Feast of Saint Peter Julian Eymard
Today, all members of the Eymardian Family pause to give thanks for the life, ministry, spirituality, fidelity, and legacy of Peter Julian Eymard. He saw his life, in retrospect, as one similar to that of Jacob as a pilgrim seeking to understand and follow God’s movement in his life. The compass of his life was his devotion to Mary and the Eucharist. While ordained a diocesan priest, he felt a call to live in a religious community he found in the recently established Marist Congregation. He served faithfully in leadership in the Marists but still did not sense his pilgrimage was over.
Father Eymard wrote about a special illumination he received while leading a Corpus Christi procession. He noted that no religious congregation was devoted explicitly to the Mystery of the Eucharist. He had found the last call in his pilgrimage. His was not an easy task and was not completed by his death. When seeking approbation for his new Congregation from the Archbishop of Paris, the Archbishop told him that he did not want another contemplative order male religious in his Archdiocese. Father Eymard retorted that it was not wholly contemplative. They had already been preparing adults and street children for First Holy Communion.
Eymard was a man of his time, and his Eucharistic theology does reflect that. But he ventured further in urging frequent Holy Communion. While adoration of the Blessed Sacrament was a clear focus, he did see that the Eucharist called us to be the presence of Christ to those among us, thus his outreach to the children of the streets of Paris.
As the sons and daughters of Eymard, we are also called to live the entirety of the Mystery of the Eucharist.
Let Us Pray:
God of all creation, you raised up Peter Julian Eymard to spread the fire of love radiating from the Eucharist to the whole world. Give us the grace to do our part in the corner of the world in which we find ourselves to draw inspiration from your ongoing presence among us. May we then reach out to the poor, your “mobile monstrances” in love, mercy, and care. Amen.