Saint Anthony Mary Claret



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852 Cf. Wis 9:1.

853 Cf. Jn 1:3.

854 Mk 16:15: “Go out to the world and preach the Gospel to every creature.”

855 2 Tim 4:2: “Preach the Word.”

856 Cf. Mk 16:15.

857 In another writing, he places in parentheses – that the following words from Donoso Cortes not be published in Apuntes de un plan para el régimen de la diócesis: “diminishing Spanish greatness” Mss. Claret, II, 272). Here is Donoso Cortes’ text and its context: “The Catholic spirit has been deposed by the revolutionary nature of our political and economic legislation; may this example be the starting point of the complete restoration of the catholic spirit in our political legislation. The right to speak and teach the people, which the church received from God himself in the persons of the apostles, has been usurped by a mob of obscure newsmen and very ignorant charlatans, diminishing the Spanish greatness. The ministry of the word, which is also the most magnificent and invincible of all, since by it the world has been conquered, has come to be converted everywhere, from ministry of salvation, to abominable ministry of ruin. Just as no one and nothing could contain the triumph in apostolic times, nothing or no one, my lady, will be able to contain today its ruin. The word has been, is, and will always be queen of the world. Society does not break down due to anything else but that it has taken His word, which is the word of life, out of the Church. Societies are weak and hungry because they are not getting their daily bread. Every purpose of salvation will be in vain if the great Catholic word is not restored. This last concordat (of 1851) is an excellent starting point for this restoration, but it is only an excellent starting point, nothing else….” See note 488.

858 In another place, he would say: “by a mob of obscene writers” (Apuntes de un plan... [Madrid 1865] p. 57).

859 Cf. Rom 12:21. – The Popes, as they beatify and canonize, recognize and praise this characteristic of the “modern” and “inspired” apostolate of Claret: “Apostle and teacher of apostles, teacher of the word in all its forms: spoken, written, printed, taught in schools, he preached in missions, arousing souls of teachers and missionaries” (Pious XII, Speech to Spanish pilgrims at the beatification: L’Osservatore Romano, March 5 6, 1934).

860 He does not list all the towns in which he preached. This did not interest him much for the purposes that he was seeking when writing the Autobiography. According to Father Manuel Vilar i Bassas in his book: Claret. Recull autobiogràfic (Barcelona 1981), the quotes are listed according to memory, not chronologically. With some exceptions, they can be grouped in: first missions, with certain chronological order; parishes of Gerona; marine towns, of Barcelona, of Manresa, Vic, bishopric of Solsona and regions of Tarragona. It is impossible here to give an idea of the immense activity he carried out in all of Catalonia. We go back to the most important biographies and monographs: HD, l, 1066 pp.; Serra Fitó, Juan, Dietari del Venerable Servent de Déu P. Antoni Maria Claret i Clará (Barcelona 1931) 76 pp.; Bertrans, Pere, Petjades apostòliques del Beat P. Antoni Maria Claret en el Bisbat de Solsona (Barcelona 1934), 52 pp.: Fort Cogul, Eufemià, El Beato Claret y el arzobispado de Tarragona (Tarragona 1949) 198 pp.; Gasol, Josep Maria, Sant Antoni Maria Claret i la ciutat de Manresa (Manresa 1970) 64 pp. He did not preach missions in all of the towns mentioned. In some of them, he preached a few sermons, or only one, during a patron saint celebration or for some other reason.

861 He was the treasurer in this town for eight months, from May 1842 until the end of January 1843.

862 Sant Llorenç de Morunys o dels Piteus

863 In this list, Father Claret indicates only 74 towns, whereas a documented study shows the number as 154, including those the Saint visited during his time as confessor to Isabel II (1857-1868) (cf. Fort Cogul, Eufemià, Itinerari de Sant Antoni Maria Claret per Catalunya [Barcelona 1970] pp. 17 54). In the work mentioned, Father Manuel Vilar indicates, in addition, other places of Catalonia where Claret visited and preached as missionary.

864 The political situation was characterized by the fight between Carlists and Isabelines. It unfolded, mainly, in the mountainous zone of Catalonia, which was favorable to the guerrillas. Regarding the religious situation in the Spain during the XIX century, and the principal characteristics of spirituality at that time, cf. Jiménez Duque, Baldomero, Espiritualidad y apostolado, BAC, Historia de la Iglesia en España (Madrid 1979) V, pp. 410 418.

865 Joaquín del Manzano (1805 1867) fought in Catalonia on the side of Isabel II (1840- 1843). Returned to fight against the Carlist insurrection (1847). Was field marshal and commander-in-chief of Tarragona and Gerona (1849). In 1851, he was named Governor-general of Santiago, Cuba and Commander of the Department of the Eastern Province, a position in which he took possession on March 26th of the same year, “leaving behind a good memory in the Antilles due to his gentlemanly conduct” (Sedano y Cruzat, Carlos de, Cuba desde 1850 a 1853. Imp. Nacional, Madrid, 1873).

866 From 1840 to 1848. In those seven years, “Father Claret, a prodigiously active man, re-Christianized all of Catalonia” (Brunet, Manuel, Actualidad del P. Claret [Vic 1953] pp. 39 40).The Blessed Francisco Coll (1812 1875) founded the Dominican Sisters of the Annunciation (cf. Garganta, José María, Francisco Coll, fundador de las Dominicas de la Anunciata [Valencia 1976] 486 pp.; Coll, Francisco, O. P., Testimonios (1812-1931). Vito Tomás Gómez García, O. P., ed.: Valencia, HH. Dominicas de la Anunciata [Madrid 1993] 1228 pp.).

867 Living up to his resolution to travel on foot out of fidelity to the Gospel often carried Claret to heroic lengths. Only a special help from God can explain how he kept up his physical and moral resistance during these years.

868 The Bañolas mission ended on Thursday, December 7, 1843. The river to which it alludes is the Fluviá, in Esponellá (Gerona) (cf. IPT ses. 15).

869 Begú: should be Begur or Bagur (Gerona), in Ampurdán (Costa Brava), near Palafrugell.

870 “Trángulo” is a personal translation of the Catalan word “trangul”, which means choppy water, tempest. This episode occurred in the fall of 1844.

871 It happened on Sunday, December 20, 1846. In reality, there were two stones that fell: one at the beginning of the sermon, of about 800 grams, and the other at the end. The pieces weighed six and a half kilos altogether (cf. Capdevila i Miquel, Tomás, Sarreal. Notes històriques de la vila [Valls 1934] p. 134: fax edition of 1985).

872 Fr. James Soler wrote to Don Joaquin Masmitjá on December 3, 1844 regarding Claret: “He remains, as always, in good health and very happy, in spite of the rage of the devil, and he does not lack some tribulations; but as he can do all things in He who comforts him, he laughs at all those jokes” (cf. Noguer y Musqueras, Tomás, Biografía del Siervo de Dios M. Iltre. Dr. D. Joaquín Masmitjá y De Puig [Gerona 1952] p. 427).

873 One of these diseases was a horrible sore on the side, on the bottom of which were several ribs, and it was suddenly healed invoking the Virgin (cf. IPV ses. 79; APV ses. 15, 16, 140).

874 Cf. Job 10:1.

875 Cf. Phil 1:21-23.

876 “The value does not consist of exposing oneself recklessly to death, but in confronting it generously when obligation forces you; to put yourself in danger of dying for no reason is crazy, it is a crime. In short, the value has to be a virtue, and one must trust very much in help from heaven” (Avisos a un militar cristiano [Barcelona 1862] pp. 38 39). Miguel de Cervantes wrote: “valour which is not based upon a foundation of prudence is called rashness, and the exploits of the rash man are to be attributed rather to good fortune than to courage” (Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quijote de la Mancha,: John Ormsby, trans., parte II, cap. 28, web edition published by eBooks@Adelaide, Rendered into HTML by Steve Thomas, 2006.)
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