on thick, buff paper with a lovely wood-engraved colophon of Christ bearing the Cross, repeated on the title page. Approbations. Uncommon with the dust jacket and in this overall condition.