Many do not know about Saint John Eudes. (This was written prior to his canonization.) The Breviary tells us that he is the author of the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary in his fight against the terrible heresy of Jansenism in the 1600s. Of this we read that John Eudes is: “Blessed Margaret Mary's precursor in promoting a special devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, and styled by the Sovereign Pontiff himself, Pius X., the originator of their liturgical worship.” Let us consider this: “The first adorer of the Sacred Heart was the Blessed Mother herself. The first line of Father Faber's hymn to St. John the Evangelist calls him" Saint of the Sacred Heart." With him Divine Love carried into reality the fancy of human love, making him" rather feel than see the beatings of His Heart." Long afterwards St. Gertrude in one of her ecstasies asked St. John why he had not explained for the good of the Church all the beatings of the Heart of Jesus, having himself drunk them in from Their source as he leaned on the bosom of Our Lord; and this favoured Apostle of the Sacred Heart replied to the holy Virgin that the full persuasive sweetness of that Divine Heart was reserved to be revealed at a later time when the world should have grown old and be sunk in tepidity, that it might thus be rekindled and reawakened to the love of God.” And this on Eudes' progress: “More fully than any other before the wonderful revelation, in which Jesus said, "Behold this Heart, so loving and so little loved!" Father Eudes entered into the spirit of the Devotion to the Sacred Heart; but this, instead of lessening, increases the glory of Blessed Margaret Mary. Not he with his marvellous powers of sacred eloquence, and with his devoted disciples to second his efforts, and with his wide influence already acquired over priests and people-not he, but a timid, cloistered nun in an obscure village was chosen to inaugurate that mighty development of the devotion to the Heart of our Divine Redeemer as the living symbol of His Love, which has ever since been so marvellously blessed by God -never and nowhere more marvellously than in our own day and in our own country. In the development of this devotion Father Eudes followed the usual order, Per Mariam ad Jesum, "Through Mary to Jesus." From the dawn of bis spiritual life he cherished a chivalrous allegiance to the Queen of Heaven, and he soon learned to dwell lovingly in his prayers and sermons and writings on the tenderness and holiness of her Immaculate Heart. The greatest, perhaps, and certainly the longest of his' works, has for its theme and its name, "Le Coeur Admirable de la tres sacree Mere de Dieu, ou la Devotion au tres Saint Coeur de la Bienheureuse Vierge Marie." This has just been reprinted, very carefully edited and annotated, in the very admirable edition of his complete works with which the filial piety of his sons has enriched the ascetic literature of the Church. In this series it fills three large volumes (sixth, seventh, and eighth), containing between them eighteen hundred ample pages, full of solid learning and the most ardent piety; full also of holy prayers like this :- "0 Jesus, only Son of God, Who hast willed to be the only Son of Mary, and to place us in the rank of her children and Thy brothers, make us sharers, we beseech Thee, in the love that Thou bearest to her, as also in the love that she bears to Thee, in order that we may love Jesus with Mary's heart and that we may love Mary with the Heart of Jesus, and that we may have only one heart and one love with Jesus and Mary."
Rev MAtthew Russell SJ, Brother Hermenegild TOSF, Paperback, ISBN 10: 1482717107, ISBN 13: 9781482717105