St. Peter Julian Eymard, the founder of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament, was born in La Mure, France, on February 4th 1811. He was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Grenoble in 1834, and entered the Marist Congregation in 1839.
One dominant thought burned with fierce intensity in the mind of this saintly priest: “The Eucharist is everything; we need nothing more”. He was filled with the desire to “bring everybody to love Our Lord, and to preach only Christ, and Christ in the Eucharist”.
For this purpose he founded the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament in 1856, a body of men devoted to the Eucharist. He also founded the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament in 1864 and the People’s Eucharistic League in 1859.
He died in his home town of La Mure on 1st August 1868.
The Congregation spread rapidly and now has over a thousand religious in the major cities of twenty five countries throughout the world. In 1952, the Superior General of the Congregation, Fr. Godfrey Spiekman, founded Servitium Christi, a Secular Institute of people who lead a consecrated lay life according to the spirituality of St. Peter Julian.
On December 9th 1962, Pope John XXIII canonized Peter Julian as the Apostle of the Eucharist.