Readings & Reflections: Thursday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time & St. Peter Julian Eymard, August 3,2017

Readings & Reflections: Thursday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time & St. Peter Julian Eymard, August 3,2017

Born in 1811 A.D. in La Mure d’Isere, France, Peter Julian Eymard struggled against his father’s virulent anticlericalism to begin studies for the priesthood. Eventually he entered the Marist Order. In 1856 A.D. He founded the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament. The priests devoted themselves to adoration and catechizing adults – many of them unemployed – who had not received First Communion. In later years, Peter suffered illness and criticism. He died in 1868 A.D. “The inner gift of self is the real gift,” Peter taught, “because then our Lord becomes our Savior… by giving us his own form of life.”

AMDG+

Opening Prayer

“Heavenly Father, increase my hunger for your kingdom and fill my heart with eager longing for you that I may one day gaze upon your face in everlasting bliss.” In Jesus’ Name, I pray. Amen.

Reading 1 EX 40:16-21, 34-38

Moses did exactly as the LORD had commanded him.
On the first day of the first month of the second year
the Dwelling was erected.
It was Moses who erected the Dwelling.
He placed its pedestals, set up its boards, put in its bars,
and set up its columns.
He spread the tent over the Dwelling
and put the covering on top of the tent,
as the LORD had commanded him.
He took the commandments and put them in the ark;
he placed poles alongside the ark and set the propitiatory upon it.
He brought the ark into the Dwelling and hung the curtain veil,
thus screening off the ark of the commandments,
as the LORD had commanded him.

Then the cloud covered the meeting tent,
and the glory of the LORD filled the Dwelling.
Moses could not enter the meeting tent,
because the cloud settled down upon it
and the glory of the LORD filled the Dwelling.
Whenever the cloud rose from the Dwelling,
the children of Israel would set out on their journey.
But if the cloud did not lift, they would not go forward;
only when it lifted did they go forward.
In the daytime the cloud of the LORD was seen over the Dwelling;
whereas at night, fire was seen in the cloud
by the whole house of Israel
in all the stages of their journey.

The word of the Lord.

Responsorial Psalm PS 84:3, 4, 5-6A AND 8A, 11

  1. (2)How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord, mighty God!
    My soul yearns and pines
    for the courts of the LORD.
    My heart and my flesh
    cry out for the living God.
    R. How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord, mighty God!
    Even the sparrow finds a home,
    and the swallow a nest
    in which she puts her young–
    Your altars, O LORD of hosts,
    my king and my God!
    R. How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord, mighty God!
    Blessed they who dwell in your house!
    continually they praise you.
    Blessed the men whose strength you are!
    They go from strength to strength.
    R. How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord, mighty God!
    I had rather one day in your courts
    than a thousand elsewhere;
    I had rather lie at the threshold of the house of my God
    than dwell in the tents of the wicked.
    R. How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord, mighty God!

Alleluia SEE ACTS 16:14B

  1. Alleluia, alleluia.
    Open our hearts, O Lord,
    to listen to the words of your Son.
    R.Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel
Mt 13:47-53

Jesus said to the disciples:
“The Kingdom of heaven is like a net thrown into the sea, which collects fish of every kind. When it is full they haul it ashore and sit down to put what is good into buckets. What is bad they throw away. Thus it will be at the end of the age. The angels will go out and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.”

“Do you understand all these things?”
They answered, “Yes.” And he replied, “Then every scribe who has been instructed in the Kingdom of heaven is like the head of a household who brings from his storeroom
both the new and the old.” When Jesus finished these parables, he went away from there.

The Gospel of the Lord.

Reflection 1 – Compassionate and patient God

Sometime ago, we quoted Matthew’s gospel, which says: “No, if you pull up the weeds you might uproot the wheat along with them. Let them grow together until harvest; then at harvest time I will say to the harvesters, “First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles for burning; but gather the wheat into my barn.” This gospel parable shows us how compassionate and patient God is.

No matter how sinful, broken and wounded we are, He will give us all the chances to change, be restored and be the person that He wants us to be. He allows us to fellowship with those who have been obedient to Him and who allowed His will to prevail in their lives. With the hope that we will realize our sins and wrong doings and in time repent of our ways, He gives us every opportunity to turn around and mend our sinful ways. No matter how broken and sinful we have been, no matter how poor a Christian witness we have been, God will never write us off as hopeless.

No one knows when judgment day will be. It can be today or tomorrow, a day when the good and those who abide on the Lord will be harvested. Knowing how much God loves us and cares for us; He will always provide a way by which we will all be with Him. But man has been blessed with a free will and that can change our circumstances. Despite all God has done for us, our complacent hearts may still opt to be on the other side.

Today’s gospel presents to us the consequence of the choices we may have made in our lives after all the chances God has given us. It gives us an uncompromising black and white approach to goodness and worthlessness as it is said: “The Kingdom of heaven is like a net thrown into the sea, which collects fish of every kind. When it is full they haul it ashore and sit down to put what is good into buckets. What is bad they throw away. Thus it will be at the end of the age.” This will all transpire during the second advent of Christ, our Lord. A separation will take place, the righteous will enter the father’s kingdom while the bad and unrighteous will be consigned to a place of fire where there is wailing and grinding of teeth.

As followers of Christ who hope to be in his kingdom, we then ought to go through the rummage of our lives, look into our past and acknowledge where we may have failed our Lord. We need to look into our hearts with God on hand so that we rid ourselves of all that made us fall into sin, so that we may have the wisdom to see through our old selves and pursue what is new and will be good for us.

And as Jesus provides every way to holiness and greatness in the eyes of the Father, let us ask for the grace to be able to always sift through both new and old but cling only to what will bring us closer to our Lord and to His kingdom.   

Direction

Let us examine our hearts and ask the Lord to reveal to us everything that has brought us down in our old lives. Let us ask Him for the grace and the strength to live our new lives for Christ.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, bless us and make us worthy to be among those who will be considered good and righteous. In Jesus Name, we pray. Amen.

Reflection 2 – God’s Judgment

A great catch of fish tell us about God’s kingdom. What is Jesus’ point here? Just as a dragnet catches every kind of fish in the sea, so the church acts as God’s instrument for gathering in all who will come. Just as a dragnet does not or cannot discriminate, so the church does not discriminate between the good and the bad, the useless and the useful. God’s kingdom is open to all who will accept and believe. But there will come a time of separation, at the close of the age, when the angels will send the good and the bad to their respective destinations. Our duty is to gather in all who will come. God in the end will give the good and the bad the reward they deserve. God offers the treasure of his kingdom to all who believe. Do I accept God’s offer to believe in Jesus?

There’s a story in the Gray and Adams Commentary about a doctor who made it his chief concern in matters of religion to degrade the character and dignity of Christ. He viewed the Savior with so much contempt that He always spoke of Him in demeaning way calling Jesus, “the carpenter’s son.” Eventually, the doctor became terminally ill. During weeks before his death, he became very agitated. He remarked to the person attending him, “I’m a dying man, and what affect me most of all is that I must be judged by the carpenter’s son!”

That doctor faced the terrible future that awaits all who reject Christ. Yet, even in his last conscious moments, if he had trusted Jesus as Savior he could have found peace and received eternal salvation. How have you been treating Christ? Remember, “The carpenter’s son” is the son of God. Trust Him today! You will receive the blessing of salvation – not the sentence of condemnation (Jn 3:17).

“Lord Jesus, increase my hunger for your kingdom and fill my heart with eager longing for you that I may one day gaze your face in everlasting bliss in heaven.”

Reflection 3 – Ready to receive the kingdom of heaven

What can a story of a dragnet and a great catch of fish tell us about God’s kingdom? The two most common ways of fishing in Jesus’ time was with a casting-net (or hand-net) which was thrown from the shore and the drag-net or trawl which was let down or cast into the waters from a boat. As the boat moved through the waters the dragnet was drawn into the shape of a great cone which indiscriminately took in all kinds of fish and flotsam and jetsam swept in its path. It usually took several men to haul such a net to shore.

Reward and judgment at the end of the age
What is Jesus’ point here? Just as a drag-net catches every kind of fish in the sea, so the church acts as God’s instrument for gathering in all who will come. Just as the drag-net does not or cannot discriminate, so the church does not discriminate between the good and the bad, the useless and the useful. God’s kingdom is open to all who will accept and believe. But there will come a time of separation, at the close of the age, when the angels will send the good and the bad to their respective destinations. Our duty is to gather in all who will come.

God, in the end of this age, will give the good (those who accept God’s word and obey it) and the bad (those who reject God and his word) the reward they deserve. God offers the treasure of his kingdom to all who believe in him and who accept his only begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior. Do you hunger for God and for his everlasting kingdom of righteousness, peace, and joy?

Trained for the kingdom of heaven
What is the point of Jesus’ parable about a “scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 13:52)? Scribes were specially devoted to the study and practice of God’s word entrusted to Moses (the first five books of the Bible) and in instructing others in how to live according to it. In the Old Testament Ezra was called “the ready scribe of the law of the God of heaven” (Book of Ezra 7:6,21). He received this title because he “had prepared his heart to seek the law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments” (Ezra 7:10). Ezra’s heart was set on the kingdom of heaven because he revered God’s word and he taught others through example and instruction to love and obey God’s word.

The old and new treasure of God’s word
Why does Jesus compare a “trained scribe” with a “householder who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old” (Matthew 13:52)? Some people love to store up old prized possessions along with their newly acquired prizes. Others are eager to get rid of the old to make room for the new. So why does Jesus seem to emphasize keeping the old along with the new? Why not replace the old, especially if the new seems to be better or more useful? Wouldn’t a person want to throw away an old pair of shoes and replace them with a new pair – especially if the old pair became well-worn or torn beyond repair? But, who in his right mind would throw away an old precious jewel or some old gold coins simply because they were ancient and maybe tarnished a bit? Precious gems and gold do not lose their value with age! Like choice vintage wine they increase in value.

Jesus’ parable of the “old” and the “new” certainly points to the “older covenants” which God made with his covenanted people of the Old Testament, beginning with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and with Moses on Mount Sinai, and with King David – the precursor of the Messiah (Psalm 89:3 and Psalm 110:1). Jesus’ parable also points to the “new covenant” which he came to establish through the shedding of his blood on the cross and the anointing of his Holy Spirit who seals the new covenant on the day of Pentecost. Jesus did not come to abolish the Old Covenant but to fulfill it. The Lord calls us to treasure all of his word – all of his commandments, promises, precepts, and teaching (Psalm 119:14,72,127,162). Do you promise to keep all of God’s commands? The Lord gives strength, blessing, and joy to those who treasure all of his word.

We would be impoverished today if we only possessed the treasures of the word of God in the “Old Testament” Scriptures or if we only knew the treasures of the “New Testament” Scriptures. Both the Old and New Testament Scriptures are given by the same eternal Father, inspired by the same eternal Holy Spirit, and fulfilled by the same eternal Word, the Lord Jesus Christ, who was with the Father from the beginning and who was sent from heaven to take on human flesh for our salvation (John 1:1-3,14).

Unity of the Old and New Testaments
There is a profound unity between the Old and New Testaments. Both are divinely inspired by one and the same Spirit (2 Timothy 3:16). The Old Testament prepares for the New and the New Testament fulfills the Old – the two shed light on each other. The Old Testament prepared the way for the coming of Jesus Christ as the redeemer of all who would be saved through his sacrifice on the cross. The New Testament lies hidden in the Old and the Old Testament is unveiled in the New. That is why Jesus interpreted the Old Testament Scriptures for his disciples and explained how he came to fulfill what was promised and foreshadowed in the Old (Luke 24:27). That is why we read the Old Testament in the light of Christ’s saving death and resurrection. Do you revere the word of God in the Scriptures – both old and new – and see their fulfillment in the Lord Jesus Christ?

“Lord Jesus, may your word take deep root in my heart and transform my way of thinking, discerning, and acting. May your Spirit open my ears to hear and understand the word of God in the Scriptures that I may revere and treasure both the Old and the New Testaments which God has prepared for all who desire to enter his kingdom of righteousness, peace, and joy. Help me to be a diligent student and faithful disciple of your word.” – Read the source: http://dailyscripture.servantsoftheword.org/readings/2017/aug3.htm

Reflection 4 – God’s presence among his people

In (Ex 40:16-21, 34-38), we come to the end of Exodus and the end of an era. Moses builds the Dwelling Place in which he places the ark as the glory of God descends upon it. God’s presence has become institutionalized. He is no longer only the God of the burning bush or of the mountain. Now He dwells with His people as promised. While other religions have had their holy places, the ark travels with the people as they move to enter the Promised Land. The God of Israel is not a God of the place but of the people. Israel would always be a mixed bag but God’s presence would not depart from them. He might be among them as a word of deliverance or a word of judgment but the Lord would not abandon His people.

God’s presence among His people moved from Sinai to the tabernacle tent and now, through Jesus, as the pervasive Holy Spirit present in the community as well as in individual hearts. In the Gospel (Mt 13:47-53) the dragnet pulls in every sort of fish to be later separated on shore. Like Israel, the Church would always be a mixed bag, yet the Lord remains with His people. Some have seen the reference to the scribe who brings forth new and old as a clue to the identity of the writer of Matthew’s Gospel and a hint as to his purpose – to show Jesus as the fulfillment of everything Judaism was created to be. By the use of parables, the Lord illuminated what the disciples knew (the old) by His word (the new). We all come with differing perspectives and backgrounds to our community prayer. Like Matthew’s scribe, we should let those experiences be illuminated by the Gospel message. We carry a great deal of material for our own parables which the Gospel can light up for us. Just as God adapted His presence to nomads and wanderers and then to a tribal league, an emergent nation and finally a population in exile, so Jesus remains with His Church through all permutations and combinations until the end of time. Nobody has the power to rip the Church away from Jesus’ side.

Even in the complex mixture of the Church, there is always the opportunity for individual and community revival until the judgment. (Source: Rev. Joseph Krempa, Daily Homilies, Year I. New York: Alba House, 1985, pp. 113-115).

Reflection 5 – Sorting out the good and the bad

On the age-old question of the coexistence of good and evil in the world, the late Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., had this typically outrageous observation: “There is no reason why good cannot triumph as often as evil. The triumph of anything is a matter of organization. If there are such things as angels, I hope that they are organized along the lines of the Mafia.”

At the end of the parable in today’s gospel (Mt 13:47-53), angels are, in fact, busily organizing all that has been “collected” by the great dragnet of God’s judgment. There is no indication that they have any difficulty discerning between the wicked and the just. They just make two piles and then sweep the wicked off into that “fiery furnace.”

Matthew’s gospel has two other stories that elucidate this problem of the intertwining of good and evil. One of those precedes today’s passage by only a couple dozen verses and uses the image of “weeds among the wheat” (Mt 13:24-30). In that parable the owner of the field seems resigned to the inevitable intermixing of good and evil, at least until the harvest. Trying to separate the two on this side of the kingdom, the story implies, may bring more harm than benefit.

The other story provided by Matthew (25:31-46) has the Son of Man doing the separating, and this time the just and the wicked are classified as “sheep” and “goats.” We get some sense of the surprising criteria that determine who goes where: tending to the needy, showing hospitality to strangers, visiting those who are ill or imprisoned. What’s shocking about this tale is that many of the “commandment keepers” are condemned for having neglected the needy, while some religious “slackers” are rewarded for their seemingly insignificant acts of charity.

The moral is? It’s not always easy in this world to tell the righteous from the not-so-good, but we have some indication from Jesus of where we will find the former. Hint: it’s more likely to be a soup kitchen than a synagogue, a hospital than a house of prayer, a rescue mission than a mosque. While prayer may motivate and strengthen us for good works, Jesus suggests that the real proof lies in the works themselves. (Source: Jim Johnston, Weekday Homily Helps, Ohio: St. Anthony Messenger Press, July 31,2008).

Reflection 6 – What are you collecting?

After listening to what Jesus says in our Gospel reading today, consider what you’re collecting in your net. When your life on earth has reached its end and Jesus comes to take you home, what will be in your net? What will you try to drag into heaven? What will the angels have to sort through to yank out and help you get rid of in “the fiery furnace”? (Now there’s a picture of purgatory!)

And what will the angels show to God and say in great delight, “Hey, look at this! Awesome! Really cool!”

Whatever we collect that does not belong to the kingdom of God is worthless. It won’t give us heaven on earth and it won’t get us into heaven later. In fact, it’s a handicap that will lengthen our purging process in purgatory. We might see value in it now, but that’s only an illusion. The value we’ve assigned to it does not exist in real life — “real life” is the eternal life that we have with God.

I think my computer is valuable because I’m using it to share my insights with you, but I can’t take it to heaven. I can’t even keep it working well here on earth! Therefore, it’s worthless in real life and a burden. What isvaluable, however, is how I choose to use it as a tool for the kingdom of God. Although my words can disappear off the monitor with a click of the delete button (or the unexpected meltdown of the hard drive), the words you receive from me as inspirations of the Holy Spirit will last forever.

The gifts that God gave me that enable me to share these inspirations, and the partnership I have with the Holy Spirit who uses them to bless you and heal you and challenge you, and the ability to convey these words with compassion so that the challenges don’t drive you away, and the gift of being able to pay for the equipment and Internet services that deliver them to you — these are the truly valuable treasures that have been caught in my net.

I can choose to use my net to capture things that have no lasting value. I could write fluff that is nice to your ears but does nothing to help you travel farther on your journey of holiness. I could use my writing talents for immoral trash or stories that glamorize violence and horror. But why should I do any of that? It’s meaningless. It’s a waste of my short time on earth!

What are you collecting? What’s in your net that the angels will have to hurl when Jesus takes you to heaven? Will you be wrestling the angels for it? You can get rid of the bad fish now! Utilize the power of the Sacrament of Reconciliation, that sacred gift that helps us make room for the awesome stuff of God, the valuable treasures that we can use in his kingdom today and will be ours to enjoy forever. – Read the source: http://gnm.org/good-news-reflections/?useDrDate=2017-08-03

Reflection 7 – St. Peter Julian Eymard (1811-1868 A.D.)

Born in La Mure d’Isère in southeastern France, Peter Julian’s faith journey drew him from being a priest in the Diocese of Grenoble (1834) to joining the Marists (1839) to founding the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament (1856).

In addition to those changes, Peter Julian coped with poverty, his father’s initial opposition to Peter’s vocation, serious illness, a Jansenistic overemphasis on sin and the difficulties of getting diocesan and later papal approval for his new religious community.

His years as a Marist, including service as a provincial leader, saw the deepening of his Eucharistic devotion, especially through his preaching of Forty Hours in many parishes.

Inspired at first by the idea of reparation for indifference to the Eucharist, Peter Julian was eventually attracted to a more positive spirituality of Christ-centered love. Members of the men’s community, which Peter founded, alternated between an active apostolic life and contemplating Jesus in the Eucharist. He and Marguerite Guillot founded the women’s Congregation of the Servants of the Blessed Sacrament.

Peter Julian Eymard was beatified in 1925 and canonized in 1962, one day after Vatican II’s first session ended.

Comment:

In every century, sin has been painfully real in the life of the Church. It is easy to give in to despair, to speak so strongly of human failings that people may forget the immense and self-sacrificing love of Jesus, as his death on the cross and his gift of the Eucharist make evident. Peter Julian knew that the Eucharist was key to helping Catholics live out their Baptism and preach by word and example the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Quote:

“The Eucharist is the life of the people. The Eucharist gives them a center of life. All can come together without the barriers of race or language in order to celebrate the feast days of the Church. It gives them a law of life, that of charity, of which it is the source; thus it forges between them a common bond, a Christian kinship” (Peter Julian Eymard).

Read the source:  http://www.americancatholic.org/Features/Saints/saint.aspx?id=1929&calendar=1

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Julian_Eymard 
PETER JULIAN EYMARD
St Peter Julian Eymard.jpg
APOSTLE OF THE EUCHARIST
BORN 4 February 1811
La MureGrenoble, France
DIED 1 August 1868 (aged 57)
La MureGrenoble, France
VENERATED IN Catholic Church
BEATIFIED 12 July 1925 by Pope Pius XI
CANONIZED 9 December 1962 by Pope John XXIII
MAJOR SHRINE Santi Claudio e Andrea dei Borgognoni
FEAST 2 August
ATTRIBUTES EucharistMonstrance,Eucharistic Adoration,Eucharistic CongressCopeHumeral Veil Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament

Saint Peter Julian Eymard, SSS (ɛy’mɒ), (La MureGrenoble, France, 4 February 1811 – La Mure, 1 August 1868) was a French Catholicpriest, founder of two religious institutesCongregation of the Blessed Sacrament and Servants of the Blessed Sacrament

Life[edit]

Eymard was born 4 February 1811 at La Mure, Isère in the French Alps. His father was a smith whose second wife was Julian’s mother.[1] All his life Peter Julian (or Pierre-Julien in French) had an intense devotion to Mary, the Mother of God. Before his first communion on 16 March 1823, he went on foot to the shrine of Notre-Dame du Laus.[2] Later, he came to know about the apparition of Notre-Dame de La Salette and enjoyed traveling to various Marian shrines throughout France.[3]

When his mother died in 1828 Julian resolved to enter the novitiate of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate and, despite his father’s opposition, did so in June 1822. His first attempt as a seminarian ended because of serious illness.[2] Throughout his life, Eymard suffered from poor health, particularly ‘weakness of the lungs’ and migraine.

After his father’s death in 1831, he succeeded with the help of his former superior in gaining admission to the major seminary of the Grenoble diocese. On 20 July 1834, he was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Grenoble. He was assigned assistant pastor at the town of Chatte, and three years later, appointed pastor of Mount Saint-Eynard.[4]

On his second assignment at Monteynard, the parish, which had a dilapidated church and poor rectory, consisted of a farming community with few people attending Mass. There had not been a regular pastor there for some time. The bishop urged Father Eymard’s two sisters to move with him to the rectory, which they did. In fact, they furnished the rectory, for the parish was very poor. Although Eymard is known to have revitalized the place, he was dissatisfied with parish work, and decided to join the Marists (the Society of Mary). His two sisters were quite devastated as they had dedicated their lives to serving him.[5]

On August 20, 1837 he entered the Society of Mary seminary at Lyon, and made his profession in February 1840. He worked with lay organizations promoting devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary and to the Eucharist, particularly in the Forty Hours. He rose to the position of Provincial of the Society at Lyon in 1844. His new responsibilities included charge of the Third Order of Mary, a lay group dedicated to Marist spirituality and to promotion of the Christian family. St. John Vianney was a member.

His eucharistic spirituality did not spring full-grown from some mystical experience, but progressively.[6] As visitor-general, Eymard travelled throughout France to inspect the various Marist communities. He became familiar with the practice of sustained eucharistic worship during a visit to Paris in 1849, when he met with members of the Association of Nocturnal Adorers who had established exposition and perpetual adoration of the Blessed Sacrament at the Basilica of Our Lady of Victories. After praying at the shrine of Our Lady of Fourviere on 21 January 1851, Eymard moved to establish a Marist community dedicated to eucharistic adoration. However, his desire to establish a separate fraternity promoting adoration of the Blessed Sacrament was not seen as part of the charism of the Marists.[5] His superiors disapproved, transferring him to the Marist College at La Seyne-sur-Mer. Eventually, Eymard resolved to leave the Society of Mary to begin his new religious congregation with the diocesan priest Raymond de Cuers.[7]

Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament[edit]

Le Père Eymard, by Rodin

On 13 May 1856, the Paris bishops consented to Eymard’s plans for a ‘Society of the Blessed Sacrament’. After many trials, Eymard and de Cuers established public exposition of the Blessed Sacrament in Paris on 6 January 1857 in a run-down building at 114 rue d’Enfer (which literally meant ‘street of hell’).[7]

The Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament began working with children in Paris to prepare them to receive their First Communion. It also reached out to non-practicing Catholics, inviting them to repent and begin receiving Communion again. Father Eymard established a common rule for the members of the society and worked toward papal approval.[5] A second community was established in Marseille in 1859, and a third in Angers in 1862. Pius IX granted a Decree of Approbation in June 1863. Eymard was a tireless proponent of frequent Holy Communion, an idea given more authoritative backing by Pope Pius X in 1905.

The French sculptor Auguste Rodin received counsel from Eymard when Rodin entered the Congregation as a lay brother in 1862, having given up art after the death of his sister. Eymard recognized Rodin’s talent and advised him to return to his vocation. Rodin later produced a bust of Eymard.

Servants of the Blessed Sacrament[edit]

In 1858, together with Marguerite Guillot, he founded the Servants of the Blessed Sacrament, a contemplative congregation for women. He is quoted as saying, “You take communion to become holy, not because you already are.”[7]

Eymard was a friend and contemporary of saints Peter ChanelMarcellin Champagnat, and Blessed Basil Moreau. He died at the age of fifty-seven in La Mure on 1 August 1868, of complications from a stroke.[4]

Veneration[edit]

He was declared venerable in 1908, beatified by Pope Pius XI on 12 July 1925,[4] and canonized by Pope John XXIII on 9 December 1962.[2] (Also canonized with Eymard were Servite priest Anthony Mary Pucci (1819-92) and the Capuchin lay brother Francis Mary of Camporosso (1804-66)). His feast day is celebrated in the Roman Catholic Church on 2 August. John Paul II named Eymard “Apostle of the Eucharist”.[6]

Patronage[edit]

Saint Peter Julian Eymard is a patron saint of Saint Jean Baptiste Catholic Church in New York City. A shrine to the saint in the church contains a reliquary bearing the right arm humerus bone of the saint.[8]

Legacy[edit]

Eymard is recognised as a major contributor to nineteenth century French spirituality.

The following landmarks were named to honor Father Eymard:

  • Rue Julien-Eymard (Julien Eymard Street), located in Shawinigan, Quebec, Canada;
  • Eymard Drive (formerly Sunnyside Drive), located along E. Rodriguez St., Quezon City, Philippines, where the provincial house of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament, Province of our Lady of the Assumption is located;
  • Peter Julian Eymard Street., Located in Sto. Nino Homes Phase 3-C, Brgy. Perez, Meycauayan City, Bulacan, Philippines
  • Catholic Parishes dedicated to St. Peter Julian Eymard are located in Algiers, New OrleansLouisiana, USA;MooroolbarkVictoria, Australia; and Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

References[edit]