APRIL

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1854. Claret ordains eight priests and one deacon. They are seminarians who arrived from Catalonia on January 15th, with well-advanced studies.

1862. Claret directs Spiritual Exercises for Princess Isabella in preparation for her first communion.

1863. Claret proposes to Fr. Joseph Xifre that a Brother of the Congregation lives with him to function as a cook, starting next September. It will be the beginning of a community of the Congregation with the founder in Madrid.

EXPANSION (1906-1922)

MISSION IN RUSSIA

The Holy See organized in 1922 a charitable mission of material assistance in order to remedy the hunger and the disastrous effects in the south of Russia as much as possible. First the Nuncio of His Holiness in Spain and then the Secretary of State went to the Congregation, insisting on their cooperation and the provision of personnel for the Pontifical Mission. The Superiors, always eager to support the wishes of the Holy See and grateful for the honor given to the Congregation in requesting their collaboration for such a great work, generously offered their determined cooperation and presented the Holy See with Fr. Pedro Voltas and Fr. Angel Elorz. These priests joined the Pontifical Mission and arrived in Russia on August 21st, where they worked heroically in providing relief for the needy. The pontifical work had five centers: Crimea (Divine Word), Krasnodar (Jesuits), Moscow (Salesians), Orenburg (a Jesuit) and Rostov (Claretians). Each center was independent. They opened orphanages, soup kitchens for students, workers, children and the sick, helping colonies of Polish, Lithuanians, Germans and Assyrians.

BLESSED MANUEL DOMINGO SOL

Founder of the Pontifical Spanish College (1836-1909)

Tortosa (Tarragona, Spain). Also known as Mosen Sol. He was born on April 1st. He was a founding priest of the Brotherhood of Diocesan Labour Priests and of the Pontifical Spanish College of St. Joseph in Rome. He was beatified by John Paul II in 1987. Until the founding of the Pontifical Spanish College in 1892, the Claretian Missionaries were responsible for the so-called Hispanic-Roman Seminary. This College was the first inspiration of a presence in Rome, due to the efforts of the Bishop of Santander, Bishop Vicente Calvo Valero. In 1884 the bishop offered the Claretians the responsibility of their seminarians in Rome. At the beginning, it was called the Spanish Ecclesiastical College. A few other bishops joined this initiative. This assignment made it possible for the Congregation to settle in Rome for the first time to create the Mission Procure Office there and be able to send its students. In 1889 the Claretians were still promoting their College, but the seed had been planted. Fr. Jeronimo Batllo and Fr. Antonio Naval were made responsible for the College.

The Virtue of Humility

The First Virtue I Strove for: Humility. Thus far, I have been speaking of the ordinary means I made use of to produce fruit. Now I would like to say something about the virtues I know are necessary for any missionary in order to bear fruit… (Aut 340)

 

I knew that if I was to acquire the virtues I needed in order to become a truly apostolic missionary, I would have to begin with humility, which I regard as the foundation for all other virtues… (Aut 341).

 

I have come to know that the virtue of humility consists in this: in realizing that I am nothing, can do nothing but sin, and depend on God in everything—being, conservation, movement, and grace—and I am most happy to be dependent on God rather than on myself. (Aut 347).

FOR PERSONAL REFLECTION

 

  • What are the apostolic virtues that you consider most important at this time in your life?
  • Why is humility the foundation of the other virtues?
  • What does humility consist of for you?
  • Describe a humble person in five traits. Indicate the one that you think you should develop more in yourself.

 

“Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible;
and suddenly you are doing the impossible.”

(St. Francis of Assisi)

(San Francisco de Asís).

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