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August 19

St John Eudes - August 19

Saint John Eudes
Priest, Martyr
Founder of Eudists
(1601 – 1680)

Our wish, our object, our chief preoccupation must be to form Jesus in ourselves, to make his spirit, his devotion, his affections, his desires and his disposition live and reign there. All our religious exercises should be directed to this end. It is the work which God has given us to do unceasingly.”

Saint John Eudes

Saint’s Life Story

His Early Life

John was born at Ri, Normandy, France, on November 14, 1601, to Isaac and Martha. He had four sisters and two brothers. At the age of 14, John had taken a private vow of celibacy and entered the Jesuit college at Caen. After completing his studies in March 1623, John felt a calling to religious life and joined the Congregation of the Oratory of France, despite his parents’ wishes that he marry. As a member of the Oratory, John continued his studies at Paris and Aubervilliers, France, under the instruction of Charles de Condren, a priest who, in the words of Saint Jane Frances de Chantal, was ” fit to instruct angels.”

At the age of 24, John was ordained a priest and his vocation began to take a specific direction. John’s heart was moved by the suffering caused by the plague that struck Normandy in 1627 and 1631. So, he dedicated himself to ministering to the victims, showing great compassion and care for the sick and dying. In order to avoid infecting his fellow religious, he lived in a huge cask in the middle of a field during the plague.

Parish Missionary

At age 32, John became a parish missionary, building a reputation as an outstanding preacher and confessor, undertaking well over 100 missions in different parts of France. His sermons were powerful and uplifting, always aimed at leading souls to God and promoting genuine conversion. From the pulpit preaching sermons, John went to the confessional for, as he said, “the preacher beats the bushes but the confessors catch the birds!”

Additionally, he actively worked against Jansenism, a heresy which taught that human nature was corrupt, original sin rampant, and perfection was both necessary for salvation and practically unattainable. Through his efforts, many souls were brought back to the true teachings of the Catholic Church.

Realizing the need to improve the formation and education of the clergy, John Eudes founded seminaries, where priests could be properly trained and equipped for their pastoral duties. However, he faced opposition from both Oratorians and Jansenists, preventing him from obtaining papal approval for his seminaries.

Founder of the Congregation of Jesus and Mary (Eudists)

After much prayer, John resigned from the Oratorians in 1643. Undeterred, John founded the Congregation of Jesus and Mary, also known as The Eudists on March 25, 1643. This congregation aimed to promote virtuous secular parochial clergy who were not bound by vows but dedicated to serving God. Despite the lack of papal approval, the Eudists continued their work, focusing on the spiritual formation of priests and the evangelization of the faithful.

John became interested in helping prostitutes, and in 1641, with Madeleine Lamy, founded a refuge for them in Caen under the direction of the Visitandines. John also founded the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity, a religious order dedicated to the welfare and spiritual guidance of penitent women. These sisters played a significant role in the reformation and rehabilitation of women who had led a wayward life.

One of John’s notable contributions is the development of the liturgical devotion of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary. He promoted this devotion, setting the stage for future growth and popular acceptance of this profound aspect of Catholic spirituality.

His Works

John is known for his writings that include:

Le Bon Confesseur (The Good Confessor)
La Vie et le Royaume de Jésus (The Life and Kingdom of Jesus)
Le contrat de l’homme avec Dieu par le Saint Baptême (Contract of Man with God Through Holy Baptism)

His book Le Cœur Admirable de la Très Sainte Mère de Dieu (The Admirable Heart of the Most Holy Mother of God) is the first book ever written on the devotion to the Sacred Hearts.

Above all, John taught that Jesus was the source of all holiness and Mary was the example of a Christian life.

His Death

His last mission had been at Saint-Lô, France in 1675. Here, in wintry weather, John preached in the open for nearly every day for nine weeks. From this ordeal, John never properly recovered and his days of active work were practically ended. At the age of 78, John died on August 19, 1680 in Caen, Normandy, France.

Born:                   November 14, 1601 in Ri, Normandy, France

Died:                   August 19, 1680 age 78 in Caen, Normandy, France

Beatified:           April 25, 1909 by Pope Pius X

Canonized:        May 31, 1925 by Pope Pius XI

Feast Day:         August 19

Patron Saint:    Caen, France; Diocese of Baie-Comeau, Quebec; Eudists; Missionaries; Prostitutes; Ri, France

Source:

Reflection

Throughout his life, Saint John Eudes was a tireless missionary, preaching missions in towns and villages across France. His missionary zeal was fueled by a desire to bring people closer to God and to foster genuine spiritual renewal. Saint John Eudes is also known for his deep devotion to the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary. He promoted this devotion as a way to deepen one’s relationship with God, emphasizing the love and mercy found in the hearts of Christ and His Mother.

How can you cultivate a heartfelt connection with Jesus and Mary, drawing strength from their love and allowing it to transform your life?

Prayers

Saint John Eudes,

Your life of deep devotion, compassionate service, and tireless mission inspires us to follow the path of holiness and love.

You nurtured a profound love for the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, promoting this devotion as a source of strength and transformation.

Help us to open our hearts to their divine love so that we may be filled with their mercy and compassion.

Teach us to see Christ in those who are suffering and in need and to reach out with love and practical assistance, bringing hope and comfort to their lives.

Grant us the courage and enthusiasm to share our faith with others, not only through our words but also through our actions, living out the love of Christ in our daily lives.

We ask this through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.

Saint John Eudes, pray for us. Amen.

Saint Links 

Aleteia – Center yourself on God with this prayer of St. John Eudes

AnaStpaul – Saint of the Day – 19 August – St John Eudes (1601-1680) Confessor, “Apostle of Two Hearts”

America Needs Fatima – Saint John Eudes

Catholic Exchange – St. John Eudes (Priest and Founder)

Catholic Insight – Saint John Eudes: Giving Our All

Catholic Ireland – Aug 19 – St John Eudes (1601-70) Priest

Catholic Lane – St. John Eudes

Catholic News Agency – St. John Eudes Feast day: Aug 19

Catholic Online – St. John Eudes

CatholicSaints.Info – Book of Saints – John Eudes – by Monks of Ramsgate

Catholic365 – The Life of Saint John Eudes

Christian Iconography – St. John Eudes: The Iconography

CNewsLive – Saint John Eudes

Daily Prayers – John Eudes

Franciscan Media – Saint John Eudes

Independent Catholic News – St John Eudes

Loyola Press – Saint John Eudes Feast day August 19

National Catholic Register – St. John Eudes, Pray For Us!

New Advent – Le Brun, C. (1909). Blessed Jean Eudes. In The Catholic Encyclopedia.

Newman Ministry – Saint John Eudes

Saints Alive – St. John Eudes

Saints, Feast, Family – The Story of St. John Eudes

Saint Mary’s Press – Saint John Eudes (1601-1680)

Saint of the Day – August 19 St. John Eudes

Saint Peter’s Basilica Info – St. John Eudes

Sanctoral – Saint John Eudes Founder of the Congregation of Jesus and Mary (Eudists) and the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity (1601-1680)

The Saint Challenge – St. John Eudes – August 19

Tradition in Action – St. John Eudes, August 19

Video Link

St. John Eudes – YouTube (Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network – USA)