Some saints names ring a bell right a way with us, others maybe not. Antony's death was nothing special, his health declined and he died in his early 60's. In his lifetime though his name was known throughout the world - the confessor of royalty, builder of schools and libraries, reformer; large enough such that at least 15 assassination attempts were made on his life.
Certainly one with a bit of notoriety.
Most of us do not recognize his name though we have probably heard of the missionary order he started: the Claretians, or as he called them, the Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, who work still to serve the poor and under-served of the world. Many know the martyrs, servants, and teachers that he inspires.
So like all of us, great and small, it is not just what we do in our lifetimes, but in the legacy of Christ's love we create by our lives of service to the Gospel whether or not anyone remembers our names. We are all saints, great and small, or at least striving to be saints. As All Saints Day approaches, let us recall the many saints whose names we do not know or know so well but who are part of the great cloud of witnesses who surround the throne of Christ crying out in praise and supplication for each of us - and today, Antony Mary Claret!
Driven by the fire of the Holy Spirit, the holy apostles traveled throughout the earth. Inflamed with the same fire, apostolic missionaries have reached, are now reaching, and will continue to reach the ends of the earth, from one pole to the other, in order to proclaim the word of God. They are deservedly able to apply to themselves those words of the apostle Paul: "The love of Christ drives us on." [2 Corinthians 5:14]
The love of Christ arouses us, urges us to run, and to fly, lifted on the wings of holy zeal. The zealous man desires and achieves all great things and he labors strenuously so that God may always be better known, loved and served in this world and in the life to come, for this holy love is without end.
Because he is concerned also for his neighbor, the man of zeal works to fulfill his desire that all men be content on this earth and happy and blessed in their heavenly homeland, that all may be saved, and that no one may perish for ever, or offend God, or remain even for a moment in sin. Such are the concerns we observe in the holy apostles and in all who are driven by the apostolic spirit.
For myself, I say this to you: The man who burns with the fire of divine love is a son of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and wherever he goes, he enkindles that flame; he deserves and works with all this strength to inflame all men with the fire of God's love. Nothing deters him: he rejoices in poverty; he labors strenuously; he welcomes hardships; he laughs off false accusations; he rejoices in anguish. He thinks only of how he might follow Jesus Christ and imitate him by his prayers, his labors, his sufferings, and by caring always and only for the glory of God and the salvation of souls.
-- L'Egosimo vinto, 60
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