Eymardian literature and legacy
The Eymard legacy and its transmission
Anthony McSweeney, SSS
Peter Julian Eymard was born in La Mure d’Isère, France, on 4 February 1811. He died on 1 August 1868. In 1856 Eymard founded the now worldwide Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament. The congregation’s charism emphasises devotion to the Eucharist. Through his writings and actions Eymard is recognised for his major contribution to nineteenth century French spirituality. Saint Peter Julian was canonised on 9 December, 1962 by Pope John XXIII. He is often referred to as the “Apostle of the Eucharist”.
Saint Peter Julian Eymard’s writings, originally published in French, have been translated posthumously into many different languages. Eymardian literature and legacy is for those who believe there is still much to discover about St Peter Julian. This work facilitates such discoveries, especially for English language speakers, as it includes a bibliography of Eymard literature in English, and a major essay on Eymard, his legacy and its transmission.
Eymardian literature and legacy includes two related components:
- Eymard literature in English is a 2,000 item bibliography which is updated regularly. It includes both primary and secondary sources in print and electronic formats. Many of the entries are annotated. The bibliography is arranged in three sections:
- Eymard writings takes you to lists of translations of Eymard’s writings, and in some cases to the full text of the writings;
- Eymard writings – Excerpts takes you to a list of excerpts and, in some cases, to the full text of an excerpt; and
- Works about Eymard takes you to a range of books, articles and internet sites which comment on the Saint and on the congregations and associations he founded.
- The Eymard legacy and its transmission
This 30,000 word essay examines the authenticity of “Eymardian” texts by tracing the complex story of the publication of Eymard’s writings, and the story of his evolving personality, spirituality and understanding of the mystery of the Eucharist.
Many of the authors listed in this work are members of the worldwide Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament. Thus the work also serves as a record of English language commentary on Eymard by the members, both male and female, of the congregations and associations he founded.
Relationship to other Eymard-related works
Eymard literature in English provides researchers with citations for English language translations of Eymard texts, English language works about the saint, and English language translations of works about him. As such it is the most recent of major resources for Eymard research, its distinguished predecessors being:
- Pierre-Julien Eymard 1811–1868 Oeuvres Complètes (2008, Ponteranica, Bergamo: Centro Eucaristico; Bruyères-le-Châtel: Nouvelle Cité, 17 vols.). This work is based on the 2006 internet edition of Pierre-Julien Eymard 1811–1868 Oeuvres Complètes (www.eymard.org).
- Center Eucharistia (http://www.eucharistia.org/en/index-1024.htm). This site includes a substantial bibliography in English for those interested in “deepening their understanding of the Eucharist”.
- Sources referred to in such notable biographies and histories as:
André Guitton (1994), Peter Julian Eymard: Apostle of the Eucharist (Ponteanica: Centro Eucaristico);
Donald Cave (1999), The “writings” of St Peter Julian Eymard 1811-1868: Studies concerning his written and spoken word especially as these concern the Vow of the Personality (Melbourne: Blessed Sacrament Fathers); and
Damien Cash (2007), The road to Emmaus: A history of the Blessed Sacrament Congregation in Australia (Melbourne: Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament in Australia).
With its emphasis on Eymard’s written and published word, this site could be considered as complementing the 2011 multimedia internet site, Eymardian Places (http://eymardianplaces.com), compiled by Damien Cash. That site brings alive the life and times of the Saint through a diverse range of text, commentary, images, videos, and much practical information to assist Eymard pilgrims.
Keeping up to date and locating Eymard literature
- Finding Eymard Sources (located on the side menu):
Lists sources for keeping up to date with Eymardian literature and Blessed Sacrament congregation information and personnel. Clicking on the following links takes you to these sources:
- Bibliographical databases, and Electronic and print listings of sources;
- Internet sites of the Blessed Sacrament provinces and communities; and
- Journals and newsletters of the Blessed Sacrament provinces and communities.
- Full text:
While much Eymard literature is only available in print media, vendors such as Googlebooks and the Internet Archive are continually making the text of a wide range of titles available electronically. The Internet Archive (http://www.archive.org/index.php) provides full text of some Eymard literature, while Googlebooks (http://books.google.com/books) provides access to excerpts and some full text. References from these providers are included on this site.
With the availability of digitised titles, an internet translation facility, and an Eymardian presence on such sites as Facebook and Twitter, technology is ensuring that the writings of Saint Peter Julian Eymard can easily be accessed in the twenty first century, in any language, and from anywhere in the world.
St Peter Julian Eymard: 50th Anniversary of canonisation