1855. Claret is in Puerto Principe (Cuba) working while his companions Subirana, Coca and Betriu are sick.
1858. Claret, already in Madrid, asks the nuncio for the required authorization so that three Religious of Mary Immaculate in Cuba can leave the cloister and travel to the Peninsula to establish themselves in the diocese of Urgell (Lleida).
1866. Claret returns from El Escorial to Madrid, where he receives, full of heavenly joy, the news of the approval by Rome of the Congregation and the Constitutions ad decennium.
THE FOUNDATION (1849 -1858)
THE GREAT WORK: PREVIOUS FOUNDATION ATTEMPTS
The idea of the foundation was not sudden nor based on illusions; it came from long before, born of Claret’s longing for the salvation of souls. Already in 1839, he wanted to form a Missionary Center in Sallent. When political difficulties prevented him, at one point he exclaimed: I thirst, I long to shed all my blood for the sake of Jesus Christ. After consultation, he went to Rome to offer himself to the universal mission. He planned to accompany the newly appointed Bishop of Lebanon, but he had already left. Nor could he offer himself to Propaganda Fide nor profess as a Jesuit, but he returned to his homeland with better missionary preparation. Between 1842 and 1843, in the parish of San Juan de Olo, he founded the Brotherhood of Mary of the Rosary. In 1846 he established the Apostolic Brotherhood, which included Stephen Sala, Dominic Fabregas, Manuel Vilaro and some others such as Francisco Coll, Joseph Caixal, etc. In 1848, he outlined the rules of an apostolic priestly association, which he called Brotherhood of Jesus and Mary, true antecedent of our Congregation.
Parish of San Juan de Oló where the Hermandad de María del Rosario was founded
ANTONIO COLOMER, OP
Dominican Bishop (1833-1902)
Vic (Barcelona, Spain). Advised by Father Claret, he joined the Order of Preachers in Ocaña (Toledo), where he professed in 1849. He was ordained a priest in Tonkin in 1857. He was the Rector of the seminary, Provincial Vicar and Pro-Vicar Apostolic. In 1871 he was appointed Titular Bishop of Themyscira and Vicar Apostolic of Eastern Tonkin (Indochina). He governed with great zeal and prudence. He went to Europe for the beatification of the martyrs of Tonkin and died in Ocaña in 1902. He said talking about one of Claret’s missions in Vic: Having preached in August 1846 for eight days to Our Lady of the Assumption, more by obedience than by his own will, since he felt some repugnance in it, we know from an eyewitness that in all his sermons the audience was immense, and that the three front doors of the grandiose cathedral church had to be open; and the people pushed and shoved to the point that they knocked down one of the holy water fonts, which were made of marble stone. He died on January 21st.
My Birth and Baptism
I was born in the village of Sallent, deanery of Manresa, diocese of Vich, province of Barcelona. My parents whose names were John Claret and Josephine Clara, were married, upright, and God-fearing people, very devoted to the Blessed Sacrament and Mary Most Holy. (Aut 3)
I was baptized in St. Mary’s Parish, Sallent, on December 25, Christmas Day, 1807, although the parish books say 1808. The reason for this is that they counted the year as beginning on December 25, and so it is that mine is the first entry in the books for the year 1808. (Aut 4)
FOR PERSONAL REFLECTION
Claret speaks of his double birth: to life and to grace.
- Thank the Lord for your physical birth and your birth in baptismal grace.
- It is worth remembering and perhaps even celebrating the day of your baptism. Whoever knows how to receive knows how to show gratitude.
“The grace communicated by God in different degrees to each one of the members of an Institute is grace that is given for the purpose of realizing the charism.”
(Declaration on the Charism, General Chapter XVII, 9)