Feast of St. Peter Julian Eymard (August 2)   2 comments

Above:  Lutheran Eucharistic Adoration

SAINT PETER JULIAN EYMARD (FEBRUARY 4, 1811-AUGUST 1, 1868)

Founder of the Priests of the Blessed Sacrament, the Servants of the Blessed Sacrament, and the Priests’ Eucharistic League, and the Organizer of the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament

Growing up in rural United Methodist congregations in southern Georgia, U.S.A., I knew that I was out of place.  One piece of evidence to support this reality was the fact of my piety, centered on the Holy Communion, which the congregations celebrated  quarterly.  So I have high regard for St. Peter Julian Eymard (1811-1868), who encouraged devotion to Jesus in the Holy Eucharist.

The saint, born at La Mure d’Isere, near Grenoble, France, in 1811, was a cutler and the son of a cutler.  (A cutler, by the way, made, repaired, and sold knives and other cutting instruments.)  He entered seminary at Grenoble in 1831.  Ordained a priest four years later, the saint engaged in pastoral work until 1840, when he joined the Marists, becoming (in time) the spiritual director of a school at Belley.  In 1845 he became the Marist provincial at Lyons.

The saint had always been devoted to Jesus in the Holy Eucharist.  In 1856 the Bishop of Paris approved his plan for an order of priests devoted to the perpetual celebration of the Blessed Sacrament; this order was the Priests of the Blessed Sacrament.  Two years later the saint founded the Servants of the Blessed Sacrament, a similar order for nuns.  Pope Pius IX approved the priestly order during the saint’s lifetime; Pope Leo XIII approved the monastic order in 1895.  The saint also founded the Priests’ Eucharistic League and organized the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament.

The saint wrote books about his favorite sacrament. One quote I found at a saints website follows:

The Holy Eucharist is the perfect expression of the love of Jesus Christ for man, since it is the quintessence of His life.

I agree.  And I am grateful that the 1979 Book of Common Prayer declares the Holy Eucharist to be the central act of Christian worship and the default service in The Episcopal Church.  Through the 1928 Prayer Book, in contrast, Morning Prayer was the usual ritual.

The saint died at La Mure on August 1, 1868, after a stroke.  Pope John XXIII canonized him in 1962.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Blessed Lord Jesus Christ,

whom we know in the breaking of the bread and in the drinking of wine,

thank you for the witness and life and your servant

Saint Peter Julian Eymard.

May it inspire us to seek you more often

or to continue to seek you frequently

in the sacrament of his body and blood.  Amen.

Exodus 16:1-16

Psalm 23

Romans 1:1-7

Luke 24:13-35

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 28, 2012 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINTS PLUTARCH, MARCELLA, POTANOMINAENA, AND BASILIDES OF ALEXANDRIA, MARTYRS

THE FEAST OF SAINT IRANAEUS OF LYONS, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF RANDOLPH ROYALL CLAIBORNE, JR., EPISCOPAL BISHOP OF ATLANTA

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2 responses to “Feast of St. Peter Julian Eymard (August 2)

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  1. I know what you mean about the Eucharist being so important – it is central to all we are and all we do and yet it is so easily put out of sight and mind. Thanks for reminding us.

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