Claretian archbishop and founder. Anthony was born in Salient in Catalonia, Spain, in 1807, the son of a weaver. He took up weaving but then studied for the priesthood, desiring to be a Jesuit. Ill health prevented his entering the Order, and he served as a secular priest. In 1849, he founded the Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, known today as the Claretians, and the Apostolic Training Institute of the Immaculate Conception, Claretian nuns. From 1850 to 1857, Anthony served as the archbishop of Santiago de Cuba, Cuba. He returned to the court of Queen Isabella II as confessor, and went into exile with her in 1868. In 1869 and 1870, Anthony participated in the First Vatican Council. He died in the Cistercian monastery of Fontfroide in southernFrance on October 24, 1870. Anthony Mary Claret had the gift of prophecy and performed many miracles. He was opposed by the liberal forces of Spain and Cuba and endured many trials.
Anthony Claret was a truly remarkable, dynamic and holy man who founded the Congregation that today bears his name – the Claretian Missionaries, the Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Although he died over a century ago, yet the impact of his life and his burning concern for the spiritual and physical well-being of all people – especially the poor – make him much more than just an honoured memory.
Intense love for God and people was the force that drove St Anthony Mary Claret through out his life. ‘Fire’ was the word he used to describe the love that launched him on an endless sea of projects, and that gave him the sustaining power to keep them all going. He draws a pen-picture of his ideal: ‘A Son of the Immaculate Heart of Mary is a man on fire with love, who … strives by all means possible to set the whole world on fire with God’s love.’
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A story in today’s online Telegraph newspaper, written by a mother of a child with a genetic disease, Leigh Syndrome, throws up so many difficult issues for us in the prolife movement. It is an individual story of a couple discovering that their daughter, Jessica has a life limiting disease that means she needs constant care and will not develop the milestones expected of her age.
The problem for us is that her parents want a procedure legalised by Parliament that would take out the rogue DNA that is causing the defect plus some of the mothers DNA and the fathers sperm and a donar egg, conceived in a petri dish and placed back into the mother’s womb.
What would be wrong with this?
Anything that is now said which does not acknowledge the pain, heartache and disappointment of parents in this situation would not be compassionate and understanding. But, that doesn’t mean in acknowledging this that it is ok to do anything to have a child free of Leigh syndrome or any other disease. That sounds harsh but the question needs to asked, Where do we stop with the interfering in this most wonderous of human capabilities? It isn’t just us that are involved in this, but God as well. God’s plan is perfect and if he has willed a child into existence, then He knows best and hard though it is we must trust in his perfect plan.
If we look at the situation that each child is beautiful and has meaning, no matter what difficulties and disabilities, then we can see that Jessica can bring something unique to her parent’s lives- and to society if babies like Jessica are not aborted out of existence or deleted by interfering with nature!
I believe we would be better putting our efforts into supporting, caring and researching into these genetic diseases and those who care for the children instead of trying to rid society of them. Something to think about.
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Poet, philosopher, and priest, Karol Wojtyla (1920-2005) was born in Poland and served as pope for twenty-eight years. Rooted in the conviction that Christ reveals man to himself, his apostolic witness included trips to one hundred and twenty-nine countries, the eloquent defence of family life, and the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
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God, our Father, You are the author of life and the defender and protector of the innocent and defenseless human life in the womb. Help us to welcome that most unwelcome of strangers in our society, the innocent unborn. Because we have become so gluttonous as individuals, families and society, we have left no space or room — in our homes, our society or our lives — for this stranger in our midst. Now that we have more to go around, we have less room for children in our midst. Help us, Lord, to see children as the joy of our lives…not hindrances, enemies, obstacles, or strangers.
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[The video] illustrates beautifully that life is to be lived, no matter what circumstances surround us. It doesn’t matter if you have CF or Down syndrome or any other condition. Life is meant to be lived to the best of your abilities. As the lyrics say:
The only way you can know is give it all you have. And I hope that you don’t suffer, but take the pain. Hope when the moment comes, you’ll say… I, I did it all. I, I did it all. I owned every second that this world could give. I saw so many places, the things that I did. Yeah, with every broken bone, I swear I lived.
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Saint Teresa of Jesus was born in Avila in Spain in 1515. She joined the Carmelite Order, made great progress in the way of perfection and enjoyed mystical revelations. When she reformed the Order, she met with much resistance, but she proceeded with undaunted courage. She also wrote books filled with sublime doctrine, the fruit of her own spiritual life. She died in Avila in 1582. She is a Doctor of the Church.
O God, who through your Spirit raised up Saint Teresa of Jesus to show the Church the way to seek perfection, grant that we may always be nourished by the food of her heavenly teaching and fired with longing for true holiness.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever.
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