Novena to Saint Peter Julian Eymard

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July 24th to August 1st 2008


Antiphon: The Priests shall be holy;
for the offerings of the Lord made by fire,
and the bread of their God, they do offer,
therefore they shall be holy. (Leviticus 21:6)

V. Pray for us, Saint Peter Julian.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

O God, Who through the preaching and example of Saint Peter Julian Eymard,
didst renew the priesthood of Thy Church in holiness
and inflame many souls with zeal
for the adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar;
we beseech Thee, through his intercession,
to gather priests of one mind and one heart,
from the rising of the sun to the setting thereof,
to keep watch in adoration before the Eucharistic Face
of Thine Only-Begotten Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ
and to abide before His Open Heart,
in reparation for those who forsake Him, hidden in the tabernacles of the world,
and in thanksgiving for the mercies that ever stream
from the Sacred Mysteries of His Body and Blood.
Who liveth and reigneth with Thee
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, world without end.
Amen.

The Friendship of the Saints

I invite the readers of Vultus Christi to join me in making this Novena to Saint Peter Julian Eymard, the Apostle of the Eucharist. I have chosen Saint Peter Julian as one of the patron saints of the Cenacle of the Eucharistic Face of Jesus in the Diocese of Tulsa, Oklahoma. It would be more accurate to say that in some mysterious way, Saint Peter Julian Eymard has chosen to help me.

Years ago, while reading the biography of Père Jean-Baptiste Muard, the founder of the Benedictine abbey of La-Pierre-Qui-Vire, I came upon a line that so struck me that I have never forgotten it. Père Muard said something like this: "It is not we who choose this or that saint to be our friend; it is, rather, the saints who choose those whom they wish to befriend. The saints choose us, and this, in the light of God's wisdom and providence."

The Priest, an Adorer

Saint Peter Julian is sympathetic, I am sure, to my new Eucharistic mission in the Diocese of Tulsa. His own Eucharistic vocation unfolded amidst sufferings of the heart and painful detachments. God called him out of the religious family he loved -- the Marist Fathers -- to begin a new work, a Cenacle entirely devoted to the Blessed Sacrament. From the beginning Saint Peter Julian Eymard's Eucharistic work comprised priests, consecrated women adorers, and laity. He challenged his little family of adorers to set souls ablaze with Eucharistic fire.

O Taste and See

Bishop Slattery has asked me to help his clergy rediscover that "the secret of their sanctification lies precisely in the Eucharist . . . The priest must be first and foremost an adorer who contemplates the Eucharist." (Pope Benedict XVI, Angelus Address, 18 September 2005). My essential work in Tulsa will be to abide before the Eucharistic Face of Jesus in adoration, reparation, thanksgiving, and intercession, and to share with my brothers in the priesthood and diaconate the fruits of my own contemplation by saying, "O taste and see!" (Psalm 33:9).

The Gift Accompanied by the Gift of All Else

A number of very concrete questions arise. For example: Will sufficient funds be donated for the construction of the Cenacle? Will the necessary support be forthcoming? To all of my questions, Our Lord has but one answer, the only one necessary: "Trust me." Does He not say in the Sermon on the Mount, "Make it your first care to find the Kingdom of God, and His approval, and all these things shall be yours without the asking. Do not fret, then, over to-morrow; leave to-morrow to fret over its own needs; for to-day, to-day's troubles are enough"? (Matthew 6, 33-34). My intention is to make this Novena with confidence, in thanksgiving and in peace. To adapt the words of Saint Paul in Romans 8, 32: "The Father gives us His own Son in the Sacrament of the Most Holy Eucharist; must not that gift be accompanied by the gift of all else?"

Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament

Like Saint Peter Julian, I cannot conceive of this Cenacle of the Eucharistic Face of Jesus without the presence of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the first Adorer of the Eucharistic Face, the Mother of Priests, and the Mediatrix of All Graces. Saint Peter Julian called her Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament. "Eucharistic souls," he wrote, "who wish to live only for the Blessed Sacrament, who have made the Eucharist your centre and His service your only work, Mary is your model, her life your grace. Only persevere with her in the breaking of the bread (Acts 2, 42)."

2 Comments

Dear Father Mark,

Thank you so much for posting Saint Peter Julian Eymard's novena. I most certainly will join you in making it.

I share with you the call to love, adore and console our "Hidden Jesus" and I also have a very special affection for St. Peter Julian Eymard and Blessed Francisco Marto .

I attended the International Eucharistic Congress in Quebec last June. I did pray a lot for you Fr. Mark, and for your intentions and projects .

The Cenacle of the Eucharistic Face of Jesus. What a beautiful name, Father ! I entrust the Cenacle to our Most Blessed Mother, to Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament. How much I'd love to see every single priest adoring and consoling our Eucharistic Love..

I'd like to mention that during my long trip I was not able to come to the site and I missed it very much . Now I am trying to catch up. God bless you for your inspiring site and your wonderful teachings !

Praying with all my heart for the new Cenacle, Father. I have confidence in Christ that He will bless your new work with every grace and provide for all the needs of the Cenacle of the Eucharistic Face of Jesus.

Such a cenacle could not have a more beautiful name in my opinion, Father. And it is not only beautiful but theologically tremendously important in our current situation in the Church and the world.

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About Dom Mark

Dom Mark Daniel Kirby is Conventual Prior of Silverstream Priory in Stamullen, County Meath, Ireland. The ecclesial mandate of his Benedictine community is the adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar in a spirit of reparation, and in intercession for the sanctification of priests.

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