St Anthony Mary Claret, Bishop – 24 Oct
Worked as a weaver in his youth. Seminary student with Saint Francisco Coll Guitart. Ordained on 13 June 1835. Missionary in Catalonia and the Canary Islands. Directed retreats. Founded the Congregation of Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary(Claretians). Archbishop of Santiago de Cuba on 20 May 1850. Founded the Teaching Sisters of Mary Immaculate. Following his work in the Caribbean, Blessed Pope Pius IX ordered Anthony back to Spain. Confessor to Queen Isabella II, and was exiled with her. Had the gifts of prophecy and miracles. Reported to have preached 10,000 sermons, published 200 works. Spread devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
He was born on 23 December 1807 at Sallent, Catalonia, Spain and died on 24 October 1870 in a Cistercian monastery at Frontfroide, Narbonne, France.
Driven by the fire of the Holy Spirit, the holy apostles traveled throughout the earth. Inflamed with the same fire, apostolic missionaries have reached, are now reaching, and will continue to reach the ends of the earth, from one pole to the other, in order to proclaim the word of God. They are deservedly able to apply to themselves those words of the apostle Paul: “The love of Christ drives us on.” The love of Christ arouses us, urges us to run, and to fly, lifted on the wings of holy zeal. The zealous man desires and achieve all great things and he labors strenuously so that God may always be better known, loved and served in this world and in the life to come, for this holy love is without end. Because he is concerned also for his neighbor, the man of zeal works to fulfill his desire that all men be content on this earth and happy and blessed in their heavenly homeland, that all may be saved, and that no one may perish for ever, or offend God, or remain even for a moment in sin. Such are the concerns we observe in the holy apostles and in all who are driven by the apostolic spirit. For myself, I say this to you: 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. Nothing deters him: he rejoices in poverty; he labors strenuously; he welcomes hardships; he laughs off false accusations; he rejoices in anguish. He thinks only of how he might follow Jesus Christ and imitate him by his prayers, his labors, his sufferings, and by caring always and only for the glory of God and the salvation of souls. – from a work by Saint Anthony Mary Claret