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The Union of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary

In St. Francis de Sales and St. John Eudes

Arthur Burton Calkins

Part 3

III.  St. John Eudes

            We are now ready to consider the work of St. John Eudes [1601-1680], the saint acclaimed by St. Pius X at the time of his beatification in 1909 as “father, doctor, and apostle of the liturgical cultus of the Sacred Hearts.” 90 While that is a high and well-deserved encomium, it does not exhaust the reasons for his importance in our consideration. He was neither a devout humanist like St. Francis de Sales, nor a great intellectual like Cardinal de Bérulle and Jean-Jacques Olier, but he was a marvelously successful pragmatist. 91 While Gautier does not hesitate to call him one of the four “great” founders of the French School and thereby to rank him with de Bérulle, de Condren and Olier, 92 Jacques Arragain is even closer to the mark, I think, when he says that Eudes was a missionary much more than his confreres of the French School and bears comparison with the great French preachers of missions like Saints Vincent de Paul, Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort and the Venerable Jean-Jacques Olier. 93 Olier had himself invited Eudes to preach a mission at St. Sulpice, 94 and described him as “la rareté de son siècle.95 As Fr. Charles Lebrun felicitously puts it:

It cannot be denied that the Saint was greatly indebted to Cardinal de Bérulle and to Père de Condren, but, while guided by their principles, he knew how to undertake original work and, if he had not their metaphysical genius, he deserves a place by their side because of his zeal, his practical bent, his oratorical and poetical gifts, and the variety of his works ... If he is not the most profound writer of the French School, we believe that he is the most popular, and that he has contributed more than any other to the diffusion of its common teaching. 96

Formed in the Oratory of Jesus by its founder, Pierre de Bérulle and his immediate successor, Charles de Condren, John Eudes drank deeply of their spiritual teaching and made it uniquely his own. 97 If he had done nothing more than write The Life and the Kingdom of Jesus in Christian Souls, a veritable vade-mecum of the spirituality of the French School, he could be truly styled its principal exponent or “vulgarizateur.98 But it was around 1643 that his great life’s work began to come into focus as he founded that year the Congregation of Jesus and Mary following his “discovery” of the Heart of Mary as the great model and means of our union with Christ. 99 About what touched off this “discovery” we cannot be completely sure. It is known that he had been reading the writings of Sts. Gertrude, Mechtilde and Teresa at this time 100 and had been confirmed in his intuition by the mystic Marie des Valées.101 The Abbé Bremond simply holds that this “discovery” was a logical deduction from the writings and piety of the French School. 102 Cognet says that “the undoubted originality of the Eudist views ... must be credited to the author’s own genius, 103 but perhaps the statement of St. Pius X in the decree of beatification with regard to Eudes’ initiative in the matter of public worship is even more applicable to the genesis of the insight: non sine aliquo divino afflatu 104 – it was a grace, a matter of inspiration.

A.  Principles of His Mariology

Fr. Arragain dates St. John Eudes’ “discovery” of the Heart of Mary from 1641 105 and says that before that date nothing distinguishes his Marian doctrine from that of the French School. 106 While this is true, we cannot help but notice how organically this doctrine will develop into an exposition on the Heart of Mary. Notice in the following text his Bérullian emphasis on the inseparability of Jesus and Mary.

Devotion to the most Blessed Virgin, Mother of God, is so pleasing to her Son, and is so dear and commendable to all true Christians, that it is not necessary to recommend it to those who desire to lead a Christian life.

  I shall only tell you that you must never separate what God has so perfectly united. So closely are Jesus and Mary bound up with each other that whoever beholds Jesus sees Mary; whoever loves Jesus loves Mary; whoever has devotion to Jesus, has devotion to Mary. Jesus and Mary are the two first foundations of the Christian religion, the two living springs of all our blessings, the two centers of all our devotion, and the two objectives you should keep in view in all your acts and works ...

  As you must continue the virtues of Jesus and keep with you His sentiments, so you must also continue and maintain in your hearts the love, tenderness and devotion that Jesus cherished for His Blessed Mother. 107

Consistently, he argues for Marian devotion as a means of reproducing the dispositions of Jesus toward His Mother in each individual Christian. It is a dimension of appropriating the mysteries and states of Jesus. Fr. Hérambourg, the Saint’s first biographer, after paraphrasing part of the above text, adds:

In his spiritual exercises he always rendered to the Mother, in due proportion, of course, whatever he rendered to the Son. He believed that Christians ought to perpetuate the life and sentiments of Jesus Christ on earth, particularly in regard to Our Blessed Lord's devotion to Mary as manifested in the way He honored her through His choice of her to be His mother. His obedience to her, His outward behavior toward her during the time of His childhood and His hidden life, and the glory and authority which He invested in her in heaven and on earth were the chief manifestations of Christ’s deep filial respect and love for His Blessed Mother. 108

As he finds the basis for devotion to Mary in the dispositions of Jesus, so he also understands the dispositions of Mary to be totally oriented to God. Thus we find this prayer to Mary in The Life and Kingdom of Jesus:

O Mother of Jesus, I honor thee, as far as I am able, in the moment of thy holy conception, and in the instant of thy birth into the world. I honor all the love, all the adoration, praise, oblations, and blessings thou didst offer to God at that time. In union with thy love, purity, and humility as thou didst adore, love and glorify Him, and didst refer thy being and thy life to Him, I adore, bless, and love my God, with thee, my Mother, with my whole heart. 109

As a thoroughgoing disciple of de Bérulle, de Condren and, in some respects Olier, 110 it is not surprising to find him especially attracted to the mystery and veneration of “Jesus living in Mary.” 111  Hérambourg tells us about this pervasive dimension of his piety:

All Saturdays and feasts of the Blessed Virgin were consecrated to honoring the life of Christ  in His Holy Mother with all its mysteries. 112

Each year at the beginning of January, St. John Eudes took time to cast himself at the feet of Our Lord in order to adore Him in the first moment of His mortal life; to honor the thoughts, sentiments and dispositions of His soul in that first moment with regard to the Heavenly Father and to mankind. 113

He had favorite mysteries that were the principal objects of his devotion throughout his entire life. The Incarnation of the second divine Person of the Blessed Trinity drew special honor, not only by reason of the humiliations which the Son of God willed to endure in this mystery and the glory received from it by the Blessed Virgin Mary, but also because of the great blessings communicated to all men through this mystery, which constitutes the origin and beginning of their salvation. This also applied to his Congregation in particular, which took birth on the Feast of the Annunciation, the day chosen by the Church to celebrate the mystery of the Incarnation.

  The captivity of Jesus in Mary moved the Saint profoundly, and he ardently desired that the Infinite God who had become enslaved out of love might make captive his own mind and heart, his thoughts and all his affections.  He considered the mystery of the Incarnation the most important in the life of the Savior ... During the holy Season of Advent the Saint lived in union with the devotion of the Church to this divine mystery, using the aspirations by which the patriarchs of old had expressed their fervent longing for the coming of the Messias. He repeated the same supplications so that our Lord might renew in him, too, the virtues and the spirit of the Incarnation and of His life in the Blessed Virgin Mary. 114

Let us now listen to the saint himself in one of his meditations which focuses on the “mystical” rather than the “physical” presence of Jesus in Mary:

O Jesus, Thou only Son of God, only Son of Mary, I contemplate and adore Thee living and reigning in Thy most holy Mother, the divine Author of her existence. St. Paul says: Thou art all and dost all in all things [Eph. 1; 23; I Cor. 12:6], so surely Thou art and dost all in Thy most holy Mother. Thou art her life, her soul, her heart, her spirit, her riches. Thou art in her, sanctifying her on earth and glorifying her in heaven. Thou art in her, accomplishing greater works and giving to Thyself, in and by her, greater glory than in all the other creatures of heaven and earth. Thou art in her, clothing her with Thy qualities and perfections, inclinations and dispositions, imprinting in her a most perfect image of Thyself, of all Thy states, mysteries, and virtues, and making her so like Thee, that whoever sees Jesus sees Mary, and he who sees Mary beholds Jesus. 115

At times the statements of our Norman saint may seem excessive or too effusive. We must recall, however, that his context is ever the careful, dogmatic background of the French School. While he never fails to laud Mary as the greatest of God’s creatures, he is fully conscious that as a creature she is totally relative to God.

You must see and adore her Son in her, and see and adore Him alone. It is thus that she wishes to be honored, because of herself and by herself she is nothing, but her Son Jesus is everything in her, her being, her life, her sanctity, her glory, her power and her greatness. 116

B.  The “Conjoint” Cult of the Heart of Jesus and Mary

The two great monuments, which St. John Eudes raised to the Holy Heart of Mary, are the liturgy of the Feast of the Admirable Heart of Mary 117 and the book with the same title. 118  In both the former and the latter, it is clear that he follows the Bérullian principle of not separating the Mother from the Son so that in one sense he is celebrating the Heart of Mary as the focal point of her interior life, her mysteries, her states, her love, her person, while at the same time he is celebrating the Heart of Mary conjoined to the Heart of Jesus. 119


Let us first consider how this is true of his liturgical compositions in the opening prayer of the Mass he composed:

Deus, qui Unigenitum tuum, tecum ab æterno viventem, in Corde Virginis Matris vivere et regnare voluisti: da nobis, quaesumus, hanc sanctissimam Jesu et Mariæ in corde uno vitam jugiter celebrare, cor unum inter nos et cum ipsis habere, tuamque in omnibus voluntatem corde magno et animo volenti adimplere; ut secundum Cor tuum a te inveniri mereamur. Per eundem Dominum. 120

Here he speaks of the Son who lives with the Father from all eternity, living and reigning in the Heart of Mary by the Fathers will, and of the most holy life of Jesus and Mary in one heart. It is clear that he is speaking here of Mary’s Heart in the mystical, rather than physical sense. The same is true of the address to Christ in the prayer after communion:

Domine Jesu Christe, qui miranda sanctissimæ vitæ, passionis et resurrectionis tuæ mysteria, in sacratissimo torde Matris tuæ admirabilis conservari et glorificari voluisti ... 121

This latter conforms to the teaching of the French School in terms of the mysteries of Jesus becoming the mysteries of Mary by being preserved in her Heart, and also to the Gospel datum about Mary who “kept all these things in her heart.” [Lk. 2:19, 51].

Finally, let us consider the invitatory antiphon “Jesum in Corde Mariæ regnantem venite adoremus. Qui est amor et vita nostra.” 122 This refrain, which sets the tone of the feast, invites us to adore Jesus who reigns in Mary’s Heart.

In the beginning of his great summa on the Heart of Mary, Eudes distinguishes three hearts in Mary, which are one. The first is her “heart of flesh.” This is:

the noblest part of the human body. It is the principle of life, the first organ to begin to live and the last to be stilled in death; it is the seat of love, hatred, joy, sadness, fear and every passion of the soul. 123

Not only does this encompass the physical organ, it also involves by implication what St. Francis de Sales calls the “inferior” or “sensual” portion of the soul. 124 The second is her “spiritual heart” which comprises her intellect, will and memory as well as “the point of the spirit,” 125 in Salesian language “the superior portion of the soul” and its “summit,” 126 in the language of Scripture, the soul [psyche] and spirit [pneuma]. The third is her “divine” heart, which is really God Himself. 127 In the strictest sense, of course, the particular object of the devotion to the Heart of Mary must be limited to her corporeal and spiritual hearts. 128 The third heart is really her moral union with her Son, a logical corollary of the reality of Jesus living in Mary, so dear to the French School, but nonetheless an ens rationis, “a metaphysical entity without concrete reality,” as Père Arragain puts it. 129

Our Norman saint justifies this treatment of Mary’s “divine heart,” of this moral but not essential or hypostatic union with very convincing arguments.

Do you fear to slight the incomparable goodness of the Heart of Jesus, your God and Redeemer, if you invoke the charity of His Mother’s Heart? Do you not know that Mary is nothing, possesses nothing, and can do nothing except in, through and by Jesus? Do you not know that Jesus is everything and that He can and does accomplish everything through her? Do you not know Jesus made Mary’s Heart as it is, and that He willed it to be the fountain of light, of consolation and of every possible grace for those who will have recourse to it in their necessities? Do you forget that not only does Jesus reside and dwell perpetually in Mary’s Heart, but that He is in truth the heart of her(Heart and the soul of her soul; and that therefore coming to the Heart of Mary means to honor Jesus and to invoke her Heart is to invoke Jesus? 130

Although the Heart of Jesus is distinct from that of Mary, and infinitely surpasses it in excellence and holiness, nevertheless, God has so closely united these two Hearts that we may say with truth that they are but one, because they have always been animated with the same spirit and filled with the same sentiments and affections. If St. Bernard could say he had but one heart with Jesus: “Bene mihi est, cor unum cum Jesu habeo,” and if it was said of the first Christians that they had but one heart and one soul, so great was the union amongst them, how much more can we say that Jesus and Mary had but one heart and one soul, considering how closely they were bound together by the perfect conformity of mind, will and sentiment that existed between the Divine Son of God and His Immaculate Mother.

  Add to this that Jesus so lives and reigns in Mary that He is the Soul of her soul, the Spirit of her spirit, the Heart of her heart; so much so that we might well say that Jesus is enshrined in the Heart of Mary so completely that in honoring and glorifying her Heart, we honor and glorify Jesus Christ Himself.

  O Jesus, living in the Heart of Mary! be the life of my heart. Mary, Mother of Jesus, obtain by thy intercession, I beseech thee, that I may have but one heart with thy Beloved Son and thyself. 131


Interestingly, these excerpts embody every one of the five characteristic principles of Eudes’ Mariology, which we have sketched above. Ultimately these texts show him to be profoundly theocentric and Christocentric and illustrate the principle of St. Thomas that devotion is an act of religion, and that consequently the devotion we have for the saints does not terminate in them, but passes on to God, for it is God Himself whom we honor in the saints, even the greatest of them. 132

This “conjoint” cult is epitomized in Eudes’ salutations to the “Heart of Jesus and Mary,” the Ave Cor Sanctissimum 133 which dates from 1643. 134 He adapted it from ten salutations to the Heart of Mary, which St. Mechtilde claimed were dictated to her by the Lord Himself. To these he added three more salutations “Ave, Cor beatissimum; Ave Cor misericordissimum; Ave, Cor amantissimum Jesu et Mariæ” and a second part which begins “Te adoramus” and concludes with a consecration. 135 His reflections on this prayer, which continues to be recited daily by his religious families, the priests of the Congregation of Jesus and Mary, and the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity of the Refuge, demonstrate a theological discomfort on his part with the lack of clarity and theological accuracy which could result from the heavy emphasis on the “conjoint” cult. 136 He never repudiated this beautiful prayer for which he received a “nihil obstat” from two doctors of theology in 1645, 137 but he found it necessary to offer more elaborate justifications for it. Here I have recourse to the excellent detective work of Fr. Arragain:

At first he seems to have had scruples for his(famous Te adoramus of the Ave Cor Sanctissimum (We adore you, Heart of Jesus and of Mary). In 1648 at Autun when he launched it for the first time in public, he explains to us that “since Jesus is living and reigning so completely in Mary … He is the heart of her heart ... He is the Heart of Mary and, thus, to salute and adore the Heart of Mary is to salute and adore Jesus insofar as He is … the Heart of His most holy Mother.” But, in 1650, when he re-edits this salutation at Caen, he replaces the word “adore” with “honor” in the explanatory note which precedes it and in the salutation itself he puts “Te benedicimus” in place of “Te adoramus,” and in 1666, he announces to us the solution of his scruples. He says that it is necessary to take the term adoration in a broad sense 138:

Furthermore, when in this salutation I use the words, Adoramus te, the reader must not be surprised. There are three kinds of adoration or worship: the worship of latria, which is paid exclusively to God; hyperdulia, which is the special reverence with which we honor the Blessed Virgin Mary; and dulia, which is the respect paid to the saints. Do not think that when you say the words, Adoramus te, we are paying the same reverence and respect to the Holy Heart of Mary. To the Sacred Heart we owe the supreme worship that is paid exclusively to God because of His uncreated and infinite excellence; to the Holy Heart of Mary we pay special worship, on account of her created but pre-eminent excellence. 139

Finally toward 1668 or 1669, St. John Eudes came to the recognition that in the interest of greater theological clarity and precision, there should be a separate cult of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. 140  While his conception of Jesus as the Heart of Mary’s Heart, her “divine heart,had always been included in the “conjoint” cult, he now felt that the time was ripe to establish the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. He composed a Mass and Office for the feast and secured permission in 1670 and 1671 for its celebration from various Bishops under whom he worked. 141  The first public celebration of the Feast took place at Caen and almost surely at Coutances, Rennes, Lisieux, and Evreux on 20 October 1672. 142  On 29 July of that year he sent this circular letter to all his priests:

My dearest and beloved brethren:

  It is an inexplicable grace which our most amiable Savior has accorded us in giving our Congregation the admirable Heart of His most Holy Mother. But not being content, in His infinite goodness, to stop there, He has gone even further in giving us His Own Heart, along with the Heart of His glorious Mother, to be the founder and superior, the beginning and the end, the heart and life, of this Congregation.

  He conferred this great gift upon us at the birth of our Congregation, for, although we have heretofore celebrated one special and particular feast of the adorable Heart of Jesus, nevertheless we never intended to separate two hearts which God has so closely joined together, the most august Heart of the Son of God and that of His Blessed Mother. On the contrary, from the very beginning of our Congregation it has been our intention to regard and honor these two Hearts as one, in unity of spirit, feeling and affection, as is clearly indicated in the Salutation to the Divine Heart of Jesus and Mary that we recite each day, as well as in the prayer and in several portions of the Office and Mass which we celebrate on the Feast of the Holy Heart of the Blessed Virgin. But divine Providence, which guides all things with marvelous wisdom, has willed to introduce the feast of the Heart of the Mother before that of the Heart of her Son, in order to prepare the hearts of the faithful for the veneration of His adorable Heart, and to dispose them to obtain from heaven the grace of this second feast by the great devotion theyhave shown in celebrating the first ...

  It is this ardent devotion of the true children of the Heart of the Mother of love which has obliged her to obtain from her beloved Son this signal favor which He has accorded His Church, that of granting her the feast of His royal Heart which will be a fresh source of an infinity of blessings for those who are disposed to celebrate it holily.

  But who indeed would not do that? What solemnity is more worthy, more holy and more excellent than this one, the fountainhead of everything great, holy and venerable in all other feasts?  What heart is there more adorable, admirable and worthy of love than the Heart of this God-Man whose name is Jesus? What honor is not due this divine Heart which has ever rendered and will eternally render God more glory and love, at every moment, than all the hearts of men and angels can render Him in a whole eternity? ...

  Should the objection be raised that the feast is an innovation, I shall reply that innovation in matters of faith is indeed pernicious, but that it is good in matters of piety. Otherwise one would have to frown upon all the feasts in the Church, since they were also new when they were first celebrated ...

  Then let us acknowledge, my dearest brethren, the infinite grace and incomprehensible favor with which our most bountiful Savior has honored our Congregation in giving it His own most adorable Heart, together with the most amiable Heart of His Holy Mother. They are two inestimable treasures which contain an enormity of heavenly blessings and eternal riches, and He has made our Congregation their depository, that through it they may then be implanted in the hearts of the faithful. 143

In this letter, which I have quoted at such length because of my conviction of its importance as introducing the liturgical cult of the Heart of Jesus, we note that even while the Saint wishes to promote a separate feast for the Heart of Jesus, he does not abandon his emphasis on the moral union of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary. Let us see how he skillfully carried this out in the two Magnificat antiphons and the Benedictus antiphon for the feast:

Gaude, Maria, Mater Redemptoris: ecce vulnerasti et rapuisti Cor ejus, et factum est Cor tuum: ipsumque nobis dedisti, ut cum Patre et Matre cor unum habeamus, alleluia. 144

Benedictum sit Cor amantissimum Jesu et Mariae, fons vivus benedictionis, fornax amoris, thronus divinæ voluntatis, sanctuarium Divinitatis, alleluia. 145

Tibi laus, tibi honor, tibi gloria, O amantissime Jesu, qui dedisti Cor tuum dilectissimae Matri tuæ; ut ipsa tibi uno Corde in salutem humanam cooperans, digna Salvatoris Mater effici mereretur, alleluia. 146

Now it remains to be asked: why did it take St. John Eudes almost thirty years to come to the theological precision of a feast for the Heart of Jesus as well as one for the Heart of Mary? Again, I think Fr. Arragain’s answers seem closer to the mark than any others. 147 First, as one whose own spirituality was formed and molded under the powerful influence of Pierre de Bérulle, he was profoundly convinced that Jesus and Mary should not be separated. The very text of Bérulle, which we cited above on the happy union of the two Hearts 148 is cited by Eudes as an ecclesiastical approbationof his devotion to the Heart of Mary in the seventh book of The Admirable Heart. 149  Also the famous text of St. Francis de Sales in the Treatise on the Love of God had made a profound influence on him. 150  He readily testifies to these influences on him in his Life and Kingdom of Jesus where he recommends without qualification all the writings of St. Francis de Sales and of Cardinal de Bérulle, founder of the Oratory of France.” 151 Thirdly, he was greatly influenced by the Revelations of St. Bridget of Sweden, which he cites with some frequency in his magnum opus, The Admirable Heart 152 and in the circular letter of 29 July 1672 on the establishment of the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. 153  In the first book of the Admirable Heart he quotes these words of Christ to St. Bridget:

I who am God and, Son of God from all eternity became man in the Virgin whose heart was as my heart. That is why I can say that my Mother and I have wrought the salvation of man with one heart so to speak, quasi cum uno Corde:  I by the sufferings I bore in my Heart and in my body and she by the sorrows and by the love of her heart. 154

Fourthly, in terms of his mystical tendencies 155 it was natural for Eudes to stress the union of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary because love leads to the union of the lovers and Mary, as the most perfect of God’s creatures, has obviously achieved the most perfect union with God in her relationship with Jesus. 156  Finally, the “conjoint” cult was something that he could preach during his hundreds of missions. It was not an abstract doctrine for him, but a way of his convincing his hearers that the life and kingdom of Jesus, which has its greatest triumph in the Heart of Mary, can also come about in us. 157

C.  The Sacred Heart of Jesus

St. John Eudes had begun his great summa of devotion to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary, The Admirable Heart, sometime around 1660, and finished it just three weeks before he died on 19 August 1680. 158  Appropriately and poignantly, the final entry in his Memoriale Beneficiorum Dei reads: “Today, July 25th of the same year 1680, God granted me the grace to finish my book, The Admirable Heart of the Mother of God.” 159 Since the evolution of his thought had taken place by then, the twelfth and final book of his chef d’œuvre is consecrated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, thus crowning the work of his lifetime, and arriving at the summit of his thought. In this development, he shows himself to be eminently a product of the French School of spirituality, but not according to the inaccurate hypothesis of the Abbé Bremond, who held that it was just a matter of a logical step from the Bérullian Feast of Jesus to the Eudist Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. 160 The paradigm for this evolution is far better represented by Fr. Arragain, who characterizes the movement as ad Cor Jesu per Cor Mariæ. 161 Eudes himself has told us as much in his famous circular letter of 29 July l672 already quoted above:

Divine Providence, which guides all things with marvelous wisdom, has willed to introduce the feast of the Heart of the Mother before that of the Heart of her Son, in order to prepare the hearts of the faithful for the veneration of His adorable Heart, and to dispose them to obtain from heaven the grace of this second feast by the great devotion they have shown in celebrating the first ...

  It is this ardent devotion of the true children of the Heart of the Mother of love which has obliged her to obtain from her beloved Son this signal favor which He has accorded His Church, that of granting her the feast of His royal Heart which will be a fresh source of an infinity of blessings for those who are disposed to celebrate it holily. 162

The establishment of the Feast, even as the clarification of his thought on this matter, does not follow our preconceived logic, but the inner logic of Eudes the mystic. It is the crowning achievement of his entire “spiritual and apostolic itinerary.” 163 According to Eudes’ understanding, it is the gift of Mary’s Heart. He can make this assertion because for him the third dimension of Mary’s Heart, her divine heart” is Jesus Himself, as we have seen above. 164 Further, he says that the Three Divine Persons of the Trinity continually and eternally give Mary the Heart of Jesus “so that they may give it to us by means of her mediation.” 165

As Eudes had distinguished “three hearts in Mary which are one” 166 so he makes the same distinctions with regard to the Heart of Jesus. 167 First there is the “corporeal Heart” of His deified body:

a furnace of love divine and of incomparable love for us. Since the corporeal Heart is hypostatically united to the Person of the Word, It is enkindled with flames of infinite love for us. Its love is so intense that it constrains the Son of God to bear us continually in His Heart. 168

Although Eudes has been accused of largely ignoring the physical Heart of Jesus and preaching a devotion other than that ultimately adopted by the Church, this is surely false. 169  As Fr. Milcent puts it, this first dimension and material object of the devotion

is an expression of tie realism of the Incarnation which characterizes Bérulle and his disciples: the taking seriously in Jesus of humanity. It is, certainly, assumed by the Eternal Word, but it remains nonetheless human and corporeal. Jesus had, as His mother, a true human heart, which emotions could make beat more quickly and more intensely. 170

Secondly, there is the “spiritual Heart” of Jesus. 171 As in Mary, it comprises intellect, will and memory [the biblical psyche] as well as “the point of the spirit” [the biblical pneuma]. 172  It is the entire human interior of Jesus and embraces all His states as the Incarnate Word. 173  It is precisely here that Eudes goes beyond his mentors in emphasizing love for His Father and for us as the principal characteristic of the “spiritual Heart” of Jesus.  Here is the evaluation of Fr. Boulay:

These two holy men [Cardinal de Bérulle and Charles de Condren] principally recommended to their disciples and themselves practiced the cult of adoration and reverence towards God and His Son, in their writings speaking only of honoring and adoring Jesus in His Divine Majesty and greatness, of abasing and annihilating oneself in His Presence, and the same, in due proportion, in relation to Mary, whom they envisaged especially in her excellences and her sovereignty. Not that their heart was not filled with love of our Lord and His holy Mother; the divine fire consuming their souls shone forth in all their words; but love is not the object on which their regard was fixed by preference, nor did their devotion betray itself by acts or sudden outbursts of love. The Venerable Fr. Eudes, on the contrary, united love to respect and veneration in his cult, making the love predominate. 174

Thirdly, there is the “divine Heart” of Jesus

existing from all eternity in the bosom of His Adorable Father, which is but one Heart and one love with the love and Heart of His Father, and which, with the Heart and love of His Father, is the source of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, when He gave us His Heart, He also gave us the Heart of His Father and of His Adorable Spirit. 175

If the “spiritual Heart” of Jesus represents His created love emanating from the soul and spirit of Christ, the “divine Heart” represents His uncreated, eternal divine love. Whereas the “divine Heart” of Mary, as we have pointed out above, 176 is an ens rationis and emphasizes her union with God which far exceeds that of any other creature, the “divine Heart” of Jesus is Ens in se; It is divinity.

It should be further noted that these “three Hearts of Christ which are but One Heart,” which I prefer to refer to as three dimensions of the Heart of Jesus, correspond with precision to the Church’s defined understanding of the Incarnate Word. They point in turn to His body, to his human interior [soul and spirit 177] and to His divinity. Following the very same schematization, the Venerable Pope Pius XII spoke of the threefold love of Christ in his encyclical Haurietis Aquas:

The Heart of the Incarnate Word is deservedly and rightly considered the chief sign and symbol of that threefold love with which the divine Redeemer unceasingly loves His eternal Father and all mankind.

  It is a symbol of that divine love which He shares with the Father and the Holy Spirit, but which He, the Word made flesh, alone manifests through a weak perishable body, since “in Him dwells the fullness of the Godhead bodily.”

  It is, besides, the symbol of that burning love which, infused into His soul, enriches the human will of Christ and enlightens and governs its acts by the most perfect knowledge derived both from the beatific vision and that which is directly infused.

  And finally – and this is a more natural and direct way – it is the symbol also of sensible love, since the body of Jesus Christ, formed by the Holy Spirit, in the womb of the Virgin Mary, possess full powers of feelings and perception. 178

D.   Conclusions

While the “divine Heart” of Jesus could never depend on Mary except in the sense of choosing to be dependent upon her (the kenosis of the Incarnation), His “corporeal” Heart was dependent upon her in the sense that “she cooperated with the Blessed Trinity to form the human Heart of Jesus.” 179  In a text reminiscent of St. Francis de Sales, 180 St. John Eudes speaks of the interdependence of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary.

The Sacred Heart of Jesus is the source of the life of Mary, the Mother of God. When that admirable Mother was carrying her Beloved Son in her blessed womb, her virginal Heart was the source of the natural bodily life of her divine Child, but the Heart of that adorable Child was, at the same time, the source of the spiritual and supernatural life of His most worthy Mother. Hence the divine Heart of the only Son of Mary was the source of all the pious thoughts and feelings of His Blessed Mother, of all the sacred words she spoke, of all the good deeds she performed, of all the virtues she practiced, and of all the pains and sorrows she suffered in order to cooperate with her Beloved Son in the work of our Salvation. 181

If she is the source of his “corporeal Heart,” He is the source of her “spiritual Heart.” Indeed in the mind of Eudes, the real union between the Hearts of the Mother and the Son is a moral union, one of will and disposition, hence it is a union of their “spiritual

Hearts” whereas since the union of the Heart of Jesus with the Father is by essence, it is clear that it is of the “divine Heart” which he speaks.

Let us also offer Him in thanksgiving the Heart of His Eternal Father, the Heart of His holy Mother, the hearts of all the angels and saints and of all men; they are ours to give as though they belonged to us. St. Paul assures us that with the gift of His Son the Eternal Father has given us all things: Omnia cum ipso nobis donavit [Rom. 8:32], and that all things are ours: omnia vestra sunt [I Cor. 3:22]. But above all  let us offer Him His own Heart; He has given it to us; therefore it is ours and is the most acceptable offering we could make to Him.  It is His own Heart and at the same time the Heart of His Eternal Father, one by unity of essence. It is also the heart of His most holy Mother, whose Heart is one with His by unity of will and affection. 182

We saw that in the thought of St. Francis de Sales the Hearts of Jesus and Mary are primarily identified with the “superior portion of the soul” [psyche] and its “extremity and summit” [pneuma]. 183 While Eudes is even more systematic and comprehensive in his treatment, he makes essentially the same identification. He does treat of the corporeal Heart” of Jesus as well as of Mary although, as Fr. Lebrun points out, “in the devotion to the Heart of Mary, the heart of flesh does not occupy so prominent a position as it does in devotion to the Heart of Jesus.184 As we are well aware, Eudes also treats of the “divine Heart” of Jesus as well as of Mary. In Jesus this is His divinity itself, uncreated love. In Mary, this is her total relativity to God, her complete orientation to Him, which, because of her Immaculate Conception, is filled with the life of God Himself in a way unparalleled in any other human creature. Both Pourrat and Gautier lament that the “divine Heart” of Jesus is “one of the elements of the Eudist cult that is most neglected, at least under this form.185

There can be no doubt, however, that the thrust of Eudes’ teaching centers on the “spiritual Hearts” of both Jesus and Mary. We have already pointed out that their primary link to each other is at this point of psyche and pneuma. What Fr. Pourrat says about the “spiritual Heart” of Jesus applies also, mutatis mutandis, to Mary.

The “spiritual heartis, without a doubt, the principal element in his devotion, and this element is Bérullian. Here, the heart is a symbol. It typifies the very Person of Christ and also His interior, “the higher part of His soul, with all the natural and supernatural perfections which are contained in it, such as its natural faculties, the memory, the understanding, and the will, the plenitude of grace and of virtue with which it was crowned, and the wonderful life of which it is the principle.”  Although the heart typifies the summing-up of the dispositions of Christ, it is, above all, the symbol of love, the love of Jesus for His divine Father, for His most holy Mother, andabove all – as St. Margaret Mary teaches – His love for us. 186

A final comment. The Eudist devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is at the same time more comprehensive and

more complicated than that of Margaret Mary, and it could not win, in a few years, the world-wide popularity enjoyed by the cult of Paray. The masses, it has been said, are instinctively attracted to the most simple devotions and, as at Paray “preference in the devotion to the Heart of the God-Man is given to what is human,” so it is not surprising that the faithful as a whole are drawn by the Paray form of the devotion. 187

This is not to pit St. John Eudes against St. Margaret Mary. Both have their place in God’s providential design. Eudes spent years tilling the soil. After the events of Paray-le-Monial he was largely forgotten, yet his original work, more than anyone else’s shows the theological depth and soundness of the cultus of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The same can be said of his devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary vis-à-vis Rue du Bac, Notre-Dame-des-Victoires, Blangy, Pellevoisin, Beauraing and especially Fatima. He laid the theological groundwork. He contradicts none of these apparitions approved by the Church. Virtually every one of their emphases can be found in his writings. He provides the wider theological context for understanding them all. He was their precursor. Even if one presents the private revelations of Berthe Petit on the union of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary, we can say that Eudes anticipates them. Even more truly than the venerable founder of St. Sulpice said it of him can we say that he was “la rareté de son siècle” and add “et de notre”. 188

Version: 12th February 2014


90. Latin text in Lebrun Sp 61 [English text in SH 179].

91. Arragain Ec 104.

92. Gautier 290.

93. Arragain Ec 102.

94. Milcent 257-261.

95. Arragain Ec 102.

96. Lebrun Sp 262, 260; cf. also Bremond 546.

97. Cognet 97.

98. Arragain Ec 105; cf. also F. Lebesconte, “Vie et Royaume de Jésus: Synthèse Doctrinale de l’École Française,” Spiritualité de lÉco1e Française et Saint Jean Eudes (Québec, 1957) 126-41.

99. Arragain Ev 47.

100. Lebrun Sp 60; Arragain Ev 49.

101. Milcent 156-57, 160, 222, 263; Arragain Ev 47-48.

102. Bremond 549-572.

103. Cognet 98.

104. Lebrun Sp 60.

105. Arragain Ec 109.

106. Arragain Ec 101.

107. Kingdom 271 [OCE 1:337-138 (emphasis mine).

108. Hérambourg 103-104.

109. Kingdom 300 [OCE I:503].

110. On Eudes as a disciple of Olier, cf. Lebrun Sp 72, note 1.

111. Interestingly Eudes had commented on de Condrens prayer, Veni, Domine Jesu in Kingdom 208-210, [OCE I:438-440,] but he must certainly have known it in the later version of Olier as O Jesu vivens in Maria as well.

112. Hérambourg 78.

113. Hérambourg 79.

114. Hérambourg 85-86. (emphasis mine).

115. Kingdom 204; [OCE 1:432-433] (emphasis mine).

116. Kingdom 272 [OCE I:338] (emphasis mine).

117. Cf. AH 333-352. [OCE XI:251-317]. The first celebration of the liturgy composed by the saint took place on 8 February 1648 at Autun; cf. Milcent 221-224.

118. He began this magnum opus sometime around 1660 and finished it three weeks before he died in 1680; cf. Milcent 417-419.

119. This term “conjoint” is used to describe the beginnings of this cultus by Fr. Charles Lebrun in OCE VI:xciv-xcviii and by Lebrun Sp 75 and by Fr. Jacques Arragain in Arragain Ev 60.

120. AH 333 [OCE XI:255, 312 (emphasis mine). An English translation is also provided there; another is given in Angelico A. Koller, S.C.J., Reparation to the Sacred Heart: Theology of Consolation (Hales Corners, WI: The Priests of the Sacred Heart, 1971) 84. Neither translation seems totally satisfactory.

121. AH 337 (English translation provided) OCE XI:317.

122. AH 340. (English translation provided) OCE XI:256.

123. AH 8, 10 [OCE VI:133-34, 136]; cf. also Le Doré 16-48.

124. Cf. above.

125. AH 8-10 [OCE VI:133-136]; cf. also Le Doré 79-101.

126. Cf. above 18.

127. AH 11, 24-28 [OCE VI:97-116.] At various times Eudes calls both Jesus and the Holy Spirit the divine Heart” of Mary. Cf. Le Doré 205-274AH 24, note 1.

128. Cf. Lebrun Dev 313; AH 24, note 1.

129. Arragain Ev 61.

130. AH 53 [OCE VI:189] (emphasis mine).

131. Meds 240-241 [OCE VIII:129-130] (emphasis mine).

132. ST II-II, q. 82, art. 2, ad 3.

133. Text in Latin and English given in SH173-174; text in Latin and French given in Lebrun CJ 21-23.

134. Lebrun Sp 22.

135. Lebrun CJ 21.

136. Cognet 99; Williams 106.

137. Lebrun CJ 23.

138. Arragain Ev 62 (my trans.).

139. SH 173 [OCE VIII:491-492].

140. Arragain Ev 60.

141. Daniel Sargent, Their Hearts be Praised: The Life of Saint John Eudes (New York: P. J. Kenedy & Sons, 1949) 226-229, 234.

142. Milcent 457.

143. Letters 226-228 [OCE X:459-462] (emphasis mine).

144. SH 147 [OCE XII:56].

145. SH 161 [OCE XII:63].

146. SH 166 [OCE XII:70].

147. Arragain Ev 66-68.

148. Cf. above 28.

149. AH 203 [OCE VII:347-348].

150. Cf. above 12-13; also Lebrun Dev 35-36.

151. Kingdom 28 [OCE I:197].

152. Cf. AH 24, 172, 183, 319; SH 29, 54, 110 [OCE VI:99-102; VII:141-143, 154; VIII:88, 251, 279-280, 332].

153. Letters 227 {OCE X:461].

154. OCE VI:99 (my trans.). This text is only summarized, not given verbatim in AH 25.

155. OCarroll 202; Claude Guillocheau, S.J., “Le Cœur dans lŒuvre de Saint Jean Eudes,Revue d’Ascétique et de Mystique 37 (1961) 68, 185.

156. Le Doré 286-287.

157. Cf. Arragain Ev 67.

158. Milcent 419.

159. Letters 314 [OCE XII:135].

160. Bremond 549-552. On this very matter Bremond wrote to Fr. Charles Lebrun on 31 March 1919 and confessed about his treatment of Eudes: “Perhaps I Bérullise’ him too much.

161. Arragain Ev 64; Arragain Ec 110.

162. Letters 227 [OCE X:46-461] (emphasis mine).

163. Clément Guillon, C.J.M., En Tout 1a Vo1onte de Dieu: Saint Jean Eudes à travers Ses Lettres (Paris: Les Éditions du Cerf, 1981) 123.

164. Cf above 40.

165. AH 108-109 [OCE VIII:330].

166. Cf. above 39-40.

167. For the sake of  consistency with my earlier treatment, I am reversing Eudesorder of exposition of these Three Hearts of Jesus which are but One Heart.” This is also the order he follows in his exposition on the Heart of Jesus in AH 10 [OCE VI:37].

168. SH 128 [OCE VIII:346]; cf. Le Doré: 49-78.

169. Cf. Le Doré 49.

170. Milcent 449 (my trans.).

171. SH 127-128 [OCE VIII: 345-346]; cf. Le Doré 103-117.

172. AH 8-9 [OCE VI:34-35].

173. SH 85 [OCE VIII:309]; cf. Milcent 451.

174. D. Boulay, Vie du vénérable Jean Eudes I (Paris, 1905) 209-210 as quoted in Bremond 548.

175. SH 126 [OCE VIII:344-345]; cf. Le Doré 118-129.

176. Cf. above 40.

177. Cf. ST III, q. 6, art. 1 & 2.

178. HA #54-57 [D-S #3924]. Cf. Carlo Colombo, I1 Triplice Amore di Cristo e 1a Psico1ogia di Nostro Signore,” A. Bea, S.J. et H. Rahner, S.J., eds., (Cor Jesu: Commentationes in Litteras Encyc1icas Pii XII “Haurietis Aquas” I: Pars Theologica (Rome: Herder, 1959) 309-345; Charles Boyer, S.J., Le Triple Amour du Christ pour les Hommes dans les Écrits de Saint Augustin,” Cor Jesu 1:571-594; Luigi Mario Cardinal Ciappi, O.P., The Heart of Christ the Centre of the Mystery of Salvation (Rome: C.d.C. Publishers, 1983) 185-198.

179. SH 109 [OCE VIII:331].

180. Cf. above 15.

181. SH 123-124 [OCE VIII:343] (emphasis mine).

182. SH 89 [OCE VIII:312] (emphasis mine except for Latin quote).

183. Cf. above19-21.

184. Lebrun Sp 81; Lebrun Dev 287.

185. Gautier 335; cf. Pourrat 400.

186. Pourrat 400. He is quoting from Lebrun CJ 57-64.

187. Gautier 335.

188. Olier called him “the marvel of his century.” I add “and of ours.” The late Fr. Joaquín Maria Alonso, C.M.F. substantiates this contention in his article on the Immaculate Heart in Stefano De Fiores, S.M.M. e Salvatore Meo, O. S.M., eds. Nuovo Dizionario di Mariologia (Rome: Edizioni Paoline, 1985) 447-448.

Copyright ©; Msgr Arthur Calkins 2014

Version 22nd February 2014

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