Saint John Eudes – PB – 290 pages
Never, in the history of the Church, had any tribute to our Ladys childhood been composed which so marvelously applies so many texts of holy scripture with sound Catholic doctrine and the wisdom of her confessors until Saint John Eudes composed this book. Where do we begin if we are ever to become like the little children God wishes us to emulate? Why not begin by contemplating the immaculate life of the precious and most humble maiden of Nazareth.
Saint John Eudes wrote these profoundly affective pages not only for the educators of young Christian women in his own time but for all time. What better example for the education of Catholic maidens than the most admirable early life of Mary, the “glory of Israel,” as she advanced in wisdom and grace in the days of her preparation for her divine maternity. Father Eudes wishes the faithful to behold the “New Eve,” conceived of such holy parents, Joachim and Anne, and reflect upon her perfect charity, her manifold virtues and her uninterrupted contemplation from the moment of her Immaculate Conception to her consuming “fiat,” which truly compelled, in a most wonderful way, the Son of God to come and “rest within her tabernacle.” This study of the holy childhood of the Mother of God is exactly what the title says. To be sure, other works, based upon private revelation, treat of the Blessed Virgin’s early years, but there is no book that specifically treats of the holiness itself of the wondrous child, accumulating its mass of material from the inspired revelation of the sacred scriptures, the liturgical use of the same (as applied by the Church to Our Lady’s feastdays) and the common testimony of the our Catholic fathers and doctors.
Saint John Eudes was born at Ri, a country parish near Caen, Normandy, in 1601. Endowed with extraordinary talents and filled with burning zeal for the salvation of souls, he devoted 50 years of life, until his death in 1680, to the preaching of missions and to the organization of ecclesiastical seminaries. He founded the Congregation of Jesus and Mary, generally known as the Eudist Fathers, for missionary and seminary work; the Order of Our Lady of Charity with its two observances of the Refuge and the of the Good Shepherd; the Society of the Most Admirable Heart for lay persons aspiring to perfection in the world; and lastly, Confraternities of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary for the propagation among the faithful of the devotion, of which he was the first apostle. He wrote the first Mass and Office for the special feast in honor of the Sacred Heart and of the Holy Heart of Mary, which he established thirty years before the revelations of Saint Margaret Mary.