CONSTITUTION OF THE INSTITUTE (1858-1870)
Fr. Xifre ordered Claret to write his Autobiography to contribute to the formation of new apostles. Claret wrote the first part (nos. 1-701) in Madrid and he personally handed it to Fr. Xifre on a trip he made to Vic in 1862. And he wrote the Continuation of the Autobiography (nos. 702-872) during the summer of 1865; at least that is the year it arrived. Curiously, it was not edited until 1915, in the first volume of the Historical Archive of the Congregation. Its reading was reserved for the oldest and most prudent Fathers, since it contains some delicate facts to guide the direction of souls and the confessional. Its reading was not generalized until 1951 when a manual edition with some slight omissions was published. Today we can consider the Autobiography as the true Programmatic Charter of the Congregation and a source of inspiration for all missionaries. The original autograph is preserved in the Claretian Archive in Rome. Today we have the text divided into 872 paragraphs.
Since my father manufactured thread and cloth, he set me to work in his factory. I obeyed without a word, a long face, or any sign of displeasure. I set to work as hard as I could and never spent an idle, half-hearted day. I did everything to the best of my ability so as not to displease my dear parents in the slightest, because I loved them very much and they loved me (Aut 31).
FOR PERSONAL REFLECTION
- Did you have any work experience before entering the Congregation?
- Do you consider yourself a more active or withdrawn person?
Work dignifies the person. Father Claret was involved in the world of work and in the world of workers.
- What is your work experience?
- How does the current situation of unemployment or job insecurity that many workers suffer affect you?
is to live the received charism.
From Claret we received an itinerary of evangelical life and missionary service.”
(Aquilino Bocos Merino, Herencia y profecia, 55)