Monday, October 25, 2021

Saint John Eudes – Feast Day – August 19

St John Eudes was a Roman Catholic priest and founder of the Order of Our Lady of Charity and The Eudists (Congregation of Jesus and Mary). He was born on November 14 1601 in the village of Ri, Normandy, France, and died on August 19 1680 at the age of 78 years in Caen, Normandy, France. His feast day is celebrated on August 19 every year in the Catholic Church.

Saint John Eudes Biography

Saint John Eudes

Date of Birth November 14 1601
Place of Birth Ri Normandy, France
Profession Roman Catholic priest and founder of the Order of Our Lady of Charity and The Eudists (Congregation of Jesus and Mary)
Place of Work France
Date of Death August 19 1680 (aged 78)
Place of Death Caen, Normandy, France
Feast Day August 19
Beatification By Pope Pius X on April 25 1909 at Saint Peter’s Basilica, Rome, Italy
Canonization By Pope Pius XI on May 31 1925 at Saint Peter’s Basilica, Rome, Italy
Patron Saint of
  • Order of Our Lady of Charity
  • Eudists
  • Missionaries
  • Diocese of Baie-Comeau

Saint John Eudes Life History

St John Eudes’s father was called Isaac Eudes and his mother was called Martha Corbin. He had six siblings, two brothers and four sisters. At age 14, he received his First Holy Communion on Pentecost day, May 26 1613 and privately vowed to live a life of chastity.

St John Eudes undertook his studies at Caen under the Jesuits and later, on March 25 1623, joined the Oratorians where he was mentored by Pierre de Bérulle and Charles de Condren. Here he learned the Christ-centered approach to spiritual affairs with a robust personal relationship with Jesus Christ through adoration.

Eudes was ordained as a subdeacon on December 21 1624 by Bishop Jacques Camus de Pontcarré and one year later, on December 20 1625, he was ordained as a priest. After a short while, he went to Aubervilliers in the North-Eastern suburbs of Paris, France to study theology. After completing his studies, he took care of the plague-stricken patients in Séez in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region in south-eastern France in 1627 and 1631.

In 1633, St John Eudes started preaching in various missions around his home area and also further afield in Ile-de-France, Burgundy, Brittany Paris and Versailles. He had a gift of preaching and evangelizing which earned him great admiration from his congregants.

As he went about preaching, he noted with concern the need to improve the spiritual aspects of the priests and in the seminaries. He, therefore, embarked on founding seminaries and confraternities. His foundation was opposed by the Oratorians and the Jansenists, and he was unable to obtain Papal approval for it.

But Pope Clement X gave St John Eudes six papal bulls of indulgences in 1674 for seminaries and confraternities dedicated to the Sacred Hearts.

As St John Eudes was still going about his missionary work, his concern for the poor and unreliable shelters for the prostitutes who wished to leave that bad life, grew more and more. He was approached by Madeleine Lamy, a lady who took care of some of the prostitutes, who challenged him to help her find a solution to that teething problem.

This challenge prompted Eudes in 1641, to found the Order of Our Lady of Charity of the Refuge in Caen to accommodate and rehabilitate the prostitutes who had reformed and wished to do penance. This congregation did well and on January 2 1666, Pope Alexander VII gave it the papal approval.

Eudes also founded the Society of the Most Admirable Mother as a Third Order and also founded the Eudists at Caen on March 25 1643. The Eudists congregation was focused on parish missions and also on educating priests.

From the influence of the teachings of his mentor Pierre de Bérulle, Eudes took the ‘devotion to the Incarnate Word’, from being a private devotion to a devotion conducted by the whole Church. This devotion eventually spread to many other Churches. This prompted Pope Leo XIII in 1903, to give Eudes the title of “Author of the Liturgical Worship of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Holy Heart of Mary”

St John Eudes taught extensively on Devotion to the Sacred Heart and reiterated that Jesus Christ is the center of the spiritual life at all times. He preached again and again about the mystical unity of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary.

You should not separate what God has united perfectly. Jesus and Mary are closely bound together such that whoever loves Jesus, loves Mary; whoever has devotion to Jesus, has devotion to Mary and whoever beholds Jesus sees Mary.

St John Eudes

St John Eudes wrote several rosaries and prayers dedicated to the Sacred Hearts. His book “The Admirable Heart of the Most Holy Mother of God” (French – Le coeur admirable de la très Sacrée Mère de Dieu) is the first book ever written on devotion to the Sacred Hearts.

Other books that Eudes wrote are:

  • Le Prédicateur Apostolique
  • Le Mémorial de la vie Ecclésiastique
  • Contract of Man with God Through Holy Baptism (Le contrat de l’homme avec Dieu par le Saint Baptême – 1654)
  • The Good Confessor (Le Bon Confesseur – 1666)
  • The Life and Kingdom of Jesus (La Vie et le Royaume de Jésus – 1637)

St John Eudes Death

Eudes health started to decline and died on August 19 1680 at the age of 78 years at Caen.

Beatification and Canonization

On August 19 1868, the cause for canonization for St John Eudes started in the Diocese of Séez and on February 7 1874, Pope Pius IX, titled him as a Servant of God. On January 6 1903, Pope Leo XIII named him as Venerable after it was confirmed, that Eudes had lived a life of heroic virtue. Two miracles that were attributed to St John Eudes intercession were approved by Pope Pius X and on April 25 1909, he was beatified in Saint Peter’s Basilica. Sixteen years later, on May 31 1925, St John Eudes was canonized by Pope Pius XI at Saint Peter’s Basilica, Rome, Italy.

Doctor of the Church

The supporters of St John Eudes have proposed that he be named as a Doctor of the Church. This proposal has been on the table for almost 80 years. This is due to hindrances such as World War II and the course of the Second Vatican Council which had resulted in the suspension of inquiries into such a path.

But in the year 2012, the Eudists revived the quest with support from the episcopal conferences of Benin, Colombia, Ecuador, France, Honduras, Mexico and Venezuela. Currently, the Congregation for the Causes of Saints is evaluating the evidence needed to name St John Eudes as a Doctor of the Church and anytime we are expecting the results of the findings.

St John Eudes Feast Day

His feast day is celebrated on August 19 every year in the Catholic Church. This being the day of his death.

St John Eudes is the Patron Saint of

  • Order of Our Lady of Charity
  • Eudists
  • Missionaries
  • Diocese of Baie-Comeau

Today’s Catholic Quote:

You should not separate what God has united perfectly. Jesus and Mary are closely bound together such that whoever loves Jesus, loves Mary; whoever has devotion to Jesus, has devotion to Mary and whoever beholds Jesus sees Mary.

St John Eudes

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