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Jean Eudes

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Saint John Eudes
Born November 14, 1601(1601-11-14), Ri, Orne, France
Died August 19, 1680 (aged 78), Caen, France
Venerated in Roman Catholic Church
Beatified 25 April 1909 by Pope Pius X
Canonized 1925 by Pope Pius XI
Feast August 19

Jean Eudes, or John Eudes, (November 14, 1601 - August 19, 1680) was a French missionary, founder of the Eudists and of the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity of the Refuge, and author of the Propers for Mass and Divine Office of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary.


John Eudes, born at Ri, Orne, was a brother of the French historian François Eudes de Nézeray. At the age of fourteen he took a vow of chastity.

After studying with the Jesuits at Caen he joined the Oratorians on 25 March 1623. His masters and models in the spiritual life were Pierre de Bérulle and the mystic Charles de Condren. He was ordained a priest on 20 December 1625 and began his priestly life with heroic labours for the victims of the plague, which was ravaging the country.

Father Eudes became famous as a missionary. He was called by Jean-Jacques Olier "the prodigy of his age".

In 1641 he founded the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity of the Refuge, to provide a refuge for prostitutes who wished to do penance. The society was approved by Pope Alexander VII on 2 January 1666.

With the approbation of Cardinal de Richelieu and a great number of others, Father Eudes severed his connection with the Oratory to establish the Society of Jesus and Mary (Eudists) for the education of priests and for missionary work. This congregation was founded at Caen on 25 March 1643, and was considered a most important and urgent work.

Father Eudes, during his long life, preached not less than 110 missions, three at Paris, one at Versailles, one at St-Germaine-en-Laye, and the others in different parts of France. Normandy was the principal theatre of his apostolic labours. In 1674 he obtained from Pope Clement X six bulls of indulgences for the Confraternities of the Sacred Heart already erected or to be erected in the seminaries.

He also established the Society of the Heart of the Mother Most Admirable -- which resembles the Third Orders of St. Francis and St. Dominic. This society now numbers from 20,000 to 25,000 members. Father Eudes dedicated the seminary chapels of Caen and Coutances to the Sacred Hearts. The feast of the Holy Heart of Mary was celebrated for the first time in 1648, and that of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in 1672, each as a double of the first class with an octave.

The Mass and Office proper to these feasts were composed by Father Eudes, who thus had the honour of preceding the Blessed Margaret Mary in establishing the devotion to the Sacred Hearts. For this reason, Pope Leo XIII, in proclaiming his virtues heroic in 1903, gave him the title of "Author of the Liturgical Worship of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Holy Heart of Mary".

Father Eudes wrote a number of books remarkable for elevation of doctrine and simplicity of style. His principal works are:

  • "Le Royaume de Jésus"
  • "Le contrat de l'homme avec Dieu par le Saint Baptême"
  • "Le Mémorial de la vie Ecclésiastique"; "Le Bon Confesseur"
  • "Le Prédicateur Apostolique"
  • "Le Cœur Admirable de la Très Sainte Mère de Dieu". This last is the first book ever written on the devotion to the Sacred Hearts.

He died at Caen on 19 August 1680.


His virtues were declared heroic by Pope Leo XIII on 6 January 1903. The miracles proposed for his beatification were approved by Pope Pius X on 3 May 1908, and he was beatified on 25 April 1909. St. John Eudes was canonized in 1925. His feast day is August 19, the day of his death.


This article incorporates text from the entry Blessed Jean Eudes in Catholic Encyclopedia of 1913, a publication now in the public domain.

External links

cs:Jan Eudespt:João Eudes sl:Sveti Janez Eudes sv:Jean Eudes

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