Ordinary Time: August 19th
Optional Memorial of St. John Eudes, priest
Other Commemorations: St. Louis of Toulouse, bishop (RM)
St. John Eudes (1601-1680) was born in Ri and died in Caen, France. Despite the prevailing rigors of Jansenism, he received First Communion when only a child. He studied in Paris and was ordained a priest in 1625. He soon became an outstanding missionary among his plague-stricken countrymen, living an irreproachable life and devoting all his energies to the cause of Christ. In 1643 he founded the Society of Jesus and Mary to preach missions to the people, direct seminaries, and conduct retreats for the clergy. He was a great opponent of the Jansenistic heresy, and always showed an unchanging devotion to the Holy See.Today the Church commemorates St. Bernard Tolomei, founder of the Olivetan Congregation of Benedictines. Historically today is the feast of St. Louis of Toulouse, the son of Charles II of Anjou, king of Naples. Great-nephew of Saint Louis IX, and of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary. He grew up in Provence (in modern France) and spent seven years as a hostage for his father at Barcelona and Tarragona in Spain. He was ordained at age 23.
St. John Eudes
Born on a farm in northern France, St. John was a religious, a parish missionary, founder of two religious communities and a great promoter of the devotion to the Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. He joined the religious community of the Oratorians and was ordained a priest at twenty-four. During severe plagues in 1627 and 1631, he volunteered to care for the stricken in his own diocese. Lest he infect his fellow religious, he lived in a huge cask in the middle of a field during the plague.
- Learn more about St. John Eudes here and about the order he founded here.
- Several translated St. John Eudes' books can be found at Bibliothèque Saint Libère.
St. Louis of Toulouse
St. Louis's father was King Charles II of Naples and Sicily. Charles, then a prince, was imprisoned by the King of Aragon; as a condition of Charles' release in 1288, Louis and two brothers were sent to Barcelona as hostages. There Louis was cheerful and took part in sports with other prisoners. He was also influenced by the Franciscans, and he prayed with them at night. Louis was given his freedom after seven years when a treaty was concluded with King James II of Aragon. It was proposed that Louis marry King James' sister, but he refused both marriage and the crown of Naples. He received a papal dispensation to be ordained a priest and consecrated a bishop at the age of 23. Louis went to Rome in 1296, and five days after being professed among the Franciscans, he was consecrated Bishop of Toulouse. AT Toulouse, Louis was modest, wearing an old Franciscan habit, and his devotion was an inspiration to his flock. Within a few months, however, he asked for permission to resign his office, which he had accepted out of obedience, since he felt that its duties were more than he could handle. He died in 1297, not yet 24 years of age.