Saint Anthony Mary Claret

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767Conversation with a woman must be serious and brief” (St. Augustine, Enarratio in Ps 50, cit. by St. Alphonsus Mary de Liguori, Istruzione e pratica pei confessor, ch. X, 55 [Torino, Marietti, 1847] p. 640). For the writings of St. Augustine see note 109. See original Italian text online, S. Alfonso Maria de Liguori, Opera Omnia Italiane, Direzione: S. Brugnano, Edizione elettronica: Biblioteca Digitale IntraText, Direzione scientifica: N. Mastidoro, Èulogos SpA I edizione - Maggio 2003 <> For English translations of his writings see note 252.

768 “And set your eyes down” (St. Isidore of Pelusio, l. 2, epist. 284; cit. by St. Alphonsus Mary de Liguori, Selva di materie predicabili [Bassano 1833] I, p. 153; cf. Spanish text in BAC, Obras ascéticas [Madrid 1954] II, p. 214). For English translation see footnote 252.

769 This attitude, so reserved and trying to correct it with due discretion, did not prevent the Saint from noticing the way the queen and ladies of the nobility dressed in the court, mainly in the gala ceremonies in full dress (Autob. n. 772).

770 Cf. San Alfonso María de Ligorio, Selva di materie predicabili, III, ch. 12, 5 [Bassano 1833] St. Alphonsus calls this preacher “uomo santo (oggidì defunto: presently deceased).” See also note 404 for Italian text online.

771 Six times: 1st) Mt 11:19; Mk 6:41; Lk 9:16 - 2nd) Mk 7:34 - 3rd) Lk 6:20 - 4th) Jn 6:5 - 5th) Jn 11: 41 - 6th) Jn 17:1.

772 In a note entitled Comparación del clero francés con el clero español [Comparison between the French and Spanish clergy], he wrote: “The newspaper kills the book” (Mss. Claret, XII, 439). Nevertheless, in order to have full information of the political and social reality, he would leaf through some newspapers after a meal, especially during the years he spent in Madrid (1857 1868). He subscribed to La Esperanza, El Real Museo de Madrid and La Regeneración (cf. HD, II, p. 724).

773 The purpose for not speaking of his sermons was first mentioned in 1844 and renewed in 1852, 1854, 1855 and 1858.

774 “He did not want to incur the same fault that reprimands Father Rodriguez when he says that some act like the hen when after she has laid an egg clucks and they go and take the egg she has laid” (Letter to Father Juan Nepomuceno Lobo, Madrid December 5, 1857: EC, I, pp. 1465-1466).

775 In one of the books he used, he highlighted this phrase: “Rien n’attire l’atten­tion du monde comme la manière dont on se traite à table, notre régime fait sur lui plus d’impression que la vue d’un miracle” (Nampon, Adrien, Manuel du Missionnaire [Perisse frères, Lyon Paris 1848] p. 274).

776 Cf. Autob. n. 684; “Lights and Graces,” 1859.

777 Friar Francisco de la Puente (Saldaña, Palencia, 1779 Segovia 1854) was Dominican and the Bishop of Sego­via from 1848.

778 The same Saint related this episode to his missionaries (cf. Clotet, Jaime, Vida edificante del Padre Claret, Misionero y Fundador [Madrid 2000] p. 115).

779 Cf. Clotet, Jaime, ib. - On a certain occasion, some nuns from Vic asked him how he managed to spend his time at the banquets, and he responded: “I attend the least that I can; I always have the soup; I also have the stew, and since there are always chick-peas, I am entertained in making them run around the plate” (HD, II, p. 46). Among his manuscripts are several notes regarding mortification. In one of them, corresponding to the exercises given to the priests in 1855, he added notes later in a different handwriting and in a different ink: “To give good example. Me in the Palace” (Mss. Claret, X, 289).

780 Cf. Sam 20:4.

781 His mother, Josefa Clará Rodoreda, died piously on October 26, 1842, at the age of 68.

782 Cf. Autob. n. 29.

783 Cf. 2 Cor 4:10.

784 Cf. Saint John of the Cross, Letter to Fr. Juan de Santa Ana, in The Collected Works of St. John of the Cross. Trans. Kieran Kavanaugh, O.C.D., and Otilio Rodriguez, O.C.D., revised edition Institute of Carmelite Studies, (1991). (Spanish) BAC, Vida y obras (Madrid 1974) 8. ª ed., p. 381.

785 1 Cor 9:27: “I chastise my body and bring it into subjection: lest having preached to others, I myself become a castaway.”

786 Cf. Rodríguez, Alonso, Ejercicio de perfección y virtudes cristianas (Barcelona 1861) parte 3.ª, pp. 343-344. Ex libris. See Alphonsus Rodriguez, The Practice Of Christian And Religious Perfection, 3 vol., (Kessinger Publishing, 2006)

787 “Give me blood and I will give you spirit.”

788 Cf. Phil 3:18.

789 He insists in the virtue of mortification from a general point of view (Autob. nn. 414 416), according to excellence and merit (Autob. nn. 416 419). Active external and internal mortification (Autob. n. 419). Passive external mortification (Autob. nn. 420 426). The final exclamation sums up the fraternal-passive and Christ-like aspect (Autob. n. 427).

790 In the manuscript from which these points are taken, he adds: “v. gr.: one pound of sweets, who cares about ten reales” (Mss. Claret, II, 256).

791 Cf. Mss. Claret, XIII, 85-86.

792 Cf. 1 Tim 4:12.

793 Cf. Mss. Claret, XIII, 83.

794 Cf. 1 Tim 6:13-14.

795 Cf. Lk 21:18.

796 Cf. Tomé de Jesús, Trabajos de Jesús (Barcelona 1726) II, pp. 603, 619. Ex libris. These paragraphs were included in the resolutions of 1864, the year in which he suffered slander and persecutions.

797 Cf. Mt 26:56; 27:46; Mk 14:50; 15:34.

798 Ps 22:7: “I am a worm, no man, scorned by men and despised by the people.”

799 Is 53:3.

800 “I dress them.” As in the original. As in Saint Paul: to dress or to put on Christ. As he wrote this (in 1861 or 1862), Claret had already suffered the attempt in Holguin (1856) and was on the verge of the beginning the great defamatory campaign that would last until his death.

801 Cf. Mt 20:2-23.

802 Cf. Mk 10:38.

803 Cf. Gal 6:14. – He arranges the text of Saint Paul to express his love for Jesus Christ and his conforming to Him. Here, mortification, more than a virtue to become a good apostle, is the culmination of the apostolate in reaching the total incorporation of the Lord’s sacrifice.

804 He copied this chapter with a preceding note about the virtues of Jesus (Mss. Claret, II, 251-253). The calligraphy puts it back to the year 1850. Here, in a very concrete synthesis and from an immediate evangelical vision, he describes to us the image of Jesus, model of missionaries, and the works of his life, which the Saint wished to live as literally as possible.

805 It alludes to the legend of Jesus’ seamless robe, which is said to be the only one during his entire life and that it increased in size as He grew up. The Saint read it in one of his favorite books: Ágreda, María de Jesús de, Mística ciudad de Dios (parte 2. ª, Libro 4, cap. 29). See, The Mystical City of God: Life of the Virgin Mother of God, manifested to Sister Mary of Jesus of Agreda, 1602-1666.<>

806 Cf. Mt 27:35; Mk 15:24; Jn 19:23-24.

807 This last phrase – that today seems innocent and superfluous to us – must be understood in its respective setting. It does not appear in a previous note; he added it later; we do not know why. The Saint wants to surface the absolute poverty of Jesus. The XIX century society had an almost idolatrous attachment to the hat. To do without it was considered seriously impolite. “The evident thing is that, in one way or another, one could not be without the hat. To go outside hatless was inconceivable” (Díaz-Plaja, Fernando, La vida española en el si­glo XIX [Madrid 1952] p. 82).

808 Cf. Mk 1:13; 1 Kings 19:1 8.

809 Cf. Jn 6:9; 21:9, 12.

810 Cf. Mk 2:23-24.

811 Cf. Jn 19:29-30.

812 Cf. Lk 9:58; Mt 8:20.

813 Cf. Lk 2:7.

814 Cf. Jn 19:31, 33, 28.

815 Cf. Mt 2:13-15.

816 Cf. Mt 2:23; 4:13; Lk 4:16.

817 Cf. Mt 21:5.

818 Cf. Mt 17:27.

819 Cf. Jn 12:6.

820 Cf. Mt 9:35.

821 Lk 6:12: “And He spent the night in communion with God.”

822 Cf. Mt 19:13-25.

823 Cf. Lk 4:18.

824 Cf. Mt 14:14.

825 Cf. Mt 11:19.

826 Cf. Jn 8:50.

827 Cf. Jn 5:30.

828 Cf. Jn 10:11 – These paragraphs were jotted down later in his booklet La vocación de los niños (Barcelona 1864) pp. 69-70; cf. Also in the letters to the Ursulines of Puerto Principe, Santiago, Cuba, March 2, 1851 (SL, pp. 251-253).

829 Cf. Phil 4:13

830 Cf. Jn 15:5. – This final exclamation was missing in the manuscript previously quoted.

831 This chapter is where the apostolic personality of Saint Anthony Claret - passionate and zealous - is best reflected, where it defines the missionary as “a man who is on fire with love, who spreads its flames wherever he goes” (Autob. n. 494).

832 Cf. Acts 2: 4.

833 Cf. Acts 2:41; 4:4.

834 Cf. Acts 2:1-3.

835 Cf. Venerable Maestro Juan de ávila, Obras (Madrid 1759) I, p. 45. Ex libris. The exact phrase is: “Love the Lord very much.”

836 “You are missionaries; you should be sent; boldly thrust; you should say: Charitas Christi urget nos [The love of Christ Impels Us] (Mss. Claret, X, 43; cf. Constituciones y textos sobre la Congregación de Misioneros. Ed. de J. M. Lozano [Barcelona 1972] p. 581).

837 Cf. 1 Cor 13:1. - “Many, when listening to him [Claret], would say: How does he know so much? How much he loves! We exclaimed and will exclaim this whenever it is spoken of Father Claret. Charity is the soul, the powerful moving force of all the actions of the Archbishop. The sacred fire that continuously burns in his heart transfers him simultaneously everywhere and provides the mysterious secret of multiplying the moments, multiplying him, multiplying the works of his ardent zeal” (Manterola, Vicente de, Semanario católico vasco-navarro, September 15, 1866).

838 Cf. Mt 13:44.

839 Cf. 1 Jn 5:2-3.

840 Cf. Ps 38: 4. - For Claret, keeping the commandments insures habitual charity; the practice of the evangelical counsels removes the obstacles that are opposed to charity in action (cf. Vatican Council II, Lumen Gentium and Perfectae Caritatis) and prayer turns charity into zeal and fire.

841 On April 27, 1859, the Lord promised him divine love (Autob. n. 683; cf. Mss. Claret, II, 169). In 1863, he pleaded for this grace: “May I love like the Son” (Mss. Claret, II, 193). In 1869, he was granted unconditional love for his enemies (ib., p. 215). Even though in the last stage of his life his anxieties were calmer, in his last resolutions (May 1870), he says that he wants to go to heaven, because, according to Saint Bonaventure, “one beholder loves God more than a thousand wayfarers” (ib., pp. 129 130).

842 Cf. Lk 11:13.

843 In the notes from which these paragraphs are taken, he adds: “Note. These short prayers are to be repeated often to readily reach divine love; sometimes begging and other times exercising love, because there is no better means to acquire love than loving and pleading for love. Each one should try, on their own, to do everything possible to reach divine love… Have hunger and thirst for love. Pater mi, accipe cor meum tibi. Oh my Father! take for you my heart, for it will be better and safer in you than in me. From today on, I offer up my wants and likes, my deeds and everything I own: all the fruit of this tree I want to be yours. My beloved, freely I give it for you to eat, because the greater mercy you show me in wanting it to receive it than I serve in giving it to you” (Mss. Claret, II, 248 250).

844 Cf. Lk 12:49.

845 At the time, images of the Heart of Mary were designated with the title of “Mother of Divine Love.” The heart is, according to Claret, the instrument of love: “In the Heart of Mary there are two things to consider: the physical heart and the formal heart which is the love and the will. The physical heart of Mary is the organ, sense, and instrument of love and will; just as we see with our eyes, hear with our ears, smell with our nose, and talk with our mouth, we love and desire with our heart” (Letter to a devotee of the Heart of Mary: EC, II, p. 1499). A spiritual and theological vision of this subject can be seen in Viñas, José María, La devoción al Corazón de María según las enseñanzas del Beato P. Claret: Boletín Prov. Cataluña CMF 11 (1949) 201-­225; Leghisa, Antonio, El Corazón de María y la Congregación en el momento actual (Roma 1978) 62 pp.; Hernández, José María, Ex abundantia cordis. Estudio de la espiritualidad cordimariana de los Misioneros Claretianos (Madrid-Rome 1991) 286 pp.

846 Cf. Mt 19:19; Mk 12:33: Lk 10:27; Jn 15:12, 17.

847 Cf. Gen 1:27.

848 Cf. Spiritual Notes, 2. Love for your enemies, 3.

849 Cf. 1 Pt 1:18-19.

850 Cf. Ps 50:15. – The same reasons were already indicated by the Saint in his booklet, Temple and Palace of the Lord, Our God (Barcelona, 1866) Works, v. III, chap. IV, pp. 191-193.

851 Cf. Sabunde, Ramón, Las criaturas. Grandioso tratado del hombre (Barcelona 1854) p. 179. Regarding this author, born in Barcelona towards the end of the XIV century and deceased in 1432, cf. Viñas, José María, San Antonio María Claret y Ramón Sabunde: SC 15 (1997) 95-101. In the writing where he copies this text, he adds: “Such was the object of Jesus and the apostolic missionaries” Mss. Claret, II, 246). The phrase “The word has been and will always be the queen of the world” and from “The society will not die” to “ruins” is a quote from Juan Donoso Cortés (Valle de la Serena, 1809-París, 1853) from a letter to María Cristina, dated November 26, 1851, BAC, Obras completas...compiled and revised with the addition of new writings by Dr. Fr. Juan Juretschke (Madrid 1946) II, p. 599. The Saint copies these same words in his manuscripts (Mss. Claret, II, 271 272) and in Apuntes para el régimen de la diócesis (Madrid 1857) pp. 45 46: in Escritos Pastorales, p. 497. Here, the Saint adds the text “The divine word created all things from nothing. The divine word redeemed the lost” as well as the text from Jesus and Saint Paul to underline the importance of missionary evangelization. See Selected Works of Juan Donoso Cortés, trans., ed., and intro. by Jeffrey P. Johnson (Wesport: Greenwood Press, 2000). See also “Juan Donoso Cortés” in The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
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