Saint Magloire was born in Brittany, or northwestern France, towards the end of the fifth century.
His noble and pious parents placed him while young under the tutelage of Saint Samson, his first cousin, who had become an abbot in England, but had later returned to Brittany and become bishop for his monastery of Dol, south of Saint Malo in that region.
Under this excellent master the young man made great progress in the various branches of learning and in virtue.
Saint Magloire, after his ordination, was first made Abbot of a monastery at Lanmeur. He governed that monastery with prudence and holiness for fifty-two years.
When Saint Samson died, he was elected to replace him at Dol as its Abbot. Despite his hesitation, based on his sentiments of unworthiness and incapacity, he accepted, but remained for only two or three years; he was already septuagenarian.
Then, with the consent of his people, he retired to a desert, where he built a cell. But soon his solitude was interrupted by souls who came seeking his prayers for their cure or deliverance from evil spirits.
A wealthy man cured of leprosy, which had afflicted him for seven years, gave him at first half, then the entirety of the Island of Jersey, which was his property.
There Saint Magloire built a new monastery, in which sixty-two religious served God, and in their arms he died a few years later.
In the church he received the Viaticum from the hand of an Angel, and refused afterwards to leave it, repeating constantly the words of David, the royal psalmist: I have asked but one thing of the Lord, and will not cease to ask it of Him — that I may dwell in His house all the days of my life.
Great miracles were effected at his tomb, placed in the same church.
(SOURCE: Les Petits Bollandistes: Vies des Saints, by Msgr. Paul Guérin (Bloud et Barral: Paris, 1882), Vol. 12)
Founder of the Claretian Fathers
and the Sisters of Mary Immaculate
Saint Anthony Mary Claret is the Founder of the Claretian Fathers, or the Congregation of the Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Born in 1807 in Spain, he was a very pious child.
He later wrote that, already at the age of five, my little heart trembled at the thought of hell, and I said to myself: Will those who fall into hell never stop suffering? No, never. Will they always suffer? Yes, always.
This thought remained profoundly engraved in my mind, and I can say that it is ever present to me. That is what has animated me to work for the conversion of sinners. Why? Because I received [from God] so tender a heart that I cannot see a misfortune without assisting it.
The young Anthony practiced his father’s trade, the weaving of fabrics, in which he excelled, until one day in church, All the efforts I made not to voluntarily entertain thoughts of my trade were in vain; I was like a wheel turning with great speed, which cannot be stopped all at once… There were more machines running in my head than there are Saints on the altars.
He entered the local seminary in the same year, 1829.
As a young priest he went to Rome to place himself at the disposition of the Congregation of the Propaganda; there the director of a retreat counseled him to enter the Society of Jesus.
He did so but was obliged to leave it soon afterwards because of poor health. He returned to Spain, and for nine years preached everywhere the word of God and promoted the Catholic Press.
In 1848 he founded a publishing house at Barcelona, and soon afterwards established his Claretian congregation of priests. The six priests of this Congregation had just received the formal approbation of the bishop of Vich, and completed a retreat at the Seminary in July of 1848, with the Exercises of Saint Ignatius; on August 11th, while their new Superior was preaching a mission to the clergy of the diocese, he received a royal decree nominating him Archbishop of Santiago, in Cuba.
He was inclined to refuse it categorically and attempted to do so, but was not heard; he asked his five companions to pray for light for several days, then to advise him as to their reply — should he or not accept the nomination?
They were unanimous in saying they believed he should accept, and he did.
For six years he dedicated himself to the organization and evangelization of his diocese. In Cuba he founded another new congregation, the Sisters of Mary Immaculate, dedicated to the instruction of the young.
A School of Arts and Trades was opened there, and Latin America saw established its first common funds resources. Abuses vanished under his strict and persevering disciplinary measures. In Cuba an attempt was made on his life; he received a severe wound of the head which limited his preaching capacity for a time, and he was recalled to Spain, summoned by Queen Isabella II to replace her deceased confessor.
He continued to travel to various places on the peninsula, preaching everywhere in Andalusia and elsewhere. In 1862, from September 12th until October 29th, during one royal visitation, one of the Queen’s servants counted the sermons he had given — two hundred and five: 16 to the clergy, nine to the seminarians; 95 to the various groups of Sisters; thirty-five to the poor in the various houses of charity; and twenty-two others to the people in general in the churches.
He created the Academy of Saint Michael for the Catholic intellectuals, called to sustain the influence of the Church; he founded popular libraries and saw to the diffusion of good literature; he accompanied the exiled Queen to Rome and took part in the First Vatican Council, 1869. Finally he settled in France, where he died in 1870.
He was commanded to write his life by his spiritual director; this he did, beginning in 1861. We are fortunate to possess this autobiography of an extraordinary soul, both contemplative and active in the love and service of God. It serves for the formation of missionaries, since his director told him it should be conceived with that purpose. In this book he wrote a paragraph which has become classic, to describe what an apostle of the Gospel should be.
In it the paths he followed himself are made articulate:
A son of the Immaculate Heart of Mary is a man who is consumed with love and who sets on fire everything in his path.
He is a man who unceasingly expends himself to light the fire of divine love in the world.
Nothing stops him; he places his joy in privations, he undertakes all works for the glory of God; he embraces willingly every sacrifice, he is happy in the midst of calumnies; he exults in torments.
He can think of but one thing — working, suffering, and seeking at all times the greater glory of God and the salvation of souls, to imitate Our Lord Jesus Christ.
(SOURCE: Saint Antoine-Marie Claret: Autobiography. Translation from the Spanish by Rev. Léonor-Alban, F.S.C. Preface by Jean-Marie Lozano, C.M.F. (Les Éditions du soleil levant: Namur, 1961). Available in English with a biography, and a book narrating his miracles (Tan Books and Publishers: Rockford, 1985).)
‘Some people told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with the blood of their sacrifices.
He said to them in reply, “Do you think that because these Galileans suffered in this way they were greater sinners than all other Galileans?
By no means!
But I tell you, if you do not repent, you will all perish as they did!
Or those eighteen people who were killed when the tower at Siloam fell on them –do you think they were more guilty than everyone else who lived in Jerusalem?
By no means!
But I tell you, if you do not repent, you will all perish as they did!”
And he told them this parable: “There once was a person who had a fig tree planted in his orchard, and when he came in search of fruit on it but found none, he said to the gardener, ‘For three years now I have come in search of fruit on this fig tree but have found none. (So) cut it down. Why should it exhaust the soil?’
He said to him in reply, ‘Sir, leave it for this year also, and I shall cultivate the ground around it and fertilize it; it may bear fruit in the future. If not you can cut it down.'” – Luke 13:1-9.
‘Jesus said to his disciples: “Be sure of this: if the master of the house had known the hour when the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into.
You also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.”
Then Peter said, “Lord, is this parable meant for us or for everyone?”
And the Lord replied, “Who, then, is the faithful and prudent steward whom the master will put in charge of his servants to distribute (the) food allowance at the proper time?
Blessed is that servant whom his master on arrival finds doing so.
Truly, I say to you, he will put him in charge of all his property.
But if that servant says to himself, ‘My master is delayed in coming,’ and begins to beat the menservants and the maidservants, to eat and drink and get drunk,then that servant’s master will come on an unexpected day and at an unknown hour and will punish him severely and assign him a place with the unfaithful.
That servant who knew his master’s will but did not make preparations nor act in accord with his will shall be beaten severely; and the servant who was ignorant of his master’s will but acted in a way deserving of a severe beating shall be beaten only lightly.
Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more.”’ – Luke 12:39-48.