In July we had the pleasure of being invited by Father Loyola Gagne from the parish of the Blessed Sacrament in Quebec. Besides Quebec, we were invited by the Brothers and Sisters of Jerusalem in Montreal and the Sisters of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Saint Damien de Belchasse. We also went on pilgrimage to Notre Dame du Cap to entrust our work, abused children, abusing adults and all the praying members to the Virgin Mary. We went as well to Sainte Anne de Beaupre where we entrusted the same intentions to Saint Ann, Jesus’ Grandmother.
May our cousins from Quebec be thanked for welcoming us so warmly and fervently: 65 praying members have thus joined us which brings the number of praying members in Quebec to about 100 and the total number of ‘small flames of Mercy’ to more than 1,800. Thank you Lord!
Father Loyola Gagné who belongs to the congregation of the Blessed Sacrament, introduced us to the life of Saint Peter-Julian Eymard, the founder of this congregation. We asked him to introduce him to you too thanks to the few lines below:
THE EUCHARIST: HIS PASSION
A man of his time
Peter Julian Eymard was born on February 4th 1811 in La Mure d’Isere. He died on August 1st 1868. Therefore he lived between the end of the Napoleonic wars and the First Vatican Council. Without him being aware of it, like the huge majority of his contemporaries, a new world was born around him, a legacy of the French Revolution. The first creations of a new technology emerged: the railway, photography, medicine, the uses of steam… The working masses attracted by the budding big industry began to gather round the cities. They will form the proletariat whose poverty will be extreme and without any immediate hope.
His contemporaries were Mgr de Mazenod, the Curate of Ars, Father Chevrier, Father Jean-Claude Colin, Pauline Jaricot and Emilie Tamisier. They became his friends.
A parish priest in the diocese of Grenoble, then a Marist in Lyons, Peter-Julian Eymard was quickly struck by the spiritual poverty of his time. He meditated and studied. ‘I’ve often thought about the remedies for this indifference taking possession so frighteningly of so many Catholics and I found only one: the Eucharist, the love of Eucharistic Jesus. The loss of faith comes from the loss of love, darkness from the loss of light, the icy cold from death, from the absence of fire. Ah, Jesus didn’t say: I’ve come to bring the revelation of the most sublime mysteries, but I’ve come to bring fire on earth’ (Letter,1851).
A grace for this time
It was his own experience of faith and love for the Lord, strengthened by discreet and powerful graces that he proposed to those who came to share with him the bread of his life. Peter-Julian Eymard felt irresistibly attracted by the sacrament of the Eucharist. It was for him an exceptional way of meeting the Lord, of being in communion, in intimate fusion with Him. This attraction was at the origin of his sacerdotal vocation and of his ministry.
Why wouldn’t the Eucharist be the great grace chosen by God to give the modern world a renewal of its faith and love? Father Eymard was convinced of that by the strength of the Holy Spirit and was ready to dare anything to bear witness to this grace. ‘I feel irresistibly attracted to our Lord, but I had never felt this attraction so strongly. In my sermons, in my advice of piety, this attraction inspires me to introduce everybody to the knowledge and love of our Lord, to preach only Jesus and Eucharistic Jesus… Here is what I promised with all my heart and with all my soul. This is a resolution firmly made. From now on, it will be the subject of all my prayers, of all my wishes’ (1845).
A man of prayer who saved long moments of his days to worship the Blessed Sacrament, Father Eymard was also the apostle who questioned and encouraged to the living faith in the Eucharist. According to witnesses, he was a fascinating preacher who repeated tirelessly the call that the Real Presence in the Eucharist addresses to Christians. Priests, laymen and consecrated people confided in him. He was a thoughtful and much sought-after adviser. He was in correspondence with them (nearly 1,500 letters). True to his friends and discreetly generous, he used his influence to train men and women able to take on responsibilities in the Church of their time. He did his best to get in touch with adults who had been deprived of any Christian initiation by social uprooting. For them, he created the work of the First Communion of Adults aimed at factory workers in the suburbs, ragmen and dropouts.
His great work was the foundation of two congregations destined to share his contemplation and his ministry: the friars and servants of the Blessed Sacrament. He also thought of gathering laymen in an association devoted to the service of the Real Presence in the Eucharist through adoration and ministry.
In 1868, he died in La Mure, his native village, worn-out, without completing all that he had dreamt of offering his Lord. Beatified in 1925, he was canonized by Pope John XXIII, on December 9th 1962 at the end of the first session of the Second Vatican Council.
His feast day is celebrated on August 2nd.
Let’s pray with Saint Peter-Julian Eymard and let’s thank together the Lord for the great gift of his Life and of his Love, a gift continually renewed in his Eucharist:
· ‘Give me the cross, Lord, provided you also give me your love and your grace.’
· ‘To the testimony of the Word of Jesus Christ, the Church adds the testimony of its example, of its practical faith. These splendid basilicas are the expression of its faith towards the Blessed Sacrament. It didn’t want to build tombs but temples, but a sky on the earth, where its Saviour, its Lord, finds a throne worthy of him. By a jealous attention, the Church settled the worship of the Eucharist in minute detail. It offloads the job of honouring his Divine spouse onto no one; it must be said that all is great, all is important, all is divine when it deals with Jesus Christ present. It wants all the purest things in nature, all the most precious things in the world be devoted to the royal service of Jesus.’
· ‘The Blessed Eucharist is Jesus past, present and future… It is Jesus turned into sacrament. Blessed be the soul who knows how to find Jesus in the Eucharist and all the rest in Jesus-Host.’
· ‘Begin every one of your adoration hours with an act of love; bringing your soul under the influence of God will be a delight. If you begin with yourself, you will stop halfway; or if you begin with any virtue other than love, you are taking the wrong road. Does not a child kiss his mother before obeying her? The only door to the heart is love… As long as we don’t have for our Lord at the Blessed Sacrament a passionate love, we won’t have done anything… It is said but all this is exaggerated. But love is nothing but exaggeration! Exaggerating is going beyond the law. Well, love must go beyond the law.’
One of our praying members, Father Jean-Marie Speich was appointed Archbishop and nuncio in Ghana by Pope Francis, on August 17th.
He will be ordained in Rome by Pope Francis on October 24th.
Our prayer for him for God to guide him and support him in his new responsibilities.
Sister Joseph from Toulon and Valerie from La Reunion who prayed for a child and for the person who is abusing him/her departed to go to the Lord’s house and dwell in his light. Let’s pray for them and with them. Let’s pray also for all the praying members of ACIMP who came close to the Lord before them.
Let’s pray particularly for Valerie’s three young children, for her partner, her father, her mother and sister. The three of them are praying members of ACIMP.
Thanks again so much for your prayer for children and for the people who are abusing them.
May the Lord bless you every day.
Mona and Father Bruno