MARCH

08

1858. Claret has been the royal confessor for almost a year and is still not sure if he will continue; he writes to Currius: This assignment has me very fed up and if I could leave it today, I would not wait until tomorrow.

1859. Claret, very concerned about the health of Fr. Dionisio Gonzalez, administrator of the Archdiocese of Santiago, considers some names to replace him and for him to be transferred to the Peninsula. Fortunately, he will hold out for a few months.

1868. Claret begins the mission preached in the Saladero prison (Madrid).

THE CONSOLIDATION (1899-1906)

GROWTH OF THE VISITORSHIPS

The Visitorships of South America and North America continued, as such, a process of growth until the extraordinary General Chapter of 1904.

In Chile, there were many foundations during this period. Houses were founded in Andacollo (1900), with its great treasure: la Virgen del Rosario, a shrine of national and international excellence; Temuco (1901), promoted by Fr. Dalmau; Coquimbo and Talca (1903), foundations somewhat contrived; Antofagasta (1903), by the initiative of Fr. Claparols. The planting was hard, but the fruits were extraordinary thanks to the tireless work of missionaries like Fr. Tomas Sese, promoted by Fr. Ramon Genover, Visitor from the Province of Castilla, to which the Visitorship belonged. We must remember here Fr. Mariano Avellana and Fr. Cristobal Soteras, extra-ordinary missionaries, the former in the Hospital of Carrizal Alto in 1904 with a reputation for holiness, and the latter in La Serena in 1908. In Brazil, a house was founded in Pouso Alegre (1901), also thanks to Fr. Genover.

LORENZO BARILI

Apostolic Nuncio (1801-1875)

Ancona (Italy). He studied in Rome in Colegio Capranica, the Roman College and San Apolinar. He was Archpriest of the Cathedral and Rector of the Seminary of Ancona. Then he was Internuncio in Brazil and Apostolic Nuncio in Colombia and later appointed as Archbishop in 1857. He was appointed Apostolic Nuncio in Spain in October of 1857, shortly after Claret arrived from Cuba. He remained in this position until March 1868, the year in which he was promoted to cardinal. He received the cardinal’s hat from the hands of Isabella II. Father Claret always appreciated him. On a certain occasion, Claret wrote of him: He is an educated man, experienced and pious. He died in Rome on March 8, 1875. Claret always acted in agreement with the Nuncio, who faithfully transmitted the instructions received from Rome. Barili said of Claret on one occasion: He is truly a tireless apostle, full of zeal and charity. It is a true blessing for Madrid that this outstanding archbishop has come here … the clergy who wish to fulfill their ministry has a guide and a teacher.

Pastoral Discernment

Another kind of infirmity that caused me even greater trouble and took a lot of my time was the cure of those who were possessed or obsessed by the devil. When I began preaching missions, I saw a large number of people who claimed to be possessed. Their relatives would ask me to exorcise them and, since I was duly authorized, I did so. Only one in a thousand could be called a genuine case of possession. There were other causes, physical or moral, that I won’t go into here. (Aut 183)

Seeing that so many people had no such demons and that, besides this, they made me lose a lot of time I needed for hearing the confessions of those who had been converted through my preaching, I said to myself, It is far more necessary for you to be casting the devil out of souls in mortal sin than it is from bodies, even when there really are demons there. I thought that even this might be a snare of the devil, so I resolved to give up exorcisms and try another approach… (Aut 184)

FOR PERSONAL REFLECTION

 

Claret did not let himself get ensnared by the work of exorcisms, which were very typical of his time; on the contrary, he knew how to discern cases with clarity and be free to preach.

  • Are there activities that distract you from your evangelizing mission?
  • Do you carefully discern how you spend your time?

 

 

“I took great care and worked energetically,
as if everything depended on my work and, at the same time,
I put all my trust in God because everything really does depend on Him.”

(Aut 274)

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