St. Anthony Claret

Posted May 20, 2009

St. Anthony Claret, the founder of the Claretian Congregation, to which I belong, was a great saint. He wrote 144 books, preached twenty-five thousand sermons, and was confessor to Queen Isabella II of Spain. He was archbishop of Santiago, Cuba, and he predicted the advent of communism. He worked many miracles and accomplished more work than any twenty persons could be expected to accomplish in a lifetime. He spent many hours before the tabernacle in prayer late into the night, in preparation for his Mass and for his reception of Communion the following morning.

Because of his remarkable love for the Eucharist, for the last nine years of his life St. Anthony was given the mystical privilege of miraculously retaining the sacred host in his breast, uncorrupted and undissolved, from one Communion to the next, in honor of the nine months Mary had Jesus within her during her pregnancy. He was a walking tabernacle, a fact that his spiritual director revealed only after St. Anthony’s death. When St, Anthony Claret attended the First Vatican Council in 1870 as an archbishop, a bishop from Canada miraculously perceived the real presence of Christ in him and felt compelled to genuflect before him-not to adore St. Anthony Claret, but to adore the eucharistic presence of Christ within him. The power of this eucharistic presence within him was manifest in many ways and on many occasions.

When people have an extraordinary devotion to the Eucharist, God does some extraordinary things in their lives. Although they may never be in the spotlight of admiration from those around them, they lead lives of hidden sanctity, and they exert a powerful spiritual influence on others. The sanctifying power that God releases in them does not stay within them; it moves out and spreads to others. The lives of many saints testify to this. 

“The Healing Power of the Eucharist” by Father John Hampsch, C.M.F.