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"And I beheld, and heard the voice of one eagle flying through the midst of heaven,
saying with a loud voice: Woe, woe, woe to the inhabitants of the earth....
[Apocalypse (Revelation) 8:13]

Monday, May 22, 2017

SAINT JOHN EUDES ON THE IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY

SAINT JOHN EUDES ON THE IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY
SAINT JOHN EUDES
1601-1680
Apostle of the Immaculate Heart from Portugal

"Jesus lives in her (Mary) soul and body...His Heart abides in Her heart, His Soul in Her soul ... His virtues, mysteries, and divine attributes are loving in Her heart..."

According to Reverend Kern, St. John Eudes' writings offer a complete spirituality based on the Heart of Jesus, lovingly and willingly viewed and imitated from the Heart of Mary! St. John's whole life was immersed in the Heart of Jesus and Mary. We see this in his own form of the Magnificat,
"My soul doth magnify the admirable Heart of Jesus and Mary, and my spirit rejoices in my great Heart. Jesus and Mary have given me their Heart, this immense Heart, in order that all in me may be performed in its love. Infinite thanks to them for their unspeakable gift."



You will notice he used the singular form, Heart, when referring to the Heart of Jesus and Mary. To him it was one Heart. It was later that he used the plural Hearts in the interests of theological clarity.
St. John Eudes in his writings mentions that the Fathers of the Church made mention in their writings to the Immaculate Heart: St. Augustine, St. Leo, St. John Chrysostom, St. Peter Chrysologus, St. John Damascene, St. Ephraem, and St. Irenaeus. The references to Our Lady's Immaculate Heart are only implicit.
St. Pope Pius X called St. Eudes the Immaculate Heart's Father, Doctor and Apostle. It was through him that this devotion was made public and received ecclesiastical approbation. At his canonization, Holy Mother Church emphasized his role in establishing the liturgical devotion to the Heart of Mary. St. John Eudes, as a theologian, was the first to explain this devotion,. The feast was established first in his Congregation and later through out the French dioceses. He composed a mass and office. In 1680, shortly before his death, his book, The Admirable Heart of Mary, was completed and published. It consisted of 12 books, took him 20 years to write it, and was the first of its kind.
He referred to the Heart of Mary using 3 terms; corporeal, spiritual and the Divine. The Corporeal Heart was her physical heart, while the spiritual was her soul. It was sanctified by her eminent participation in the divine perfections. When referring to the Divine Heart, he was again referring to the union between her and her Son; this union being so intimate that he spoke of it as being but One Heart.20
St. John Eudes wrote, "Jesus lives in Her (Mary) soul and body...His Heart abides in Her heart, His Soul in Her soul ... His virtues, mysteries, and divine attributes are loving in Her heart..." These very words were later echoed by St. Margaret Mary, the recipient of the devotion of the Sacred Heart, when she said; "The most efficacious way to obtain devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus was through the Immaculate Heart of Mary." She taught this to her novices and also composed a prayer for them to pray.
In honoring the Immaculate Heart of Mary, it is not her heart of flesh that we are honoring but the affections symbolized by the heart. Thus we are lead by material heart to the spiritual heart, thereby honoring the whole person. St. John Eudes wrote,
"When, therefore, we honor the Holy Heart of the Mother of God, we honor the heart that, of all hearts, after the Heart of her Son, is the most worthy of our admiration, the most perfect, the most beloved of God, the most adorned with every kind of virtue, the most full of grace and love; the Heart that has the most tenderness for poor sinners, that is the meekest, the most compassionate, the most merciful, the most charitable, the most beneficent, the most amiable; in a word, the object that, after Jesus, has the greatest charm for heaven and earth. It is, therefore, for the best of reasons that we should make this Holy Heart the object of our tenderest devotion, and pay it all the honor and respect that its own excellence and the favor that we have received from it, demand of our gratitude and love."
In 1644, St. John Eudes observed the feast of the Most Pure Heart of Mary for his congregation on October 20. By 1648 a public feast in honor of the Immaculate was celebrated. By 1669 many French bishops were allowing the feast to be celebrated in their dioceses on February 8. In 1672 the feast was celebrated throughout France.
It was not until 1773 that a proper office received papal approval by Pope Clement XIV. Pope Pius VI in 1787 permitted the Notre Dame nuns to celebrate this feast on August 22. By 1799 several churches in the diocese of Palermo were allowed to celebrate the feast.
General papal approval was not given until 1805. Pope Pius IX in 1855 approved a complete proper Office and Mass. But it did not receive full acknowledgment until 1944, when Pope Pius XII extended the feast to the whole world to be celebrated on August 22.
Many religious confraternities, congregations and societies followed suit by honoring Mary under the title of the Most Pure or the Immaculate Heart. St. John Eudes founded many confraternities in honor of Our Lady's Heart. From 1674 to 1675 Pope Clement X wrote six bulls solemnly authorizing devotion to the Most Holy Heart of Mary. This at the request of St. John Eudes. From 1668 to 1805 many confraternities of the Heart of Mary were approved and indulgenced by the Pontiffs.
St. John Eudes wrote; "Since our salvation has been wrought in this Heart and through this Heart, it is evident that after God and His Son Jesus, this is the first foundation from which we cannot separate ourselves without incurring the evident danger of ruin and eternal damnation!"
The Church in the Decree of St. John Eudes' Beautification declared:
"Burning himself with singular love for the most Holy Hearts of Jesus and Mary, he was the first-and this was not without a kind of divine inspiration- who had the idea of a public cultus in their honor. He is therefore to be regarded as the creator of this sweet devotion, for from the beginning of the foundation of his Congregation of Priests, he caused the Feast of these Hearts to be celebrated among his spiritual sons; as its doctor, for he composed for these Hearts a Mass and Office; lastly as its apostle, for he devoted himself with his whole heart to spreading everywhere this salutary devotion."