St. John Eudes
Feast Day: August 19
Born: 1601 :: Died: 1680
John Eudes was born in Normandy, in France and was the oldest son of a farmer. Even as a child, he tried to copy the example of Jesus in the way he treated his family, friends and neighbors.
When he was only nine years old, another boy slapped his face and John felt himself becoming angry. Then he remembered Jesus' words in the Gospel: 'to turn the other cheek' and he did.
John's parents wanted him to marry and have a family. He gently but firmly made them understand that he wanted to become a priest. He joined the congregation of the Oratory and studied for the priesthood.
After John was a priest, there was plague in Normandy which brought terrible suffering and death. Father Eudes went to help the sick, caring for both their souls and bodies.
Later, he became a well-liked preacher of missions in parishes. In fact, during his lifetime he preached 110 missions.
St. John started many important religious congregations: the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity and the Good Shepherd nuns. He also started the Congregation of Jesus and Mary for priests. This congregation was dedicated to training young men to become good parish priests.
St. John was very devoted to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and to the Holy Heart of Mary. He wrote a book about these devotions.
John became sick after he preached an outdoor mission in very cold weather. He never fully recovered and died in 1680.
The Pope called John Eudes the apostle of devotions to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
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