Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Blessed James Alberione

4 April 1884 – 26 November 1971

"...the first apostle of the new evangelization." Pope John Paul II"Here he is, humble, silent, tireless, contained in his thoughts, which flows from prayer to work, always ready to read the signs of the times. Our Father Alberione has given the Church new instruments to express herself, new means to give vigour and new breadth to its apostolic mission....May the Pope, in the name of the whole Church, express its gratitude." Pope Paul VI

On December 31, 1900, during a special night of prayer before the Eucharist, the young seminarian James Alberione felt himself called to serve God and the people of the new century.

During that night, he resolved to do something new and wonderful for the Church of the Twentieth Century. At the time, many were complaining about the "evils" of the bad "press" and an idea gradually arose in his fertile mind that the press should be utilized for good and the human spirit nurtured by the truth and wisdom of the Gospel. From then on, this invitation transformed and gave specific direction to his future life as a priest, apostle, and communicator of Christ.

Following his ordination to the priesthood, his call gradually became clearer, and a group of young boys under his direction began publishing the the diocesan newspaper in Alba, Gazzette d'Alba. It was the beginnings of the apostolate of the press to spread the gospel.

Thus in 1914 the Society of St. Paul was born.
A year later, he founded a similar group for women, the Daughters of St. Paul.

His ideal, like that of St. Paul, was universal – all the means of modern communications were to be used so that all people would hear the Gospel.

For this extraordinary mission, new apostles were needed (both men and women) who could dedicate themselves entirely to this service.

By the time of his death in 1971, Fr. James Alberione had founded ten institutes that are known today as the Pauline family.

On December 20, 2002, Pope John Paul II promulgated the decree for the beatification of Fr. James Alberione. His beatification took place on April 27, 2003 at St Peter’s Square in Rome.

Excerpts from Fr James Alberione’s writings
"In the morning, therefore, let us place ourselves at the Master's feet and say to Him, 'Jesus, you are the Way, I want to walk in Your footsteps; You are the Truth, enlighten me, You are the Life, give me grace.' "

"Master, Your life maps out the path for me, Your doctrine confirms and makes steady my footsteps, Your grace sustains and upholds me on the journey to heaven."

"How many times have you considered the question: "Where is humanity going? How is it going? Toward what goal is humanity headed? This humanity that is continually renewing itself on the face of the earth?" "
"No greater wealth can be given to this poor and proud world, than Jesus Christ. The world has need of Jesus Christ Way, Truth and Life."

For more on Blessed James Alberione and his thoughts, visit

Venerable Thecla (Teresa) Merlo

20 February 1894 – 5 February 1964

Teresa Merlo met Fr. Alberione June 27, 1915, and agreed to collaborate with him in giving life to his apostolic vision.

From that time on, with tremendous faith and untiring trust, Teresa, who took the religious name of Thecla, (after St. Paul's first female disciple) assisted him not only in the foundation and formation of the Daughters of St. Paul, but with the other Congregations of the Pauline Family and his many other apostolic works.

Her deep faith and trust in God, her example and courage, her close collaboration with Alberione and her loving guidance of the sisters won for her the respect and love of all who knew her.

She helped to shape the particular spirit and new mission of the Daughters of St Paul dedicated to evangelization with all the means technology would provide.

Nothing was ever enough for her when it came to communicating the Good News of Christ the Lord to the people: “Our field of apostolate is the entire world.”

She died on February 5, 1964, and the Church proclaimed her "Venerable" on January 22, 1991.


“Our heart, our soul is too big to be happy with things which end. Only God can make us happy, serving God, loving God, sacrificing ourselves for Him. Then one is always happy. Let us unite ourselves intimately to God and we will be happy any place, with anyone, in any work.”

~ Venerable Thecla Merlo

Blessed Timothy Giaccardo

13 June 1896 - January 24, 1948

Blessed Timothy Giaccardo, the first member of the Pauline Family to be raised to the altars, has a special place in each Pauline's heart. As a young boy, Fr. Alberione picked him out and sent him to the seminary. Eventually he became not only Alberione's right hand man and a primary figure in the interpretation of the Pauline charism, he was also in a special way instrumental in the life of the congregation of the Pious Disciples of the Divine Master, the third community founded by Alberione.Father Timothy Giaccardo was proclaimed "blessed" by Pope John Paul II on October 22, 1990.