In Christian theology, holiness is a central concept deeply intertwined with the mystery of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. This fundamental link between holiness and Resurrection extends beyond the religious context, touching the deepest chords of human experience and the search for meaning.

Holiness, in its essence, denotes a state of purity, wholeness, and closeness to God. It is an ideal that runs through many spiritual traditions, prompting individuals to pursue virtue, compassion, and devotion. However, in Christianity, holiness takes on a particularly intense meaning, often being associated with the figure of Jesus Christ, considered the supreme model of holiness.

On the other hand, the mystery of the Resurrection represents the core of the Christian faith. Belief in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is fundamental to understanding redemption and eternal life. This extraordinary event not only gives meaning and hope to the Christian life but also raises profound questions about the very nature of human existence and the possibility of transcendence.

In the context of holiness, the Resurrection takes on an even deeper significance. It reveals God’s ultimate victory over death and evil, offering a paradigm of radical transformation and spiritual rebirth. Holiness thus becomes an invitation to participate in this same new life, to embrace the transforming power of divine love and to live in communion with God and others.

However, the quest for holiness is not an easy or linear path. It requires commitment, sacrifice and constant inner conversion. It is a journey of ups and downs, of struggle and grace, in which each individual is called to confront his or her weaknesses and grow in virtue and faith.

In this context, the Resurrection of Christ becomes a source of hope and strength. It reminds us that even in the darkest trials and seemingly dead-end situations, there is always the possibility of new life, of unexpected rebirth. Holiness thus becomes a living witness to this reality, a testimony of life that challenges human limitations and opens the door to divine grace.

Ultimately, the link between holiness and Resurrection invites us to reflect on the deeper meaning of our existence and the possibility of radical transformation through God’s love and grace. It is a call to live with hope and confidence, aware that even in the thickest darkness, the light of the Resurrection continues to shine, offering a way to holiness and eternal life.

Let our existence be conquered and transformed by the Resurrection! Happy Easter Everybody!

                                                                  Fr. Krzysztof Gierat, CMF

General Postulator

To live Lent with Holiness

To live Lent with Holiness

The arrival of Lent, in the context of our journey towards holiness, offers a unique opportunity to reflect on the meaning and importance of this period of spiritual preparation in Christian and missionary life. Lent is a time of penance, conversion, and spiritual growth, during which the faithful are called to make an inner journey of purification and drawing closer to God.

How can we live Lent more deeply and authentically in the light of our quest for holiness in the spirit of our Founder, St. Anthony Mary Claret?

Lent is forty days of spiritual preparation for Easter, during which Christians devote themselves to prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. This time reflects the forty days that Jesus spent in the desert, tempted by Satan, before beginning his public ministry. It is a time of purification and renewal of our relationship with God and other people.

In the context of our seeking holiness, Lent takes on a special significance. It is a time to take a balance of our spiritual life, to identify areas in which we need to grow and to commit ourselves to take those steps necessary to bring us closer to God and his plan of love for us. During Lent, we engage in spiritual practices such as more intense prayer, fasting, and almsgiving, which help us break the chains of sin and grow in holiness. We also focus on listening to God’s Word and reflecting on his will for our lives.

St A. Maria Claret wrote that “holiness of the soul consists simply in striving for two things, namely the effort to know God’s will and the effort to do it once known”.

Holiness of soul, it seems, is an elusive ideal, reserved for a chosen few. However, if we look closer, we discover that it is rather the result of our daily efforts – two simple but essential actions: striving to know God’s will and striving to do it.

So the first step on the way to holiness is the desire to know God’s will. This is not just an intellectual understanding, but a deep relationship with God that leads to reading his plans for our lives. Prayer, the study of Sacred Scripture, and reflection on the teaching of the Church: all these help us to get closer to what God has prepared for us.

Knowing God’s will requires patience and openness to his revelation in our lives. Sometimes this may mean seeking guidance in life’s situations, other times it may mean listening in silence, waiting for clear inspiration. But it is always a process that leads us towards an ever deeper relationship with God.

However, knowing God’s will is only half the way. The other half is the effort to realize it. This is often a more difficult task because it requires consistency, discipline, and courage. Doing God’s will means making difficult decisions, being guided by moral principles, and living according to the Gospel.

Doing God’s will also means making daily choices – choices of love, choices of service, choices that bring spiritual growth. These are acts of humility and devotion that form our soul and lead us toward holiness.

The holiness of the soul is not reserved for the elite. It is a path that each of us can follow if we make the effort to know and do God’s will.

Pope Paul VI, on the occasion of the 1973 General Chapter on the definition of a missionary, said: “You see here, designed for you, a whole program on how to attain holiness, based on the courageous decision to deny oneself, the fruit of a fruitful life drawn from the Gospel. It indicates to you – through expressions that allude to the work of St Paul – the good towards which your personal and community life must tend, and that is to follow and imitate Christ through individual forms of charity that are always active” (Documentos Capitulares CMF [Barcelona 1973], pp. 12-13.

Living Lent with holiness then means fully embracing this time of grace and conversion. It means being open to the Holy Spirit who guides us on our inner journey and helps us to grow in faith, hope, and charity. It also means being in solidarity with those most in need, recognizing that our penance and fasting must be accompanied by a commitment to social justice and the welfare of others. Lent is a precious time in the spiritual life of Christians, a time that helps us prepare for the celebration of Easter and grow in holiness. In the context of our quest for holiness, it is a time to reflect on our relationship with God and to commit ourselves to living the Gospel of Jesus Christ more faithfully.

May this year’s Lent be for us a time of true conversion and spiritual renewal, and bring us ever closer to the holiness to which we are called as children of God.

                                                                                                Fr. Krzysztof Gierat, CMF

    General Postulator

The “Easter of Mariano Avellana” in a relevant year

The “Easter of Mariano Avellana” in a relevant year

The memory of the Pasqua celebration of our Venerable Fr. Mariano Avellana, this May 14th, acquires special relevance when 2023 marks the 150th anniversary of his arrival in Chile.

As we commemorate the 119th anniversary of the passing of the man who was considered the greatest missionary the country knew in his time, this Pasqua anniversary takes on an inseparable significance from the Sesquicentenary of his arrival, over and above his usual memory on the 14th of each month.

Almost 31 years separated the two dates in the life of the Venerable, from the time he set foot on Chilean soil until he died like the heroes: in the last of his more than 700 missions and preaching throughout the country; his offering of tireless evangelisation and preferential service to the sick, the imprisoned and the most abandoned.

Celebrating and questioning as a family

While the Claretian community of San José del Sur prepares several commemorative acts for the Sesquicentenary of the arrival of the Venerable to American land, this new anniversary of his Pasqua allows us to value in all its dimension the testimony of life that Mariano Avellana poses for the entire Claretian family. Even far away from the confines of America where he lived it without measure, his example of “missionary to the end” validates in fullness before the Church the charism of its founder and congregational father, Antonio María Claret, challenges especially his missionaries throughout the world, and illuminates for them a path that Mariano opened 150 years ago and has not lost its validity for the evangelisation of the XXI century

Because overcoming the natural tendency to be comfortable and easy-going in order to go out in urgency in search of the sick, the defeated by vice and the abused under the weight of selfishness, injustice and abandonment, is as demanding today as when the first Claretians set foot on American soil, and among them Mariano felt that he could not rest before the scourges of poverty at the very gates of the primitive community. In such a way he understood the need to sanctify himself as a missionary overcoming even the exhaustion of his strength and the pains that martyred him in life. The challenges of today have certainly changed the faces and the hardships, and in the globalised world the dramas that impelled Mariano to run tirelessly to the “frontiers”, as Pope Francis demands of religious and lay people today as an urgent and primordial need, are still present in different guises. In celebrating his memory on this 14th May and projecting it onto the 150 years since God himself came with him to bless this land, it is right and necessary to rejoice in the Lord and to thank him for having raised up such an apostle in it. But it is, above all, to assume in one’s own lifestyle the missionary witness that Venerable Mariano bequeathed to the Claretian family.

In the communities, as well as in the schools, sanctuaries and pastoral works of San José del Sur, there will be commemorations of the Venerable, either today, on nearby dates or throughout the year. Among those already underway, it is worth mentioning a programme of six short chapters on Youtube, which, starting today, will be offered on the 14th of each month by the parish priest of the Heart of Mary in Antofagasta, Pepe Abarza. The first one can be found at:

Mariano Avellana is a precious spiritual patrimony of the Congregation and the entire Claretian family. Therefore, his figure will surely be a worthy motive to reflect throughout the year and in different places on the “heroic” form that the Church has recognised his testimony of religious and missionary authenticity according to the charism of Claret.

Alfredo Barahona Zuleta, Vice-postulator of the Causa of the Venerable Fr. Mariano Avellana, cmf

Holy Easter 2023

Holy Easter 2023

Easter is the feast of the new creation. Jesus is risen and no longer dies. He has opened the door to a new life that no longer knows illness or death. He has assumed man into God himself.

Let the proclamation of Easter spread throughout the world with the joyful song of Alleluia. Let us sing it with our lips, let us sing it above all with our hearts and our lives, with an ‘unleavened’ lifestyle, that is simple, humble, and fruitful in good deeds.

                                                                                         Benedict XVI

A blessed Easter in the joy of Jesus Christ, the Risen Lord and Saviour of the world!

General Postulation for the Causes of Saints of the Claretian Missionaries




They are martyrs killed for their faith in Christ during the religious persecution during the Spanish Civil War, which, from 1936 to 1939, bloodied the ancient and noble Iberian nation. All of them belonged to the Congregation of the Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (Claretian Missionaries) and, although in different places and on different dates, without ever yielding to the insinuations of the persecutors, they endured in those years the same tragic death. They were missionary priests, brothers, and students. The youngest was only 16 years old. To these must be added the missionary martyr Andrés Solá, murdered in Mexico (1927).


Technique: traditional iconic-egg tempera on exotic wood Samba

Measurements: 100/77 cm

Hand-painted icon by Ms.Teodora Bozhikova, master’s degree in artwork, conservator, gilder, copyist, icon writer, and teacher.

The icon represents the glorious 184 Claretian Martyrs in the Kingdom of God.

At the top is a Latin inscription:



The central part of the composition shows Christ Pantocrator blessing the martyrs and welcoming them into his glory. The green cross behind Christ is the Cross of Glory—Crux Gemmata. It is the sign of the triumphant and saving passion and death of Christ, who became Supreme Ruler. Crosses of this type depict the majesty of God’s power and, in addition, the vision of the heavenly Jerusalem. The color of the cross is green, in reference to the Tree of Life. The gemstones, in their shape, refer to the main painting on the altar wall in the chapel of the General House of the Claretians in Italy. All the light comes from the center of the composition, which is why the coloring is more pronounced in this part of the icon.

The yellow/gold background surrounding the entire composition stands for the Heavenly Light coming from God, while the two pine trees (at the top left and right, as symbols of power and immortality, indicate Heavenly Jerusalem.


In the central part, below the figure of the Pantocrator, there is a figure of Mary—Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary, who is the Patroness of the Congregation of the Claretian Missionaries. She is depicted together with the Martyrs as Advocate, Protectress, and Mother who leads them to her Son. As Queen of Heaven, she stands on an ornamental base.


In the lower central part of the icon is an oblation table. On it is an eternal lamp and olive branches, which are symbols of glory and martyrdom. The red color of the tablecloth emphasizes martyrdom, as well as the royal feast to which the martyrs are invited.


The martyrs are represented in four groups. They are all presented as transfigured, illuminated by heavenly light, so the colors of the tunics at Mary’s side are so illuminated that they turn brown. Most often the martyrs are shown in the praying gesture, with rosaries or crosses in their hands. Two figures hold Gospels in their hands. The figure of Father Juan Diaz Nosti holds a basket full of loaves, and Blessed Andrés Solá carries a chalice.

I. On the left (according to the observer’s perspective), on the upper level, are the 51 Claretian Missionary Martyrs from Barbastro (Spain) with their formators. Seminarians martyred during the Spanish Civil War and beatified in 1992. In the same group is painted the figure of Blessed Andrés Solá, beatified in 2005.

II. To the right of Mary (facing the viewer), on the upper level, are the 23 Martyrs of Sigüenza, Fernán Caballero, and Tarragona, beatified in 2013. They all carry palm branches as symbols of victory, triumph, peace, and eternal life.

III and IV. The 109 martyrs beatified in 2017 are presented in two groups in the lower part of the composition:

To the left of the icon (according to the perspective of the observer) are 60 Martyrs from the Solsona/Cervera Communities (Fr. Jaume Girón and 59 Companions); To the right of the icon are the other 49 martyrs from the Communities of Barcelona, Sabadell, Lleida, Vic, Santander, and Valencia.


The icon’s colors are somewhat reminiscent of the mural painting of the chancel of the chapel of the Generalate House in Italy, where the icon will be placed. Instead, the icon’s colors are brighter and more joyful, showing the joy of the heavenly Jerusalem to which all are invited.

Christmas 2022

Christmas 2022

In the later times, to summarize all things, the Word of God, the Son of God Jesus Christ our Lord became man among men, and men were able to see him and touch him. He made death die, made life come alive, and brought about communion between God and men.

from Demonstratio apostolicae praedicationis, 6, of S. Irenaeus of Lyon, Doctor of the Church.

Merry Christmas and peaceful New Year in the joy and peace of the Lord

Fr. Krzysztof Gierat CMF General Postulator