Vic, Spain. The Solemnity of St. Anthony Mary Claret in 2021 falls on a Sunday. It is a beautiful opportunity to share with joy, the rich spiritual and missionary legacy of our Father Founder with the People of God gathered in the liturgical assembly on the Lord’s Day.
The General Prefecture of Spirituality and Community Life offers you these materials, which you can adapt to the reality of your communities, for the celebration of the traditional Triduum of preparation, as recommended in our documents (cf. CMF Directory, 89).
As this year is marked by the recent celebration of our XXVI General Chapter, we propose to deepen during this Triduum the figure of our Founder in light of the central message of the post-chapter exhortation “Querida Congregación. Rooted in Christ, audacious in Mission”.
Pope Francis, in the message addressed during the Audience with the Chapter members, stated that “If you want your mission to be truly fruitful, you cannot separate the mission from contemplation and a life of intimacy with the Lord. If you want to be witnesses, you cannot stop being worshipers. Witnesses and worshipers are two words found in the heart of the Gospel: “He called them to be with Him and to send them out to preach” (Mk 3,14). Two dimensions that nourish each other cannot exist without each other”. Thus, the first two days of the Triduum will be focused on these fundamental aspects: rooted and audacious.
The third day will focus on the gift of joy as a dimension of holiness, as lived by our father Founder. We are inspired by the final words of Pope’s message. He reminded us that the intense spiritual life implied by being rooted in Christ and going out to the peripheries proper to audacity in the Mission cannot be separated from the gift of joy; For this reason, he told us: “Know how to laugh in community, know how to make jokes, and laugh at the jokes told by others, do not lose your sense of humour, a sense of humour is a grace of joy, and joy is a dimension of holiness”.
The painting of Claret, made by our brother Maximino Cerezo in 1994 and placed on the cover of this brochure, could well be the icon of our roots in Christ and the audacity in the Mission of our Founding Father, as proposed by Cardinal Aquilino Bocos in his address to the Chapter. The missionary’s feet are firmly rooted in Christ, who is the “rock” on which he builds all his life. His outstretched arm boldly brings to all peoples the presence of Christ represented on the cross. And it can be added, in tune with the Pope’s message, that the Gospel, held with the other arm, is the source of the light and joy that spreads as he passed.
We celebrate this Triduum still in times of the pandemic. Let us put all humanity in the heart of God and especially those who suffer the consequences of pandemic. May the intercession of Saint Anthony Mary Claret help us to overcome this severe crisis and learn from him to be builders of a more fraternal and united world.