The Society of
Saint Paul is a religious congregation which was founded in 1914
at Alba, in Italy, province of Cuneo, by Fr. Giacomo Alberione.
Its members are known as the Paulines. Faithful to the mission
assigned them by their founder, they communicate the Christian
message with the use of all means that technology put at the
disposition of modern man. They are present in 32 countries
around the world. They are active in many fields: editorial and
bookstores, journalism, cinematography, television, radio,
audiovisual, multimedia, telematics; centres of studies,
research, formation, animation.
Their logo represents well the dynamism which fills them.
The General and the Provincial Government, assure that the
mission comes to life. Father Giacomo Alberione, in the
footsteps of Saint Paul to become one for all, has, besides the
Society of Saint Paul, founded four congregations: the Daughters
of St. Paul, Disciples of the Divine Master, Sisters of Jesus
Good Shepherd, Sisters of Mary Queen of Apostles; four
associated institutes: Priest Jesus, Saint Gabriel Archangel,
Mary Most Holy Anunciation, Holy Family; as well as the
Association of Pauline Cooperators. Together, they constitute
the Pauline Family.
Society of St. Paul
Founded on 20
August 1914 and approved officially by the Holy See on 27 June
1949. Its mission is to "evangelize with the modern tools of
communications". It is made up of religious priests and lay
consecrated (called Disciples of the Divine Master). They are
present in five continents. The Society of St. Paul makes use of
magazines, books, cinema, radio, television, discs, casette
tapes, compact disc, internet and all technological means of
communication to announce Christ and speak of everything in a
Christ like manner to all those away from the parish life. The
models of the mission are: Master Jesus, Saint Paul, the apostle
who became one to all, and Mary Queen of Apostles who gave life
to Christ, communicator of the Father.
Blessed James Alberione
"Here he is,
humble, silent, tiredless, contained in his thoughts, which
flows from prayers to works, always ready to read the signs of
the times. Our Father Alberione has given the Church news
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."
These are the words of Paul VI on 28 June 1969. Father Alberione
had been received in audience with representative sisters and
priests of the Pauline Family on the occasion of the second
General Chapter of the Society of Saint Paul.
On this occasion,
the Pope granted to the founder and the Pauline Family the cross
"Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice". Two years later, in late afternoon,
on 26 November 1971, Paul VI visited Fr. Alberione on his death
He died that same day at 18:30. His last words that he left to
his sons and daughters, as his spiritual testament are an
invitation for hope: "I die... I pray for all, Paradise!".
Important moments of his life:
April – James Alberione was born in San Lorenzo di Fossano
(Cuneo), Piemonte, North of Italy.
– Starts primary school in Cherasco (Cuneo) and a year
after said to his teacher: "When I grow up I will be a
October – Enters the seminary of Bra (Cuneo). He
leaves it in April
October – Enters the seminary of Alba (Cuneo). He is
directed by Can.
December – During the noctural adoration in the
Cathedral of Alba "he feels obliged to do something for
the people of the new century".
June – He is ordained priest in Alba. He finishes
theology, and after a brief ministry in Narzole is
nominated Spiritual Director of the Seminarians.
Starts to publish the magazine “Vita pastorale”.
September – Assumes the direction of the weekly “Gazzetta d'Alba”.
August – Opens the “Little Workers” Typographical
School, the future Society of St Paul (SSP), with two
young boys: Desiderio
Costa and Torquato Armani.
June – Founds the Pious Society of the Daughters of St
June – Founds the Union of Cooperators of the Good Press (today
the “Association of Pauline Cooperators”).
Birth of the “La
Domenica”, periodical which he calls the “Assistant
Parish Priest on Paper”.
February – Founds the Pious Disciples of the Divine
Begins to publish the magazine “Il Giornalino”.
January – Sends Fr Giaccardo to found a community in
Canonical erection of the Society of St Paul and
Religious Vows of Fr Alberione in front of the Bishop of
Alba, Msgr. Francesco Re.
First Pauline foundations overseas: Brazil, Argentina
and the United States.
December – Birth of the weekly “Famiglia Cristiana”.
August – Start of the magazine “La Madre di Dio”.
1936, July –
Fr. Alberione transfers definitely from Alba to Rome.
Founds the Sisters of Jesus the Good Shepherd, “Pastorelle” (SJBP).
World War) makes a vow to build a Sanctuary to Mary for
the safety of all the members of the Pauline Family.
Pontifical approval of the SSP and its Constitutions.
Consecration of the Sanctuary of the Queen of Apostoles
First General Chapters of the institutes SSP, FSP, PDDM.
Founds the Sisters of Mary Queen of Apostoles for
April – Monthly Course of Spiritual Exercises in Ariccia (Rome)
for the updating and pontifical approval of the Pauline
Instititues of Consecrated Llife, aggregated to the
Society of St Paul: Jesus, the Priest, St. Gabriel the
Arcangel, Mary, of the Annunciation and Holy Family.
Fr. Alberione participates in the II Vatican Council.
Conciliar Decree “Inter Mirifica” which
consecrates the preaching with the means of social
Honored by “For the Church and the Pope” from Pope Paul
August – II General Chapter of the SSP proclaims Fr
Alberione Superior General emeritus and elects to
succeed him Fr Luigi Damaso Zanoni.
At 18,30 Fr. Alberione breaths his last in his room in
the General House, an hour after the personal visit of
the Paul VI.
May – Nulla
osta per the Cause of his Beatification.
June – He is declared Venerable by John Paul II.
April – Fr. Alberione is declared Blessed.
This great work
had been foreseen in 1918 when Fr. Alberione, addressing a small
group of his first youth, inspired by the Holy Spirit, said:
"Lift up your eyes, look up on high and see the great tree of
which no one can see the top: this is our House, which is really
a great tree (alberone); your are but the roots. In fact, the
actual house is the root of this great tree. You are at the foot
of a great mountain, go up, look out, the horizon is the whole
world". Today, the paulines throughout the world, give thanks to
the Lord for having given to His Church this tiredless apostle.
Spirituality and Mission
The objective of
the mission is to put the totality of Christ in contact (as
expressed in the title "Christ Divine Master of Life, Truth and
Way") with all human faculties (mind, heart and will) through
the communication which is realized with the modern means. The
metodology used includes the proposal of the Christian
experience (dogma, moral and cult) and the presentation of all
human realties in the Christian perspective.
The historical development of the Society of St. Paul follows
the evolution of the media of communication. Initially, Fr.
Alberione adopted the printed press; then he added cinema,
radio, television and LPs. Presently, the Paulines are involved
in the world of communication, preparing themselves to incarnate
Christ Divine Master of the Way, the Truth and the Life in the
"culture" created by the communications.
Following the indications of Fr. Alberione to always "put
yourself forward", the Paulines wish to be in the Church of the
next millenium among the pioneers of a complete evangelical
spirituality that knows to inculturate itself in global
communications and multimedia. In fact, for Fr. Alberione and
the Paulines, communication is not a simple aid to
evangelization, but an original way of preaching, that reaches
the masses which are far away from the parishes.
From 1914 to
1959, Fr. Giacomo Alberione founded a number of institutions.
Together, they constitute the Pauline Family. There are five
congregations (Society of St. Paul, the Daughters of St. Paul,
Disciples of the Divine Master, Sisters of Jesus Good Shepherd,
Sisters of Mary Queen of Apostles), four secular institutes (Priest
Jesus, Saint Gabriel Archangel, Mary Most Holy Annunciation,
Holy Family); as well as the Union of Pauline Cooperators.
In 1960 Fr. Alberione seeing that the foundations of the
institutions were solidly established, traced the mission of the
family of the Pauline Family: "The spirit must be one, as the
one in the heart of Saint Paul, ‘Cor Pauli, cor Christi’; the
devotions are the same, and the various ends converge in the
same end: «Give all of Christ to the world, as he defined
himself: ‘I am the Way, the Truth and the Life’».
First Pauline Models
On the 25 June
1996, the Church recognized officially the sanctity of Fr.
Alberione’s life, through which his heroic virtues were
recognized. Among the daughters and sons of Fr. Alberione’s
family, others are one their way to be recognized as saints.
The merit of Fr. Alberione is not only to have given the Church
new means to give a new breadth and outreach to the mission of
evangelization, but also to have contributed to form men and
women who, through the use of the instruments of social
communications, can reach the highest degree of holiness.
|Historically, the road to holiness for the sons and daughters of
Fr. Alberione has been opened by the first priest and first
vicar general of the Society of St. Paul, Fr. Giuseppe Timoteo
whom Fr. Alberione himself described as: "most faithful among
the faithful". On 22 October 1989 Fr. Giaccardo (1896-1948) was,
in fact, proclaimed "Blessed" by John Paul II.
|Also relevant is the figure of a woman who worked in perfect
harmony with Fr. Alberione: the Venerable Sister Tecla Merlo
(1894-1964), first superior general of the Daughters of St. Paul,
model of a woman who believed in the efficiency of the new form
|Among those great witnesses, lest we forget the spiritual
director of Fr. Alberione and godfather of the Pauline Family,
the Venerable Canon Francesco Chiesa (1874-1946), model for all
|A particular fruit of the educational model of Fr. Alberione,
who filled with enthusiasm even the youth to the apostolic life,
is the Venerable Maggiorino Vigolungo (1904-1918), model for all
youth who aspire to the Pauline apostolate.
|Another example of life given for others is the Venerable
Brother Andrea Borello (1916-1948), model for all those who
consecrate their life to the apostolate of social communications
as lay consecrated.
|And then there is the beautiful example of Sister Maria
Scolastica Rivata (1897-1987), first Disciple of the Divine
Master, and first Mother of the congregation.
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In 1991 the
Society of St. Paul initiated the study for the development of a
new visual identity: "evangelize with the modern means of
The creator Giorgetto Giugiaro developed and realized the new
logo of the Society.
From the public survey regarding the logo, the following
comments were expressed:
appreciation for its formal and estetic beauty
reading it in terms of free associations, it was described as
caracterizing the combination of two different elements with
the major values associated to the logo were: precision, energy,
tension, openness, dynamism, creativity, spirituality, infinity
the products to be combined with the logo were: cultural
products, public opinion, spiritual creativity.
By its nature, the sign that expresses the visual sinthesis of
the mission of a society, is not the equivalent of a logical
reflection or a linguistic affermation.
The St. Paul logo is not a contradiction, on the contrary, it
may suggest the mission of putting in contact the Word of God
and the unfolding of history as the rich and dynamic apostolate
of Saint Paul.