CLARET, FRIEND OF THE SAINTS
While establishing the calendar of memorials and feast days of the liturgical year, the Church not only honours just her very famous children, but apart from that, she offers them as models in the following of Jesus. Thus, the remembrance of those canonized and beatified has a pedagogical intention. The saints constitute an inspiration and motivation for our Christian life. Besides, their closeness is also therapeutic, because they awaken and encourage our relationship with God and commitment for others. St. Francis de Sales said, “If you want to be good, place yourself with good people”.
We find this clearly in Claret. He read many books on “exemplary lives”, who offered him strong motivations to follow the missionary Christ. He was centred particularly on the saints remarkable in announcing the Word. In his Autobiography, he mentions the example of the prophets in the first place: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Elias and also the minor prophets. The lives of the apostles, Peter, Paul and James and John also provoked admiration. The zeal of Paul inspired in him a special enthusiasm. And there were many other saints distinguished for their apostolic ardour: St. Francis of Assisi, St. Anthony of Padua, St. Francis Xavier, St. Vincent de Paul, St. Ignatius of Loyola, St. Alphonse Mary Ligori, St. Francis de Sales, St. John of Avila and Blessed Diego de Cadiz, St. Catherine of Sienna, St. Theresa of Avila, St. Mary Magdalene of Pazzis and St. Rose of Lima.
We too find in them the living models of faith and light to understand the meaning of the following of Christ. Along with these they tell us also of numerous missionaries and martyrs who were Christ´s valiant witnesses of our time.
Dear reader friend, why don´t you read the life of some of those saints who are more attractive for you? Why don´t you begin to read the life of Claret or the Blessed Claretian Martyrs of Barbastro? Certainly you will experience that the reading of the life of the saints is not a waste of time.