Saint Anthony Mary Claret
Saint Anthony Mary Claret (Sallent, 1807-Fondfroide, 1870), a universal man, born to evangelize, in love with Jesus Christ and his neighbor, apostolic missionary, Son of Immaculate Heart of Mary. Nineteenth century prophet who, moved by the Spirit, inspired new paths of life in the Church.
A thought that the Lord has inspired me…
Claret observes the world seeking that nothing of it is left out of God’s plan. In that evangelizing desire he pays attention to women who are called to live a radical consecration to Jesus Christ and are to remain in the world. For them around 1846 he began to write a book that opens with these words:
After having tried to give all kinds of people the means that seemed more conducive for them to achieve their sanctification… I would be afraid of failing in my duty and the universal charity that God has inspired me, if I did not take care of a class of people who have always called my attention and care in my apostolic forays, and that has occupied me many times before God.
The Lord whom you have chosen for your husband, and to whom you have consecrated your hearts, has looked at you with compassionate eyes, he has accepted your dedication and wants to admit you for wives… At least that’s how a thought that the Lord has inspired me makes me believe, and that it will provide you with the ability to fulfill all your desires by opening a new cloister… and this will be the Most Holy and Immaculate Heart of Mary.
In 1850 the book was finally published. Subsequent letters reveal the enormous acceptance that this small Claretian work had and the interest with which Claret wanted to spread it throughout the length and breadth of his diocese:
“I would also like you to send me a portion of the books of the Daughters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary; it is the book that bears great fruit…send them to me soon…you can’t form an idea of the great good that this little book is doing”.
Consecration and secularity, under the maternal influence of the Heart of Mary, are our way of being Church and of carrying out our mission in the world.