“Claret, 170 years of his arrival in Cuba” Exhibit

Mar 13, 2023 | Antillas, St. Anthony Mary Claret

Santiago de Cuba, Cuba. The “Claret, 170 years of his arrival in Cuba” exhibit ended on March 12, 2023. Organized by the Archbishopric of Santiago de Cuba and located in its facilities, it was the fruit of close collaboration with the Claretian Missionaries. Its objective: to bring the figure of St. Anthony Mary Claret and his history closer to today’s society.

The exhibit, which was inaugurated on February 1, presented the life and mission of St. Anthony Mary Claret, as well as the faith of the people and their local and regional history in today’s context. For a month and a half, many people visited the exhibit to learn about the saint’s vast and impressive work.

The project was the result of more than two years of work by a team of people, including Fr. Camilo de la Paz Salmón Beatón, parish priest of Santa Lucía. The phrase pronounced by Pope Pius XII at the canonization of Claret, “St. Anthony Mary Claret, similar to the heart of Jesus”, was the guiding thread of the project. Dionisio Garcia, Archbishop of Santiago de Cuba, mentioned that the original intention was to make everyone interested in the life of Claret and his mission as Archbishop.

St. Anthony Mary Claret in Cuba

Archbishop of Cuba.

On July 16, 1849, he founded the Congregation of Missionaries Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in a room of the seminary of Vic (Spain). The great enterprise of Claret began humbly with five priests who shared his same spirit. A few days later, on August 11, Fr. Claret was informed of his appointment as Archbishop of Cuba. In spite of his resistance and his objections because of the Religious Bookstore and the recently founded Congregation of Missionaries, he accepted the position out of obedience and was consecrated in Vic on October 6, 1850.

He was concerned with the spiritual and pastoral renewal of the clergy and the foundation of religious communities. For the education of the youth and the care of the welfare institutions he got the Piarists, the Jesuits, and the Daughters of Charity to establish communities in Cuba. With Antonia Maria Paris he founded the Religious of Mary Immaculate, Claretian Missionary Sisters on August 27, 1855. He fought against slavery. He created a Farm-school for poor children, created a Savings Bank with a strong social character, and founded popular libraries. So much and so diverse activity caused him many confrontations, calumnies, persecutions, and attacks. He suffered an attack in Holguín (February 1, 1856) that caused him to shed his blood for Christ and almost cost him his life.

Source | Archbishopric of Santiago de cuba

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