Saint Anthony Claret (1807-1870)

for October 24

Saint Anthony Claret was born in Catalonia, Spain in 1807. As the son of a weaver, he took up his father's craft, but began studying for the priesthood to become a Jesuit. He was not able to join the Jesuits due to his poor health, so he became a secular priest. He established the Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, known today as Claretians, and the Apostolic Training Institute of the Immaculate Conception, known today as Claretian nuns. Anthony was the archbishop of Santiago de Cuba, Cuba, from 1850 to 1857. He also established the Religious Publishing House, an important Catholic publishing business in Spain, and wrote or published numerous books and pamphlets. Anthony became Queen Isabella II's confessor, partook in the First Vatican Council, and died in a Cistercian monastery in France on October 24, 1870. He had prophetic gifts and performed miracles. Anthony is the patron saint of textile merchants, weavers, savings, the Catholic press, Claretians Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the Diocese of the Canary Islands, Claretian Students and Educators, and Technical and Vocational Educators.

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When there is an obstacle that we cannot control standing in the way of something we want, we tend to get discouraged. However, we need to remember that God has a special plan for each one of us. Saint Anthony Claret must have felt discouraged when his poor health was the reason that he wasn't allowed to join the Jesuits. Still, he knew that he was called to serve God by joining a religious order, and through perseverance and the desire to serve God he became a secular priest. Even though becoming a secular priest wasn't his original plan, he was able to do many good works in his new position that glorified God. Spend some time thinking about occasions when you were unable to participate in something because of uncontrollable circumstances. Think about what you were able to do instead that brought glory to God.


Thank you for choosing me to do your work, living and true God. (Taken from "Good News Day by Day: Bible Reflections for Teens.")