CONSTITUTION OF THE INSTITUTE (1858-1870)
THE MISSIONARIES IN THE MISSIONS
The main ministries of the first missionaries were the so-called Popular Missions and Spiritual Exercises. Later this horizon was extended to other ministries such as confession, the direction of seminaries, and even teaching. Claret was the first missionary, and from the beginning the missions were very successful. Just like Fr. Xifre, the Local Superiors also dedicated themselves to the ministry of the missions. The method of each exercise in the mission was, of course, evolving and being perfected and acquiring its own character of the Sons of the Heart of Mary. Fr. Xifre already indicated how he intensified and multiplied the work of Spiritual Exercises for clergy, increasing the number of acts and in many of them replacing monotony and dry uniformity of the readings with a lively voice. The promotion of good press and of religious objects was an essential complement in the missions, with tact and delicacy, in an ordered and regulated way, avoiding any shadow of profit or negotiation and any appearance of suspicious bias.
Heartfelt Devotion to Mary
During these same years of my childhood and youth, I had a very warm devotion toward the Blessed Virgin Mary. (Aut 43)
When I was a little boy I was given a pair of rosary beads, and I was more pleased with them than with the greatest treasure. I used them after school when my classmates and I marched in double file to the nearby church where our teacher led us in reciting a part of the rosary. (Aut 44)
FOR PERSONAL REFLECTION
- What role did the Virgin Mary play in your religious experience throughout your childhood?
- How do you currently live your Cordimarian spirituality? Which of Mary’s characteristics are most meaningful to you?
- Today you can pray the Rosary praying for the whole Congregation.
(Declaration on the Spiritual Heritage of the Congregation,
General Chapter XVII, 19)