Peter Julian Eymard was a pilgrim throughout his life. He journeyed long distances to places that brought him closer to God. The power of these places remained with him and brought him back, to reflect and pray, to give thanks, and to be renewed by his experience of God.
The Eymardian Places are places where Eymard found God. They are also places where we may find Eymard in the churches and shrines that he loved, in the villages and cities where he lived and worked, and where events occurred that were significant in his life.
For an extensive treatment on the Eymardian places, an online resource of information is available on the website: www.eymardianplaces.com.
La Mure is the birthplace of Father Eymard and where he grew up. The chapel recalls his baptism, confirmation, eucharistic piety, preaching, funeral. There is also the place of his birth in 69 rue du Breuil, which today houses a permanent exposition and house where Father Eymard lived and died in 67 rue du Breuil. There is the Calvary, comprising three crosses, Father Eymard’s and his sisters’ tomb in the cemetery and other memorabilia of his life.
“You are right in thinking that I don’t forget La Mure and my sisters. If I were free to do so, I would go quickly to see you and to breathe the fresh air of the mountains. But for the present the Good God does not want this, we’ll see later.” (CO 77,1)
“I’ll pray indeed for La Mure, for the success of the jubilee, since one always loves one’s hometown a lot.” (CO 288,1)
“I pray much for La Mure so that the Good God may make it holy and happy.” (CO 308,1)
Notre-Dame du Laus is the place of his pilgrimage (at the age of 11) and on other occasions. Father Eymard will later write that it was there “where for the first time I knew and loved Mary.” (CO 119).
La Salette: This place is 40 kilometres from La Mure. On 19 September 1846 Mary appeared here to two poor little shepherds (Mélanie and Maximin). The news spread and Father Eymard believed in these apparitions from the beginning. He went on pilgrimage to La Salette a dozen times and he preached there.
“Always provide some water of La Salette as such with faith and piety, and the most holy Virgin will do the rest.” (CO 792,1)
“Here I am at La Salette at the feet of the most holy Virgin. It is ten years since I came to place in her hand the project of the Society. It is right to come to offer her the first fruit.” (CO 1257,1)
Auris, place of origin of Mr Julian Eymard, Peter Julian’s father. In 1785 at the age of twenty he married Jeanne-Marie Caix, who bore six children.
Le Freney is, the place where Marie-Madeleine Pelorce was born; she was the second wife of Mr Eymard who married her in 1804.
Monteynard: when he was 26 years old, full of zeal Father Eymard was appointed as parish priest of this town that comprised 450 inhabitants. It is about fifteen kilometres from La Mure. At present there still remains the choir of the church from the time of Father Eymard, as well as an altar, candelabra and float that Father Eymard bought for processions with the Virgin Mary’s statue.
“I have surrendered Monteynard into God’s hands.” (CO 8,1)
Notre-Dame de l’Osier: Father Eymard celebrated his first Mass here on 22 July 1834.
“I heard also that you have been to Notre-Dame de l’Osier. Well! I hope that the holy Virgin, to whom I sent you, will obtain for you great graces.” (CO 8,1)
Chatte: Father Eymard was a curate in this parish for three years (1834-1837). There is still the parish house and a plaque marking his room.
“What a long time I have wanted to see this dear town of Chatte again and Saint-Romans!” (CO 1966,1)
Saint-Romans: the chapel and Calvary bear witness to the grace of a deep awareness of God’s love. At Calet, in the same zone, there is the house of Madam Jordan and the cedar of Lebanon.
“When a soul has the joy of coming to this place, prayer is quite a delightful contemplation, in which an hour passes by quickly. Oh! Dear daughter, what I wish and often desire is that you get a taste of God this way! This lasts a long time; it is my rock of Saint- Romans.” (CO 2011,1)
Grenoble: here there is the cathedral with the altar at which Father Eymard was ordained a priest (20 July 1834) and a statue of him; the site of the former seminary with its chapel (today a place of welcome for students and the cultural centre Olivier Messiaen).
There is the chapel of adoration in which on 21 July 1868 Father Eymard celebrated holy Mass for the last time.
“Conference at the major seminary on faith: Become men of faith. Don’t be astonished at this proposal; men of faith are rare. I’m speaking of positive faith, a privilege.” (PE 18,1)
Lyon: in this city there are many important places
- La Puylata, a provincial house of the Society of Mary, in which Father Eymard used to preach to the Third Order of Mary.
“1st day of the month of Mary - 1st Meditation : Mary is my mother: It is Jesus who gave me Mary as a mother, how good he is! to have given me such a powerful and tender Mother!” (PT 169,1)
- the house of Pauline Jaricot and the centre of evangelization, where Father Eymard used to animate prayer each week.
“When Miss Jaricot asked me to preach, it was my pleasure, my happiness to speak of St Philomena.” (PS 169,1)
- the Cathedral of St John, witness of the johannine spirituality of Father Eymard in the spiritual milieu of Lyons.
“I don’t know if you will have a beautiful procession today; there was a magnificent one this morning at the cathedral. Lyons is very tranquil.” (CO 200,1)
- the Church of St Paul: on 25 May 1845, when he presided at the procession of Corpus Christi, Father Eymard was confirmed in his attraction.
“The procession of Corpus Christ, they say, was admirably recollected: people still have religion in their hearts.” (CO 56,1)
- Fourvière : this is where on 21 January 1851 Father Eymard received a ‘grace of vocation,’ a calling to work towards establishing a body of men for reparatory adoration.
“Fourvière is for one a word of hope and salvation; one goes there to utter the secret of one’s sorrows, one takes there one cross and one becomes always consoled.” (PG 171,8)
“Today thirteen years ago Our Lord deigned to give me at Fourvière the beautiful and lovable thought of the Blessed Sacrament. May he be always praised and blessed for this!” (NP 24,1)
- the chapel of the hospital at Bellecour square, where he met Marguerite Guillot.
“I send you your New Year’s gift: the two Councils of the Third Order of Mary have accepted you. They are doing so immediately, as a favour, rather than put it off another month. I hope that this title of Child of Mary, added to so many others, will make you very grateful to your good Mother, who is accepting you into her family.” (CO 64,1)
- Le Prado of Father Chevrier, who had many contacts with Father Eymard regarding the work of First Communion, and the possibility of unifying their apostolates.
“I love this work of First Communions, it is the royal work of eucharistic marriage; at Lyons it would be beautiful!” (CO 1020,1)
- the church of Saint-Martin d’Ainay: this is the oldest church in Lyons; it is situated near the rue de Castries (a home of Madam Jordan). Father Eymard met his Lyonese friends when he celebrated Mass here.
Letter to Natalie Jordan: “I’ll bless you in passing, regretting that I’ll be unable to go to see you; for, if I had time, I would be glad to say Mass at Ainay.” (CO 780,1)
Saint-Bonnet-le-froid: residence of Mr Blanc de Saint-Bonnet, a philosopher, writer and friend of Father Eymard. It is in the enchanting atmosphere of this place that Father Eymard was welcomed during the whole month of October 1863 when he could dedicate himself with tranquillity to writing the rules for his two institutes.
“I remained a month at the mountain of Saint- Bonnet-le-Froid, at the home of Mr Blanc de Saint- Bonnet. There near the Blessed Sacrament, in complete solitude, I completed our constitutions.” (CO 1318,1)
Ars: town of the holy curé, Jean Vianney, a friend of Father Eymard. In the sacristy of the basilica where the holy curé used to hear men’s confessions, Father Eymard met him for the last time; this was in the first day of May 1859.
“Do you know that there is a great person in France in our days? A poor country parish priest who works miracles, the parish priest of Ars” I dare not say that he is my friend, he is too holy for that!” (PO 20,27)
Belley: a place where Father Eymard lived from 1840 to 1844 as spiritual director of the Marist college.
“I often thank Our Lord for having given me the grace to exercise the holy ministry in regard to youth and children. This is the most meritorious ministry and the most consoling. One is preparing priests for the Church, one can take care of children with all the attentiveness of a mother.” (CO 42,1)
Saint-Chamond: is where Father Eymard preached the Lenten sermons of 1851 and 1856. In the chapel of the College of Sainte-Marie there is the statue of the Virgin of Valbenoîte, of the flood of 1849.
“I thank you very much for your good prayers for my Jubilee of Saint-Chamond; the Good God blessed it beyond all expectations; his grace is so powerful!” (CO 263,1)
Lantignié: where the Congregations of Adorers of Jesus-Hostie was founded by Sr Benoite.
“I am very glad for the good news about the chapel of Lantignié, which will be a real blessing for the family and village!” (CO 1508,1)
“They are waiting for me at Lantignié; this journey is time wasted before the Master. Your duty to yourself is to remain in the houses to teach them the interior life and charity.” (NP 28,1)
Chaintré: the place where Father Eymard spent the last months of his life as a Marist (1855-1856).
“Father Favre at the feet of the Pope forgot my business… I prayed at Chaintré… I felt in me something so strong and so clear, that I asked… to be freed of my vows; and seeing my fixed determination, he granted this.” (CO 607,2)
La Seyne-sur-mer (Toulon): it is here that while Father Eymard was superior of the Marist college (1851-1855), during thanksgiving after Mass on 18/19 April 1853 he understood that he had to devote himself entirely to the work of the Blessed Sacrament.
“You have guessed something of it, but not all: it is a matter of establishing the Order of the Blessed Sacrament, that is the great thought.” (CO 405,1)
Paris: place of the foundation (13 May 1856). Father Eymard lived here for twelve years.
“At last, after twelve days of waiting, prayers, tears and surrender of myself, the trial is ended: I was told twice that they believe the will of God was to be that I should dedicate myself to the Work of the Most Blessed Sacrament... The Archbishop of Paris [M.- D. Sibour] welcomed this Work with great pleasure. He gave it his approval with a kindness that surprised us. The Bishop of Tripoli [Léon Sibour], who is its ecclesiastical Superior, has given all the faculties.” (CO 572,1)
Angers: This is where the third community of the religious of the Blessed Sacrament was opened and the place of the canonical foundation of the Sister Servants of the Blessed Sacrament (26 May 1864).
“Welcome! You come to God’s voice to raise up a new throne to Our Lord, to enkindle here the first hearth that must spread and not be extinguished till it reaches the end of the world. You are blessed! You have been chosen as the first to begin this new Cenacle, where you will be happy. You have received the first grace, be faithful!” (CO 1391,1)
Brussels: where two communities of the religious were founded, in 1866 and 1867.
“Oh! How happy I am! Our Lord has a new throne in the capital, which was not going to happen, and now our church is fully in the centre of the capital. … And do you know that on the day of our entry into Brussels, five novices entered? Now ask the Holy Virgin to have a bouquet of women adorers.” (PS 575,3)
Marseille: where the second community was founded
“Since last I have written to you, I have been in Marseilles, to set up our little foundation; I left there three priests, a cleric and two brothers: six in all. They have daily expositions; a great number of pious persons follow the adoration.” (CO 919,1)
Chasselay (Rhône): where Marguerite Guillot was born (4 December 1815)
Saint-Maurice: place of the first novitiate (1866)
“We have also a great consolation that is being prepared, we have the hope of opening our novitiate at Saint Maurice at the end of the month, I was hoping to open it yesterday, but it was not ready. Our Lord will be there on a throne that will be best of all, we do not have houses except in cities, there where the novitiate will be it is calm, tranquil.” (PS 601,3)
Rome: there is a guide “Rome with Father Eymard” in the form of a booklet which presents the Eymardian Places in the City.
“My dear brothers, there is nothing so beautiful as what is today in Rome. For a hundred years a pope had the tomb of St Peter opened, and since he has remain there, the Holy Father has wanted that these relics be brought out of their treasure, a thing that had never been done and today there are six hundred bishops in Rome to glorify St Peter and Pius IX, since indeed St Peter lives in Pius IX.” (PS 627,1)
Go to: www.eymardianplaces.com