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Today is the feast day of Saint John Eudes, a French missionary and priest who is most widely known for his devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary. He even penned liturgical prayers that would later be used in the Mass for the annual feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Saint John Eudes knew that our God is a God of love and the Father sent his only son into our broken world to make us cooperators in his divine mission of love. This truth formed every action of Eudes and was a driving force behind his charitable deeds.
Eudes understood that in drawing closer to God, he must be more attentive to the challenges of humanity that continued to wound Jesus’ heart. In particular, Saint John Eudes ministered to plague victims in his diocese and lived in a huge cask in the middle of a field to ensure that his fellow religious were not infected with the disease.
During his mission work he also became aware of the unfortunate state of prostitutes who wanted to escape from their way of life. To remedy the situation, he founded a religious community called the Sisters of Charity of the Refuge. They were established to minister to the needs of these women and help them reclaim their lives and start anew.
Saint John Eudes is a perfect example of developing a personal “way of the heart” that begins with the recognition of God’s love for humanity and ends in the service of others. Let us be attentive to the needs of those around us and not only pray for them, but also do our part in helping others overcome their challenges.
- Philip Kosloski
Writer and Content Manager
The Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network (USA)