CONSTITUTION OF THE INSTITUTE (1858-1870)
APPROVAL OF THE CONSTITUTIONS
The origins of the Constitutions were in the first norms that the Founder wrote in 1849 for the first community. No copies have been preserved of these first Constitutions. In 1857, when Claret had just settled in Madrid, in order to obtain the civil approval of the Congregation, he dedicated himself to updating the Constitutions with Fr. Stephen Sala, which are the earliest we have a copy of today. In 1862 the General Chapter, with the assistance of the Founder, added an appendix with 29 corrections to the previous text. In the text of 1865, the order and structure were maintained and the chapters on formation were added. The Chapter left in the Founder’s hands all the modifications or new dispositions that he himself or His Holiness would like to make or add. This was the text approved by Pius IX on November 22nd of that year ad decennium per modum experimenti. On April 1, 1866, the new Rule became effective, now translated into Spanish. The final approval would arrive on February 11, 1870.
Desires for Progress
Because I wanted to improve my knowledge of manufacturing techniques, I asked my father to send me to Barcelona. He agreed and took me there. But, like St. Paul, I had to earn what I needed for food, clothing, books, teachers, etc., with my own two hands. My first move was to submit a petition to the Board of Trade for admission to classes in design. My request was granted and I used it to some advantage. Who would have guessed that God would one day use in the interests of religion the studies in design that I undertook for Early Life business reasons? And, in fact, these skills have been most useful to me in designing prints for catechisms and works on mysticism. (Aut 56)
Besides design I studied Castilian and, later, French grammar, but always with an eye to their usefulness in business and manufacturing. (Aut 57).
FOR PERSONAL REFLECTION
Claret sees the presence of God who guides his life along sometimes unexpected paths.
- Do you believe there have been unthinkable incidents or realities in your life that you now recognize as providential?
- What lessons have been most useful in your missionary life? How much have they served you in your evangelizing work?
- By what unpredictable ways has the Spirit of Jesus led you?
and a good thing never dies.”
(Movie, The Shawshank Redemption)