At the age of 12, Peter Julian Eymard received Communion for the first time on March 16, 1823, with the desire to become a priest.
By First Communion, a child enters into Christian maturity. It is the greatest act, the holiest, the most important in life. Jesus comes with joy, gives himself with happiness. He lives and reigns in the soul with delight. The love of the child for Jesus is the first, the purest, the most perfect and the sweetest. The most pleasant gift of God, it is the first, it is the morning flower of life, with its fragrance and freshness.
On the Little Booklet of the Acts Before and After Communion, Peter Julian Eymard wrote:
Renewal of My Baptismal Vows
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, in Jesus Christ, his only Son, God and man together, who ransomed the world by his cross. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of Saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen.
With my whole heart, I renounce the devil, his attractions, and his works. I want to live and die as a true Christian, with the help of God’s grace.
Before Communion, an act of faith and adoration. – My sweet Jesus, I firmly believe that your body, your blood, your soul, and your divinity are truly and substantially present in the Sacred Host that I will receive because you have told me. I adore you with all the respect of which I am capable.
An act of hope, of humility – My sweet Jesus, I hope that, when I receive you, you will give me an increase of your grace in this world, even though I am unworthy of this.
An act of love and desire – My sweet Jesus, I love you with my whole heart and above all things I desire to unite myself to you.
An act of petition – My sweet Jesus, remain in my heart. Never leave me. Remove from my heart all that is displeasing to you, and place there everything that pleases you.
An act of thanksgiving after Communion. – My sweet Jesus, I thank you for the grace you have given me to have come to live in my heart.
An act of offering – My sweet Jesus, I give myself to you, as you have given yourself to me. – End of the acts.
These acts belong to me who am, with my family name, Julian Eymard, of La Mure.
“What grace the good Lord gave me at my first Communion. I believe him, my conversion was sincere and perfect.” (NR 35,5)