The Claretians of the United States and Canada are part of a world-wide congregation of approximately 3,000 members in 63 countries. Our Congregation, Sons of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary—or Claretian Missionaries—was founded by Saint Anthony Mary Claret in Vic, Spain on July 16, 1849, and was approved by Pope Pius IX on December 22, 1865. An outline of St. Claret’s life follows.

Overview Biography of
St. Anthony Mary Claret

1807 Born, December 23 in Sallent (near Barcelona), Spain, of a deeply religious family of weavers.
1825 At 18, goes to Barcelona to learn new methods in textile manufacturing.
1829 After a failed attempt to enter the Carthusians, enters the seminary of Vic. In 1830 decides to become a diocesan priest.
1835 Ordination to the priesthood. Appointed administrator of his home parish.
1839 Enters the Jesuit novitiate in Rome. After a few profitable months, a mysterious leg ailment forces him to leave.
1840 Begins his missionary preaching journeys between parish duties.
1843-47 Missionary campaigns. He travels throughout Catalonia on foot, preaching ceaselessly and distributing books and leaflets he himself has written.
1848 Goes to the Canary Islands, where he carries out an apostolate, the effects of which are remembered to this day.
1849 July 16. After his return to Catalonia, founds the Congregation of Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (Claretian Missionaries).
1850 October 6. Appointed Archbishop of Santiago, Cuba; is consecrated bishop in Vic.
1851 February 16. Arrives in Santiago, Cuba.
1851-55 Reforms the clergy, creates new parishes, sets up credit unions, and sends a missionary team to preach continually throughout his diocese. He himself makes three pastoral visits of the whole diocese, traveling by mule and on foot.
1856 February 1. During his fourth pastoral visit, at Holguin, an attempt is made on his life. He is seriously wounded in his face and one of his arms.
1857-67 Queen Isabella II calls him to Madrid and appoints him her confessor. Commits himself to writing and editing books and preaching missions in all cities visited by the queen. Rewrites the Constitutions of his Missionaries, presides over their first Chapter, and wins their approval by the queen and the Holy See.
1868 September 30. Leaves Spain at the outbreak of a revolution, accompanying the queen into exile.
1869 April 2. Arrives in Rome and takes part in meetings with theologians in preparation for the First Vatican Council.
December 8. Attends sessions of the Council.
1870 May 31. At public session of the Council, he delivers an allocution in defense of papal infallibility.
Returns to France to live with his Missionaries. Takes refuge in the Cistercian monastery of Fontfroide.
October 24. Dies a holy death, surrounded by his Missionaries and the Cistercian monks.
1950 May 8. Anthony Mary Claret canonized a Saint by Pope Pius XII.
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