Jean Jacques Olier and the Sodality

“Jean Jacques Olier (1608-1657) and his companions, inspired by those who went before them, priests and laity, became aware in themselves and in others of the deep need of priestly perfection for the life of the Church and for its apostolic and missionary work. Supported by the Christian people and encouraged by the hierarchy, Father Olier and his companions constituted a community of priests without separating themselves from the diocesan clergy. In the service of the bishops, they endeavored to give full meaning to the ministry and life of the priests and to restore the priestly office to the holiness befitting “the living instruments of Christ, the eternal priest””

from The Constitutions of the Society of the Priests of Saint Sulpice


Growth in holiness, the sanctification of priests has been the fundamental aim of the Sodality from the very first conversations in January and February 2015. As we have sought to identify what this call, this charism means and how it is to be expressed a number of diverse elements have been brought together. The prayer of Jean Jacques Olier which is in The Manual is one which has much influenced many of those who have been ordained in recent years. Olier founded the Society of the Priests of Saint Sulpice (in 1641). The Society’s Constitutions are available online here and would make an excellent meditation for aspirants to the Sodality as we prepare for the first admissions at the February retreat.

O Jesus, living in Mary,

come and live in thy servants,

in the spirit of thy holiness,

in the fullness of thy might,

in the truth of thy virtues,

in the perfection of thy ways,

in the communion of thy mysteries.

Subdue every hostile power in thy Sprit,

for the glory of the Father.



Jean Jacques Olier


Here is a version of the Olier prayer by Gerard Manley Hopkins

Jesu that does in Mary dwell

Be in thy servants’ hearts as well,

In the spirit of thy holiness,

In the fullness of thy force and stress,

In the very ways that thy life goes

And virtues that thy pattern shows,

In the sharing of thy mysteries;

And every power in us that is

Against thy power put under feet

In the Holy Ghost the Paraclete

To the Glory of the Father. Amen.



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