St. John Eudes was born in Normandy, in France and was the oldest son of a farmer. Even as a child, he tried to copy the example of Jesus in the way he treated his family, friends and neighbors.
When he was only nine years old, another boy slapped his face and John felt himself becoming angry. Then he remembered Jesus’ words in the Gospel: ‘to turn the other cheek’ and he did.
John’s parents wanted him to marry and have a family. He gently but firmly made them understand that he wanted to become a priest. He joined the congregation of the Oratory and studied for the priesthood.
After John was a priest, there was plague in Normandy which brought terrible suffering and death. Father Eudes went to help the sick, caring for both their souls and bodies.
Later, he became a well-liked preacher of missions in parishes. In fact, during his lifetime he preached 110 missions.
St. John started many important religious congregations: the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity and the Good Shepherd nuns. He also started the Congregation of Jesus and Mary for priests. This congregation was dedicated to training young men to become good parish priests.
St. John was very devoted to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and to the Holy Heart of Mary. He wrote a book about these devotions.
John became sick after he preached an outdoor mission in very cold weather. He never fully recovered and died in 1680.
The Pope called John Eudes the apostle of devotions to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
REFLECTION: When God permits such things, it is a very positive proof that He is thoroughly angry with His people, and is visiting His most dreadful anger upon them. That is why He cries unceasingly to Christians, “Return O ye revolting children … and I will give you pastors according to My own heart”. (Jer. 3:14,15) Thus, irregularities in the lives of priests constitute a scourge upon the people in consequence of sin.
-St. John Eudes
PRAYER: O God, who wonderfully chose the Priest Saint John Eudes to proclaim the unfathomable riches of Christ, grant us, by his example and teachings, that, growing in knowledge of you, we may live faithfully by the light of the Gospel. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.