JANUARY

25

1846. The Holy See responds affirmatively to the request for extraordinary faculties made by Claret in favor of his collaborators in the missionary work.

1863. Claret concludes Spiritual Exercises for women in the church of Montserrat (Madrid).

1868. I felt strongly moved to preach and teach the recitation of the Most Holy Rosary.

CONSTITUTION OF THE INSTITUTE (1858-1870)

 

CIVIL AND CANONICAL APPROVAL

 

The request of civil approval of the Institute was presented by the Founder at the end of 1857, when Fr. Sala was still alive and the Rules were already printed. Although Father Claret was not convinced of the prudence of such a request, since it could be counterproductive in that anticlerical political environment, he acquiesced to the desire of the Missionaries. On July 9, 1859, the longed-for approval arrived; with which the Congregation gained strength and prestige for its actions and representation and had the legal basis for the execution of the endeavors that Fr. Xifre held dear.

On April 3, 1859, Father Claret asked the Holy See for approval of the Rules and the Institute. The provisional canonical approval was achieved with the Decretum Laudis of October 19, 1860. Pius IX gave the definitive approval of the Institute when approving the Constitutions ad experimentum on December 22, 1865. The definitive approval, however, arrived, five years before predicted, in 1870. Fr. Xifre tried to introduce Solemn Vows, but it was not granted.

 

Salvador Alfageme, CMF

Missionary in China (1891-1970)

 

Valladolid (Spain). He belonged to the first novitiate of the Province of Betica. He was first a formator in theology in Zafra and later a missionary in China (1933-1951). He was a member, as director, of the first group destined to China after the pioneers Fr. Anastasio Rojas and Fr. Joseph Fogued. He was the one who was responsible for commenting on the impressions of the trip to Fr. John Postius, who would publish them in Annales [Annals]. This is how Fr. Casado described him in a letter from China: He is an individual with many good qualities: a true son of the Heart of Mary. On April 27, 1949 Fr. Alfageme, almost blind, left Tunki with six young men, with a Chinese aspirant and three Claretian Sisters. On June 7th they arrived in Shanghai after countless adventures. On October 9th, Fr. Alfageme and the group could finally leave Shanghai for Hong Kong, all except the Chinese aspirant who was prevented from leaving. He would leave soon for Rome and Spain. He died on January 9th in Zafra.

 

Faithful to Grace

 

While I was engaged in these holy thoughts that so delighted my heart, I suddenly had the most terrible and blasphemous temptation against the Blessed Virgin Mary. This is the greatest pain I have felt in my whole life…I went to confession, but because I was too young to know how to express myself very well, the confessor made light of what I was saying, and I was in the same predicament as before…This temptation lasted until the Lord Himself chose to come to my aid. (Aut 51)

Later I had another temptation against my own good mother, who loved me very much and whom I loved in return. I conceived a great hatred and aversion for her, and, to overcome the temptation, I forced myself to treat her with much tenderness and humility. I recollect that when I went to confession and told my director about my temptation and the means I had used to overcome it, he asked me, Who told you to do these things? I answered, No one, Father. Then he told me, It is God who has been teaching you, son; keep on as you have been doing and be faithful to his grace. (Aut 52)

FOR PERSONAL REFLECTION

 

  • What role have women played in your life?
  • Have they enriched or created difficulty in your vocation?
  • Do not forget that the grace of God will always help you to be faithful to God’s call.
  • You can read the “Temptations faced by pastoral workers” that Pope Francis wrote in Evangelium Gaudium, 76-109.
“Besides this outline which comes by faith,
there is another by love in the soul that loves
— that is, in the will —
in which the face of the Beloved is so deeply and vividly pictured,
when the union of love occurs, that it may be truly said
the Beloved lives in the loving soul, and the loving soul in the Beloved.”

(St. John of the Cross, Spiritual Canticle, XII. 7)

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