St. Anthony Mary Claret was born in Sallent, Spain, in 1807 to a family of wool manufacturers. He became a weaver at the age of twelve and later devoted his spare time to the study of Latin, French, and engraving. He eventually felt a call to the religious life and entered the seminary of Vic in Barcelona. He was ordained on June 13, 1835, and subsequently began missionary work in Catalonia. Upon returning to Spain, he founded the Congregation of the Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, otherwise known as the Claretians. He also served as the confessor of Queen Isabella II, and his many holy works resulted in at least fifteen assassination attempts on his life.
Anthony Mary Claret wrote his autobiography at the order of his spiritual director before the First Vatican Council in 1869. He died on October 24, 1870 at the age of 62, and was canonized by Pope Pius XII in 1950. His heart remained incorrupt after death, and his feast is celebrated on the 24th of October.
Learn from the life of this holy and wonderful Bishop and Confessor of the modern Church, and let his life story teach you the way of sanctity that inspired him.
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