August 19, 2009. I offer a warm welcome to the English-speaking visitors present at today’s Audience, including the pilgrims from India and Nigeria.
Our catechesis considers Saint John Eudes whose feast we celebrate today. He lived in seventeenth-century France which, notwithstanding considerable trials for the faith, produced many outstanding examples of spiritual courage and insight.
Saint John Eudes’ particular contribution was the foundation of a religious congregation dedicated to the task of giving solid formation to the diocesan priesthood. He encouraged seminarians to grow in holiness and to trust in God’s love revealed to humanity in the priestly heart of Jesus and in the maternal heart of Mary.
During this year let us pray in a special way for priests and seminarians that, inspired by today’s saint, they may spiritually "enter into the heart of Jesus", becoming men of true love, mercy, humility and patience, renewed in holiness and pastoral zeal. My dear Brothers and Sisters, upon you and your families I invoke God’s blessings of joy and peace!