MARCH

09

1859. On Ash Wednesday, Claret preaches in the collegiate church of San Isidro (Madrid), and begins Spiritual Exercises for the Mercedarians known as the Gongoras.

1868. Claret personally asks the Queen if she could ask the minister to finally give Vic’s missionaries that wing of the residence and orchard that has not yet been given to them.

1868. These days Claret is suffering a lot because of a large sore in his mouth; today they perform an operation on his gums.

THE CONSOLIDATION (1899-1906)

THE CONGREGATION IN ARGENTINA

After unsuccessful attempts, some of them as late as 1877, Fr. Ramon Genover, by order of Fr. Isaac Burgos, finally moved from Sâo Paolo to Buenos Aires in 1900 to try out what would be the first foundation in Argentina. At the end of 1901, after the Provincial Chapter, the foundation of the community was carried out in a rental house in Buenos Aires and with a priority of attending to the parish of La Concepcion and a Correctional House for women. At the head of the foundation was Fr. Zacarias Iglesias. It did not take long to expand the number of houses in the Republic; they founded one in Tucuman (1902), which was personally investigated by Fr. Genover despite the distances. Catamarca (1903) was also managed by Fr. Genover. And Rosario (1904), this time at the request of the missionaries themselves, also under the initiative of Fr. Genover and with the collaboration of Fr. Lucinio Martinez. But the most outstanding figure in Argentina in this period was Fr. Zacarias Iglesias.

Miguel Muntadas

Founder of the Colegio de Ultramar (1808-1885)

Capellades (Barcelona, Spain). He took the Benedictine habit and professed in 1826. Exclaustrated in 1835, he returned to the monastery of Montserrat in 1844, where he led the community of those who had been exclaustrated, first as President and then as Abbot, working on restoring the monastery and organizing their monastic life. In 1867 he published Montserrat, su pasado, su presente y su porvenir [Montserrat, its past, its present and its future]. Two months before his death, accepting the invitation of Bishop Rosendo Salvado, he founded a College for Overseas Missionaries, which would be so fruitful in monastic vocations, and with which Montserrat and the other Benedictine monasteries of Spain could be rebuilt. He died in Montserrat on March 8th. He maintained a close friendship with Father Claret and with Saint Micaela of the Blessed Sacrament, foundress of the Sisters Adorers (Handmaids of the Blessed Sacrament and of Charity). He had the opinion of Claret as a truly holy bishop, full of zeal for the glory of God and the salvation of souls, as well as wise and prudent, with humility and unwavering meekness.

The Need to be Sent

I had come to realize that a missionary must never thrust himself into an assignment. He should offer his services to the bishop, saying, Ecce ego, mitte me. But he should not go until his bishop sends him, because when he is sent, it will be by God’s sending. All the Old Testament prophets were sent by God. Jesus Christ himself was sent from God, and Jesus, in turn, sent his Apostles. Sicut misit me pater et ego mitto vos. (Aut 195)

This need for being sent to a particular place by a bishop was something that God himself helped me understand from the very beginning. Thus, no matter how evil and demoralized the towns I was sent to, great fruits were always obtained, because it was God who sent me to them and prepared them and predisposed them for me. Missionaries may rest assured, then, that they should go to no town, however good unless they go under obedience; but that under obedience they should not hesitate to go to any town, however bad. As far as any possible difficulties or persecutions are concerned, let them have no fear: God has sent them through obedience and He will take care of them. (Aut 198)

FOR PERSONAL REFLECTION

 

Claret discovered the value of being sent as a missionary by the competent ecclesiastical authority and recommends it to his missionaries.

  • What place does obedience occupy in your missionary life?
  • Are you free and available to go out to evangelize wherever they send you?

 

 

“Following Jesus means accepting and making our own
the new order of values that he sets forth as the ‘Kingdom,’
the absolute reality in view of which all the rest
acquires its proper relativity.”

(MCT 143).

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