CONSTITUTION OF THE INSTITUTE (1858-1870)
IN SEARCH OF LEGAL STABILITY
There was a serious problem of perseverance or of true vocations. Hence, there was a desire to demand more stability: an oath of permanence. Little by little vows, religious profession, etc. Throughout the forties and fifties, there were times when the group was at risk of dissolving. The presence of many ex-monks, ex-friars, etc., due to the seizure, made some enter seeking refuge, without having a true vocation, or to enter without a true commitment. There were also those who were looking for a certain type of Religious Life since at that time the civil government did not allow the existence of convents and monasteries.
After the II General Chapter of 1862 the novitiate was adopted, the oath of permanence, the consecration to the Heart of Mary and the private vows, recognizing the Students as a new class of members in the Congregation. In 1865 the formula of the religious profession was confirmed and the door opened for all the members of the Congregation to make profession of vows. Father Claret himself made it at the end of his life.
Pilgrim with Mary
As a small child I and my sister Rose, who was very devout, made frequent visits to the shrine of the Blessed Virgin Mary called Fussimaña, a league away from my home. I cannot describe the devotion I felt at this shrine. Even before I got there, as soon as I could see the outline of the chapel, I felt so emotional that tears of tenderness welled up in my eyes. We started saying the rosary and kept praying all the way to the chapel. I have visited the shrine at Fussimaña whenever I could, not only as a child but as student, priest, and even as archbishop before I left for my diocese. (Aut 49)
FOR PERSONAL REFLECTION
- Are there Marian shrines that are particularly significant in your life?
- What evangelical texts about Mary are more inspiring to you?
- What place does Mary occupy in your missionary preaching?
- Why do so many people gather at the Marian Shrines?
- Movie: “Full of Grace” (70m).
(Blessed Emilio Bover, CMF)