Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Anthony, if you win this victory, this crown is for you!

Une Minute avec Marie
An initiative of the Mary of Nazareth Association

December 2 – Establishment of the Fraternity of the Holy Heart of Mary at Notre-Dame-des-Victoires Church (Paris, France, 1836)

“Anthony, if you win this victory, this crown is for you!”

Anthony Claret was born in 1807 in Spain near Montserrat, a shrine dedicated to the Virgin Mary. As a young child, he already had a strong devotion to the Madonna. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1835.

One day, Anthony was forced to stay in bed with a bad ‘flu. As he shook with fever, impure images came into his mind. So he called on the Blessed Virgin for help. She appeared to him holding in her hands a crown of roses. “Anthony,” she said, “if you win this victory, this crown is for you!” Anthony triumphed over temptation and calm returned to his soul.

His apostolate was particularly effective because of his deep devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Wherever he went, he established the Confraternity of the Holy Heart of Mary and pushed for the recitation of the family Rosary. But his master-achievement was his founding of the Congregation of the Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (the Claretian Missionaries) in Catalonia on July 16, 1849.

Appointed Archbishop of Cuba in 1849, to mark his gratitude to the Blessed Virgin, he added the name of Mary to his name. In Cuba, Father Antony Mary Claret founded the "Institute of the Religious of Mary Immaculate, the Claretian Missionaries" for the education of girls.