Venerable James Alberione - Founder of the Pauline Family

"All must consider St. Paul the Apostle as the Father, Master, Example and Founder. In actual fact he is. Through him theCongregation was born, by him it was nourished and raised, from him it received its spirit."

Venerable James Alberione

James Alberione was born in a small northern Italian town on Friday, April 4, 1884. His family was poor but managed with some outside assistance to pay for his studies. He was ordained on June 29, 1907 for the Diocese of Alba - the name was to play an important part in his future career - and he seemed destined for an ecclesiastical career which would run on predictable lines.

Scenes from the life of Ven. Fr. Alberione
But Father James had been carrying a great secret in his heart since the night of December 31, 1900. On that night, praying with other seminarians before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament (in answer to the appeal of Pope Leo XIII for worldwide prayer for God's blessing on the new century), he had felt an invitation of such power from the Host that it had totally changed his life, leaving him with a burning desire to do something "for God and for his contemporaries in the new century." Thus he accepted the work that the Diocese initially gave into his charge but continued to pray that God would enlighten him better about his real role in life.

On August 20, 1914, he finally discerned God's will clearly, and quietly began by putting two teenagers, whom he had attracted by his holy life and remarkable predictions about the future, to work in a small pressroom under the guidance of a printer friend of his. Thus began the religious congregation known today as The Society of St. Paul whose purpose is to communicate the Gospel message through Press, Cinema, Radio and other modern media.

The Society proved to be merely the first in an impressive series of religious Foundations. As soon as he started his first pressroom (in the little town named "Alba" like his Diocese) a number of local young women were stirred by his ideals and came together under his direction. These were in due course to become what we know today as The Daughters of St. Paul, a feminine counterpart of the Society.

In 1920 he gave life to a second congregation for women: The Sister Disciples of the Divine Master whose members would be especially dedicated to Eucharistic adoration. Sixteen years later he was to found a third group: The Pastoral Sisters, to work for the spiritually needy in parishes by providing religious instruction, preparing the sick for the sacraments, seeking out lax Catholics, helping the poor and occasionally running kindergarten schools.]

Finally, in the period from the mid-nineteen-fifties onward, he founded the Queen of the Apostles Sisters to work for vocations to the religious state and to the priesthood. He also initiated four "Religious Institutes" or groups of people with religious vows but continuing to live and work in their usual occupations. Our Holy Family Institute is one of these Institutes.

When he died in 1971, his spiritual sons and daughters numbered almost 7,000 and were working in some 30 countries and the principal world languages.

In the intervening years the Institutes or Associations Fr. Alberione founded have added almost 2,000 to the total membership figure.

What were Father Alberione's ideals? First of all, he dedicated his work to Paul, the great Saint who labored with Peter to found Christianity. Paul, writer and preacher to the non-Jewish world is the ideal patron of what Father James called "The Pauline Family" or group of congregations. Second, he drew his total inspiration and strength from The Eucharist. He prayed for as many as seven hours per day and taught all his followers to make a daily Holy Hour. But he was also a man of incessant activity - beginning regularly at 3:30 a.m.- and he turned his entire priestly life to the task of preaching the Word both in the traditional way and through the media.

On June 25, 1996, His Holiness Pope John Paul II signed the Decree by which the heroic virtues of our Founder, Fr. James Alberione, were recognized and so the title of "Venerable" may be applied to him. This step immediately precedes the Beatification.

Do you read Italian? If you do, we have a comprehensive history of the Founder's life and work for you. It compares Fr. Alberione's on-going life and activity with parallel events in world history.

The following video clips are na by Rolland Smith. You will need a RealAudio G2 Player to view them. We will have Microsoft Player versions on line in the near future. In the meantime you can down load a free version of the RealAudio player by clicking the button on the bottom of the page.

James Alberione and the Founding of the Society of St. Paul 28k baud connection: 1 min. 35 secs.
James Alberione and the Founding of the Society of St. Paul 56k baud connection: 1 min. 35 secs.

The Four Vows of the Priests and Brothers and Their Media Ministry 28k baud connection: 51 secs.
The Four Vows of the Priests and Brothers and Their Media Ministry 56k baud connection: 51 secs.

The Pauline Family and the New Millennium 28k baud connection: 48 secs.
The Pauline Family and the New Millennium 56k baud connection: 48 secs

John Paul II and the Beatification of Blessed Timothy 28k baud connection: 1 min. 30 secs.
John Paul II and the Beatification of Blessed Timothy 56k baud connection: 1 min. 30 secs

The following video clip is Rev. Jeffrey Mickler SSP speaking at St. Paul's Outside the Walls of Rome.

From St. Paul's Outside the Walls 28k baud connection: 35 secs.
From St. Paul's Outside the Walls 56k baud connection: 35 secs.

Download the Real Audio Player for free

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