October 24, 2000
volume 11, no. 210

LITURGY for Tuesday and Wednesday, October 24-25, 2000

Tuesday, October 24, 2000

    Tuesday October 24:
    Weekday in Ordinary Time and
    Feast of Saint Anthony of Claret, Bishop and Religious Founder

    Green or White vestments

      First Reading: Ephesians 2: 12-22
      Psalms: Psalm 85: 9-14
      Gospel Reading: Luke 12: 35-38

Feast of Saint Anthony Mary Claret, Bishop and Religious Founder

        This humble son of a weaver Saint Anthony Mary Claret founded the Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in 1850. He was born in Salent, Spain, part of the Diocese of Vich in Catalonia on December 23, 1807. It was the same year Napoleon invaded Spain. Having entered the diocesan seminary there at the age of 22, he was ordained in 1835 and immediately assigned pastor of his home parish. But the lure to Rome and to become a Jesuit got the best of him and he entered the Jesuits Novitiate in Rome in 1837. But God had other plans for Anthony as he became very ill, forcing him to leave the novitiate and return to Salent where he devoted the next ten years to preaching missions and retreats throughout Catalonia, as well as writing publications for he wrote more than 150 books, chief among them his well-known work The Right Way. As so often is the case, his success brooded jealousy and envy within the ranks of the clergy, and they were successful in getting him sent to the Canary Islands in 1848. There, under Bishop Codina, he preached feverishly and, after almost two years later, returned back to Vich to found the Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary known throughout the world today as the Claretians dedicated to preaching missions. Though there were still ill feelings with fellow priests who resented his success, the Holy Father recognized his accomplishments and that same year Pope Pius IX appointed Anthony the Archbishop of Santiago in Cuba. In his efforts to preach against slavery, reform the diocese and because some in his own diocese plotted from afar, an assassination attempt was made on his life in 1856. Narrowly escaping, Anthony was recalled to Spain where he was appointed personal confessor to Queen Isabella II in 1857 while maintaining his duties of overseeing his fledgling order of priests. This new appointment also enabled him to be in a better position to appoint good bishops and other assignments throughout the various dioceses of Spain. In order to achieve total autonomy and work toward recognizing Religious Orders throughout Spain, he resigned his episcopate in 1858 while setting up a center of ecclesiastical studies in liturature, arts and the sciences at the Escorial in Madrid as rector of the seminary there. He specifically promoted Catholic publications and a devotion to Saint Michael the Archangel some 20 years before Pope Leo XIII's famous vision and subsequent decree of the protective prayer to St. Michael. In 1868 a revolution broke out and Isabella II fled to France while Anthony was in Rome helping prepare for the First Vatican Council (1869-70). When the Council concluded, Anthony discarded the idea of going back to Spain where persecution was mounting greatly and opted instead to join the deposed Spanish queen in Prades, France. However the Spanish ambassador, spurred on by those who had life-long vendettas against this holy man, insisted on his arrest and so Anthony fled to the Cistercian monastery near Narbonne, where under house arrest, he died on October 24, 1870. This leading light in the Catholic revival of Spain was honored years later when his remains were returned to the Diocese of Vichs and his fruits are proliferated today through the active missionaries who compose the Claretian Fathers. Pope Pius XII canonized St. Anthony Mary Claret in 1950.

Wednesday, October 25, 2000

      First Reading: Ephesians 3: 2-12
      Psalms: Isaiah 12: 2-6
      Gospel Reading: Luke 12: 39-48

October 24, 2000
volume 11, no. 210

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