On Saturday, 22 January 2022, the Basilica of Our Lady of Fourvière celebrated the 171th anniversary of Saint Peter-Julian Eymard’s visit to this place. The Eucharistic Centre of La Mure in collaboration with the Basilica organized a day of instructions, adoration, and Mass to commemorate St Peter-Julian’s visit.
In last November the Eucharistic Centre presented the Deacon Adel Camel, who is in charge of welcoming pilgrims at the Basilica, the project of organizing an occasion of instruction and prayer to commemorate St Peter-Julian Eymard’s visit on 21 January 1851 in the chapel, next to the large Church of the Basilica (a plaque, placed inside the chapel and the representation of Father Eymard in the high relief on the facade of the Basilica, witness the link between Fourvière and Father Eymard).
Father Eymard, while a Marist, used to often go there to pray. As a result of many such occasions, Fr. Eymard decided to work for a greater knowledge, love and service of Our Lord Jesus in the mystery of the Eucharist. Thus, this Basilica is one of the fundamental places to know the origins of the Eymardian family. The memory of this vocational grace enlivens the commitments of this family and encourages the reception of graces in this place for the renewal of Christian life.
Thus, the above-mentioned reasons led the team overseeing welcoming pilgrims to the Basilica, including Father Yves de Guerpillon, Rector of this Basilica, Deacon Adel Camel and all the collaborators, to welcome this proposal heartily.
From the meeting in Lyon, between Deacon Adel, Fr. Thaddée Mupapa, accompanied by Fr. Aimé Porret sss of the Blessed Sacrament community of Colombier, the following proposal was accepted:
a time of instruction and adoration to commemorate
the visit of Saint Pierre-Julien Eymard, Apostle of the Eucharist
to the Basilica of Notre Dame de Fourvière,
on the Saturday 22 January 2022, from 2:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
The programme comprised the following: a presentation of a film on ''Saint Peter-Julian Eymard, the Sun of the Eucharist'', a talk on the Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament according to the method proposed by Saint Peter-Julian Eymard, animated by the Eucharistic Centre, a time of discussion, silent adoration and the Eucharistic celebration presided over by Fr. Yves de Guerpillon. Deacon Adel was involved in the arrangements and issuing of invitations to this anniversary with the Blessed Sacrament communities of Colombier and La Mure.
On Saturday, 22 January 2022, the Eucharistic Centre, represented by Fr Thaddée Mupapa, confreres from Colombier, Frs Paul Mougin, Aimé Porret, Victor Badji, and Fr Patrick Lecouve from Grenoble, gathered at Fourvière for the celebration of this anniversary. About sixty persons, among whom were Mrs Denise Cardenti, the person in charge of the Eymardian Fraternity at Colombier, her husband, Mr Cardenti, and members of the adoration group of Oyonnax, assembled in the Crypt of the Basilica to participate in this occasion.
The following teachings present various graces and spiritual attitudes of Saint Peter-Julian Eymard as beneficial to anyone wishing to deepen their spiritual life:
- The witness of the family leads a child to listen and welcome God’s call:
- recognition of the grace of baptism enlivens the dynamism of the gift of self for the Lord and for the wellbeing of others;
- the importance of spiritual guidance in following of a vocation;
- the discernment of God’s will and decisiveness to fulfil it without drawing back;
- a passion for the Eucharist and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament are the permanent source of renewal of the gift of self;
- recourse to the Blessed Virgin Mary fosters the deepening of understanding and witnessing to Christ;
- contemplation of creation helps in admiring God’s love and stirs a greater and perfect love;
- the Eucharistic celebration is the wellspring of prayer that flows from it; the four ends of the sacrifice of the Mass (adoration, thanksgiving, seeking of forgiveness and petition) constitute, according to Fr. Eymard, the ordinary and perfect method of prayer before Christ in the Blessed Sacrament, preserving the faithful from every distraction and waste of time (cf. PG 356,2);
- habitual practice of silent adoration of the Blessed Sacrament intensifies insertion into the memorial of Christ's gift of self and into his social mission.
- it generates spontaneous praise, thanksgiving, the desire for deep communion with the Lord and prayer for the Church and the world;
- the desire to celebrate other anniversaries on specific dates in the life of Saint Peter-Julian Eymard for the benefit of knowledge of this Saint and the renewal of Christian life.
Our world today, which both struggles to free itself from Covid and promotes all freedoms, is invited to listen to Saint Peter-Julian Eymard: "So my house, my family, my centre, is the Jesus of the house of the Society in which I live" (NR 44,115), to hear from him that the true peace and freedom of humankind consists in knowing, loving and serving Our Lord Jesus Christ present in the Eucharist more.
La Mure, 3 March 2022
Father Thaddée Mupapa, sss