When I am before the Blessed Sacrament I feel such a lively faith that I can’t describe it. Christ in the Eucharist is almost tangible to me. When it is time for me to leave, I have to tear myself away from His sacred presence.-St. Anthony Mary ClaretSt Anthony was a Spanish priest, and founded the Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary AKA the Claretians. He worked and studied, and eventually entered the seminary. In time, St Anthony made his way to preach in the Canary Islands, and after he returned to Spain, he founded his order. Blessed Pope Pius IX named him Archbishop of Santiago, Cuba at the request of the Queen of Spain. St Anthony reorganized the diocese in a number of ways. He validated 9,000 marriages, strengthened clerical discipline, and visited the entire see three times. St Anthony also built schools and hospitals. This work led to anti-clerical fever, which produced 15 attempts on his life.
The Queen asked him to become her confessor, and he became a titular archbishop in Spain. His work was concentrated on education and the poor. In 1869, he left for Rome to prepare for the 1st Vatican Council, but he fell ill and died at age 62 in the following October of 1870. St Anthony Claret was canonized in 1950. His feast in the 1969 calendar is today, Oct. 24; on the 1962 calendar, it is Oct. 23.
Happy feast of St Anthony Mary Claret! Ora pro nobis!