JANUARY

14

1850. After his operated knee was healed, Claret embarks on a trip from Barcelona to Tarragona to meet with the Archbishop, while preparing for his episcopal ordination. On the way he attends to the famous prisoners of Villafranca. In those days in Tarragona he drew his episcopal coat of arms.

1858. Claret writes to Fr. Jose Escola indicating that what Mother Esperanza Gonzalez Puig intends is practically the same as what Mother Sacramento has already founded. This was a great disappointment to Mother Esperanza. However, supported by Claret, she ended up founding the Missionary Handmaids of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

CONSTITUTION OF THE INSTITUTE (1858-1870)

 

FOUNDATION IN SEGOVIA

 

The mission house in Gracia could not satisfy the yearnings of expansion of the Congregation. Father Claret wanted there to be a house in each diocese, and it was he who initiated and guided the efforts from Madrid, where he was the Queen’s confessor, resulting in the foundation in Segovia, at the request of Bishop Friar Rodrigo Echevarria y Briones. It was established in a rented house, presiding over liturgies in the church of San Andres and it was considered officially founded on November 22, 1861. Later, on July 14, 1862, it moved to the church convent of the Discalced Franciscans: San Gabriel. Thus, began the expansion outside of Catalunya, through Castilian lands. The first ones destined to Segovia were Fr. Clement Serrat as Superior, Fr. Francis Crusats and Brother Joseph Saladich. As in Vic and in Gracia, the third community was also mixed. Shortly after Fr. Dominic Fabregas, co-founder, Fr. Donato Berenguer and Fr. Antonio Vilaseca joined.

Giovanni Simeoni

Nuncio in Spain and Cardinal (1816-1892)

 

Paliano (Italy). Cardinal and Secretary of State. He began as private secretary of Gregory XVI and was appointed auditor of the Nunciature in Spain and later Secretary of the Congregation of Propaganda Fide. Nuncio in Spain in 1875. Cardinal and Secretary of State of Pius IX. He was a great expert and collector of works of art. His dealings with Father Claret were brief but intense. When Claret arrived at the Court in 1857, he encountered a serious moral and political problem: the friendship of Queen Isabella II with the young soldier Puig Moltò. Claret and Simeoni, who was the Acting Prefect of Public Ecclesiastical Affairs of the Holy See, had to take on this issue together. Claret wanted to get away from the Court, but that was a problem for the Holy See. Simeoni considered Claret’s attempts ineffective. Attending Father Claret’s Spiritual Exercises in the church of Italians, he advised him to remain in office, at least until the arrival of the new Nuncio Barili.

Holistic Formation

 

My parents and teacher not only instructed me in the truths I had to believe but also in the virtues I needed to practice. With regard to my neighbor, they told me never to take or covet what belongs to others and that, if I ever found something, I should return it to its owner. It just so happened that one day after school, as I was walking along the street toward home, I saw a quarter lying on the ground. I picked it up and wondered to whom I should return it. Since I couldn’t see anyone on the street, I decided that it must have fallen from the window of the nearest house. So I went up to the house, asked for the head of the house, and gave him the quarter. (Aut 28)

I was trained so well in obedience and resignation that I was always content with whatever was done, decided, or given to me by way of food or clothing… my mother, who was always very fond of me, used to say, Anthony, would you like this? I would always answer; I always like what you like. But, she would say, there are always some things we like better than others. And then I’d say, Whatever you give me is what I like best of all… (Aut 29)

 

FOR PERSONAL REFLECTION

 

  • Do you think that your early education has offered you a good theoretical and practical foundation for life?
  • How do you judge your docility during childhood and later in adolescence?
  • In this moment of your life, are you happier giving or receiving? (cf. Acts 20:35)
  • Draw some memories of your childhood and adolescence as vignettes.
  • Write the meaningful words that accompanied your formation.
“What are we defending, Sam?”
Sam: “That there is something good in this world, Mr. Frodo,
and it’s worth fighting for it.”

(Movie, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers)

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