October 7

 Birthday of Jean Pierre Medaille, SJ


Yesterday, October 6, was the birthday of Jean-Pierre Medaille (1610-1669). He was born in Carcassonne in the south-west of France. In 1626 he entered the Jesuit Novitiate and made his first profession of vows two years later. The Archives state that his “intellectual qualities are excellent, remarkable, penetrating, even sublime.” In 1637 he was ordained a Priest and held various responsible posts in Jesuit Colleges as well as serving as Spiritual Director and Confessor to parishioners. He guided Francoise Eyraud and her five companions towards a profound spiritual life and formed them into an association called the Little Design. In 1650 in Le Puy this association was named The Sisters of St Joseph.

They worked for the poor the sick the orphaned and any “Dear Neighbor” in need. Their cloister was their hearts, they were contemplatives in action, doing whatever was necessary in their neighborhoods. Jean Pierre Medaille’s dream to help establish a Congregation of contemplative active ordinary women sprang from his appreciation of God’s love for all of Creation. Medaille believed that the spirit of God lives at the core of our being. Our task is to become sensitive and responsive to this indwelling, which leads to union with God, communion with others and the cherishing of all of Creation.


O God, may your  transforming love, open us to share this love with the whole world


In what practical ways can the ideal of union with God, communion with others, and the cherishing of all creation happen in your life? What is one practical thing you can do?

Suggested Reading

From the writings of Jean Pierre Medaille, SJ

Be courageous to undertake what God wants of you and constant to
persevere in what you undertake, never giving up, whatever difficulties occur
and whatever obstacles may be placed in your path unless you become
totally powerless against them.

Have for God a love that is generous, embracing all that love is
capable of, and all that a heart can love in God and for God
and a love unable to be uprooted by any created powe

Let your charity toward your neighbour be,as Saint Paul admonishes,
patient, benevolent, considerate, without the least trace of bitterness or enmity.
Avoid rash or negative judgments, slander, any signs of coldness or words or gestures in any way offensive. In a word, let your charity abound in the justice of the Gospel, and let it fulfill all the demands of the beautiful maxim of the Saviour:
“Do to others what you would wish others to do to you.”
It follows that what you would not want done to yourself you do not do to others.

Ponder this truth well: a holy and exemplary life is incomparably more beneficial to the neighbor than fine discourses. The world is more deeply touched by a saintly example than by eloquent words.