St. Anthony Claret
Feast Day: October 24
Born: 1807 :: Died: 1870
Anthony was born at Catalonia in Spain and the same year Napoleon attacked Spain.
In 1835 he became a priest and was sent to his home parish. Later he went to Rome and worked to help the missions. He joined the Jesuits as a novice, but his became ill.
So he returned to Spain and became a pastor. But Father Anthony knew that the whole world was a mission field and he had the heart of a missionary. He was a dedicated preacher in his parish. He gave conferences to priests.
Father Anthony knew how powerful books were to reach people and he wrote at least 150 books. His most well-known book, The Right Way, has reached millions of people.
Some people did not understand the work that Father Anthony did. His success made them very unhappy. But the Lord allowed people to find fault with his work so that this energetic priest could visit the Canary Islands.
He spent a year there preaching the Good News and then returned to Catalonia, Spain. In 1849, Anthony started a new religious order called the Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. They are known as the Claretians.
Queen Isabella II of Spain thought highly of St. Anthony. She suggested that he was the best person to become archbishop of Santiago, Cuba. And he spent seven exciting years as Archbishop in Cuba.
Archbishop Anthony visited parishes, speaking out against social evils, especially slavery. He blessed marriages and baptized children. He made many changes in Cuba, but this made him many enemies.
He received death threats often but did not stop his wonderful work until he was called back to Spain in 1857.
Anthony was head of a seminary in Madrid and he established the school of St. Michael to encourage arts and literature and even tried to start a school of agriculture.
He went to Rome to help prepare for the First Vatican Council in 1869 but died in 1870.
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