Friday, August 2, 2013

The Saint of the Eucharist

St Jean Baptiste Church, NYC, run by the Order of St Peter Julian Eymard

Today we honor St Peter Julian Eymard, canonized in 1962 at the height of the Vatican Council II. He started the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament, devoted to the Eucharist and offering perpetual adoration. There is a church in New York City, St Jean Baptiste on Lexington Avenue and 76 th Street, where perpetual adoration is offered, and where the monstrance is placed high above the main altar, surrounded with candles and flowers. It has been staffed by the Fathers of the Blessed Sacrament since 1900. Devotions to St. Anne are observed twice on Tuesday with an annual novena observed leading up to her July 26 feast, to the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament's founder St. Peter Julien Eymard, whose feast day is today. 
The body of St Peter Julian Eymard in a sarcophagus

Peter Julian Eymard was born in 1811 and became a priest in 1834. He first joined the Marists, but then founded his own order, the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament in 1856. He  encouraged people to receive frequent communion, and also organized the first holy communion for children, two customs that were eventually introduced by Pope St Pius X. Eymard was  friends with Saints John Baptist Vianney and Peter Chanel. He died on August 1, 1868 and was beatified in 1925, and canonized on December 8, 1962. I am honored to have my two nephews named Julian and Peter, Julian already a doctor, and Peter starting medical school in September. 

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