Saint John Eudes

How little we know where God’s grace will lead. Born on a farm in northern France, Jean Eudes died at 79 in the next “county” or department. In that time, he was a religious, a parish missionary, founder of two religious communities, and a great promoter of the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Jean Eudes was born on 14 November 1601 on a farm close to the village of Ri to Isaac Eudes (born circa 1566) and Martha Corbin; he had four sisters and two brothers, including the historian François Eudes de Mézeray (1610-10 July 1683). He made his First Communion on 26 May 1613 (Pentecost) and at age 14 took a private vow to remain chaste.

Eudes studied under the Jesuits at Caen before he decided to join the Oratorians on 25 March 1623. His masters and models in the spiritual life were Pierre de Bérulle (who welcomed him into the order) and the contemplative and ascetic Charles de Condren. As a student of de Bérulle, he became a member of the French school that promoted a Christocentric approach to spiritual affairs. This was characterized by a strong sense of adoration, plus pursuit of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and of the dimensions of the Holy Spirit. Bishop Jacques Camus de Pontcarré inducted Eudes into the subdiaconate on 21 December 1624.

Jean Eudes joined the religious community of the Oratorians and was ordained a priest at 24. During severe plagues in 1627 and 1631, he volunteered to care for the stricken in his own diocese. Lest he infect his fellow religious, during the plague he lived in a huge cask in the middle of a field.Read More »