Saint Anthony Mary Claret

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MSS Claret II, 189, 191.

Introductory Note

The Saint’s inner state can be seen quite clearly in the Retreat Resolutions for this year and in the Autobiography, nn. 745-746.

The Lights for this year all refer to the apostolate. In contrast, the notes included in the Autobiography are rather of a spiritual type. On May 11th, the Saint made an offering in the nature of a personal response to the grace of conserving the Eucharist within him: “I offered myself to Jesus and Mary to preach, exhort, labor, and suffer even death itself, and the Lord accepted my offering”2500 Upon arriving in Madrid, he resigned himself to lead the hidden life of Nazareth, while offering himself for the public life; but God was leading him to the suffering life of a victim. He felt called to choose “the poorer, the humbler, and the more painful.”2501 He was fulfilling his ideal of living the life of Christ, his Master and Redeemer.

This year there was no warning to check his apostolic yearnings, since he could give full vent to his zeal during the royal journey through Andalusia.2502


In 1862, the Blessed Virgin deigned to approve the leaflet on Carnival and its burial, and on abstaining and fasting.2503

On December 6, 1862, at 6:45 in the evening, the Blessed Virgin Mary told me that I must spread devotion to the Holy Rosary, as the Ven. Alan of Rupe had done.2504 She told me this twice, and then Jesus Christ told me: Yes, Anthony, do what my Mother tells you.2505

At 7:00 that same day, the Blessed Virgin told me: Yes, Anthony, I love you. I love you. And then Jesus told me: Courage, Anthony, courage.

* * *

On the 8th, the Feast of the [Immaculate] Conception, I asked Mary Most Holy if she wished to make use of me. Yes, she answered, I wish to make use of you.2506


MSS Claret II, 193, 191, 195)

Introductory Note

There were no royal tours this year. Claret remained either in Madrid or in the Royal Estates of Aranjuez and La Granja. In his Autobiography, he tells of an extraordinary intervention of the Blessed Virgin regarding his apostolate.2507 Here, he notes two locutions of a personal nature, the first relating to love, the second relating to a purification.


16th day of July, 1863.

During these days I have had, and am still having, very many desires to love God. I desire to love Him as much as Blessed Mary did. As Jesus did.

Jesus tells us that we should be perfect as his Heavenly Father is perfect.2508 May I be as loving as the Son.2509

I asked for divine love and said: Vinum non habeo… .2510 He [Jesus] told me: Fill the jars with water,2511 that is, fulfill or do well all the common and ordinary things. Thus, by observing God’s Holy Law perfectly and doing all common and ordinary things well, the Lord would grant me divine love.2512

* * *

On November 25th 1863, He told me: “Yes...”2513

* * *

25th day of November, 1863.

I was offering myself to the Lord, and I heard a voice telling me: You are too pampered.2514

1. I resolve to be more mortified.

2. I also resolve to be silent, without complaining about people or about the many letters that are posted to me.2515

3. Prayer, silence and penance.


MSS Claret II, 197.

Introductory Note

From this year, which was so full of slanders and sufferings,2516 we have only one “notice” of a spiritual illumination throwing light on two aspects of the Saint’s life: one personal and intimate, concerning silence and patience in his role as a victim, the other apostolic, concerning the spread of good books.

The Saint mentions the day and the year, but it has been impossible to pinpoint the month.


2nd day. Year 1864.

I feel an habitual aversion for being in Madrid and caring for El Escorial. And in today’s meditation, the Tenth Day, I understood that in this, I was not pleasing God. Therefore I resolve not to complain about it any more, and to be silent and suffer like St. Joseph in Egypt,2517 or like Jesus in the workshop of Nazareth.2518 Nor will I complain of [the importuning of] the poor or of the people, but in silence I will arrange to do what I deem best for the glory of God.2519

God wants me to spread good books out of my savings.2520

Silence. I will not complain of the evils I have to suffer, and I will not speak of the good I do.2521


Explanatory Note

In the Notebook containing the Resolutions, etc., no extraordinary light or grace is recorded for the year 1865. Nevertheless, the Saint noted three of them in his Autobiography. On May 7th, Jesus told him to have great devotion to St. Joseph (n. 831). On July 17th, Jesus told him to withdraw from the Royal Court (n. 832). Finally, on August 14th, while he was praying before the Blessed Sacrament, the Lord told him that he should go to Rome (n. 839). These last two locutions were related to the Queen’s yielding to pressures from her Ministers of State and recognizing the new Kingdom of Italy, which had violated the rights of the Papal States.

MSS Claret II, 199.

Introductory Note

There is only one locution recorded this year. It bears the twofold stamp of love and humiliation.

On September 20th, the Saint was in Avila, accompanying the royal family, who were on their way to “take the waters” at Zarautz on the Bay of Biscay.


20th day of September, 1866, at 11:45.

I said to Jesus: “Oh Jesus! Do not allow all that you have suffered for me to be lost.”

And he answered me: It will not be lost; I love you dearly.

I know, I told him. I have been very ungrateful.

Yes, I know. You have been very ungrateful.

That same morning I had been thinking that I have been the most ungrateful of those who live on earth.


MSS Claret II, 201, 203, 207.

Introductory Note

In a letter to Fr. Joseph Xifré, the Saint, after wishing Xifré well for the New Year, remarked: “Oh, what things we will see in this year of ‘67!”2522 Apparently, he could clearly foresee that the Revolution was approaching at full gallop. The locutions for this year all concern the apostolate.


On the 4th of January, 1867, at 3:45 in the afternoon, I saw Satan, who was in a great fit of rage because his attempted coup had been foiled. I knew the game that he had been playing among the students in order to displease me. I knew that the glorious St. Michael had undone it all. I heard the voice of St. Michael himself, telling me: Anthony, have no fear, I will defend you.2523

[This occurred] at St. Lawrence of El Escorial, as I was alone in the choir, after the recitation had ended.2524

* * *

The 29th of August, 1867.2525 I realized that I am like an old unfinished beam, propped up against Her Majesty’s palace to keep it from falling.2526 Therefore I will not ask either to leave or to stay. Rather, I will say: May God’s will be done in me.2527

I will remain in a state of holy indifference, ready for whatever God may dispose for me.

“You, my son, know the value of the Holy Cross and the honor that accrues to ignominies and tribulations that are embraced for its sake.”2528

* * *

The 4th of December, 1867. At four in the morning I asked the Lord: Domine, quid me vis facere?2529 And in a very clear inner voice he told me: Scribe.2530

* * *

16th day of December, 1867. At 7:30 in the evening, I felt strongly impelled to spread devotion to the Most Holy Rosary; throughout the night and the following morning as well.

* * *

27th day of December. At 9:20 in the morning [Jesus] told me: Do whatever she [Mary] tells you.


MSS Claret II, 207-209.

Introductory Note

This year began with various infirmities, as well as presentiments of death and the coming Revolution. Claret felt impelled to spread devotion to the Rosary which, according to the locution of August 27, 1861, was to be one of the means he must use to combat the evils of Spain. An important feature of this year’s “lights” was a symbolic vision which the Saint interpreted as an announcement of martyrdom.


23rd day of January. I felt impelled to write about and spread devotion to the Most Holy Rosary. And some days earlier, as well.2531

* * *

25th day of January. I felt strongly moved to preach and teach the recitation of the Most Holy Rosary.

The common way, one part.

The lazy, a decade, as in the living Rosary.2532

The more fervent, all three parts.

* * *

Today, June 22, 1868, marks two years since the raising of the barricades here in Madrid. And the fact that we didn’t perish is a miracle. I spent the day in the sacristy chamber of the Virgin of Montserrat.2533

Today, June 22nd, at 9:30 at night, I went to make a visit to the Blessed Sacrament, which was behind a closed grating in the Chapel of the Forsaken, and I saw a great and very resplendent light which stood near the sanctuary lamp.2534 And, after a long time, it merged with the light of the lamp and was seen no more. I can already figure what it meant.2535

Afterwards, throughout the night I kept dreaming and longing for martyrdom. Besides the light, I also saw three bulky black shapes, like three men, who were the three demons or three enemies who are bent on my death. I greatly desire to suffer martyrdom.


MSS Claret II, 215-218.

Introductory Note

The first known extraordinary intervention of 1869 took place in September, while the Saint was staying at the Mercedarian House of Sant’ Adriano in Rome, where he was involved in preparations for the First Vatican Council.

One locution concerns the apostolate, while the other two concern some sublime events of the spirit: the final degree of love, and the final degree of purification.


2nd day of September, 1869.2536


1. The Rosary.

2. Hearing Holy Mass.

3. Frequenting the Sacraments.

4. Catechism to children

Preaching the Law of God to the people.

5. Indulgences that are gained will be applied to the souls in Purgatory; those which can be applied through the hands of Mary Most Holy.

* * *

12th day [of October, 1869]. At 11:30 in the morning, the Lord granted me the love of enemies.2537

I have felt it in my heart.

The Lord has assured me of this with a prodigy. As I was experiencing this act in my heart, I saw the crucifix and the picture of the Blessed Virgin draw together, without anyone touching them. Some days earlier the Lord had already given me an extraordinary understanding as I was reading the Fifth Mansions of St. Teresa.2538 And today, October 12th, as I was making Meditation 27 of the Spiritual Exercises Explained, He has granted me this great grace.2539

Vivo ego, iam non ego, vivit vero in me Christus.2540

Jesus looked at the Jews as a mother looks at her sick, delirious or wine-drunk children, who do not know what they are doing2541 or saying. They are more deserving of pity and compassion than of indignation.2542

* * *

15th day of October, 1869, Feast of St. Teresa. At 11:30 in the morning, as I was standing at the feet of the Virgin and St. Joseph, I had a clear understanding of how the Most Blessed Virgin was pure and clean in body and soul.

The body can be sullied by impurity.

The soul can be sullied by pride.

When someone is pleased with thoughts of impurity, entertains them and takes pleasure in them, we say that these are sins of morose delectation.

How, then, should we describe the morose complacencies of pride or vanity? Some call them spiritual lust.2543

Tota pulchra es, Maria.2544

All fair, that is, both in soul and body.

In soul by humility, and in body by virginity.

Just as I would banish every impure thought as quickly as possible, so I will turn away every thought of pride, vanity, self-esteem (holding myself in greater esteem than others). With the Lord’s help and that of the Virgin Mary, I will not only banish such thoughts, but I will also make acts of profound humility and mortification. And just as with the Lord’s help I abstain from every deed, word and thought of impurity, so also, with God’s help, I will abstain from every deed, word and thought of vanity.2545


MSS Claret X, 89-90; II, 223-225.

Introductory Note

This is the year of Saint Anthony Mary Claret’s death. One grace was granted in Rome, the rest in Fontfroide, in the south of France, where he had taken refuge after his participation in the First Council of the Vatican.


The Congregation of the Heart of Mary2546

On the Feast of the Lord’s Ascension in the year 1870, a soul was kneeling before the altar of Mary Most Holy2547 from 11:00 to 12:00, contemplating on the Feast day,2548 when he came to understand that the Sons of the Congregation are like the arms of Mary, and that they must, by their zeal, draw everyone to Mary: the just, that they may persevere in grace, and sinners, that they may be converted.

Jesus is the head of the Church.2549 Mary Most Holy is the neck, and more immediately, the Heart.2550

The arms of Mary are the Missionaries of her Congregation, who will work zealously, embrace everyone, and pray to Jesus and Mary. Mary Most Holy will avail herself of them as her arms and maternal breasts to feed her little ones, like a Mother who seeks out the services of a wetnurse. The Missionaries are wetnurses who must feed poor little sinners with the breasts of wisdom and love; and both of these breasts must be in equal supply.

Thus, like good and healthy mothers, they must make sure that they eat frequently, both for themselves and for their nurslings, just as all good nurses do. The food that these nurses must take is prayer – mental, vocal and ejaculatory – and spiritual reading, e.g., The Devout Life of St. Francis de Sales, Rodríguez, Scaramelli, Castellvetere.2551

Moral Theology.



* * *

Today, August 10, 1870, in Fontfroide.2553 I have come to know that one must pray in the following manner: like Jesus on the Cross during the three hours of agony,2554 like Mary Most Holy, St. John, the Magdalene and the other Marys. All good souls must join in spirit with the foregoing, and ask the Eternal Father for the conversion of sinners, the perseverance of the just, and the relief of the souls in Purgatory. The darkness that was seen2555 signifies sinners, their ignorance and wickedness.

With Jesus, we must ask: Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.2556 It [the darkness] also signifies the recollection that must be kept by souls who want to pray.

* * *

Today, the 11th. Jesus’ lament at seeing himself abandoned.2557

1. By Humanity. – 2. By Divinity. – 3. By his disciples. – 4. By his own people. – 5. By me. – 6. By so many souls, regarding his Law, his Gospel, his Sacraments, his Religion, and Devotion to Mary Most Holy. – 7. By so many nations.

Jesus Christ revealed to St. Teresa that without leaving their solitude, she and her Sisters, through their prayer and virtues, had helped greatly in spreading the faith and converting heretics and other sinners. And elsewhere He says that St. Teresa’s vows and tears had been of great help to the undertakings of apostolic men.2558

The talents of graces are acquired through fidelity to our first gifts. And natural talents are acquired by application to work. Let us apply ourselves, then, and we will see by experience that we will do more than we had ever believed possible.2559

Memento quod et ipse servieris in terra Aegypti, et liverabit (=liberavit) te Dominus Deus noster. (Deut 15:15).2560


Name Index
Thematic Index

A Lápide, Cornelius: 162n, 164n, 164, 222, 315n.

Aaron: 249.

Abandonment, Jesus’ sense of: 342.

Abelly, L.: 125n.

Abraham: 14, 29, 124, 178.

Abstinence: see Mortification, Fasting.

Acciardi, Xavier: 95n.

Acquaviva, Claudius, SJ: 243.

Action: union of Martha and Mary, 184, 210, 314, 217.

Adoain, Stephen: 34n.

Advice from heaven to pray, write, direct souls, be calm: 307-309.

Agreda, Mary of Jesus of: 126n, 205n, 207n, 215, 218, 229, 273n, 274n, 274, 334n.

Aguado, printer: 47.

Aguilar, Bp. Francisco: 40, 42n, 286n, 330n, 336n.

Alameda, Card. Cyril de: opposition to Claret over Escorial, 322n.

Alemany, Bp. Joseph Sadoc: 82n, 83n.

Alicante: 187.

Altagracia, hacienda of: 303.

America (Latin): 108, 121n.

Andalusia: 278n, 325.

Angel, Guardian: devotion to, 251. See Cassock (metaphor).

Angel of Apocalypse: 31, 315-16; cf. 310.

Angels: devotion to angels to advance in perfection, 195; Mondays devoted to them, 125, 201, 205; November devoted to them, 249; and Hours of the Office, 250.

Anselmo de San Luis Gonzaga: 222n.

Antonelli, Card. Giacomo: 184.

Apelles: 286.

Aragon: 193.

Aranjuez, Royal Estate: 206, 238, 327.

Arbat, Teresa: 17.

Arcadius, Emperor: 198.

Archbishop: Claret nominated Abp. on St. Dominic’s Day, at first refuses, then accepts and is consecrated on Feast of O. L. of the Rosary, 35; considers resigning as Abp. of Cuba because of obstacles to his apostolate, but accepts remaining out of obedience to God’s will, 172-76; examples of holy bishops, 174-75; virtues required, 242; means to govern well, 244-247.

Arco, Marquis del: 309n, 314n.

Ardales, J. B. de: 34n.

Armas, G. de: 111n.

Arms, see Weapons

Arrazola, Lorenzo: 44n, 170n.

Arsenius, Abbot: 195, 198.

Art of dying well, see Death.

Artigas, Francisco: 19.

Artola, Andrés: 48n.

Aspirations: see Ejaculatory prayers.

Associations, priestly: 94.

Assumption: urges declaration as dogma during Vatican I, 66.

Asturias: 187.

Attempt: on his life at Holguín and Madrid, 59; against Vatican I, 125-26.

Attention: resolves to be attentive in all he does, 233.

Autobiography: Autob. Documents, Resolutions, Spirit. Notes, Lights and Graces form an excellent supplement to it, 1.

Avila, city of: 332.

Avila, John of, see St. John of Avila.

Avila, Marcial: 60.

Avila, Teresa of, see St. Teresa of Avila.


Babylon: 304.

Bach, Fr. Peter: 159

Balance of mind, see Equanimity.

Balearic Isles: 193.

Balmes, Jaume: 22-24, 42, 297n.

Baltimore, Council of: on clerical garb, discipline, 98, 101.

Balzola, Jacoba: testifies to Claret’s mortification, 225n.

Barabbas: B. preferred to Jesus, motive for humility, 196; B. symbol of threefold concupiscence, 265.

Baracoa: 305n.

Barcelona, passim.

Barili, Lorenzo (Papal Nuncio): 182.

Barjau, Anthony: 168n.

Barricades: freed from mob, 336.

Barrio, Abp. Mariano: 286n.

Bartholomew, Apostle, see St. Bartholomew.

Bartholomew of the Martyrs, Abp. of Braga: 21n, 70, 105, 114, 170n, 175.

Bayamo (Cuba): preternatural knowledge of distant earthquakes, 297n.

Beam: old rough-hewn beam, a symbol of Claret’s mission in the royal court, 333.

Behnam-Betti, Abp. Cyril: 96n.

Benedict XIV: 76, 95.

Benefits: received from God, 38; by means of Mary, 58.

Bermejo, Rev. Jesús: xi.

Bermuda: 59n.

Bertrán, Bp. Philip: 95n.

Bestué, Joaquín: 61n.

Bethlehem: 193, 201.

Bible, daily reading: 28. See Vocation.

Blanco, Bp. Fernando: 84n.

Blasphemy, Society against: 25.

Blessed José Diego de Cádiz: 34n.

Blessed Sacrament: teaching others to visit and receive, 231; he visits Bl. Sacrament every day, 233; Thursdays dedicated to, 196, 201, 205, see Eucharist.

Bonel y Orbe, Card. Juan José: 50.

Borbón, Infanta Eulalia de: 53.

Borbón, Infanta Isabella de: 53.

Borbón, Infanta Paz de: 53.

Borbón, Infanta Pilar de: 53.

Bostami, Peter: 97n.

Boys, discernment of vocation to priesthood: 70-71.

Braga: 175.

Bravard, Jean: 101n.

Brazil: 100.

Breviary: See Office.

Brunelli, Giovanni (Papal Nuncio): 35.

Brunet, Manuel: 45n.

Burgos: 83n.


Cádiz: 298n.

Caelius Bp. of Mentelo: 174.

Caixal, Bp. Joseph: 46, 85n, 86n, 89, 95n, 113n, 155n, 156, 159, 172, 182, 324n.

Calumnies: see Slanders.

Campo Vaccino: 228.

Cana of Galilee: 105.

Canal, José María: 62n.

Canary Islands: 43, 92, 93n, 156, 238, 309.

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