Saint John Eudes always placed Mary in relation with Christ and mankind
In 637, Jean Eudes published "The Life and Kingdom of Jesus in Christian Souls," a handbook on Christian life for all baptized. To be a Christian is to continue Christ's life, 'to form Jesus in ourselves,' to participate in his life, to feel like Jesus felt.
The real way to honor Mary is to "see and adore her Son in her, and to see and adore him only, for it is the way she wants to be honored; by herself she is nothing, but her Son Jesus is all, within her—he is her being, her life, her holiness, her glory."
If to be Christian is to have Christ's feelings in ourselves (Ph. 2: 5), we are then called to have toward Mary the same feelings that Jesus had for her: "He loved her most perfectly and highly honored her, choosing her for his Mother, giving himself to her as a Son, and glorifying her." This is how Jesus loved his Mother; no one has ever loved Jesus as his she did.
Mary's heart is one with Jesus'
Mary's heart is that human heart whose feelings are all animated by the Holy Spirit, a fire of Love. Jesus and Mary's hearts are one heart. John Eudes said: "Mary's heart is Jesus'."
Because Jesus lives and reigns perfectly in Mary, Saint John Eudes presented her heart as the prototype of Christian life, the perfect identification with Christ. He has us contemplate, in Mary, what Christian virtues are—especially humility and charity—the love in our hearts for the poor.
John Eudes is called the "Apostle of Jesus' and Mary's hearts." Speaking up on their behalf wasn't easy in those days and he was the object of many attacks, mostly from the Jansenists.
A little before his death (1680), he finished a long book entitled "The Admirable Heart of the Most Holy Mother of God." He based this devotion on the Scriptures, especially Luke's gospel ("Mary meditated these things in her heart" Lk 2: 19 and 51), on Tradition, the Fathers of the Church and other spiritual authors.
John Eudes went deeper in this reflection, and from his consideration of Mary's heart he also came to praise Christ's Heart, whose feast he instituted in 1672.
Christ's Heart, one with Mary's Heart, is "the heart of our heart"
John Eudes not only preached and wrote, he also had a mystical experience. In his "Testament," he told his spiritual Daughters and Sons:
"I give myself to the incomprehensible love by which my Jesus and his good Mother gave me their beloved Heart in a very special manner, and in union with that same love, I give this same Heart as something that belongs to me and of which I can dispose for the glory of God... "
To all Christians, John Eudes also says that this Heart is ours, since Jesus gave us everything when he gave himself to us and gave us his Mother. Christ's heart, one with Mary's heart, is "the Heart of our Heart."
In this way we can truly love God, give him "love in exchange for love," and love each other with that same love. In a concrete way, John Eudes invites us, before we do anything, to renounce ourselves, in order to act, pray, and love with this Heart that has been given to us.
DE PAS R., Saint Jean Eudes et la Vierge Marie, in Nouveaux cahiers marials # 31, (August 1993)