I was born in Tortosa (Tarragona) in 1929. Fr. Claret, on his apostolic journeys across Catalonia, never reached Tortosa, nor have ever been any Claretian Missionaries in my land. Therefore, as a child, I never heard of Claret, nor knew any Claretian. It was due to circumstances of the Spanish civil war from 1936 to 1939 that my family had to move to Vic where, at the end of the war, I first came to know Saint Anthony Maria Claret through the contact with the Claretian Missionaries of this town. At that time I was 11 years old and it was during those postwar years that I began to go quite often to the (improvised) church of La Mercè, where the tomb of Saint Anthony Maria Claret was venerated, at the time being a Beat. (more…)
The first love letter I received from Father Claret was delivered to me through his autobiography, number 33, as he describes his attitude to the weakly, as follows:“Whenever we had to correct anyone, it upset me a great deal; yet I did my duty. I always tried to find something good to say about the piece of finished work. I would praise its good points, saying that this or that about it was very good but that it had such and such a defect and if these little defects were corrected, it would really be a perfect job.” (more…)
I heard it many times before. Claretians are missionaries who go to places where others would dare not go. Clever promotional pitch in a flyer posted in our school’s Guidance board. At that time, I was already accepted to join the Redemptorist seminary after my graduation. Yet for some mysterious reason I found my way to Claret Seminary in the summer of 1995. There, I was introduced to the person of Claret through the study of his Life. More to it, we were taught about the Ideal in his mind which contained the defining character of a Claretian missionary penned by Claret himself: delight in privations, welcome sacrifices, rejoice in being humbled, and glory in torments and persecutions. Are they for real? Who are these people? I couldn’t help but be skeptical about it. To my mind, either they are very bold or incurably crazy. They give up security, comfort, control, and the precious gift they possess – their very lives. (more…)
Fr. Claret has been a mentor for me since my childhood. I together with my family used to go to the church of La Mercè, where his sepulchre was worshiped, on the festivity of Our Lady of Bon Succés, at the 11:00 a.m. Mass or when there was a deceased relative or acquaintance and on some Sunday afternoons at the services (more…)
First of all, I must say that unlike and far from Claret, it seems that I do not find time to write these lines suggested by my Claretian brothers after my stay in Vic last year, where I was so well treated, just like by the brothers of Barcelona.
Last year I went to those places that are so significant for the Claretian family, on a trip I made to Rome. (more…)
When I was about three years old I used to play unconsciously with an object similar to the known “metal badges” for tapping soda bottles; but it must have been glass. My grandmother Irene, making an exception with me, allowed me to do so, despite the fact that there was inside something very precious for her: “the relic of Fr. Gil”. Years later I understood that it was a teak wood piece that contained a relic of Fr. Claret. This happened around 1951, (more…)
What features of Claret are a challenge and a stimulus for me as a claretian missionary in Japan?
My name is Marcel·lí Fonts. I was trained in the Province of Catalonia. I was ordained a priest on August 8, 1971. In 1973 I was sent to Japan. Along the 45 years of my missionary service in Japan I have carried out various ministries and positions, but mainly I have devouted many years to the training of our seminarians as well as collaborating with various training centres in Asia. (more…)
I first heard about San Antonio María Claret at home, when I was very young, few years after his canonization. My mother-side grandmother used to tell me that in Viladrau, where she spent some summer time in her childhood, local people still remembered and commented the apostolic activity of the Saint with great admiration and devotion, his healings and especially the miracle of extinguishing a fire in that village.
I had a first contact with the Claretians when I accompanied my grandmother to the old “Gráficas Claret” (more…)
With utmost affection I date back to Teresa, my matern grandmother. My childhood years are accompanied by her, I visit with her the chapel that the Claretian missionaries had in Conde De La Cañada Street in Ciudad Real. In that place in La Mancha, whose name I do want to remember, a good number of novices gathered, who endured harsh winters and hot summers. In the evenings she liked to pray the rosary with her grandchildren, and there and then was how I began the pious relationship with Mary, which later became that of a son, lover and shelter. (more…)
The first memory of our Founder that I keep in my mind is from when I was six years old, on the occasion of his canonization, on May 7, 1950. The students of the School of the Heart of Mary marched down the streets, with little flags of the Vatican in our hands and singing a hymn that became popular: “Cantem tots amb veu fervent del gran Claret la glòria i santedat…” (Let us sing with fervent voice the glory and sanctity of the great Claret…). Claret has been a familiar figure to me since my childhood. The episodes that Claret himself relates in his Autobiography and that we found illustrated in children’s publications were part of my imaginary world naturally: (more…)