FEBRUARY

27

 

1850. Claret communicates to Fr. Stephen Sala, who is preaching in Tarragona, his plans to found a house in Barcelona soon, in which Fr. Joseph Caixal will live and also attend to the Libreria Religiosa.

1854. It is probably on this date that he addresses his final plea in favor of mixed marriages to the Captain General of Cuba.

1863. During these days, at the request of the nuncio, Claret fights bravely with the queen to not accept the resignation of Fr. Felix de Cadiz as Bishop of said city.

EARLY EXPANSION (1870-1899)

SITUATION OF THE INSTITUTE AT THE END OF THE 19TH CENTURY

Fr. Clotet embodied the tendency to form Provinces in the Congregation. Fr. Xifre, however, was in favor of a more centralized Congregation. The Chapter of 1888 had raised the issue and such formation had been rejected. However, the subject returned in the 8th extraordinary General Chapter of 1895, celebrated in Santo Domingo de la Calzada, resulting in the division into two Provinces unanimously: Catalunya and Castilla. In any case, the powers of the Provincials were not clearly determined. There was a new extraordinary General Chapter in May 1896 where it was discussed, but the situation was still not clarified.

By then co-founder, Fr. Dominic Fabregas had died. And the remains of Father Claret (1897) had been transferred from Fontfroide to Vic. On this occasion a great tribute was celebrated for the then Servant of God, with funeral rites presided over by the Bishop of Vic in the Cathedral, accompanied by the Bishop of Segorbe, Francisco de Asis Aguilar and the Abbot of Fontfroide, Marie-Jean L. Bousquet.

BLESSED JOSEPH TOUS

Founder (1811-1871)

Igualada (Barcelona, Spain). He saw his ideals realized in the Capuchin Order. In 1835, due to exclaustrations and exile, Friar Josep headed for Italy. Later he settled in Toulouse (France) where he exercised his apostolic ministry as chaplain of the Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament for seven years. In 1843 the political situation allowed him to return to Catalonia. His feelings of compassion towards children and young people converged with the wishes of the young women Isabel Jubal, Marta Suñol and Remedio Palos in Ripoll. After consulting the project with Father Claret, Fr. Tous’ childhood friend, he accepted guiding them as Capuchin Sisters of the Mother of the Divine Shepherd. Later he collaborated with the General Superior, Blessed Maria Ana Mogas in the foundation in Madrid of what was later named the Franciscan Missionaries of the Mother of the Divine Shepherd, encouraged by both Father Claret and Fr. Stephen Sala. He died while celebrating the Eucharist in the chapel of the school that the Capuchin Sisters had in Barcelona.

The Impact of Apostolic Poverty

On our second day out…When I had finished my prayers, an English gentleman walked over…After we had chatted awhile he went to his cabin, and in a short time, I saw him coming toward me with some silver coins on a tray. When I saw him, I thought, What are you going to do? Will you accept the money or not? I said to myself, You don’t need it, but those poor Spaniards do; so take it and give it to them. And that is just what I did… (Aut 133).

This whole adventure confirmed what I had already believed: that the best and most effective means to edify and move people is a good example, poverty, detachment, fasting, mortification, and self-denial. Since this English gentleman was traveling in Oriental luxury, with his coach, servants, birds, and dogs aboard, one might imagine that my appearance would move him to contempt. But the sight of a priest who was poor, detached, and mortified moved him so deeply that he couldn’t do enough for me. And not only he but all the passengers showed me great respect and veneration… (Aut 135).

FOR PERSONAL REFLECTION

 

  • Does the austerity of your life impact the people around you?
  • In what way do you live in solidarity with the poor in the environment in which you find yourself?
  • In what sense are the poor favored in your mission?
  • Narrate an experience of your encounter with the world of poverty.
  • Do you talk to the poor or just about them? When was the last time you were in contact with one of them?
  • Read and pray with Mt. 25.

 

“Like for Saint Paul, corporal sufferings for the love of Christ
had been accompanied by the grace of spiritual stigmatization:
the grace of consecration to the Redeemer, of communion with his sufferings.”

(Juan M. Lozano, Mystic and Man of Action)

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