Saint Jean Eudes
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Saint Jean EUDES (1601-80) was a slightly older contemporary of Sulpician founder, Jean-Jacques OLIER (1608-57). He was part of the great reform movement of the seventeenth century French school of spirituality, a disciple of Cardinal de Bérulle and Charles de Condren, of the Oratory in Paris. His vision coalesced with that of many of these reformers of the Church who recognized the need to form priests properly in order to affect greater piety among the faithful.
Jean Eudes founded several seminaries in France, including those in Caen, Coutances, Lisieux, and Rouen, and ultimately founded a religious community for the formation of priests and other ministries— the Eudists—who continue his work today. He also participated in weekly spiritual dialogues in Paris with other great leaders of the French school to discuss insights into spirituality and to discern new directions for their mission.
In his Memoires, Father Olier describes Jean Eudes as “that great preacher, the marvel of our century.” Jean Eudes was known for his preaching and was also highly devotional. He worked to spread devotions to the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, for the purpose of establishing “the life and the kingdom of Jesus in Christian souls.” He also attached great importance to the apostolic action of priests, who should be fervent and learned, preaching the gospel with their lives.
On this memorial, which we Sulpicians celebrate in our own special Ordo, we wish every blessing upon our “spiritual cousins,” the Eudists, in their contemporary ministry. We give thanks to God for this inspiring visionary in the history of the Church. Saint Jean Eudes, pray for us!
Collect of the day:
God, you chose the priest Jean Eudes to announce the incomparable richness of Jesus Christ. Grant that we may follow his example and his teachings, so that we may better know you and may live faithfully in the light of the gospel. We ask this through Our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen