Saint John Eudes (+1680) was, like all saints, ahead of his time. During the fractious century in the wake of the Protestant ‘reformation’, he saw the need of men – priests especially – totally dedicated to God. At first joining the Oratory in France, which, unlike the other Oratories of Saint Philip, was a religious order, he proved himself a zealous and indefatigable pastor, well-read and well-formed, spiritually and intellectually. Part-way through his life, he discerned a call to dedicate himself specifically to the formation of priests, most of whom were ill-equipped for their demanding role. He saw that priests

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