FEBRUARY

03

 

1847. Claret travels from Poboleda to Tarragona to present himself before the commander, because of some anonymous slander. He is declared innocent.

1865. The newspaper La Esperanza comes out in his defense against the fake edition of the book The Golden Key.

1866. Claret supports the decision of the General Government of the Congregation to leave the precarious foundation of Huesca; however, it will be preserved and will even resist the onslaught of the revolution.

EARLY EXPANSION (1870-1899)

RESTORATION IN SPAIN

On October 5, 1875, the copy of the Royal Order by which the Missionaries could return to their former possessions in Spain arrived in Thuir, sent by Fr. Xifre. The King Alfonso XII had already entered Madrid. The houses of Vic, Segovia and La Selva del Camp were recovered. Those of the latter soon founded in Tarragona, where they had been since 1872, but had to leave. The houses of Gracia and Huesca were also recovered. In 1876, from July 9th to 13th, the IV General Chapter took place, in which Fr. Xifre and the same auxiliaries of the Government were re-elected: Fr. Clotet as Assistant Director and Fr. Clement Serrat, Fr. Lorenzo Font and Fr. Domingo Sola as Consultors. Fr. Xifre thought that the Congregation was not yet ready to be divided into Provinces, so he preferred to keep it centralized. Some decisions were made regarding the Visitors of the houses in America.

Joaquin DE ISLA Fernandez PANTOJA

Marquis of Arco (1822-1912)

Madrid (Spain). He was the IX Marquis of Arco and the VI Count of Isla Fernandez. Claret was his spiritual director. And he was one of those who most used Claret’s accurate guidance during his visits to Segovia. He consulted with Father Claret about a case of conscience after his arrival from Cuba, having received such an excellent impression. After that, he treated him as a friend and for seven or eight years, he followed him as a spiritual director. When Claret was staying in the house of the Marquis, he received a message from a crucifix: You have to teach your Missionaries mortification, Anthony. This crucifix is preserved in the Santuario del Corazon de Maria in Madrid. He died on February 2nd in Madrid. When he was already an old man, small and stooped under the weight of many years, he was still seen in the Segovian convent of San Gabriel where the Claretians resided, whom he loved so much and with whom he liked to live in the community.

About to Lose His Life

That last summer, the Blessed Virgin saved me from drowning in the sea. Because I had been working so hard, I didn’t feel very well during the summer. I began to lose all appetite, and the only relief I could find was to go down to the sea, wade in it, and drink a few drops of the saltwater. One day as I was walking along the beach on my way to the “old sea” on the other side of La Barceloneta, a huge wave suddenly engulfed me and carried me out to sea. I saw in a moment that I was far from shore, and I was amazed to see that I was floating on the surface, although I didn’t know how to swim. I called out to the Blessed Virgin and found myself on shore without having swallowed even a drop of water. While I was in the water, I had felt exceedingly calm, but afterward, onshore, I was horrified at the thought of the danger I had escaped through the help of the Blessed Virgin. (Aut 71).

FOR PERSONAL REFLECTION

 

  • Have you ever been about to lose your life? Have you overcome any spiritual danger that could jeopardize your missionary life?
  • Did you think you perceived God’s Providence and Mary’s protection at that time?
  • In an attitude of prayer, pray with the words of the psalmist: “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me.” Consider the “do not fear” moments that you have lived and heard from the Lord, because he walks with you.

 

“I tell you quite frankly that whenever I see sinners,
I grow restless, I cannot quiet down, I cannot be consoled,
my heart goes out to them.”

(Aut 211).

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