I am looking for the exact quote (French O.K.) and source of a quote from St. John Vianney, which I vaguely recall is:

A dancer leaves their Guardian Angel at the door, and soon there are as many devils as dancers on the floor.

A similar question has previously been asked but the book suggested in the unaccepted answer does not contain the answer to the posed question. For years I have also been looking for the answer.

But I believe the source for this question's quote is more readily available; I just haven't come across it in a while.

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    Interesting questions. A classmate of mine related the story of a young lady who went to a dance somewhere in one of the New England states some decades ago, on a Friday night when she knew she should be going to the prayer meeting at church, and danced with a tall, handsome young man. As they were dancing, onlookers apparently observed that their feet no longer touched the floor, and presently there was some kind of flash and both dancers disappeared. Though the story was told with conviction, I have no other evidence of its veracity.
    – Biblasia
    Commented Nov 13, 2022 at 1:27
  • @Biblasia Very interesting comment! I have read quite a bit about St. John Vianney and I believe that he has much to say to us today.
    – user60376
    Commented Nov 13, 2022 at 1:54
  • I removed part b of your question to avoid this question being closed as duplicate. Commented Nov 13, 2022 at 3:18

2 Answers 2


On p. 54 of "The Curé d'Ars; A Shorter Biography," by F. Trochu, Newman Press, 1955, one finds the quote:

People who go to a dance leave their Guardian Angel at the door, where a devil takes his place, so that there are soon as many devils as dancers in the room.

Scanned image of the text from a book

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    +1 for the excellent response. The scan of the paragraph in which the information was found adds tremendously to the credibility of the answer--and even gives readers more context to the quotation sought in the question.
    – Biblasia
    Commented Nov 13, 2022 at 4:57

It may come from the process of his beatification and canonisation.

The Curé d'Ars died in 1859. In 1863 Abbé Alfred Monnin gave evidence to the process, including the following (I have bolded the source of your translated quotation).

Je sais par le témoignage de Mr l'abbé Renard et des habitants d'Ars que lorsque Mr Vianney vint prendre possession de sa paroisse, la jeunesse du pays était très ardente au plaisir. 1080 La danse surtout faisait le passe-temps favori des veillées d'hiver, du dimanche et des fêtes. Le Serviteur de Dieu y voyait le principal obstacle à ses projets de réformation. Il ne cessa de prier, d'exhorter avec la plus grande force ses paroissiens, épanchant surtout au confessionnal l'amertume de son âme, s'adressant tour à tour aux filles et aux mères. Celui qui voudra s'amuser avec le Diable, ne pourra pas se réjouir avec Jésus-Christ, disait-il. Si vous ne voulez que vous amuser en ce monde, alors, n'offensez pas le bon Dieu. Mais ce sont justement ceux qui ont le moins peur de l'offenser qui ont toujours les plaisirs en tête. On ne peut cependant pas offrir une danse en expiation des fautes de sa pauvre vie. Les personnes qui entrent dans un bal laissent leur ange gardien à la porte et c'est un démon qui le remplace, en sorte qu'il y a bientôt dans la salle autant de démons que de danseurs. C'est par ces paroles et d'autres semblables qu'il sut détourner les fidèles de la danse.

  • Ah! Many thanks for posting this---perhaps the original source of the asked for quote: ``...Whoever wants to have fun with the Devil, will not be able to rejoice with Jesus Christ, he said. If you only want to have fun in this world, then don't offend the good Lord. ... People who enter a ball leave their guardian angel at the door and a demon replaces him, so that there are soon as many demons in the room as there are dancers. With these and other similar words, he was able to turn the faithful away from dancing.''
    – user60376
    Commented Nov 13, 2022 at 16:19
  • Perhaps you may have come across the little St. John Vianney story on dancing given in christianity.stackexchange.com/questions/79375/… in French? I have never found it in a book written in English.
    – DDS
    Commented Nov 13, 2022 at 22:37
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    Interesting note that the word bal in French means more an establishment set up for dancing or a reunion where one dancing. I find it an interesting nuance to say the least.
    – Ken Graham
    Commented Nov 14, 2022 at 0:08

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