Saint John Eudes

Feast day August 19

Saints Stories for All Ages

John, born in Normandy, France, in 1601, was educated by Jesuits. He became a priest and joined a religious community, the Oratorians. Using his gifts as a preacher and confessor, he gave parish missions. He saw that parish priests needed support in becoming men of prayer and action. He held conferences for them in which he outlined their duties. Later, John started his own society of priests called the Congregation of Jesus and Mary. The members were dedicated to promoting good seminary training, which would form Christlike priests.

Christian love impelled John to feel compassion for the women who were trying to escape prostitution. He wanted a place for them to live, a refuge from their former way of life. To serve the women in these refuges, he established a society of religious women called the Congregation of Our Lady of the Refuge. It now serves the needs of troubled girls around the world.

Saint John Eudes has been called the Apostle of the Sacred Heart because he revived devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. He died in France in 1680.


  • Have the students read the following passages: John 4:5–26,39–42; John 8:1–11; Luke 7:36–50. Discuss how Jesus and the women met, how Jesus treated the women, and how the women reacted to Jesus.

  • The Apostleship of Prayer is a spiritual society dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Have the students explain the ideas in the Morning Offering, memorize it, and pray it.

Excerpted from Christ Our Life, by Sisters of Notre Dame of Chardon, Ohio

Image credit: Portrait of John Eudes by Sevend, 18th century. Public Domain via Wikimedia.