+ Anthony was born in Spain in 1807. Ordained a priest in 1835, he worked as a mission and retreat director throughout Catalonia. To help in this work, he founded a new religious community: the Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (commonly known as the Claretians).
+ In 1849, Anthony was consecrated as bishop of Santiago in Cuba. Seeing the many needs of his diocese, he initiated a program of reforms, including the creation of a new community of sisters: the Sisters of Mary Immaculate.
+ In 1857, he was recalled to Spain to serve as chaplain for Queen Isabella II. This position allowed him to continue preaching and publishing. He later opened a museum, library, schools, and a laboratory and helped revive the Catalan language.
+ A participant in the First Vatican Council, Anthony Mary Claret was later forced to flee Spain following the Revolution of 1868 and he died in exile in 1870.
+ Saint Anthony Mary Claret was canonized in 1950.
For prayer and reflection
“The man who burns with the fire of divine love is a son of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and wherever he goes, he enkindles that flame; he deserves and works with all this strength to inflame all men with the fire of God’s love.”—Saint Anthony Mary Claret
– To learn more about the priests and brothers of the Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (the Claretians), visit: http://claretianvocations.claretians.org
– To learn more about the Claretian Missionary Sisters, visit: www.claretiansisters.org
On October 24 we also remember Blessed Maria Tuci. Born in Albania in 1928 and educated by the Stigmatine Sisters, she joined that community as a postulant, but because of the realities of Communist occupation, she was unable to continue her pursuit of religious life. She worked as an elementary school teacher and catechist before being arrested in 1949 by the Communist authorities. She suffered torture and abuse for more than a year before dying from the effects of all she had endured on October 24, 1950, in Shkodra, Albania. She was beatified with other Albanian martyrs in 2016.
O God, who for the evangelization of peoples
strengthened the Bishop Saint Anthony Mary Claret
with admirable charity and long-suffering,
grant, through his intercession,
that, seeking the things that are yours,
we may earnestly devote ourselves
to winning our brothers and sisters for Christ.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.