CONSTITUTION OF THE INSTITUTE (1858-1870)
FOUNDATION IN GRACIA
With the foundation in Gracia (which is now a neighborhood of Barcelona, but at that time it was a separate town) they left the Diocese of Vic and began to take on the aspirations of expansion of Father Claret and Fr. Xifre. The mission house in Gracia was at that time an isolated building. At the end of 1858 the foundation was already accepted in principle, but it had not been finalized because the funds promised for carrying out their works did not arrive on time. Later, thanks to the efforts of Father Claret, 3,000 pesos were obtained and later the rest. On January 23, 1860, Fr. Clotet and two Coadjutor Brothers moved into the building. They took charge of the house, which was organized permanently on March 14th. With it opened a vast field of missionary activity, due to the pastoral abandonment in which it found itself ever since the slaughter of the friars in 1835 and the laws that were promulgated later. There were hardly clergy dedicated to popular preaching and Missions.
The Fruits of the First Seeds
Whatever my parents or teacher told me or explained to me, I would grasp it perfectly, notwithstanding the fact that I was a very small boy. I didn’t really comprehend the wording of the catechism although, as I have said, I could parrot it extremely well. Nevertheless, I can see now the advantage of knowing it by heart, because in time, without quite knowing how or adverting to it, those great truths that I had rattled off without understanding them would come back to me… Rose buds open in time, but if there were no buds there would be no blossoms. The same holds for religious truths: if there are no catechism lessons, then there is complete ignorance of religious… (Aut 26)
Later on, when I was living alone in the city of Barcelona, (about which I will tell later) and witnessed so much evil, I would remember and tell myself: That is evil, you should avoid it. You had better believe in God, your parents, and teacher rather than on these unhappy people who don’t know what they’re doing or saying. (Aut 27)
FOR PERSONAL REFLECTION
- Do you remember any teaching that you received in your childhood that at that time you did not understand, whereas later it has served you in your life?
- Do you recognize in this moment of your life the fruits of what was sown in you when you were a child?
- What do you sow in the hearts of the children that you find in your apostolate?
seeing that you have Him so near.”
(St. John of the Cross, Spiritual Canticle, 8)