MARCH

29

1863. Claret begins some brief Spiritual Exercises for the community of El Escorial, where he will then solemnly celebrate the Paschal Triduum.

1865. Claret is greatly disappointed: a woman has given birth and the father, apparently, is one of the chaplains of El Escorial. She wants Claret to give her the salary of the said chaplain. Claret orders that he be expelled.

1868. With the return of the part of the house in Vic still pending, Claret advises Fr. Joseph Xifre to write to the Senator Santiago de Tejada, who greatly favored the Congregation.

EXPANSION (1906-1922)

POLITICAL AND CONGREGATIONAL EVENTS

The main political events that affected the Congregation during this time period took place in Mexico and Europe. In 1914 the Constitutionalist Army triumphed in the Mexican Revolution, making the missionaries flee. This revolution gave the Congregation the opportunity to offer its second martyr, Bro. Mariano Gonzalez, who was shot to death in Toluca on August 22, 1914. The first martyr had been Fr. Francis Crusats. In Europe, World War I broke out, which only affected the Congregation in the economic sense.

In 1914 the new Coat of Arms and Seal of the Congregation was established. The following year the Pia Union Mariana de Sufragios [The Pious Marian Union of Suffrages] and the Historical Archive of the Congregation are created and for the first time the Autobiography of Father Claret is published. Also published for the first time was the Cronica de la Congregacion by Fr. Xifre in 1893. In 1916 the publication of the magazine Tesoro Sacro Musical began in Madrid. In 1918, the General Rule was published to adapt the Constitutions to the new Code of Canon Law of the Church of 1917.

Geraldo Fernandes, CMF

Bishop and Founder (1913-1982)

Contagem (Brasil). He entered the Claretian Missionaries and was ordained a priest in Rome in 1936. He returned to Brazil where he was a professor and Provincial Consultor. In 1957 he was appointed Bishop of Londrina (Brazil) and later promoted to Archbishop. He also served as vice president of the National Conference of Bishops of Brazil. He was a dynamic and fervent apostle. He was a Claretian convinced of his vocation and mission, full of zeal for the expansion of the Kingdom of Christ, who showed a special concern for the poor. With Leonia Milito he founded the Congregation of Missionary Sisters of St. Anthony Mary Claret in 1958. He was the father and spiritual guide of the Congregation. Like a father he accompanied its development for 25 years, guiding it and showing his concern as a shepherd. He spent his life for the people, whom he loved and guided, aware that this world could still be happier, as he affirmed in his spiritual testament.

The Academy of St. Michael

While I am on the subject of books, I must mention the support given the Libreria Religiosa by the Academy of St. Michael, approved by His Holiness, Pius IX and by royal charter. Their Majesties, the Queen and King are, in fact, members of its first ranks. The Academy’s board of directors meets in Madrid every Sunday to carry out the objectives of its bylaws. There are a number of branches in Madrid and in all the major cities of Spain, and the amount of good they are doing is incalculable. (Aut 332).

FOR PERSONAL REFLECTION

 

Claret was committed to the evangelization of culture through bringing together artists, writers, and professionals of his time.

  • What commitment do you have to the evangelization of culture?
  • Does your lack of commitment to your formation make you look for excuses not to get involved in this difficult apostolate?
  • What possibilities and difficulties do you find?

 

 

“We should ask ourselves whether the place that we have come to occupy
is due to a lack of the creativity that is needed to give new expressions
to the charism of the Institute, and to thus let it continue
to enrich the life of the Church and foster its mission in the world.”

(Josep M Abella, Missionaries, p. 49)

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