1848. In Madrid, on the way to the Canary Islands, Jesuit Fr. Carasa, takes him to preach at Salesas and the hospice of San Juan de Dios.
1865. Claret begins Spiritual Exercises for men and women in Madrid.
EARLY EXPANSION (1870-1899)THE FOUNDATION IN ROME
Founding in Rome is usually the hope of every Institute. It took 14 years after the Founder’s death before the Claretian Missionaries made a stable presence in the Eternal City. This happened on December 30, 1884, following the decision of the General Chapter of 1876 and the absence of Fr. Jose Reig, a Mercedarian religious, who was the one who handled all the affairs of the Congregation in Rome. The occasion was prompted by the Archbishop of Santander, Vicente Calvo Valero, who had founded the Spanish Ecclesiastical College in 1882 so that seminarians from his diocese and others could study in San Apolinar. When the archbishop was transferred to Cadiz, he offered Fr. Xifre, Superior General, the possibility for the Claretian missionaries to direct the College, still under his responsibility. In 1884 the contract was signed and the first Claretians were sent for this purpose and to take the legal costs to the Holy See. This was the first work of the Claretian Missionaries in Rome.
Pedro Guevara, CMFProvincial of Castilla (1863-1941)
Cervera del Río Alhama (La Rioja, Spain). He entered the Claretian postulancy in Alagon in 1876 and made his nov=itiate in Thuir, making his profession in 1879. Exiled from France with all the members of his community in 1880, he went to Barcelona, where he continued his studies, being ordained a priest in 1885 in Segovia with a dispensation for his age. He devoted himself at first to teaching and to missions. He soon became a Novice Master, and in 1907 he was appointed Provincial Superior of Castilla. He was a member of the General Chapters of 1912 and 1922. During the Spanish Civil War, he greatly edified the family that offered him lodging and they considered him a saint. In 1940 he went to Ciudad Real to be the confessor of the young Fathers. He died there with a reputation as a saint in the Congregation. His last words were: To restore the world, let us begin with ourselves. Let us reform ourselves and then reform others, everyone else.
A Temporary Vocation
During my first year of philosophy…I never lost sight of my longing for the Carthusian life. I had a large picture of St. Bruno on my desk. Nearly every time I went to confession I spoke to my director of my desire to enter the Carthusians… (Aut 88)
Quite content, I undertook the journey to Barcelona, Badalona, and Monte-Alegre. Shortly before my arrival at Barcelona, a hurricane came up, so dreadful that I was terrified. I had studied so much that year that I was a little weak in the chest, and as we ran for shelter from the great sheets of rain, the strain of running and the clouds of dust that rose from the parched earth began to suffocate me severely. I thought, perhaps God doesn’t want you to join the Carthusians. This thought alarmed me greatly. What is certain is that I didn’t have the will to go on, and so I returned to Vich… (Aut 89)
After that first year of philosophy, I no longer thought about becoming a Carthusian and realized that that vocation had only been temporary… (Aut 93)
FOR PERSONAL REFLECTION
- Do you discover God’s calls through signs of the times and the daily situations of life?
- Have you ever experienced attraction to another type of consecrated life?
What helped you discover God’s call to be a Claretian?
- Have you seen your vocational desires fulfilled? Call to mind the stages through which your vocational journey has gone and give thanks for each of them.
is my desire to make my neighbors happy.”