Bishop and Founder of the Claretians – (1807-1870)
+ 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.
Several members of the Claretians have suffered martyrdom in the years since their founding. In addition to dozens who lost their lives during the Spanish Civil War, the Church remembers Blessed Andre Sola. Born in Mexico, he entered the Claretians in 1914 and was ordained in 1922. He served as a “home missioner” in Mexico and was murdered in 1927 during the Mexican Revolution for his refusal to submit to government control. He was beatified in 2005 and is celebrated on April 25.
“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 Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (the Claretians), visit: http://claretianvocations.claretians.org
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.
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.Access our archives of daily saint biographies here