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A Reflection on the Solemnity of St. John Eudes

August 19, 2020

By Bro. Peter Pocbit, CJM

We thank God for sending us St. John Eudes (14 November 1601 – 19 August 1680). He was a French Roman Catholic priest and the founder of both the Order of Our Lady of Charity of the Refuge in 1641 (from which branched out the Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd a.k.a. Good Shepherd Sisters) and the Congregation of Jesus and Mary (a.k.a. The Eudists) in 1643.

His whole life was animated by a deep desire to witness the baptismal life which is for all, a way of union with Christ, to be with him one heart. Canonized in 1925, the Church recognizes him with this very special title: "Father, Doctor and Apostle of the Liturgical Cult of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary".

“God loves and saves all human beings, without exception, in His Son, Savior of the world (Acts 10: 34-36). For St. John Eudes, God is so good by letting humanity experience the loving mercy of God. To put it simply, God desires greatly that humanity may receive and experience the beauty and joy of life. God wants all people to enter a loving communion with Him. This is the original plan God has in mind before and during the act of creation.

Our dear saint represents God’s loving care for those people especially the forgotten and the abandoned. This led him to founding the Our Lady of Charity of the Refuge which assisted prostituted women. And the foundation of the Congregation of Jesus and Mary was borne out of witnessing ill-formed clerics and a desire to form pastors after the heart of God.

In his lifetime, he witnessed how Christians were not living out their baptismal calling. This led him to work zealously in parish missions to emphasize the true identity of the baptized and its ramifications.

For St. John Eudes, God has His home in the hearts of people. It is the fitting and only abode of God here on earth. He re-affirms the true nature of man and woman by emphasizing the connection between God and humanity that is brought about by Baptism. Being baptized in the name of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Spirit allows God to reach out to humanity and pour out His whole self generously and unreservedly.

For our dear saint, every soul is worthy of salvation and healing. There is an urgency for us, the baptized, to take responsibility of our true calling and thus recognizing this nobility for mission. Mission is another step of our calling. We reach out also to our neighbors by the virtue of our calling as God’s believers. Baptism puts us Christians in proper order. The zeal for missionary works of St. John Eudes reflects the urgency of God’s command to “making disciples and baptizing them…” (Matt 28:19).

For St. John Eudes, the dignity of the person lies in being loved by God, who is the sole and only meaning of his and her existence. In Christ, one has new and divine life (Rom 6: 3-4). And for the Christian every act is a continuation of Christ’s life and actions.

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