1848. Claret attends the episcopal consecration in Madrid of Buenaventura Codina, Bishop of the Canary Islands, in the collegiate church of San Isidro, with whom he will then travel to the islands.
1857. Claret resumes, beginning with Baracoa (Cuba), the pastoral visit that had been interrupted a year before because of the attack. Curiously, the same day the royal order was signed for him to go to Madrid, which will arrive a month later.
EARLY EXPANSION (1870-1899)THE IRIS DE PAZ [IRIS OF PEACE]
In 1889 the future Iris de Paz or El Inmaculado Corazon de Maria [The Immaculate Heart of Mary], was born in Bilbao which was originally called Boletin del Corazon de Maria. It was the first and exclusive publication of the Congregation. It was going to be the unofficial publication of the Congregation (the official one was Annales). The first director was Fr. Diego Gavin. It was very appreciated from the beginning, although Fr. Xifre had some reluctance. Soon the work surpassed the possibilities of Fr. Gavin, in 1891 Fr. Jose Mata was appointed as director and the magazine was transferred to Madrid. In 1892 it began to be called Iris de Paz. In 1897 it grew in format and became bimonthly. It became the most appreciated and widespread religious magazine in Spain with nearly a thousand new subscriptions at the beginning of 1897. From this magazine, another no less important one in the history of the Congregation would split off: Ilustracion del Clero. After several difficulties, La Iris de Paz ceased permanently with the December 2017 edition.
Ramon GENOVER, CMFGeneral Consultor (1853-1927)
Seriñá (Gerona, Spain). He entered the Claretian novitiate in Thuir. After having held several positions of responsibility in Spain (Huesca, Segovia, Alagon, Gracia, Zafra, Madrid), Fr. Genover was chosen to found the Congregation first in Brazil (São Paulo, Campinas and Pouso Alegre) and then in Argentina (Buenos Aires, Tucuman, Catamarca, and Rosario), being named Visitor of both of them and of Chile (Talca, Temuco, Coquimbo and Antofagasta). He shared in his memorandum that he rode the Andes mountain range seven times on horseback. It would be impossible to narrate his plethora of activity. Returning to Spain, he was elected General Consultor in 1906 by the Province of Castilla. He pioneered the presence of the Congregation in England, then was present with his missionary energy in Portugal and Fernando Poo, and reopened new congregational routes in Germany, Austria, and Italy. He returned to Brazil as Vice-Provincial (Ribeirão Preto), until in 1922 when he returned definitively to Spain, where his dizzying missionary life ended this day at the novitiate in Vic.
Trust in the Lord’s Presence
Do not be afraid, for I am with you; stop being anxious and watchful, for I am your God. I give you strength, I bring you help, I uphold you with my victorious right hand (ibid, 10). Here I understood how the Lord had drawn me safely out of the narrow escapes to which I have referred in Part One, and of the means He used to do so. (Aut 115)
I understood what great enemies I would have to face and the awful and terrifying persecutions that would arise against me, but the Lord told me, All those who raged against you shall be put to shame and confusion; they who fought against you shall be destroyed and perish… For I, Yahweh, your God, I am holding you by the right hand; I tell you: Do not be afraid, I will help you. (ibid, 11 and 13) (Aut 116)
FOR PERSONAL REFLECTION
- Read and meditate on these biblical texts that aroused Claret’s missionary vocation.
- Do you feel the trust that comes from knowing that God has called you and is present in your life?
- What are the “enemies” that the Lord helps you overcome?
It is established in a tension between the desire to go unnoticed
and the living desire to give glory to God.”
(Juan M. Lozano, Mystic and Man of Action)