A little over 30 years later, he would be an Archbishop and the founder of a religious order. He would go on to be an advisor to a Queen and a trusted ally of the Pope.
Throughout the many phases of his ministry, his zeal was uncontainable, even though it earned him so much opposition that he was the object of rumor-mongering and even assassination attempts. But it did not deter him.
"The love of Christ arouses us, urges us to run, and to fly, lifted on the wings of holy zeal.
"The man who truly loves God also loves his neighbor. The truly zealous man is also one who loves, but he stands on a higher plane of love so that the more he is inflamed by love, the more urgently zeal drives him on. But if anyone lacks this zeal, then it is evident that love and charity have been extinguished in his heart.
"The zealous man desires and achieves all great things and he labors strenuously so that God may always be better known, loved and served in this world and in the life to come, for this holy love is without end....
"For myself, I say this to you: The man who burns with the fire of divine love is a son of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and wherever he goes, he enkindles that flame; he desires and works with all his strength to inflame all men with the fire of God’s love.
"Nothing deters him:
he rejoices in poverty;
he labors strenuously;
he welcomes hardships;
he laughs off false accusations;
he rejoices in anguish.
He thinks only
of how he might follow Jesus Christ
and imitate him by his prayers,
and by caring always and only
for the glory of God
and the salvation of souls."
St. Anthony Claret, Archbishop of Santiago de Cuba and founder of the Claretians, died 135 years ago today.