3 - 4 minutes readOctober 23 – St. Anthony Mary Claret, Bishop

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St. Anthony Mary Claret, Bishop

He was one of the greatest prelates and missionaries of the nineteenth century. Born in Sallent, a small town in the province of Barcelona on December 25, 1807, as a child he began to give extraordinary signs of his providential destiny. Dedicated to the work of his father’s loom, where a cheerful future awaited him given his good qualities and his great love of work, he left it all day to dedicate himself fully to the salvation of his own soul and the souls of others. .

He begins by studying Latin and philosophy at the Vich Seminary. During this time, he had a strong desire to give his blood for Christ, and it was these same wishes that led him to embark on Marseilles to go to countries of the infidels, in order to spread the Christian faith everywhere. But his apostolate ambitions are unsuccessful. He then tries to join the Society of Jesus, and his poor health forces him to leave it. He returned again to Spain, where he was ordained as a priest and was entrusted with the care of the Villadraú parish, in which he displayed great apostolic activity from the first moment: he confessed, preached, organized pious brotherhoods and brotherhoods, consoled the afflicted, He helps the poor and sows good hands full in every corner of his congregation. His fame began to spread throughout the region, and on Sundays a stream of people flocked to listen to the famous and austere preacher. Soon all the towns of Catalonia can hear his voice, and he lets himself be carried away. You walk from town to town from the banks of the Ebro to the slopes of the Pyrenees. His passage raises waves of enthusiasm and cries of repentance: peoples are transformed, great sinners change their lives and the most stupendous conversions take place. He possessed the divine secret of snatching hearts like the great popular preachers, San Antonio de Padua, San Bernardino de Siena, or San Vicente Ferrer. He had taken Blessed Avila as the model of his preaching and, like him, he anointed his sermons with prayer

In addition to being a preacher, Saint P. Claret was a tireless propagandist of the pen: he wrote thousands of pious books, founded religious bookstores, published Catholic newspapers, and promoted the religious teaching of the people by all means. This incomparable and fruitful activity aroused against him the wrath of the anti-religious and Masonic sectarianism that persecuted him with all fury, raising against him the most vile slander. But the virtue of the integrity of the missionary emerged triumphant from all his enemies and the glory began to adorn his forehead from this very life. The Queen of Spain chose him as her confessor, but before that he was appointed Bishop of Santiago de Cuba, an island where his zeal greatly intensified Christian life, and, finally, he was given the title of Archbishop of Trajanópolis;

He concentrated the last years of his life especially in the Institute of the Missionaries Sons of the Heart of Mary, which he had founded with other companions in 1849, and which continues to be still today the purest and most exalted glory of the eminent missionary of Sallent.

At the outbreak of the 1868 revolution, Father Claret followed the queen into exile, dying two years later (1870) in the Fontfroide Cistercian Abbey (France), always harassed, fiercely slandered and persecuted until after his death. He had a great rage and still has hell, Satan knows why.

Pope Pius XI declared him Blessed, and Pius XII canonized him in the midst of tremendous functions. The fame and glory of this incomparable man, the pride of Spain, grows in the world like one more overwhelmed, and astonishing manifestations of his beneficial influence in the entire world are to be expected. We wish for him the aura of the doctorate in the universal Church. Hail father, hail tireless shepherd of souls, hail prez of Missionaries and Prelates; look from the sky at the vineyard that you planted and watered with sweat, watch over its prosperity!