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Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament
The Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament is a religious Congregation within the Roman-Catholic Church, founded in 1856 in Paris by Saint Pierre-Julien Eymard. It is an apostolic Congregation of Pontifical right, composed of priests, deacons and brothers in all continents. Its structure knows Provinces and Regions and a central government, the General Council, which is based in Rome. The Congregation follows a Rule of Life, which was approved by the Holy See in 1984. The official name of the Congregation is Societas Sanctissimi Sacramenti and the members put the abbreviation SSS behind their name.
Spirituality and Mission
Spirituality and mission flow from the Eucharist, the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, which He instituted as a sacrament of love and life for the world. The scope of the Congregation is to promote the central place of the Eucharist, force of renewal for church and society, or as the Rule of Life states in its Number 1.; “to live the mystery of the Eucharist fully, and to make known its meaning, so that Christ’s reign may come and the glory of God be revealed to the world”. Prayer before the Blessed Sacrament (adoration) has a central place in the personal and community life of the members. It gives them strength and joy, inspiration and orientation for life and work. They try to help people to discover the riches of this source of life and to accompany them on their way of deepening their love for the Eucharist.
Peter Julien Eymard was born in La Mure d’Isère, in the South-East of France, near the city of Grenoble, in 1811. He first joined the diocesan clergy of Grenoble and, after a short period of pastoral experience as a young priest, left the diocese for the newly founded Congregation of the Marists, where he committed himself to tasks of education, preaching and administration. The intense accompaniment of a group of lay-associates led him to the discovery of the Eucharist as an answer to the needs of his time and to his own role as the Founder of a new Congregation, exclusively dedicated to this sacrament. The process of his spiritual growth led him to a vision of the Eucharist as Christ’s gift of self out of love for us, waiting for our response of love to him and to our fellow human beings. He died in 1868 in La Mure, where he was born. He was beatified by Pope Pius XI in 1925 and canonized by Pope John XXIII in 1962, at the end of the first session of the Second Vatican Council. Pope John Paul II put his feast on the universal liturgical calendar in 1995. Saint Peter Julian Eymard, the Apostle of the Eucharist, is celebrated on the 2nd of August.