FEBRUARY

21

 

1853. Claret travels, today and tomorrow, from Saltadero to Baracoa (Cuba), with his famous passage through Las Cuchillas.

1857. Claret begins a visit and mission in Baracoa (Cuba), which will last until March 5th.

1864. Claret starts a mission in the parish of San Andres (Madrid).

EARLY EXPANSION (1870-1899)

CHRONICLE OF THE CONGREGATION

In the General Archive of the Congregation, and among the papers of Fr. Joseph Xifre, a priceless Codex entitled Cronica de la Congregacion [Chronicle of the Congregation] of the Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. This manuscript, together with the unpublished Notes of Fr. Jaime Clotet, would be enough to make an Institute proud, because few Institutes have had the joy of having chronicles written by their founders with the amount of data found in ours. No more authoritative testimony of the virtues of our Father Founder or of the Providence of God over the Congregation can be presented. Fr. Xifre started writing this historical Chronicle of the Congregation on January 13, 1893, aboard the English ship Mendoza while sailing from Panama to Guayaquil, in Pacific waters. It is unknown when it was finished. The manuscript was published for the first time in Annales in 1915. It has two parts: the first about the Founder and the origins of the Congregation and the second about its development until 1885.

Giovanni Brunelli

Nuncio in Spain (1795-1861)

Roma (Italy). Apostolic Delegate of the Holy See in Spain since 1847. He was later named Apostolic Nuncio in 1848. Queen Isabella II granted him the Grand Cross of the Order of Charles III. He solved the problem of vacant dioceses, and with Archbishop Jose Domingo Costa y Borras, he prepared the Concordat between the Holy See and Spain of 1851. Cardinal in 1853 and Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for Studies. He died in Osimo (Italy). He was Nuncio when Claret was appointed Archbishop of Cuba and he was the one who urged him to accept the position and to resolve the situation in which the newborn Congregation was left. From his hands, Claret received the metropolitan pallium. On the trip to Andalusia with the Queen in 1862, in which he participated, he was able to observe Father Claret closely in the midst of the splendor, agitation, banquets, and receptions. The expression that he used in a solemn phrase was: His Excellency Archbishop Claret is a saint, but a Catalan saint.

The Effect of the Mission

See, I turn you into a threshing sled, new, with doubled teeth; you shall thresh and crush the mountains and turn the hills to chaff (ibid, 15). Through these words the Lord made me understand the effect that my preaching and the mission He had entrusted to me were to have. The “mountains” are the proud, the rationalists, and others of that sort, and the “hills” are the lustful, both of which loom above the place where all sinners pass. I shall argue with them and convince them of their sin, and hence the Lord tells me, You shall winnow them and the wind will blow them away, the gale will scatter them. But you yourself will rejoice in Yahweh, and glory in the Holy One of Israel (ibid, 16). (Aut 117)

FOR PERSONAL REFLECTION

 

  • Do you meditate often on being an instrument of the Lord to transmit his message of life to his people?
  • Have you ever felt the effects of your missionary life?
  • What are the most difficult challenges you encounter in your mission?
  • What words and signs accompany your preaching?

 

“We are the heirs of earlier generations, and we reap benefits
from the efforts of our contemporaries;
we are under obligation to all men. Therefore we cannot disregard the welfare
of those who will come after us to increase the human family.”

(Paul VI, Populorum Progressio, 17)

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