August Feast Days

St.Julian Eymard

Peter Julian Eymard was born on February 4, 1811 in La Mure, France. He grew up in a poor family after the French Revolution, at a time when Catholicism was not looked upon kindly.

There is a story about Peter from when he was only about five years old. His sister was caring for him and he disappeared. She was frightened and began to search the whole town, looking for the little boy. She finally looked into the village church, where she saw that her brother had pulled a small ladder over to the tabernacle and had his ear up against its door. When she scolded him and asked what he was doing, the child told her, “I can hear Him better this way.”

Before his First Holy Communion at the age of 12, the young boy wrote a small book of prayers. The prayer to be recited after Communion was written as follows:

My dear Jesus,

I thank you for the grace

which you have given me

that you have come to dwell in my heart. 

It was clear from an early age that Peter wanted to be a priest, although his father was not happy with that idea. After he entered the seminary, illness forced him to leave. But he persisted and was finally ordained for the Diocese of Grenoble when he was 23. A few years later he heard some Marist Priests preach. The Marist order is dedicated to Mary, the Blessed Mother. Their message appealed to Father Eymard, and he eventually joined their congregation. He traveled through Europe, giving retreats and missions.

As time passed, he felt very drawn to Jesus through the Eucharist and decided that there needed to be priests who urged devision to this. In 1856, Father Eymard founded the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament. The men who joined the congregation guarded the Blessed Sacrament 24 hours a day and soon attracted lay persons to do the same. This practice of prayer and devotion before the Blessed Sacrament became known as Eucharistic devotion.

The congregation struggled and was very poor. But Father Eymard did not give up. Despite continuing problems with his health, he even helped form the Sister Servants of the Blessed Sacrament with one of the women who came to him for direction, Marguerite Guillot. Along with the men and women of these congregations, he visited the poor and those in prison, and he tried to educate Catholics in the teachings of the faith.

In 1868, at the age of 57, Father Eymard died. He was canonized 1962 by Pope John XXIII. He has been referred to as “the Apostle of the Eucharist.”

We believe in the love of God for us. To believe in love is everything. It is not enough to believe in the Truth. We must believe in Love and Love is our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. That is the faith that makes our Lord loved. Ask for this pure and simple faith in the Eucharist. Men will teach you; but only Jesus will give you the grace to believe in Him. You have the Eucharist. What more do you want?

– Saint Peter Julian Eymund

If the love of Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament does not win our hearts, Jesus is vanquished! Our ingratitude is greater than His Goodness our malice is more powerful than His Charity.

– Saint Peter Julian Eymund

Every time we come into the presence of the Eucharist we may say: This precious Testament cost Jesus Christ His life. For the Eucharist is a testament, a legacy which becomes valid only at the death of the testator. Our Lord thereby shows us His boundless love, for He Himself said there is no greater proof of love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

– Saint Peter Julian Eymard

The Holy Eucharist is the perfect expression of the love of Jesus Christ for man, since It is the quintessence of all the mysteries of His Life.

– Saint Peter Julian Eymard

He loves, He hopes, He waits. If He came down on our altars on certain days only, some sinner, on being moved to repentance, might have to look for Him, and not finding Him, might have to wait. Our Lord prefers to wait Himself for the sinner for years rather than keep him waiting one instant.

– Saint Peter Julian Eymard

How kind is our Sacramental Jesus! He welcomes you at any hour of the day or night. His Love never knows rest. He is always most gentle towards you. When you visit Him, He forgets your sins and speaks only of His joy, His tenderness, and His Love. By the reception He gives to you, one would think He has need of you to make Him happy.

– Saint Peter Julian Eymard

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