Anthony Claret (born on December 23, 1807) was a native of Sallent in Spain and a successful businessman. However, riches and success did not satisfy him and he left his worldly pursuits in response to God’s call. Burning with love for God and fellow human beings, he became a priest and then founded a congregation for priests and brothers to spread the message of God’s love for humanity and the need for human beings to love God and neighbor. He sought to serve God and people using “all means possible.”
He was a profound teacher. He taught through his sermons and lectures, innumerable writings and exhortations. He was a social reformer. He initiated innovative undertakings for the uplift of the poor and the marginalized and to bring them to the mainstream of the society. He was a visionary. He thought up and implemented original projects for agricultural and industrial development of the society. He was a prophet. With genuine spiritual courage, he denounced unhealthy and oppressive structures and practices of the times and called for a return to spriritual and moral values. Above all, he was a caring spiritual father and symbol of God’s love for the people. Persecuted and exiled, he died on October 24, 1870. He was canonized a Saint in 1950 by Pope Pius XII.