Saint Brigid Religious Education
100 Mayflower Street
West Hartford, CT 06110
St. John Eudes
Feast day: August 19
St. John Eudes was born in 1601 in the village of Ri, Normandy, France,
to pious parents who consecrated him to the Holy Virgin. In 1615 he made
a vow of chastity while he was studying with the Jesuits of Caen. On
that occasion he consecrated himself to Mary, and from then was notable
for his fervent devotion to her.
He left the Jesuits to enter the Congregation of the Oratory, founded by
the famous Fr. Pierre de Berulle, who worked to re-establish orthodoxy
of doctrine and sanctity of life among the clergy. St. John Eudes
thought that the training of priests should also be a priority, so in
1643, he left the Oratory and founded the Society of Jesus and Mary (the
Eudists Fathers) to specialize in seminary education. Its first seminary
opened in Caen, shortly followed by many others.
In order to convert women of ill-fame and assist those who had converted
from a wayward life, he founded another institution, the Congregation of
Our Lady of Charity. He also instituted the parish mission to evangelize
the neglected souls. For long years, he preached to large crowds in
churches or the open fields, or in the courts of nobles and the King.
His sermons were known for his strong condemnation of the vices of his
audience and their great eloquence supported by his eminent sanctity.
He spread the devotion to the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, and was
responsible for getting the church to accept liturgical offices in its
honor. Always faithful to the Chair of Peter, he was persecuted by the
Jansenists, whom he counter-attacked with energy.
He died August 19, 1680, pronouncing the names of Jesus and Mary.