Friday, October 22, 2021

Saint Peter Julian Eymard – Feast Day – August 2

Saint Peter Julian Eymard was a Catholic Priest and founder of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament for men and the Servants of the Blessed Sacrament for women. He was born on February 4 1811 in La Mure, d’Isère in Southeastern France, and died on August 1 1868 at the age of 57 years in the same place. His feast day is celebrated on August 2 every year in the Catholic Church.

Saint Peter Julian Eymard Biography
Saint Peter Julian Eymard
Saint Peter Julian Eymard
Date of Birth February 4 1811
Place of Birth La Mure, d’Isère in Southeastern France
Profession Catholic Priest and founder of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament for men and the Servants of the Blessed Sacrament for women
Date of Death August 1 1868
Place of Death La Mure, d’Isère in Southeastern France
Feast Day August 2
Beatification Beatified by Pope Pius XI on July 12 1925
Canonization Canonized by Pope John XXIII on December 9 1962

Saint Peter Julian Eymard Life History

Saint Peter Julian Eymard was born in La Mure d’Isère in Southeastern France on February 4 1811. He was a son of a the second wife of his father who was a smith. He received his first Holy Communion on March 16 1823 after visiting the shrine of Notre-Dame du Laus. Peter Julian Eymard had a special devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary and visited many Marian Shrines in France.

His mother died in 1828 and he decided to join the novitiate of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate. His father opposed this decision but finally in 1829 he joined. His stay at the novitiate did not last long because he contracted a severe illness and left the novitiate. He suffered lung problems and headaches throughout his life.

His father later died in 1831 and again he entered the major seminary in the Diocese of Grenoble. After completing his studies, he was ordained as a diocesan priest on July 20 1834. He started as an assistant priest in the town of Chatte and after three years he was appointed as the parish priest of Mount Saint-Eynard

This was an impoverished rural parish with an old worn-out church and rectory. Very few people came to celebrate mass and as a result, the bishop allowed Eymard’s two sisters to move in with him and take care of him financially. After some time Fr. Eymard felt dissatisfied with the work he was doing in the parish as a diocesan priest and decided to join the Society of Mary (the Marists). This devastated his sisters very much because they had dedicated their lives to serve him.

He joined the seminary of the Society of Mary in Lyon on August 20 1837 and in February 1840, he made his profession. He became very active in promoting the devotion to the Eucharist, the Forty Hours, and to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

By 1844, Peter Julian Eymard had risen to the position of A provincial superior of the Society at Lyon. He was tasked with the responsibility of managing the lay group dedicated to Marist spirituality (the Third Order of Mary) and also to promote the Christian family. Among the members of the Third Order of Mary was Saint John Vianney.

During his visits around France, Saint Peter Julian Eymard went to Paris and came to know about the exposition and perpetual adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. He prayed at the shrine of Our Lady of Fourviere and on January 21 1851, he began to establish a Marist community dedicated to Eucharistic adoration.

Since the perpetual adoration of the Blessed Sacrament was not part of the Marists’ routines, his fraternity was disapproved by his superiors. He, therefore, resolved to leave the Marist and found his own religious congregation with the help of a diocesan priest named Raymond de Cuers.

After many trials to found his society, the bishops in Paris gave Saint Peter Julian Eymard the go-ahead to establish the Society of the Blessed Sacrament on May 13 1856. On January 6 1857, Fr Eymard and Fr Raymond de Cuers started the public exposition of the Blessed Sacrament in a dilapidated building in Paris.

The Congregation worked hard to prepare children for their first Holy Communion. They also implored on the Catholic Faithfuls who were no longer receiving the Holy Communion to repent and start to receive again. Eymard used to say that, “You take Communion to become holy, not because you already are.”

Saint Peter Julian Eymard wrote the rules of the society in preparation for approval from the pope which was granted in June 1863 by Pope Pius IX. Meanwhile, several communities were being established in Marseille (1859) and Angers (1862). Fr Eymard together with Marguerite Guillot founded the Servants of the Blessed Sacrament in 1858. This became a contemplative congregation for women.

There was a French sculptor named Auguste Rodin who produced a bust of Eymard. In 1862, He had joined the Congregation as a lay brother after the death of his sister. Eymard persuaded him to go back to his vocation after he saw the talent and passion Auguste Rodin had in his work.

Eymard’s work was recognized 100 years later by Pope Paul VI on January 10 1969 when he issued a letter to the Superior General of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament, Fr Roland Huot, saying they were doing the most excellent function of Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament Outside Mass. He also advised them to continue making their Eucharistic Adoration “in the name of the Church”.

Saint Peter Julian Eymard Birth

Eymard was born in La Mure d’Isère in Southeastern France on February 4 1811. He was the son of the second wife of his father who was a smith.

Saint Peter Julian Eymard Death

Eymard died of complications from a brain hemorrhage on August 1 1868 at the age of 57 years.

Relics

After death, his remains were buried in the public cemetery at La Mure. After the consecration of the Blessed Sacrament Congregation’s Corpus Christi Chapel in Paris in September 1876, his remains were moved there in 1877 where they are kept until today.

Beatification

Saint Peter Julian Eymard was declared venerable in 1908 and on July 12 1925, he was beatified by Pope Pius XI.

Canonization

Saint Peter Julian Eymard was canonized on December 9 1962 by Pope John XXIII.

Saint Peter Julian Eymard Feast Day

Eymard’s feast day is celebrated on August 2 every year in the Roman Catholic Church. On December 9 1995, the Congregation for the Sacraments and Divine Worship inserted in the General Roman Calendar his feast day with the rank of an optional memorial.

Saint Peter Julian Eymard is a patron saint of

  • Saint Jean Baptiste Catholic Church in New York City.
  • John Paul II named Eymard “Apostle of the Eucharist”.

Attributes

  • Servants of the Blessed Sacrament
  • Real Presence
  • Monstrance
  • Humeral Veil
  • Eucharistic Congress
  • Eucharistic Adoration
  • Eucharist
  • Cope
  • Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament

Features named after Saint Peter Julian Eymard

  • St Peter Julian’s Catholic Church, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  • St Peter Julian Eymard, Mooroolbark Parish, Victoria, Australia
  • St Peter Julian Eymard, Algiers, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA (Now Closed)
  • Rue Julien-Eymard (Julien Eymard Street), Shawinigan, Quebec, Canada
  • Peter Julian Eymard Street in Sto Nino Homes Phase 3-C, Barangay Perez, Meycauayan City, Bulacan, Philippines
  • Eymard Drive (formerly Sunnyside Drive), along E. Rodriguez Street, Quezon City, Philippines

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