The Church of San Antonio María Claret in Narvarte is a prominent landmark chiefly for the figure of San Antonio himself on the corner tower. The figure leans out over Cuauhtémoc Avenue in a gesture likely witnessed by thousands each day.
The church began with a group of Claretian priests who arrived in Mexico City from Spain in 1917. They purchased the land here in the late 1940s. The building we see today would come somewhat later. It was completed in 1974. The design is based on the Basilica of Our Lady of La Altagracia de Higuey in the Dominican Republic. The Claretians have a long history of relations with that basilica which dates back to 1572.
- Antonio María Claret y Clará (1807-1870) is usually referred to in English as Saint Anthony Mary Claret. He was a Spanish religious missionary in Catalonia and the Canary Islands between 1840 and 1850. He then became the archbishop of Santiago de Cuba and confessor to Queen Isabella II of Spain. He founded the Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and later the Congregation of the Religious of Mary Immaculate Claretian Missionaries. He was beatified in 1934 and canonized in 1950.
- The Claretians carry on the missionary work begun by Saint Anthony. They are today active in some 70 countries on five continents but their numbers amount to just about 3,000 priests and monks worldwide.