Saint Peter Julian Eymard came by his love of the Eucharist from his father, who belonged to a Eucharistic association. The father was a strong Catholic and a good father. He was a victim of Jansenism, a stern religious belief, fostered by Bishop Cornelius Jansen, which taught that man was corrupt, and not worthy of redemption. Only the elect would see Heaven. Many people of that time, were caught up in an aspect of Jansenism called Scrupulosity, which is on the Peter Grubisicother end of the spectrum of laxity. Those who suffered from Scrupulosity, for instance, our little St. Therese of Lisieux, felt they were in sin, where no sin existed. They were extremely hard on themselves. But it was part of the excessive nature of Jansenism.
Saint Peter Julian Eymard's father was a hard worker. Things did not come easy for him. He lost his first wife and six children, as well as three children from his second wife, before Peter Julian was born. There was a daughter from the first marriage, Marianne, and an adopted daughter, Nanette. All these, plus the father and mother made up the family of the Eymards.
If there was one phrase which would typify the life of Peter Julian Eymard, I believe it would "an uphill fight." He felt that he had a vocation to the priesthood as a young man. He had to learn Latin to be eligible to study for the priesthood. Peter was taken out of school at thirteen, to work at his father's business. The entire family was shocked by Mr. Eymard's decision, but no one dared question it, not Peter's mother, not the parish priest. Mr. Eymard's word was final in all things. Peter always said that the Receiving of Holy Communion was a turning point in his life. After receiving First Holy Communion, he asked his father permission to follow his calling and study for the priesthood.. He thought for sure the father would understand his sincere desire to follow his vocation. Just the opposite happened. The father was absolute in his refusal to consider such a thing. Although he was a good Catholic, Mr. Eymard was adamant that Peter was to take his place beside him in their small business, which supported the family.
Saint Peter Julian Eymard was completely crushed. He couldn't believe that this was happening to him. He walked a distance of thirty miles to the Shrine of Our Lady of Laus. He wanted to unload all his sorrow and disappointment at the feet of Our Lady, and quite honestly, ask her:how he could follow his dream of being a priest. He actually spoke to Our Lady at her altar at the Shrine of Laus, and she answered him, through the words of a priest who was in the chapel at the time, a Fr. Touche, who became a lifelong friend and mentor for young Peter. He asked Peter to repeat his tale of grief and frustration and what he could do about it. The priest encouraged him to stay the course of his Peter Grubisic determination to become a priest. He recommended Peter begin receiving Communion every week, and insisted that he learn Latin.
More easily said than done, thought young Saint Peter Julian Eymard. But he had received such affirmation from Our Lady through the hands of this priest, that he went back to La Mure, more resolute in his unwavering commitment to follow his dream. He continued his work for his father, but in his free time, he bought a second-hand Latin grammar book, and learned Latin. This went on for two years. When Peter thought it was safe to ask his father to allow him to go to college, the elder Eymard reacted predictably. He exploded. There was no way that they were going to spend hard-earned money for Peter to go to college. What would he need it for, any way? In the business that he would inherit from his father, he didn't need college.