FRANCISCO PALAU, FOUNDER VI
The convent of Vallcarca Cross was built by Gabriel Brunet. An expert mason. It should have been completed during the year 61. Headquarters for the congregation: The dream of the Founder. The building was erected a short distance from the Sisters' home. Some close to the father. To the master. The presence of Francis brought them security, of course!
Once the chapel was built, it became the religious centre of the neighbourhood. Thanks to them the neighbours declared, the spiritual renewal of the surroundings. Desire and purpose of the community. A desired and well thought-out success. Sta. Cruz, Father Palau's residence, when he was free from his ministerial duties. Clever!
The important battles against evil, Francis declared, were fought in the big cities. His battles had this setting: Horta. He considered S. Honorato and Ibiza to be deserts. There they could experience strong times of solitude. Of encounter with God. In rest and calm, yes. Barcelona is something else: a battlefield, that's how he saw it!
Palau describes the dwelling: A hall, six cells, a church with its choir and three altars. And he added: "I live in the cave next to the hermitage. Things are looking good here," he added. Four years after its inception, the community became a centre of action. In favour of the excluded, Palau's dream and Calvary!
From the year 65 onwards, the project encountered serious obstacles. These came, above all, from his work as an exorcist. From other private interests, too: the Penitents complex itself. No wonder! For the site was very attractive, and so the foundation suffered a delicate setback!
Later, the arrests of the inhabitants of the hospital took place. -At the end of 1870. This made it difficult for him to keep the place as he had designed it: the focal point of his founding work. A pity!
The Horta lands have always been a cause of contradiction and suffering. First for Father Palau. Then for his daughters. For one or the other, it was always a privileged place.
On the other hand, the new law on public instruction (57) opened a decisive stage in the nation's education. It provided for the awarding of the teaching qualification. A new measure in favour of the country. Abandoned in the education sector, as in others! Palau studied the new laws, his goal being the creation of Catholic schools. He directed his foundations for girls towards them. This man was always on the frontiers!
The group from the suburb of St. Catherine -Palma de Mallorca-It was the first Brothers' foundation open to religious education. At primary level. Four of them took this course in the year 65. For this purpose, the community of St. Honoratus was broken up. Francisco Palau saw in this new proposal the practical solution to his deep longings. To what he was looking for at the time: the combination of contemplative and apostolic life. Some Brothers had the title of magisterium. Others were in charge of it. The Founder encouraged them to do so. Let us applaud all those involved! This would be one of the most flourishing communities.
It followed in the footsteps of the previous one that of the Vendrell -Tarragona-. The promoter of this community, it seems, was Ildefonso Gatell. Former companion of Palau at the School of Virtue. Director of the "Revista Católica", later. Always a personal friend of the Founder. He was opposed by the local authorities. In 1969 there were already Brothers there, with teaching qualifications. The process of incardination accelerated. Produced by the foundation of the Sisters. In the same year, yes, they were always in the vanguard! This was one of the best-formed communities of the male branch.
New foundation, in Mahón -Menorca-. In the establishment of orphans. It was offered by a group of men from Barcelona to the community of Palma. We do not know the rest of the information about it.
The Aitona was the culmination of the male foundations, made during the lifetime of Francisco Palau. He wanted to offer his people a magnificent gift: to increase culture. With the foundations, he intensified it. Of course, an excellent gift for this man! The brothers were preceded by a group of sisters. They - once again - were plowing paths. Their task: childhood education. Palau, tireless in detecting the fundamental needs of the environment. To stimulate what was already good. To continue, after him, this important ecclesial and social service.