MARCH

13

1856. Claret arrives in Santiago, where he receives a large crowd to celebrate that he has recovered from the attack. Along the way, there have been many snares, which leave him more perplexed about whether to continue on the Island or leave.

1860. Claret concludes some Spiritual Exercises for the Augustinian Sisters of St. Mary Magdalene who run the women’s prison center on Hortaleza Street (Madrid).

1864. Claret attends the consecration of Gregorio Lopez, Bishop of Plasencia.

THE CONSOLIDATION (1899-1906)

STATISTICS AND APOSTOLATE DURING THIS PERIOD

In this period the Congregation went from 1,368 Claretians in 1899 to 1,490 in 1907, with 84 houses, 23 more than when Fr. Xifre died. The main ministry was still preaching, but without so much attachment to the exclusivity of Missions and Spiritual Exercises. As we have seen, other ministries were accepted, such as parishes, especially in America, where the first parish of the Congregation was accepted in Andacollo (Chile) in 1902. Schools with secondary education were also accepted, both residential and day students, (previously only primary education had been accepted.) Also, in this era a rudimentary Publishing House (1903) was born, seed of the future Corazon de Maria. In the same way publications were extended throughout the Congregation, like La Guinea Española (1903). And it was at this time that the pastoral work was extended to seminaries and universities. In July 1903 that select list of Roman students (Manuel de Arrandiaga, John Postius and Felipe Maroto) opened doors to the Roman University of Saint Apollinare and in the Diocesan Seminary.

CRISTOBAL FERNANDEZ, CMF

Missionary and Historian (1898-1969)

Prádanos de Ojeda (Palencia, Spain). He received a Bachelor’s in Classical Languages in Madrid, then moved on to be a professor in Santo Domingo de la Calzada. Soon he was responsible for writing about the life of the then Blessed Father Claret and the History of the Congregation, without a doubt, the main works of his life and a continuous reference for all Claretians who want to know about our past. In April 1935, while in Zamora, he received an unexpected letter from Rome in which he was entrusted with writing a broad, critical and complete account of the life of our Blessed Father. It needed to be a new work, not a copy of others. In 1939 he had finished the work of about 2,000 pages. It had to go through censorship. After numerous changes, in 1947 the work was published with the title: El Beato Padre Antonio Mª Claret. Historia documentada de su vida y empresas [The Blessed Father Anthony Mary Claret. Documented History of his Life and Enterprises.] Later he would complete this publication with El Confesor de Isabel II [The Confessor of Isabella II]. In the year of Claret’s canonization (1950) he extended this account of his life with minor works: Flores Claretianas [Claretian Flowers], Un Apostol Moderno [A Modern Apostle], etc. He died in Madrid on March 19th.

Biography

The Example of the Prophets

Besides my unfailing love for poor sinners, another force that has driven me to work for their salvation is the example of the prophets, of Christ himself, of the Apostles, and of the many men and women saints whose lives and histories I have often read, noting down some of the more salient passages for my use and profit and as a stimulus… (Aut 214)

The prophet Isaiah, son of Amos, of the royal house of David, was a prophet and preacher. His main objective was to confront the inhabitants of Jerusalem and Israel with their infidelities and to announce the chastisement that God would visit upon them through the Assyrians and Chaldaeans, as He did, indeed. His brother-in-law, the impious King Manasseh, put him to death by having him sawn in half. (Aut 215)

FOR PERSONAL REFLECTION

 

  • What biblical figures and biographies of saints or other people have most marked your missionary life?
  • What does it mean for you to live in prophetic mission?

 

“Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny.”

(CS Lewis)

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