JANUARY

26

1858. Claret refused to be promoted to the rank of Senator of the Kingdom, which corresponded to him as metropolitan bishop. Some will criticize him considering that he missed an opportunity to do great good for the nation.

1861. Claret accompanies the Queen on a visit to the Virgin of Atocha (Madrid)

1868. During these days, Fr. Joseph Xifre visits Claret. Claret gives him all the money he has at the moment for the foundation of the community of Jaca.

CONSTITUTION OF THE INSTITUTE (1858-1870)

 

APPROVAL OF THE CONSTITUTIONS

 

The origins of the Constitutions were in the first norms that the Founder wrote in 1849 for the first community. No copies have been preserved of these first Constitutions. In 1857, when Claret had just settled in Madrid, in order to obtain the civil approval of the Congregation, he dedicated himself to updating the Constitutions with Fr. Stephen Sala, which are the earliest we have a copy of today. In 1862 the General Chapter, with the assistance of the Founder, added an appendix with 29 corrections to the previous text. In the text of 1865, the order and structure were maintained and the chapters on formation were added. The Chapter left in the Founder’s hands all the modifications or new dispositions that he himself or His Holiness would like to make or add. This was the text approved by Pius IX on November 22nd of that year ad decennium per modum experimenti. On April 1, 1866, the new Rule became effective, now translated into Spanish. The final approval would arrive on February 11, 1870.

FRANCISCO GOMEZ MARIJUAN, CMF

First Bishop of Santa Isabel (1906-1979)

 

Villanueva del Conde (Salamanca, Spain). After his priestly ordination, he was assigned to Jerez de los Caballeros as professor of Philosophy and from there he was called by Fr. Nicolas Gonzalez to continue his teaching at the Banapa seminary in Equatorial Guinea. This was the reason for his arriving in that nation at only 25 years old. There he carried out different ministries: director of boarding schools, expeditionary missionary, superior of several houses and mainly seminary professor. He was also Consultor of the Vice Province for two terms. In 1957 he was appointed Titular Bishop of Sinna and Vicar Apostolic of Fernando Poo. When the Vicariate was elevated to a Diocese in 1966, with the title of Santa Isabel, he was appointed as its first bishop. Due to political events, he was expelled from Equatorial Guinea in 1971. After that he lived in Salamanca until his death, being an example of simplicity, friendliness and having a capacity for suffering.

 

Desires for Progress

 

Because I wanted to improve my knowledge of manufacturing techniques, I asked my father to send me to Barcelona. He agreed and took me there. But, like St. Paul, I had to earn what I needed for food, clothing, books, teachers, etc., with my own two hands. My first move was to submit a petition to the Board of Trade for admission to classes in design. My request was granted and I used it to some advantage. Who would have guessed that God would one day use in the interests of religion the studies in design that I undertook for Early Life business reasons? And, in fact, these skills have been most useful to me in designing prints for catechisms and works on mysticism. (Aut 56)

Besides design I studied Castilian and, later, French grammar, but always with an eye to their usefulness in business and manufacturing. (Aut 57).

FOR PERSONAL REFLECTION

 

Claret sees the presence of God who guides his life along sometimes unexpected paths.

  • Do you believe there have been unthinkable incidents or realities in your life that you now recognize as providential?
  • What lessons have been most useful in your missionary life? How much have they served you in your evangelizing work?
  • By what unpredictable ways has the Spirit of Jesus led you?

 

“Hope is a good thing, perhaps the greatest thing,
and a good thing never dies.”

(Movie, The Shawshank Redemption)

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