Born in Sallent, Spain, in 1807, the son of a weaver, St. Anthony was ordained a priest in 1835. After five years, he began to give missions and retreats all over Catalonia. Seeing their success and the people’s need for them, he founded (in 1849) the Congregation of the Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (Claretians) to continue this work on a wider scale.
In that same year, the Saint was consecrated Bishop of Santiago de Cuba. Finding the diocese in a deplorable spiritual condition, he quickly initiated vigorous reform measures, one of which was the establishment of the Teaching Sisters of Mary Immaculate.
In 1857, St. Anthony was recalled to Spain and made the chaplain of Queen Isabella II. This position made it possible for him to continue his mission work by preaching and publishing. He established a museum, library, schools, and a laboratory, also helping to revive the Catalan language. He spread devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and after the revolution of 1868 ended his life in exile with the Queen in 1870. He was canonized in 1950 by Pope Pius XII.
PRAYER: God, You strengthened St. Anthony Mary with wondrous love and patience in evangelizing the people. Through his intercession, enable us to seek those things that are Yours, and to labor in Christ for the good of our fellowmen. Amen.