Excerpt from the book The Cure' of Ars, by Fr. Bartholomew J. O'Brien (Tan Books):
"Jesus Himself had His enemies; and he who tried so earnestly to walk in the footsteps of Jesus could not expect to walk in those footsteps without enemies trailing him in his pathway. As late as 1830, an occasional ember of resentment on the part of some families was still smoldering. This hurt the Cure', especially when the resentment burst forth again into flame, and seven parishioners petitioned him to get out of the parish. The petition failed; and as a whole, the parish at Ars was gradually dawning into a new day. Peace, which only God can give, was beginning to spread its radiance throughout the village and the surrounding countryside.. . . The devil," according to Father Tanquerey, "jealous of God's influence . . . strives to exercise his own dominion, or rather his tyranny, over men.. . . Soon the Cure' feared to remain alone at night. He invited a husky young man of the village, Andrew Verchere, to stay at the rectory with him. He lasted only one night. At one o'clock, the handle and lock of the front door were violently shaken. Then the blows, like those of a club, pounded against the door. At the same time, the racket of the rumbling of many carts seemed to fill the rectory. "My poor Verchere," the Cure' told later, "was shaking with fear. Though he was holding his gun in his hand he no longer knew he had a gun.. . . For about 35 years (1824-1858), the devil tried in vain to discourage the Cure' in his work for souls. But the devil fought a losing battle. As the wind fans the flame to burn more brightly, so those diabolical manifestations, far from snuffing out the Cure's efforts for souls, served rather to enkindle his zeal."