CONSTITUTION OF THE INSTITUTE (1858-1870)
THE FOUNDATION IN BARBASTRO
Fr. Diego Gavin explained to Father General the advantage of establishing a foundation in Barbastro. We only know that Fr. Xifre put three indispensable conditions for the new house: that it be somewhat removed from the center of the city, that it be a house with some other tenant, to whom they could entrust the floor if necessary, and third, that it have a garden for the Priests. Once the old house of Jaca was vacated and the necessary steps were taken in Barbastro in 1869, the house on La Seo street could be founded with the presence of Fr. Gavin and Fr. Homs. There, the first church dedicated to the Heart of Mary in Spain was built; it still remains. The admission into this house of some children and adolescents was also the beginning of the postulancies in the Congregation, for whom Fr. Xifre wrote the first Rule in 1876. This house would later be an example for the entire Congregation, because of its 51 martyrs in the Spanish Civil War who were beatified by John Paul II in October 1992.
The Hidden Strength of God’s Will
But how mysterious are God’s ways, for although I really enjoyed manufacturing and had made considerable progress in it, I couldn’t make up my mind. I felt an inner repugnance for settling down and also for causing my father to contract any further liabilities on my behalf. I told him that I thought the time was not ripe, that I was still very young, and that because I was so short of stature, the workers wouldn’t take orders from me. He told me not to be concerned about that because someone else could handle the workers and I would only be involved in the directorship of the business. I continued to decline, however, saying that we would consider the matter later but that just now I didn’t wish to accept. My decision proved to be truly providential. This was the first time I had ever opposed my father’s plans. The reason, of course, was that God willed something else for me: he wanted me to be a priest, not a businessman, although at the time such ideas never entered my head. (Aut 64)
My life at this time was an embodiment of what the Gospel says about the thorns choking the good grain… (Aut 65).
FOR PERSONAL REFLECTION
- Have there been times when your life could have followed another path?
- Has someone from your family been helpful or difficult for your vocational process?
- Consider how God has guided your life without you noticing.
- Vocation is a gift received, a process, a donation, a crisis, a long journey, a slow discernment … Continue the sentence according to your own experience …
is the following of Christ set forth in the Gospels,
let this be held by all institutes as the highest rule.”
(Perfectae Caritatis, 2.a.).