St. Anthony Mary Claret

St-Anthony-Mary-Claret

Saint Anthony Maria Claret was born on December 23, 1807 in Sallent, Catalonia, Kingdom of Spain, , the son of a weaver. He died on October 24, 1870 in Frontfroide, Narbonne, France at the age of 62.

Feast day: October 24,  1870

St. Anthony Mary Claret was born in Catalonia, the northeastern corner of Spain, in a town called Sallent on December 23, 1807. He was the fifth son of Juan Claret and Josefa Clará’s eleven children. His father owned a small textile factory, but was not rich. Anthony grew up in a Christian environment, and at a very early age had a strong sense of the eternal life that Christ wanted all men and women to enjoy. As soon as Anthony was old enough, he began working as an apprentice weaver. When he turned 17, his father sent him to Barcelona to study the latest techniques in textile manufacturing and to work in the large textile mills. Even though he had the talent to succeed, he turned down the offers and returned home after experiencing the emptiness of worldly achievements.

He was ordained a priest at 27 years of age and was assigned to his hometown parish. The town soon became too small for his missionary zeal, and the political situation -hostile to the Church- limited his apostolic activity. He decided to go to Rome to offer himself to serve in foreign missions. Things did not work out as expected, and he decided to join the Jesuits to pursue his missionary dream. While in the Jesuit Novitiate, he developed a strange illness, which led his superiors to think that God might have other plans for him.

Back in a parish of Catalonia, Claret began preaching popular missions all over. He traveled on foot, attracting large crowds with his sermons. Some days he preached up to seven sermons in a day and spent 10 hours listening to confessions. He dedicated to Mary all his apostolic efforts. He felt forged as an apostle and sent to preach by Mary.
The secret of his missionary success was LOVE. His popularity spread; people sought him for spiritual and physical healing. By the end of 1842, the Pope gave him the title of “apostolic missionary.” Aware of the power of the press, in 1847, he organized with other priests a Religious Press. Claret began writing books and pamphlets, making the message of God accessible to all social groups. The increasing political restlessness in Spain continued to endanger his life and curtail his apostolic activities.

On July 16, 1849, he formed the Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, today also known as Claretian Fathers and Brothers. In 1850, he was appointed Archbishop of Santiago de Cuba. He was called back to Spain in 1857 to serve as confessor to the Queen of Spain, Isabella II. He had a natural dislike for aristocratic life. He loved poverty and the simplest lifestyle. He accepted in obedience, but requested to be allowed to continue some missionary work. The eleven years he spent as confessor to the Queen of Spain were particularly painful, because the enemies of the Church directed toward him all kinds of slanders and personal ridicule.

In 1868, revolution caused him to go into exile in France. He decided to go into hiding in a Cistercian Monastery in the French southern town of Fontfroide. There he died on October 24, 1870 at the age of 62. As his last request, he dictated to his missionaries the words that are to appear on his tombstone: “I have loved justice and hated iniquity; therefore I die in exile.” His remains are venerated in Vic. Claret was beatified in 1934 and in 1950 canonized by Pope Pius XII.

Source URL: http://www.claret.org/en/biography-s-antony-mary-claret

His attributes are: Bishop’s gown , Staff , an Open Book , Catechism , 2 Students beside him at his side and having his bent arm pointing to the sky.

His zealous life and the wonders he wrought, both before and after his death, testified to his sanctity. Information was sought in 1887 and he was declared Venerable by Pope Leo XIII in 1899. His relics were transferred to the mission house in 1897, at which time his heart was found incorrupt. His grave is visited by many pilgrims, and he is one of few saints known to have been given the privilege of literally carrying the Blessed Sacrament in his heart.

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Antonio Claret nace en Sallent (Barcelona), a unos 15 kms de Manresa, el 23 de Diciembre de 1807, en el seno de una familia profundamente cristiana, dedicada a la fabricación textil. Murió el 24 de Octubre de 1870 en Frontfroide, Narbonne, Francia, a la edad de 62 años.

Fiesta Patronal: Octubre 24.

Fue Arzobispo y fundador Claretiano.  A pesar de las ofertas para montar su propia fábrica, se niega a satisfacer el deseo de su padre y decide ser cartujo. A los 22 años ingresa en el seminario, sin perder de vista su intención de ser monje cartujo. Estudió Latín y Francés a la vez que continuó sus estudios sacerdotales en Teología. En 1939 partió a Roma buscando ser ordenado Jesuita, pero su salud se lo impidió y se conformó con servir al Señor como cura.

Estableció la Congregación de los Hijos Misioneros del Sagrado Corazón de María (Los Claretianos) el día de la festividad de Nuestra Señora del Carmen (Julio 16, 1849). También fundó el Instituto de Estudios Apostólicos de la Inmaculada Concepción de religiosas claretianas. También instituyó la gran librería religiosa en Barcelona llamada  “Librería Religiosa” (hoy “Libreria Claret”), la cual distribuyó varios millones de copias austeras de los mejores trabajos católicos de la antiguedad y contemporáneos.

De 1850 a 1857, el padre Antonio fungió como arzobispo en Santiago de Cuba. Su celoso trabajo causó revuelo y mucha oposición en los frentes aticléricales de la época, tal como había ocurrido anteriormente durante su estancia en España. Sufrió de al menos 15 atentados contra su vida, incluso en una ocasión fué herido de gravedad en Holguín.

Poco después de éste grave atentado regresó a la corte de la Reina Isabel II como su confesor. El aprovechó su influencia del momento para dirigirse más arduamente en el apoyo a los pobres y en propagar la preparación por medio de libros, documentos y manuales. El Padre Claret vivió una vida humilde y estableció su residencia en un hospicio en Italia. Por nueve años fué rector del colegio monástico El Escorial, donde se ocupó en establecer un laboratorio de ciencias, museo de historia natural, biblioteca, colegio y escuelas de música e idiomas. Sus planes de expansión y especializaciones fueron abatidos por la Revolución de 1868. Mismo año en que salió al exhilio acompañando a la Reina.

Entre 1869 y 1870, el padre participó del Primer Concilio Vaticano en Roma. Murió en el exhilio en el monasterio Cistercian de Fontfroide, al sur de Francia el 24 de Octubre de 1870. Al padre Antonio Maria Claret   le fué dado el don de la profesía y realizó muchos milagros. Fué acusado y perseguido en Cuba y en España y tuvo que sufrir terribles pruebas. El es el santo patrono de los textileros, los ahorradores, la prensa católica, los Misioneros Claretianos del Sagrado Corazón de María, la Diócesis de las Islas Canarias, estudiantes claretianos, educadores y maestros claretianos, instituciones claretianas e institutos técnicos y de vocaciones claretianos.