Saint John Eudes (1601-1680) is the founder of the Congregation of Jesus and Mary (The Eudist Fathers), a Society of Apostolic Life. He is also the founder of other religious orders and was named “Father, doctor, and apostle of the liturgical cult of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary” by Pope Saint Pius X at his beatification in 1909; he was canonized by Pope Pius XI in 1925.
The following is from Saint John Eudes’ text, The Life and the Kingdom of Jesus in Christian Souls, originally written in French in the year 1637.
These beautiful prayers mostly come from a section on devotional exercises titled “Acts of Love in Honor of the Birth and Holy Childhood of Jesus.”
May they serve as a helpful meditation for you as you prepare to celebrate the Nativity of Our Lord this Christmas Eve.
O Jesus, You are Infinite Love in all the moments, states and mysteries of Your life, but, above all, You are Pure Love and Sweetness, at the moment of Your birth and during Your most Holy Childhood. Let me love You at this precious moment, in this hidden state. May heaven and earth join with me and may the whole world be transformed into love for its Creator and God, Who is completely, transformed into Gentleness and Love for the world.
O most amiable Child, You are born by love, in love and for love. At the moment of Your birth, You love Your Eternal Father more than all angels and men together could do in all eternity. So, too, the Heavenly Father loves You more at this moment than He ever did or will love all men and angels together. O Jesus, I offer You all the love concentrated on You at birth by Your Eternal Father, by Your Holy Spirit, Your Blessed Mother, St. Joseph, St. Gabriel and all the angels and saints who participated so intimately in this most lovable mystery.
O love of Jesus, that triumphs over Him in all His mysteries, but particularly in His sublime Childhood and the consummation of His Cross, O love that in these two mysteries, transforms His omnipotence into helplessness, His plenitude into poverty, His sovereignty into dependence, His eternal wisdom into infancy, His joy and bliss into sufferings, and His life into death, conquer my selflove, my own will and my passions, and put me in a state of powerlessness, indigence, dependence, holy and divine childhood, and death to the world and to myself, which state may adore and glorify the powerlessness, the dependence, Childhood and death to which You reduced my Jesus in the mysteries of His Nativity and of His Cross.
O Jesus, I adore You in Your eternal birth and Your divine dwelling for all eternity in the bosom of Your Father. I also adore You in Your temporal conception, and in Your presence in the sacred womb of Your most pure Mother, for the space of nine months, and in Your birth into this world at the end of that time. I adore and revere the great and admirable occurrence of all these mysteries. I adore and honor the holy dispositions of Your Divine Person and Your holy soul in these mysteries. With my whole heart I adore, love and bless all the acts of adoration, love, oblation You rendered to the Eternal Father, and all the other divine acts and practices offered Him in these mysteries.
Have a Merry Christmas!
Until next time,