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St. Anthony Mary Claret was born in Sallent, Catalonia, on December 23, 1807. He died at the Cistercian monastery in Fontfroide, France on October 24, 1870.  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.

Father Claret was canonized on May 7, 1950 by Pope Pius XII.

In 1851, Father Claret left for Cuba and became Archbishop of Santiago de Cuba, in the province of Oriente, where he devoted his ministry to the protection of the Virgin of Charity of Cobre, patroness of Cuba, and to the propagation of the faith.

Sadly, Roman Catholicism in Cuba was in a crisis, which involved corruption, affecting both clergy and laity. Father Claret’s heroic efforts to establish Catholic educational and charitable institutions in Cuba was considered a threat to the materialistic and heretic element on the island. Various attempts were made to murder Father Claret. An attacker succeeded in slashing his face—causing a wound which disfigured him and affected his speech the rest of his life.

Father Claret was touring the highlands of Oriente when the Virgin of Charity appeared to him and predicted the future of Cuba. Father Claret conveyed the prophecy to his parishioners and members of his congregation.

The revelation of the Virgin– that of “a daring young man”—could only be Fidel Castro, “who would climb the same mountains with weapons in hand, and after a few years would emerge triumphant with a bushy beard, accompanied by other bearded men with long hair. ”

The prophecy also described how these young people would bring, hanging from their necks, medals and crucifixes that they would soon stop wearing, as they denied their beliefs.

The prophecy also described the young leader as someone who would be hailed for his numerous reforms to benefit the people, then would take over all the power, little by little– plunging the Cuban people under a harsh dictatorship that would last 40 years, in which Cuba would suffer numerous calamities and hardships. Finally, the man would die in bed.

The 40 year mark has passed. It is now nearly 56 years since Cuba was taken over by Communists. But Father Claret’s pronouncements about the suffering that would befall Cuba, as a result of the corrupt element that had entered the island, proved to be true. After its independence from Spain, Cuba’s short-lived freedom collapsed in 1959, at the hands of the bearded band of Communist murderers, led by Fidel Castro– who ironically had been educated by Jesuits.

Saint Anthony Mary Claret, please pray for the Cuban people, inside Cuba and in exile, and for the innocent Christians who have suffered martyrdom all over the world.

Someone has to say the truth… (please share it).

Copyright © Marielena Montesino de Stuart. All rights reserved.

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Saint Anthony Mary Claret, Catalonia, Cuba, Marielena Montesino de Stuart.