1866. Two days before Palm Sunday, Claret moves to El Escorial with the two brothers who live with him to give a few days of Spiritual Exercises for the priests and seminarians and then preside over the events of the Paschal Triduum.
1869. Claret concludes the Lenten conferences that he has given, during six Thursdays, in the Parisian church of Saint Nicolas.
EXPANSION (1906-1922)THE VICE-PROVINCE OF MEXICO-NORTH AMERICA
In 1904 Mexico, already a Vice-Province, founded in Monterrey. Fr. Raymond Prat, Vice-Provincial Superior, was in charge of making the foundation a reality. A house was also founded in Celaya (1905). It was at this time that Fr. Felix A. Cepeda, in Mexico once again, would found the magazine La Esperanza. Until the Provincial Chapter of 1909, Fr. Raymond Prat continued as Vice-Provincial, who was then replaced by Fr. Cepeda. In this period the houses of Queretaro (1908) and Tepic (1910) were founded.
The foundations that Mexico was carrying out in California deserve special attention since they were three of the great missions founded in the eighteenth century by Fray Junipero Serra (1713-1784): San Fernando (1907), San Gabriel (1908) and Los Angeles (1910), the location of La Placita [The Old Plaza Church], a place venerated and loved among Hispanics for its character and its history, in the heart of the great metropolis, and was served until 2015. At that time, other foundations such as Santa Fe, San Francisco and Houston remained as simple offers.
FOUNDATION OF THE CORDIMARIAN MISSIONARY SISTERS
On March 19, 1921, Miss Carmen Serrano y Rugama, a very humble woman with great love for God and the Heart of Mary, founded this Congregation in Mexico. She had received inspiration in 1913 through Fr. Julian Collell, CMF, an intrepid and tenacious man, an exemplary priest of the Congregation of the Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Both were tireless catechists and very zealous of the glory of God. The mission of the Congregation is to transmit the Gospel message, with great and ardent zeal, to all those in need of it, especially the most humble: peasants, indigenous people, prisoners and disabled people, with a preference for women, youth and children, through catechesis, education and the media. The spirituality of the Congregation is rooted in that of St. Anthony Mary Claret, lived and experienced by the founders. It is characterized by a deep intimacy with the Heart of Mary, following Christ the Missionary.
The Example of Female Saints
If I was moved by the example of men saints, as I have said in the preceding chapter, I was moved still more by the example of women saints. How deeply they impressed me! I would ask myself, “If a woman has such feelings and desires and does so much to save souls, what ought I, a priest, however unworthy, be doing?” The reading of their lives affected me so much that I copied out excerpts of their words and works, some of which I wish to quote here. (Aut 234)
From the Life of St. Catherine of Siena. “She had a singular devotion and love toward those saints who spent their lives working for the salvation of souls…” (Aut 235)
From the Life of St. Teresa. “One day while I was praying I felt myself suddenly–who knows how?–plunged into hell…” (Aut. 246).
“But I also received the greatest pain of my life from that vision: the thought of the many souls that are being lost…as well as a great longing for the salvation of souls. For it seems to me that I would surely undergo many deaths gladly, for a single soul…” (Aut 251).
FOR PERSONAL REFLECTION
- Are there female saints whose lives are inspiring to you?
- Are there women who, with their lives, have helped you to grow more in faith?
to walk along the way of prayer must of necessity practise…
One of these is love for each other;
the second, detachment from all created things;
the third, true humility, which, although I put it last,
is the most important of the three and embraces all the rest.”
(St. Teresa of Avila, The Way of Perfection, 4. 3-4)