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  • Claretians

    The Religious Congregation of the Claretian Missionaries (Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary - Cordis Mariae Filii or CMF) was founded on July 16, 1849 by St. Anthony Mary Claret in Spain. Following the example of our founder we are committed to set the world on fire with God's love. As we are called to be the Servants of the Word, we undertake any service of the Word which is urgent, timely and effective. At present, there are about 3,000 Claretians working in 64 countries. On fire with love for God and fellow human beings, we engage in pastoral, social and educational endeavours for the promotion of human life and dignity.

    Claret, the Founder

    St. Anthony Mary Claret was a great missionary of 19th century. He was born in a pious catholic family at Sallent near Barcelona in Spain on 23 December 1807. Though very successful as a textile manufacturer, he felt the call to work for the salvation of souls from his early childhood. Hence the riches, fame and success as a businessman did not satisfy him. He became a diocesan priest. But he felt that God wanted him to extend his service beyond the confines of a parish. He set out to preach the gospel as an itinerant missionary all over Catalonia and Canary Islands. He was given the title of an Apostolic Missionary by Pope. He became popular as a great preacher, healer and miracle worker. Seeing the magnitude of work and the thirst of the people to hear the Word of God, he founded a religious Congregation for men so that together with others he could accomplish what he could not do alone

    He was appointed as the Archbishop of Cuba and became a great spiritual and social reformer there. Claret spent in Cuba six years tirelessly working, giving missions, sowing love and justice in that island where racial descremination and social injustice reigned everywhere. He was a practical man. In all parishes he estabilished religious and social institutions for children and adults; created technical and agricultural schools; established and propagated Savings Banks all throughout Cuba. He founded orphanages; visited four times all the cities, towns and settlements of his immense diocese.

    In 1857 Her majesty Queen Isabel II summoned him to Madrid as her confessor and advisor. In the 11 years that he stayed in Madrid, his apostolic activity in the court was intense and unceasing. Few were the churches and convents where his voice was not heard. He was outstanding especially for his popular missions and his retreats to the clergy.

    Claret continously scrutinized the signs of the times. He found that the most powerful means for doing good was the press. He himself wrote some 96 works and edited 27 others. He profusely disseminated his books and leaflets.

    Claret was also Spiritual Director and co-founder of many other Congregations. He was a great model of poverty who would help the poor even pawing his Archbishop's pectoral cross. Claret was a true mystic. One Christmas Day he recieved the Child Jesus in his arms. He also receieved the privilege of conservation of the Eucharist from one communion to the next. This continued for nine years.

    He was also a target of the fury of the enemies of the Church. Apart from the personal attack on his life, defamatory campaigns were organised against him. But Claret knew how to be silent, happy to suffer something for Christ. Towards the end of his life, due to revolution, Claret was exiled with the royal family to France. He took refuge in the Cistercian monastery of Fontfroide. On 24 October he died when he was 62 years old. In 1950 pope Pius XII declared him a saint.

    Claret's Life at a Glance

    • 1807 Born at Sallent near Barcelona in Spain

    • 1835 Ordination to priesthood as a diocesan priest

    • 1841 Apostolic missionary in Catalonia

    • 1848 Missionary in Canary islands

    • 1849 Founded the Congregation of the Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (later known as Claretians)

    • 1851 Missionary Archbishop in Cuba

    • 1855 Founded the Congregation of Claretian Missionary Sisters together with Mother Maria Antonia Paris

    • 1857 Confessor to Queen Isabel of Spain

    • 1868 Exiled to France

    • 1869 Participated in I Vatican Council

    • 1870 Persecuted and exiled, he died on 24 October at Frontfroide in France


    Goals of the Claretian


    • To seek in all things the glory of God, sanctification of members and salvation of the people.

    • To become a servant of the word with a sense of alertness, availability and universality.

    Claretians in India

    Claretians started our first house in India in 1970 at Kuravilangad, Kerala. In India, we have today three provinces and one independent delegation and another dependent delegation with over 400 Claretians working in ten states of India and abroad.

    We animate several parishes especially in mission territories; we run colleges, schools and hostels; we have de-addiction centres; we care for the leprosy-affected, AIDS patients, ex-prisoners, visually-challenged and differentially-abled; we also have several social projects especially for the empowerment of tribals, dalits and other marginalised groups.

    Claretians and the

    Institute of Consecrated


    Claretians have been in the forefront in promoting renewal of religious life through the Institutes of Consecrated Life in Rome, Madrid and Manila. Sanyasa is the contribution of the Claretians in India to the same cause as a response to the felt need of the vast number of religious of our country.