The Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (Cordis Mariae Filii – CMF), a.k.a. Claretian Missionaries a.k.a. Claretians is a religious order of men within the Catholic Church, who are committed to serving the Word in the style of its founder, St. Anthony Mary Claret. They strive to be witnesses and messengers of the Joy of the Gospel in the human peripheries, serving the marginalized people of God.
Declaring that his spirit is for the whole world, Antonio María Claret y Clará (Anthony Mary Claret), together with five other young priests, founded the Congregation in a cell in the seminary in Vic, Spain, on July 16, 1849. The five co-founders were Stephen Sala, Manuel Vilaró, José Xifré, Jaime Clotet, and Domingo Fábregas. Currently, Claretians serve in 70 countries, ministering to diverse peoples through diverse ministries.
St. Claret defined his missionaries thus:
“A Son of the Immaculate Heart of Mary is a man on fire with love, who spreads its flames wherever he goes. He desires mightily and strives by all means possible to set everyone on fire with God’s love. Nothing daunts him: he delights in privations, welcomes work, embraces sacrifices, smiles at slander, rejoices in all the torments and sorrows he suffers, and glories in the cross of Jesus Christ. His only concern is how he may follow Christ and imitate him in praying, working, enduring, and striving constantly and solely for the greater glory of God and the salvation of humankind.” (Saint Anthony Mary Claret, Autobiography nº. 494)
In their striving to be faithful to the above “pen picture,” many Claretians have embraced martyrdom. Among them are the 51 young Claretians of Barbastro and 132 Claretians across various provinces of Spain, who have been declared “Blessed” by the Church. Inspired by their life witness and impelled by the love of Christ and the people of God, around 3,000 Claretians continue to work towards realizing the Kingdom of God on earth.