Eymard chronology

Compiled by Anthony McSweeney, SSS


  • In this chronology of St Peter Julian’s life reference is made to the congregation he founded, the Society of the Blessed Sacrament. For a history of the congregation’s name, See Using this site: Abbreviations. (Scan down to SSS, Societas Sanctissimi Sacramenti /Society of the Blessed Sacrament).
  • Places mentioned in this chronology are detailed in Eymardian Places.
Childhood and youth 1811-1834
1811 Feb. 4th  Born at La Mure d’Isère, a small town in the Matheysin Plateau (altitude 900m).
  Feb. 5th Baptised in parish church at La Mure.
1823 Mar. 16th Receives First Communion on Passion Sunday at La Mure.
1828   Goes to Marseilles with view to entering novitiate of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate (OMI).
  Aug. 5th Casually informed of mother’s death while away from home.
1829 June 7th Begins novitiate with Oblates of Mary Immaculate. Forced to return home five months later apparently moribund.
1831 September Enters diocesan seminary in Grenoble.
    Priest of the Diocese of Grenoble 1834-1839
1834 July 20th Ordained priest by Bishop Philibert de Bruillard.
  July 22nd Celebrates first Mass at Notre Dame de l’Osier, where he remains for a month.
    Named as assistant priest at Chatte.
1836 June Has notable spiritual experience at what he called the “mystical rock” of Saint-Romans.
1837 July 2nd Appointed parish priest at Monteynard (close to La Mure).
    Marist priest 1839-1856
1839 Aug. 20th Begins novitiate in the Society of Mary in Lyon.
  Nov. 27th Named spiritual director of Marist College in Belley.
1840 Feb. 7th Takes first vows in the Society of Mary chapel at Belley.
1844 November Founder of the Society of Mary, Pierre Colin, names Eymard Provincial of the Society, i.e. Assistant General.
Leaves Belley.
1845 May 25th Has important spiritual experience in Eucharistic procession at St Paul’s church, Lyon.
1846 Sept. 21st Ceases to be Provincial of the Society of Mary. Appointed Assistant General and Visitor to the Society.
1848 Dec. 6th Inauguration of Nocturnal Adoration Society at Notre Dame des Victoires, Paris, by group of laymen.
1849 January Meets members of Nocturnal Adoration Society, including Raymond de Cuers.
1850 June Named novice master of Society of Mary.
  Sept. 8th Pope Pius IX approves Third Order of Mary (an association of lay people) established by Eymard.
1851 Jan. 21st Experiences what he later calls the “grace of vocation” at Notre Dame de Fourvière.
  Sept. 12th Appointed Superior of the Marist college of La Seyne, Toulon.
Leaves Lyon.
1852   Given charge of nocturnal adoration work (founded by Raymond De Cuers, in Toulon).
  Aug. 18th Makes his first pilgrimage to La Salette. Returns to La Salette ten times during his life time.
1853 April 18th Has deep experience in thanksgiving after Mass. Desires to give himself totally to God’s plan.
1855 June 24th Ordination of future first companion, Raymond de Cuers.
  September Leaves Toulon exhausted. Rests at Marist novitiate in Chaintré, near Maçon.
1856 April Asks Fr Favre, Marist General, to present his proposal for a new religious congregation to the Pope.
  April 30th Arrives in Paris. Next day begins retreat for discernment in order to know God’s will.
    Founder: The Society of the Blessed Sacrament 1856-1868
    From foundation to approbation 1856-1863
April 29th Acquires dispensation from vows as Marist. Leaves for Paris next day.
  May 13th Meets with Archbishop Sibour. Approval for congregation given. The Society of the Blessed Sacrament begins in rue d’Enfer.
1857 Jan. 6th Inaugurates community adoration with exposition of the Blessed Sacrament on Feast of Epiphany.
1858 Mar. 30th Departs from first house in rue d’Enfer.
  Easter Transfer to new location in rue Faubourg Saint-Jacques.
  May 25th Receives Marguerite Guillot and two companions in Paris to begin women’s branch of the new congregation, The Servants of the Blessed Sacrament.
    Begins work of First Communion of young adults, who were mostly rag-pickers.
1859 Jan. 5th Pius IX signs Laudatory Brief giving official recognition to new congregation, The Society of the Blessed Sacrament.
  April 21st Inauguration of congregation’s first chapel in Marseilles.
  May 1st  Has final conversations with St John Mary Vianney, Curé of Ars.
  Aug. 15th Formal inauguration of work of First Communion of Adults.
  Nov. 9th Responds to invitation of Archbishop De Mazenod to inaugurate congregation’s Marseilles community.
1861 April 25th Has conversations with Fr Chevrier about collaboration in work of the Prado (site in Lyon dedicated to the poor).
1862 Dec. 29th Founds the congregation’s third community in Angers.
1863 June 3rd Receives Decree of Approbation for the new congregation from Pius IX – dated May 8th.
  August First group of religious of the Society of the Blessed Sacrament makes canonical vows according to the Rule submitted to Rome.
    The Constitutions and the Cenacle 1863-1865
August First group of religious attend retreat having made canonical vows.
  Oct. 1st Goes to Saint-Bonnet-le-Froid for a month to work on Constitutions.
  December First steps taken with view to buying the Cenacle in Jerusalem.
1864 Jan. 6th General Council of the Congregation decides to attempt to buy the building of the Cenacle in Jerusalem with a view to making a foundation there.
  April Constitutions of men’s branch of the congregation printed.
  May 26th Servants of Blessed Sacrament founded at Angers. Marguerite Guillot appointed Superior General.
  August Constitutions of women’s branch of the congregation printed.
  Nov. 17th Audience with Pope Pius IX to plead case for buying the Cenacle in Jerusalem.
1865 Jan. 25th Begins long retreat at Redemptorist house in Via Merulana, Rome. Awaits results of case for the Cenacle in Jerusalem..
  Mar. 21st Towards the end of his long 1865 retreat Eymard  makes the Vow of the Personality, to God.
  Mar. 30th Following Rome’s negative response re purchase of the Cenacle in  Jerusalem received previous day, leaves Rome.
  July 6th Elected Superior General for life of the congregation he founded, the Society of the Blessed Sacrament.
    Growth of the work and death of the founder 1865-1868
1866 Jan. 1st Strictly perpetual adoration begun in congregation’s Paris community.
  Jan. 2nd Opens new house of the congregation in Brussels, at Salazar.
    Founds in Nemours (Seine-sur-Marne) the second community of the Servants of the Blessed Sacrament.
  Dec. 25th Founds novitiate for the Servants of the Blessed Sacrament at Saint-Maurice, Saint-Maurice-Montcouronne. Fourteen novices.
1867 May 31st Closing of house of Servants of the Blessed Sacrament at Nemours. Time of suffering and humiliation.
  Oct. 23rd Blessing of Raymond De Cuers’ new break-away foundation at Roquefavour.
  Nov. 17th Inauguration of congregation’s second house in Brussels, destined to be scholasticate.
1868 Mar. 15th  – 22nd Preaches final retreat for community at Angers.
  April 27th Eymard begins final eight-day retreat at Saint-Maurice before his death. Time of great trial.
  June 30th Laying of first stone for the congregation’s new church in Angers.
  July 17th Leaves Paris on doctor’s order to rest. Arrives in La Mure exhausted four days later.
  July 21st Last Mass said at Adoration Chapel, La Salette Missionaries, Grenoble.
  Aug. 1st Died at 4.30 pm in home town of La Mure d’Isère.
    Recognition of Eymard’s sanctity 1868-1995
1898   Process with a view to canonisation begins in Grenoble.
1899 Oct. 30th  Opening of canonisation process in Paris.
1908 Aug. 12th Introduction of the cause for canonisation.
1910 Dec. 5th Decree declared to open the Apostolic Process for Eymard’s canonisation.
1925 July 12th Peter Julian Eymard beatified by Pope Pius XI.
1962 July 15th Rome recognises two cases of healing as miraculous for Eymard’s canonisation cause.
  Dec. 9th Peter Julian Eymard canonised by Pope John XXIII at end of 1st session of Vatican II.
1992 Dec. 9th  Pope John Paul II inserts Eymard’s name in the liturgical calendar. Feast to be celebrated on August 2nd, in recognition that he was “an outstanding apostle of the Eucharist”.

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