Daily Bread - Catholic Church of Montreal

Daily Bread

Saint of the Day

August 19

Saint John Eudes

John was born in Normandy in 1601. Determined to be a priest, he joined the Paris Oratory where he met Bérulle (later cardinal) and was ordained in 1625.

Twice during outbreaks of the plague John tended the sick and dying. He also spent years preaching missions, hearing confessions and opposing Jansenism (belief that only a predetermined few are saved and everyone else damned). In 1641, he helped found a refuge for women. The Visitandines who worked at the refuge became the core of a new religious order for women: the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity of the Refuge, which today has many branches including the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity and the Religious of the Good Shepherd in Canada.

Seeing the urgent need for clerical reform, John left the Oratorians in 1643 to found the Congregation of Jesus and Mary, dedicated to upgrading the religious and intellectual formation of the clergy. Their symbol was the union of the hearts of Jesus and Mary. Opposed by the Oratorians and the Jansenists, the Eudists preached many missions and founded several seminaries.

John died in 1680. In the decree of his beatification in 1908, Pope Pius X declared John Eudes to be the father, doctor and apostle of the devotions to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. He was canonized in 1925.

©2011 Living with Christ, Novalis - Bayard Press Canada Inc., http://www.livingwithchrist.ca/. Reprinted with permission.

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