St. Peter Eymard was born in Grenoble in France. He worked with his father making and repairing knives until he was eighteen and spent his free time studying. Peter longed to become a priest so he taught himself Latin and received instruction in the faith from a helpful priest.
When he was twenty years old he joined the seminary of Grenoble and a few years later became a priest. He served in two parishes during the next five years and the people realized what a gift he was to them.
Father Eymard had a glowing love for the Holy Eucharist and loved to spend time daily in adoration. On the feast of Corpus Christi (the feast of the Body and Blood of Jesus) when he was carrying the Host in procession, he felt the presence of Jesus like warmth from a fireplace and it seemed to surround him with love and light.
He begged that the mercy and love of Jesus touch everyone as he had been touched and he asked Jesus to bless the people and take care of all their needs.
Years later he started a new religious order and they became known as the Priests of the Blessed Sacrament. Two years after that he began an order of sisters called the Servants of the Blessed Sacrament who devoted their lives to the perpetual (continuous) adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.
He wrote many books about the Holy Eucharist that were translated into different languages and are still available today.
For four years before he died St. Peter Eymard suffered severe pain, difficulties and critisim but he continued adoring the Holy Eucharist. His witness and sacrifice and example helped many people also become priests. He died at the age of 57 on August 1, 1868.
Reflection: Do we really focus our lives in the Eucharist as the center and summit of our Christian living? Do we give time to adore the Eucharistic Lord in the Blessed Sacrament? Is the beating of our hearts connected to the beatings of the Heart of Jesus?
Prayer: Gracious God of our ancestors, you led Peter Julian Eymard, like Jacob in times past, on a journey of faith. Under the guidance of your gentle Spirit, Peter Julian discovered the gift of love in the Eucharist which your Son Jesus offered for the hungers of humanity. Grant that we may celebrate this mystery worthily, adore it profoundly, and proclaim it prophetically for your greater glory. Amen.