(February 4, 1811-August 1, 1868)
Born in La Mure, France, Peter felt God’s call from a young age. After some difficulties due to poor health, he was ordained as a diocesan priest. Peter always had a strong devotion to Mary, which led him to enter the Marists in 1837. He was also developing a strongly Eucharistic spirituality. On the feast of Corpus Christi in 1845, an intense spiritual experience gave him the idea to form a congregation of priests devoted to Jesus in the Eucharist. Leaving the Marists, Peter established the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament. The difficult beginnings were lived in great poverty. Peter evangelized people in the streets and prepared them for their First Communion. He involved lay people in this work and in 1858 he began a contemplative community for women, the Servants of the Blessed Sacrament. His writings on the Eucharist are still popular today.
Saint Peter Julian Eymard’s charism joined Marian devotion with a strong emphasis on the importance of Eucharistic prayer. The Eucharist is Jesus, the source of all grace. This prayer is not closed in on itself but urges us to bring the love of Jesus to others. Peter’s example can help us to reflect on our own love for and appreciation of the wonderful gift that Jesus has given us in the Eucharist. Can I make some time in my week for prayer before the Blessed Sacrament?
Saint Peter Julian Eymard, you were filled with such love for Jesus in the Eucharist that you wanted to share that with everyone. Pray for us that we too may find in the Eucharist the source of all grace and blessings, and share them with others. Amen.
© 2017, Daughters of Saint Paul