"AT the sight of the love of Jesus in His adorable Sacrament, of the isolation in which He is left, of the little piety and great indifference among so many Christians, and of the ever-increasing impiety of the age; at the view of the extended and pressing wants of the Church I have said, Why should there not be some men whose mission would be to pray perpetually at the feet of Jesus Christ in the Ever-Blessed Sacrament ?" It was thus that the Rev. Fr. Eymard, after four years of prayer and preparation, exposed to Pope Pius IX. His plan of forming the Society of Priests of the Blessed Sacrament. He explained further the various duties which the society could fulfil usefully, and which had not that systematic care which was becoming to them. Pius IX. replied with earnestness to the petition, saying, "I am convinced that this thought comes from God. The Church has need of it. Let every means be taken to spread the knowledge of the Holy Eucharist." For nearly twenty years Fr. Eymard had labored as a l\Iarist, and by reason of the positions which he held as provincial and director he was prepared for the arduous duty of forming a new community. He had tried every breach, had tested every sign before he would give any heed to the project which seemed, however, to grow more imperative when he would endeavor to put it aside. When he finally determined, after five years of careful thought and prayer, to take the step, he formulated his plan and proposed it almost as completely as it is found to-day. It comprises the Society of the Blessed Sacrament, a community of priests whose whole duty is to keep perpetual adoration in their convent and to preach the Blessed Sacrament abroad. "You do not become a member of this Society of the Blessed Sacrament," said the venerated founder to his novices, "in order to become virtuous; nor do you enter to amass a greater sum of merit and a higher degree of glory in heaven. No; for you yourself would be the first object of your service. You have entered solely to immolate your personality to the service of Jesus Christ and to procure for Him the greatest possible glory by the homage of a love which will reach as readily to the heroism of sacrifice as it will to the simplest and most natural act of your duty. The praise, the merit will go to Jesus, your master; the soldier gains the victory and dies; the king alone triumphs and obtains its glory." This spirit of complete renunciation was constantly inculcated in order that his priests might lead lives with no other though t than to make known the love of the Prisoner of the tabernacle. That this great end might be more widely gained he formed the Confraternity of the Priest Adorers. These ha,e the duty of spending at least an hour weekly in adoration before the Blessed Sacrament, whence they might draw that fervor which would be manifested in their works of zeal. That this devotion towards the Holy Eucharist might be extended, he planned the Aggregntion of Lay-Adorers, whose members spend one hour monthly in adoration. Besides this personal service, these are generally to be attached to some of the various works which centre in the Blessed Sacrament, in the tabernacle and altar societies, etc.
Rev A Tesniere, Brother Hermenegild TOSF, Paperback, ISBN 10: 1519419937, ISBN 13: 9781519419934