Novena – Day 7

MISSIONARY IN THE SPIRIT OF ST.CLARET

INTRODUCTION

Spanish Civil War of 1936 is a horrible memory especially for the church and the religion. So many religious or priests, nuns and lay people who gave shelter to the priests were mercilessly killed only because they were priests and nuns. They destroyed churches,  convents, burnt all the holy articles and books, desecrated holy places, etc. They said we must put an end to this race of people. In Vic one of the armed man said “How many times have I wanted to put an end to this bad weed, and haven’t been able!  But this time, we will make sure.”

The martyrs who will be beatified in October come from the communities of Barcelona (8), Castro Urdiales (3), Cervera-Mas Claret (60), Lérida (11), Sabadell (8), Vic-Sallent (15) and Valencia (4). Heading this numerous group of martyrs appear three names: Mateu Casals (Priest), Teófilo Casajús (Student) and Fernando Saperas (Brother). They symbolise the diversity of vocations in our Congregation (cf. CC7). In the group there are 49 priests, 31 brothers and 29 students, with an average age of 39. Catalans, Navarros, Aragoneses, Castillians, all sharing a common religious profession and a great love of our Congregation. Except for two, who died in 1937, all were martyred in the latter months of 1936.

 

There are so many aspects of martyrs life which are not included here, for example the life of virtues, obedience, poverty, fidelity to their vocation,  precaution and prudence applied in their life, Spirit of humility, different ministries, lay people who died just because they gave shelter to our martyrs etc. It is not possible to include all these aspects in 9 days of novena prayers. Only some important aspects of their life are taken for our reflection.

PREPARATORY PRAYER

Lord our God in the designs of your adorable kindness you predestined 109 Claretians to be martyrs for your sake and bestowed them with special gifts of graces, so that they may become the model of sanctity in those different states of the Christian life. We praise you and we give you thanks mainly for the treasures of virtues that you deposited in their souls, above all with a strong faith to give up their life for your sake. Grant us the grace to follow their examples and to imitate their virtues, and especially we (I) request you during this Novena meditation to grant us your protection through the powerful intercession of those 109 Claretian martyrs.  We (I) also pray through the Immaculate Heart Mary of whose glory and mercy made them strong in their faith. Amen.

BIBLICAL TEXT FOR REFLECTION

Luke 10:1-12 

After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go.  He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.  Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves.  Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road.

“When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’  If someone who promotes peace is there, your peace will rest on them; if not, it will return to you.  Stay there, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house.

 “When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is offered to you. Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’  But when you enter a town and are not welcomed, go into its streets and say,  ‘Even the dust of your town we wipe from our feet as a warning to you. Yet be sure of this: The kingdom of God has come near.’  I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town.

Or

Luke 4:16-21

He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read,  and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:

 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
     to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

 Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”

Or

Rom 12:3-8

MEDITATION

Fr. Candido Casals Sunyer (39) He was an excellent preacher, with a strong and clear voice. He had a great reputation as a preacher, and he would also set aside time to prepare his talks taking into consideration the needs of the listeners. This is demonstrated in his popular missions and by preaching with messages from the heart. In fact, he was often requested to preach in numerous places. He had zeal for the salvation of souls, by which he developed ministerial activity and he was a tireless preacher. He insisted that the people who were sick also be assisted spiritually.

Fr. Cyril Montaner Fabre (39) was asked to go to foreign countries to evangelize, specially to the missions of Fernando Poo. With obedience he willingly accepted this mission. Because of his missionary zeal he did not worry about his health. He served the sick and developed other apostolic activities. During the journey, he regained the energies of his body and when arriving in Barcelona, he continued to be concerned about the missions.

The Testimonies are unanimous in affirming that the work and sufferings were heroic. When he was in Spanish Guinea, he didn’t hesitate to rise at night to care for some dying and endure the unpleasant smells in the hospital. He manifested an absolute availability to perform the work being humble and simple. Faithful to the love of Christ and conform to the will of God, he faced the rigorous diseases and ailments in the spirit of sacrifice.

When the Revolution broke. Fr. Montaner without taking off the cassock visited the sick of the community, “ensuring that the sick would not be abandoned.” It was impossible for Fr. Cyril to ignore his missionary zeal. He took the risk of martyrdom.

Jaime Girón Puigmitja dreamed of becoming a missionary of infidels. “During my Novitiate repeatedly I explained my desire to go to missions. During this time, I have not been able to rid myself of the thought and desire to go to the Republics of America to work among the humble people, since I don’t see means to go to other countries of infidels… I have tried to meet and instruct those under my responsibility doing the best that I see it possible….. Whether it be China or America that is waiting for me, any type of suffering will not hinder me.” Willingness to go anywhere for mission work.

Emilio Bover Albareda (67) He was a great preacher for the humble people. He was an untiring preacher, he refused no one or the distinction of any place. Even if he didn’t possess great oratory skills, he was a good missionary and preacher. In his simplicity and goodness, he left an indelible memory. In the missions, he would win the confidence of the penitents. From the pulpit he would say: “I don’t like confessions of angels that have no need and can trick me.”

In 1926, Fr. Juan Bautista Torrents Figueras (48) was appointed again to Sabadell where he had great apostolic activity in various cities and towns with all kinds of preaching, He was busy with Triduums, Novenas, Talks, Sermons, and above all he liked very much to hear confessions.

Fr. Luis Francés Toledano (26) was assigned as Minister of the community in Valencia. In spite of this charge, he would visit many towns to preach missions and all kinds of sermons of feasts. Whenever there was possibility he used to go for preaching to different places.

Fr. Jaime Payas Fargas (29) in the month of September 1928, he sent a letter to the Deputy Director General offering to go to the missions. He wrote: “And this offer is for any place and ex officio, as I see in other places I will be able to give great glory to God and do something that is directly for the salvation of souls, with regard to China, this has been an occasion to manifest that offer.” 

All these martyrs were always available for the mission, it could be anywhere in the world. This missionary spirit was inculcated during their formation. They were tireless preachers and didn’t mind about their health. Practically many of them spend lot of time in confessional. They were filled with apostolic zeal to save the souls. Not only that they were excellent preachers, but also their life was a living witness with their good religious conduct.

Do I have the same spirit of St. Claret to go to the missions? Do I have apostolic zeal to save the souls? Do I take time to prepare sermons consulting books and take into consideration the listeners?

INVOCATIONS FOR EVERY DAY

  1. Glorious Claretian martyrs, faithful servants of the church: help us to come closer, to the holy Catholic Church and to an unshakable fidelity to all its teachings and precepts.

Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory be to the father…….

  1. Glorious Claretian martyrs, Apostles of the Holy Virgin: help us to come closer to the devotion of Immaculate Heart, and by means of her the salvation of our souls.

Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory be to the father…….

  1. Glorious Claretian martyrs who were faithful to St. Anthony Mary Claret and the charism of Claretian Congregation: help us to have a burning love towards Jesus, to follow his steps until the summit of the Christian perfection.

Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory be to the father…….

FINAL PRAYER

  1. Pray for us, Claretian martyrs.
  2. So that we may become worthy of those promises of Jesus Christ.

Almighty God, by whose grace and power your 109 Claretian holy martyrs triumphed over suffering and were faithful unto death: strengthen us with your grace, that we may endure reproach and persecution and faithfully bear witness to the name of Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.