The streets of Madrid welcomed us, the Claretian students, as we began the celebration of Claretian Week with a visit to the places related to our Founder in Madrid on 28th February 2014. We, the Claretian students from Poland, Granada, Euskadi and Colmenar Viejo tried to imagine the apostolic life of father founder Claret in the heart of the city. We were accompanied by Severiano Blanco cmf, who took us to the places where Father Founder lived after his appointment as royal confessor of Isabella II. We also discovered the first trails where Claretians began their presence in Madrid.
At Puerta del Sol Fr. Severiano helped us to situate the historical time of Claret. From the Plaza de Pontejos where Claret got the services of a printing press, we went to the current Congress building. During our itinerary we were told many anecdotes of the missionary life of Claret. We visited the street Atocha, the charismatic place where Fr. Claret, Fr. Clotet and Fr. Xifré lived and worked with many other Claretians who strived to build the congregation in the early stages of growth. It was there that Claret wrote his Autobiography.
The Church of St. Sebastian, the Toledo Street, the Church of San Isidro or popular Mayor street were some of the other corners where we recalled the Claretian presence in the streets of Madrid. We concluded this part of the encounter visiting the Royal Palace, that “cage”, where Father Claret could intensely intimate his configuration with Christ, his zeal and his surrender to the will of God.
As we contemplated these bedrocks of our history, we were challenged to be creatively faithful to our heritage and let the spirit of our Founder inflame us. We are grateful for this Claretian pilgrimage and thank Fr. Severiano for spending his time and wisdom with us.
– Reported by Gabriel, Colmenar Viejo