FEBRUARY

25

 

1847. The Second Carlist War and persecutions expressly against Claret force him to conclude his preaching in the Archdiocese of Tarragona.

1848. In Seville Claret visits and preaches in the Cathedral and sees the Los Seises dance (Perhaps they were his inspiration for the future liturgy in El Escorial).

1854. During these days Claret writes to the Captain General of Cuba, lamenting the little support received for fixing irregular marriages; he threatens once again to leave and take his missionaries.

EARLY EXPANSION (1870-1899)

AVE MARIA MAGAZINE

A Brazilian Catholic, Tiburtino Martin, great devotee of the Virgin, founded the magazine Ave Maria [Hail Mary] in São Paulo in 1898 with which he intended to christianize all of Brazil. It was a bimonthly, four-page magazine with a circulation of 300 copies. It would have been short-lived if it had not been taken over the following year by the Claretian Missionaries who had arrived in São Paulo. The growth of the magazine was spectacular. In less than six months it had already grown to a circulation of 3,000 copies. In 1908 it was already the magazine with the most subscribers of all Brazil with 8,500 copies eventually reaching 50,000 a week. It also became a great medium for Catholic information, which made the prestige of the Congregation spread throughout the republic. There was effective collaboration with the Brazilian ecclesiastical hierarchy, helping the rest of the Catholic press technically and economically. After more than a century of existence, it has become a large publishing emporium, focusing primarily on the dissemination of the Bible.

BEATIFICATION OF Father Claret

On February 25, 1934, the first fruit of the efforts of the Claretians was obtained when they saw their Founder beatified. Once the clergy gathered before the altar of St. Peter’s Basilica, the Postulator, Fr. Felipe Maroto, presented the apostolic brief. The Te Deum was sung and after the unveiling of the saint’s image in front of Bernini’s Glory, Claret’s sons were able to contemplate their father and founder raised to the altars. Pio XI’s voice resounded loudly: We have a new Blessed…A great figure indeed…A tireless Apostle…and moreover, a modern organizer. There were many decrees, speeches and congratulations that came from everywhere. But the most expressive was undoubtedly the address of Pope Pius XI and his words addressed to the people and the Congregation. Here are some of them: Congratulations to Spain… for this hero of holiness who so well knew his Spain, to which he consecrated his entire life under all circumstances, even in the midst of the turbulence and dangers of the preludes of a revolution.

Hospitality and Kindness

On the evening of that same Saturday when our Lord and the Blessed Virgin had freed me from the thieves, I entered the first city inside France, Osseja, where I had a warm welcome… (Aut 126)

As I was nearing Marseilles a person joined me on the road. He took me to a house where I was very well lodged for the five days I had to wait for my boat in Marseilles… (Aut 127)

Finally, the time for my sailing has come. It was one o’clock in the afternoon. Shortly before this, the gentleman came to my room, took my little bundle of things, and steadfastly insisted on carrying it. And so we went, the two of us, to the port and said our farewells at shipside. All five days he had been so courteous, attentive, friendly, and preoccupied with my welfare that it seemed to me some great lord had sent him to look after me with all care. He seemed more like an angel than a man—modest, happy, and at the same time, serious. He was so religious and devout… (Aut 128)

 

FOR PERSONAL REFLECTION

 

  • Have you recognized God’s Providence over your life in some experience of hospitality and kindness?
  • What is your attitude towards foreigners and immigrants?
  • Recall the immigrants you have offered help and hospitality to.
    Movie: “The Good Lie”.

 

“Our missionary vocation in the Church is a grace,
a fruit of the Holy Spirit, who pours forth his manifold gifts freely.”

(MCH 126)

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