JANUARY

08

1850.  Claret pleads before the heavenly court for Fr. Joseph Caixal to leave other matters behind to move to Barcelona and dedicate himself fully to the Libreria Religiosa [Religious Publishing House and Bookstore].

1858.  Claret communicates, still with reservations, to his most intimate collaborators that he has proposed Fr. Stephen Sala as his successor in the Diocese of Santiago, for his personal characteristics, as well as because he is of the same spirit as I am.

1870. General Congregation in the First Vatican Council.

THE FOUNDATION (1849-1858)

DEATH OF FR. STEPHEN SALA

Father Claret was already in Madrid when Fr. Stephen Sala died on April 18, 1858. Shortly before, on June 27, 1857, the Constitutions of the Institute had been published, with the approval of the Bishop. At the death of Fr. Sala, the community had only one house (Vic), twelve priests and three Brother helpers. About this mixed reality of Priests and Brothers, it is significant that on June 17, 1855 there were 10 Priests and 3 Brothers. The Constitutions of 1857 were signed by the co-founders (except Fr. Vilaro, who had already died), 9 Priests and 3 Brothers. In his report to the Nuncio, on February 2, 1864, Claret speaks of 32 Priests, 4 Theology students and 18 Brothers. In 1868 (at the beginning of the revolution) there were 82 members: 36 Priests, 16 Students and 30 Brothers. In 1878, in the first printed catalog, we read that there were: 117 Professed Priests and 6 Novices, 41 Professed Students and 62 Novices, 77 professed Brothers and 31 Novices. Total 334, between Professed and Novices.

HOUSE OF CHARITY

Puerto Príncipe (Cuba)

 

On January 8, 1855, Archbishop Claret bought from Juan de Dios Arango a farm and a pasture to build the House of Charity, a social work in Puerto Principe, Camagüey. Fr. Paladio Currius would take care of its construction. Claret recounts in his Autobiography (563-564): I bought a ranch for the poor of Puerto Principe. Thinking about this House of Charity he wrote the little book Las Delicias del Campo [The Delights of the Country]. The Plan of this social work was to gather together poor boys and girls, many of whom were wandering the streets begging. At the ranch they were fed, clothed, and taught their religion, as well as reading, writing, and whatever art or trade they wanted to learn. One hour–and only one hour–a day they had to work on the ranch. This provided enough food to make the ranch self-supporting.

The Love of God the Father

In time I felt a further stimulus for zeal of which I shall speak later, namely, the thought that sin not only condemns my neighbor but is mostly an offense against God, my Father. This idea breaks my heart with pain and makes me want to run like… And I tell myself, “If a sin is infinitely malicious, then preventing a sin is preventing an infinite offense against my God, against my good Father.” (Aut 16).

If a son had a very kind father and saw that he was being maltreated for no reason at all, wouldn’t the son defend the father? If the son saw that this good father was being led to execution, wouldn’t he do all that he could to set him free? Well, then, what should I be doing for the honor of my Father, who is offended with such indifference and who, though innocent, is being led to Calvary to be, as St. Paul says, crucified anew by sin? Would it not be a crime to remain silent? What would be the sense of not doing everything we could? My God, my Father! Help me to prevent all sins, or at least one sin, even if I should be cut into pieces in the attempt. (Aut 17).

FOR PERSONAL REFLECTION

 

  • ¿Qué lugar ocupa Dios Padre en tu vida espiritual?
  • ¿En qué consiste tu amor por él?
  • ¿Qué consecuencias tiene tu amor al Padre en tu vida misionera?
  • ¿Qué dices tú cuando dices Dios?
  • ¿A quiénes y cómo se lo dices?
  • ¿Desde dónde hablas?
“How good you are, my Father.
Let me serve you always with fidelity and love.
Give me your constant grace to know what pleases you and the
will power to put it into effect.”

(Aut 136)

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