2014-09-16 05.51.36 amA Short Reflection on the Spirituality of Saint Peter Julian Eymard
by Flavio Fumagalli, SSS


Peter Julian Eymard, born at La Mure d’Isère (Grenoble) in France, on the 4th of February 1811, was baptized on the following day. After some family and vocational difficulties he eventually entered the diocesan seminary of Grenoble and, in 1834, was ordained a priest. In 1839, after a number of years of zealous pastoral ministry, he began an experience of religious life, entering the newly formed Congregation of the Marist Fathers, at Lyons. In a short time he gained the confidence of the Founder, Father Colin, who entrusted him with various important responsibilities.Read more…


“The Blessed Sacrament has always been supreme”, he wrote in his last personal retreat, thus characterising in an incisive way the form of Christian life he proposed. At the center stands the presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Faithful to the post-tridentine theology, Eymard strongly emphasized the fact of this presence and its unique character: the Eucharist is the person of the Lord. This gave rise to the concise affirmations with which he expressed his faith: “The holy Eucharist is Jesus past, present and future… It is Jesus sacramentalized… Blessed is the soul that knows how to find Jesus in the divine Eucharist, and in Jesus Hostia everything else”.Read more…


Eymard was a tireless promoter of frequent communion. In a beautiful text of 1863 he clearly expresses the central role of the Eucharist. “Convinced that the sacrifice of the holy Mass and communion in the body of the Lord are the living source and the aim of the whole of religion, each one has the duty to direct his piety, his virtue, his love, so that these may become means that will allow him to reach this goal: the worthy celebration and the faithful reception of these divine mysteries.”Read more…


“A life that is purely contemplative can not be fully eucharistic: the fireplace has a flame”. Thus wrote Eymard in 1861. An adorer, he was also an impassioned apostle of the Eucharist and he traced out ways of glorifying this mystery. The basic lines of his activity and teaching can be synthesized in the following way.

Above all, a renewal of christian life. It is not just a question of combating ignorance or indifference, but rather, and above all, of regenerating the christian life which becomes lost in the middle of a thousand practices and devotions that forget the essentials. In the preliminary draft of the “Directory” of the lay “Fraternity of the Blessed Sacrament” he lays down this principle: “Man is love like his divine prototype. Just as he is love, so he is life.”Read more…


The Eucharist is the life of the people. The Eucharist gives them a centre of life. All can come together without the barriers of race or language in order to celebrate the feast days of the Church. It gives them a law of life, that of charity, of which it is the source; thus it forges between them a common bond, a Christian kinship. All eat the same bread, all are table companions of Jesus Christ who supernaturally creates among them a feeling of togetherness. Read the Acts of the Apostles. It states that the whole community of the first Christians, converted Jews and baptised pagans, belonging to different regions, “had but one heart and one soul” (Acts 4,32). Why? Because they were attentive to the teaching of the Apostles and faithful in sharing in the breaking of the bread (Acts 2,42).Read more…


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