Blessed James Alberione

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The Donec formetur Christus in vobis1 (= DF), is a booklet, measuring 16 x 10 cm., with 110 pages, made up of short chapters divided generally into three numbered points which, in turn, are often subdivided in lists marked by letters a, b, c. The vocabulary used is the one common to the theology or spirituality of the times and the phrases are brief, many of which are in Latin, taken from the New Testament.
Published by Fr. Giacomo Alberione in 1932, the DF did not enjoy much luck. It is only since twenty or so years ago that it has become an object of study and a point of reference for Spiritual Exercises, formation programs and meetings on spirituality.
DF's language suffers its seven decades of history and, at first glance, remains, on the level of expressions, detached from a specific context.
If, at present, the approach to DF is not easy for persons of the Italian language and who have always lived in Italy, the experience of approaching the text presents greater difficulties in other contexts and mentality.
Venturing into this work, one finds himself before a real challenge arising from questions like these: In reality, what relationship has DF with the Founder's life and with the lived experience of the Pauline Family being born? Can one find reliable keys for a contextualized reading and a renewed interpretation of the short chapters of this work by now held to be of great charismatic relevance?
In order to respond to these and other questions, the present work intends, already from the start, to study the bases of this presupposition: the book Donec formetur Christus in vobis constitutes a proposal for a way of life for the Pauline Family, a proposal that finds its full significance when one recalls the journey taken by Fr. Alberione and by the first generation of Paulines.
In fact, it is not a book written for a discursive reading wherein a systematic exposition of the themes is developed. One has not to take it even as a collection of outlines or disconnected summary notes put together for occasional purposes. Instead, Donec Formetur is a document, well structured as a whole and in their individual parts, prepared in a modest format, but with well-aimed and lasting intentions.
Donec formetur Christus in vobis traces the frame of reference of the Pauline life by presenting, by way of maxims, the features of the Pauline spirit that must be read under the light of the charismatic history, so that it may then be received in reflection and in prayer, and embraced in a style of life that is at the same time a fertile ground and an active witnessing of a special mission.
We intend to present here the Donec formetur Christus in vobis second edition printed in 1932 (=DFst). The notebook containing the manuscript version also exists (=DFms), most useful for the understanding of the book, as it will be indicated, and which could be separately published, preferably with the use of multimedia resources.
The critical edition that united the printed document and the original manuscript was recently published. It was marked by numbers at the margins already quoted in studies and in documents.2 The current edition considers as standard the one printed in 1932 and hence, it intends to create a new set of numbers at the margins based on the number of the pages.3
The principal intention is that of helping especially the new generation of Paulines to read and understand this work of the Founder by concentrating on our stock of information either in this Introduction or in the comments or notes at the foot of the pages of this book.
This choice has required of us a long journey, useful if not necessary, in the gathering of facts and in order to explain their relationships. It also has directed us towards the choice of presenting numerous and broad quotations for the sake of those persons who do not have an easy access to the original documentation examined.
Probably the choice of numbering the paragraphs or group of paragraphs of this Introduction4 may become a very useful tool for creating a connection with the pages of the text and vice versa thus benefiting also the work of locating the text in its context.
The approach to DF requires the same attention needed for every reading of a classical work-in a broad sense or which enjoys a special importance, but is not of recent publication-the deeper knowledge of the personality and of the thought of the author is indispensable in order to understand the meaning of the text.
Fr. Alberione and the first generation of Paulines lived a radicalism inspired after the Evangelical, New Testamentary and biblical message and they were moved by the awareness of the needs of the new times. Towards the end of his life, reflecting on the journey taken, Fr. Alberione stated: The hand of God is upon me - how He has led us.
Hence, drawing inspiration from the biblical categories and from the words of Fr. Alberione, we shall arrange this introduction into two parts:
1. The time of the Alliance: The hand of God is upon me...;
2. The book of Holiness: ...How He has led us.
The hand of God is upon me...

In order to notice not only the enthusiasm of the first generations but also its exponential growth, it is enough to consider, with a bit of attention, the beginnings of the Pauline Family. It also is noticeable that everything takes place as if it follows a veiled project and, at the same time, an intended gradualness.
Another aspect, easily noticeable, lies in the fact that the foundation period involves numerous persons, but in everything, Fr. Alberione's figure exercises with sobriety, although energetically, its role of being the only channel of God's inspiration:5 His entire manner of doing and speaking shows the man of God, the man detached from the world and entirely focused on God: from this center, he thinks of everything, moves and judges.6
It seems important, therefore, that we describe the Founder's personal journey and the journey of the Foundation. These two themes can be expressed with the biblical expression of election and of personal and collective mission in these terms: This day I set you over build and to plant (Jer 1:10) and You shall be to me a kingdom of priests, a holy nation (Ex 19:6).
(JER 1:10)

Many times, especially in Abundantes divitiæ gratiæ suæ (= AD),7 Fr. Alberione communicated his vocation and spiritual experiences by recurring to passages of the Sacred Scriptures. One could notice, too, that his affirmations on the past generally find confirmation when subjected to verification with other documents and bits of information.
As a whole Fr. Alberione's testimony is taken here as a true expression of his effective experience and not only as a rereading, having more of editorial than historical character.
Furthermore, considering the vigilant care he took over every step of the work during the time of foundation, we shall utilize here the documents drawn from the periodical Unione Cooperatori Buona Stampa (= UCBS)8 as the expression of the community's life also when it is not possible to ascertain that they are attributed directly to the Founder. What guides us, in fact, is the intention of being attuned to and to communicate the charismatic inspiration that moved the Founder and his first men and women disciples.
To reach such an objective, let us now consider the very life of Giacomo Alberione, from his birth to the start of his foundations.
1.1.1 When a child... I loved him (Hos 11:1)

Giacomo Alberione was born on 4 April 1884 in San Lorenzo di Fossano and grew in the rural environment of the small city of Cherasco.
The privileged relationships of his infancy were with his mother, Teresa Allocco, with his elementary school teacher, Rosa Cardona, and with the environment of the Parish of San Martino (AD 10-12).
Starting his elementary schooling, Giacomo Alberione, comparable to a little boy in what we now call the third world, walked along the path that led up towards Cherasco. Before going to school, he used to stop with other children at the Madonnina Sanctuary. The Rector, Fr. Francesco Maria Faber helped them and entertained them with explanations and comments that soon bore fruit.
[DFst9 84-85] During his first and second elementary grades, his teacher, Rosa Cardona, helped him to acquire the taste for the school world and contributed to his becoming aware of a greater orientation of his life: the priestly vocation (AD 9).10
In his third grade, Giacomo Alberione enjoyed the special care of his teacher Tommaso Rabbia. At the end of the year, Giacomo was first in his class. Also during his fourth grade, under his teacher Giuseppe Riaudo, Giacomo got the highest of grades along with four other students.
During his first year high school, he used to take lunch at the convent with the pastor, Fr. Giovanni Battista Montersino, who often invited for after-meal coffee some persons who loved culture. Among these also were teachers of the young Giacomo Alberione.
[DFst 68-70] During those meetings, the young Alberione learned to love books and became fascinated by the world of music, of literature, of history and philosophy.11 Even more: he felt immersed in the reality of the Church and the Church became for him his natural environment and the indispensable frame of reference and exhilarating source of numerous and great ideals for the future. It is from this small circle of persons that the spiritual and cultural itinerary of the future apostle began.
[DFst 17ff] These persons contributed to the development, in the young Alberione, of the taste for learning, studiousness, more than studies itself as a course; the taste for purification understood as growth, more than as asceticism focused on negative self-evaluation.
[DFst 43ff] This parish frame of reference, open, represented for Alberione a first awareness of the delicateness of his own sentiments, sharpness of intelligence and liveliness in imagination.
In reality, it had had an unexpected side effect since it created the premises for the blow suffered in the anonymity of the closed group as the Seminary of Bra, where he was not understood. However, it also became a solid ground that did not allow him to give up and for opening up to him the doors of a house, the Seminary of Alba, that he intensely loved and which restored in him the boost of the life spent in the environment of San Martino.
[DFst 13-16] After the pruning suffered in Bra, Giacomo Alberione comes to Alba, moved by a renewed interior boost and gifted with uncommon aptitudes: ...gifted with refined, profound, also sophisticated intelligence and rich in originality, of imagination and of intuition. He loves to think and reflect. He wants to dig deep into himself...12
Almost ten years had passed since the young Alberione started to cultivate his vocation for the priesthood. The initial light was like a fertile seed that had put on deep roots, had become a small well-cared-for plant and now, after the pruning, was already ready to show all its vitality.
[DFst 57ff] The Lord did not take long to intervene. On the night of passage between the two centuries, God's glory enveloped him with light (cf. Lk 2:9), invited him and drew him into his intimacy by manifesting his love through his Son present in the Eucharist: The Son of God... has loved me and given himself up for me (Gal 2:20).
[DFst 83-85. 93-95] In the intimacy of that Come to me, all you (Mt 11:28), Alberione felt his whole person was involved and thus he understood the many church and social realities, especially the needs of his time and of the Priest's true mission (ADds 15). In that moment of intimacy, the Master opened his mind and heart by associating them with himself in view of a special mission: What Toniolo said about the duty of being Apostles today and of using the means exploited by the opposition made sense to him. He felt deeply obliged to prepare himself to do something for the Lord and for the women and men of the new century with whom he would spend his life (ADds 15).
After years of commitment and the sufferings just overcome, this experience of light became the source of a joyful and irresistible new boost: His mind and heart became so fixed on the Eucharist, the Gospel, the Pope, the new century, the new means, on the need for a new band of apostles, that from then on these things always dominated his thoughts, his prayer, his spiritual work, his yearnings. He felt an obligation to serve the church, the women and men of the new age, and to work with others in an organized way (ADds 20).13
[DFst 17ff. 27-28] Seeing himself cast against God's point of view, Giacomo Alberione found the true basis of his whole life: awareness brought to recognize his own limitations and the joyous attachment to the faithfulness of the Master and Lord who did not abandon him. Thus he strongly states: He had a clear grasp of his own nothingness, while concurrently he experienced in the Eucharist, 'vobiscum sum usque ad consummationem sæculi'. (ADds 16).
[DFst 14-16. 84] In his journey of formation towards priesthood, the conviction of being loved by the Lord brought Alberione to correspond by wholly giving himself, or by neglecting nothing that would be useful to the development of his entire personality in view of the mission for which he was called: His overriding thought was that in view of one's own salvation and in view of a more fruitful apostolate one needs to develop the whole human personality: mind, will and heart; this was the meaning of the inscription that he placed on the tomb of his friend Borello (1904) (ADds 22).
[DFst 17] It fits to anticipate here that these youthful experiences of Fr. Alberione would be mirrored in DFst, especially in the part concerning the Way of Purification, understood as a profound and joyous search for being attuned with God's plan.
[DFst 55-56. 63-64. 88. 95-96] In the Seminary of Alba, formators frequently spoke of the passage of the century, also in terms used by the encyclical Tametsi Futura,14 about Il Redentore, that described the ills of society by drawing inspiration from the first chapter of the Letter to the Romans. When they spoke of the forces alive in the Church, they were certainly using a tone similar, for example, to that adopted by the La Civiltà Cattolica in presenting the flourishing, in number of members and activities, of the old religious Orders, the rise of new Institutions, the multiplication of Institutes for women, the novelty and the vastness of the apostolate of lay women and men.15
[DFst 40. 74-78] Prepared by these teachings, Alberione felt that the particular enlightenment that came from the Host not only did a great change in him, or a change of course similar to the conversion of St. Paul, but it would also raise the same change in numerous persons: Projecting himself mentally into the future he felt that in the new century generous people would experience what he was feeling; and that teamed up into an organization they could bring about what Toniolo kept on repeating, 'Unite, if the enemy finds us alone he will defeat us one by one'. (ADds 17).
[DFst 51] Many are the testimonies on the constant dedication of Alberione to his studies and to his continuous reflection.16 As an example to confirm the young Alberione's dedication in his response to God's call, one could take into consideration what remains of his readings of the Storia universale, by Cesare Cantù, or the Quaderno 36,17 which witnesses to his intellectual thirst, his universalistic openness, and his commitment for suitable documentation to the point of affirming He learned a great deal from everything (ADds 90).
[DFst 52-54] From among his writings as a young man, published in Sono creato per amare Dio18 (= SC), we find a nine-page manuscript on the Bible (cf. SC 155-180). They are very significant pages because they show how Alberione wanted to assume many of the notes of the Quaderno 36 in order to compose a small monograph on the Bible, the book of humanity... divine book, that by now occupied the center of his attention. One could see how that He learned a great deal from everything had two unifying references: prayer and listening to God's Word. The solemn enunciation at the start goes in this direction: The true support of the affections of the heart, mover in the invisible kingdom of thought, in the intellectual and moral, individual and social union, that runs through the centuries, that expands in all nations is the power of the word. Man speaks and God speaks; the former with limited means manifests his mental words, the latter with infinite means, just as Infinite is He Himself. He speaks by printing his Word in nature; thus man, studying nature, studies God's Word, as it was said of Socrates who knew Christ because he studied nature. Man, however, is not equipped to adequately and directly understand the divine truths in nature; thus God, according to Tertullian's idea held by St. Thomas, adjusted himself to man's capacity, by gathering his words in a simple, sublime book, the Bible (SC 155).
[DFst 51-52. 80] In a page, probably written in 1954, Alberione points out different persons who had helped him in the journey of those years: In the journey of my life since 1902, there were holy persons who decisively gave me orientations, Can. Danusso towards the devotion to Jesus Master Way, Truth and Life; Can. Chiesa, in my spiritual and intellectual formation; Msgr. Re the ever secure guide during the general crisis of modernism; Can. Priero in his example of love for catechism, the Eucharist, the Thomist Philosophy, the Sacred Scriptures; then, many other persons confirmed, made to grow, ran, walked with all sorts of help. The three devotions were lighted up, religious life seemed ever the secure path, the Lord did everything.19
[DFst 96-97] In Sono creato per amare Dio (I was created in order to love God) Alberione points out how in the providential design of his vocation the protection of Mary came (cf. SC 129). He soon took the path of witnessing to this grace in a manner better suited with the fire he was nourishing within himself: to be counted among the apostles of today by becoming an apostle-writer. After a first attempt to publish,20 he then engaged himself in preparing his first book on the Blessed Virgin of Graces,21 the first draft of which dates back to 1906.22
1.1.2 I hereby give him... the pledge of everlasting priesthood, because he was zealous on behalf of his God (cf. Nm 25:11-12)

[DFs 21-27] Knowledge of the Lord brings about a more sensitive awareness of the risks and evils that afflict his people. Ancient and new idols are always reborn, sowing that enmity that deforms humanity's face. Thus, day by day, the young Alberione deepened his sense of prayer made that night at the beginning of the twentieth century: his prayer... was for the century to be born in Christ, in the Eucharist; for new apostles to reform the law, education, literature, the press, morals; for the Church to give fresh impetus to mission; for good use to be made of the new means of apostolate; for society to welcome the great teachings of Leo XIII's encyclicals-explained to the clerics by Canon Chiesa-especially with regard to social questions and Church freedom (ADds 19).
[DFst 21-22] Giacomo Alberione could have moved to the Seminary of Turin; instead, he chose to remain in the Seminary of Alba because of its family spirit that encouraged participation, the set of studies attuned with the progress of sciences and the needs of the times, and the spirituality incarnated in a strong pastoral, social and liturgical spirit.
[DFst 17.28. 37.67] At the same time that Alberione was taking the Theology Courses there, the new chapel of the Seminary was built. Its decoration comprises a perfect synthesis of Alberione's formation. Everything begins from the Trinity who reveals his plan of salvation in the coming of the Son and the gift of the Spirit; from it follow: Mary's role in the Incarnation; the Eucharist as center of Christian life; the Gospel presented according to the configuration of the four evangelists in such a way that from it comes the name of the city of A-L-B-A; the beatitudes and the via crucis expressions of Christian life; liturgy as sacrificium laudis; the Bishop's ministry at the service of God's Kingdom; the figures of Mary and of the Church; the saints on whose footprints God's people walks, especially the seminarians; and the niche, behind the moveable altar piece, for the cultivation of special devotions.
[DFst 13-14. 41-42. 49] The saints depicted represent the basic values of the future priests' formation. In the first place, the patron saints of the Seminary: Mary, as Mother of Good Counsel, for the full adherence to God's will; Charles Borromeo for pastoral zeal; Francis of Sales, for meekness and spiritual direction; Philip Neri, for joy and humor. Then, two doctors of the Church: Alphonsus de' Liguori, for moral theology; Thomas Aquinas for dogmatic theology; and two witnesses; Lawrence, martyr and diocesan patron saint, and Aloysius Gonzaga, for purity and heroic service. Finally, inside the medallions, two examples of youth: Stanislaus Kostka and John Berchmans.23
[DFst 51-54] Approaching the ordination to the priesthood, Giacomo Alberione knew himself as rooted in the Church's Tradition, while acquiring a deep knowledge of spiritual life,24 aware of having intensely attended to his own intellectual formation, to have tried to understand the present-day needs of the Church and of humanity.
[DFst 84] Considering the journey taken, Alberione noticed two providential presences on whose footsteps he could integrate his own ministry: Fr. Giovanni Battista Montersino and Canon Francesco Chiesa.
To Fr. Montersino he wrote: While I approach the sacred orders, I remember the start of my vocation that comes from your instructions, from the catechism classes, from your example of zeal for souls. If therefore I shall have the fortune of binding forever my life to God's service and to consecrate my strength to his glory and the sanctification of souls, I owe it all to you. Hence, while I am aware of my unworthiness and my heart is filled with joy mitigated only by the confusion of my nothingness, I bless the Lord for having given you, a good shepherd, to enlighten the first steps of my life.25
For his future, Giacomo Alberione sees his priesthood bound with the extraordinary personality of Francesco Chiesa. He, in fact, did not disappoint Fr. Alberione as he himself witnessed towards the end of his life: From him I received teachings, spirit and guidance; the daily help of many years under many forms. His life was exceptional and heroic in every virtue; his zeal addressed to every person and to every initiative; teacher who, with knowledge, communicated the spirit; model parish priest.26
[DFst 84-85. 100] At the moment of the ordination, Giacomo kept within him a grandiose image of the priesthood27 and, few years later, he would communicate it in one of his programmatic works Appunti di Teologia Pastorale:28 The priest therefore cannot be one who only lives for himself: He cannot have as a motto the words: I - God. It is absolutely necessary that he works for the salvation of others, that he writes on his banner: I - God - People (p. 1). The priest therefore is not simply learned: not even simply a saint; but he is learned-saint, one who avails with both science and holiness to become an apostle, that is, in order to save souls (p. 2). Also those books that write about the quality and the duties of ecclesiastics very often are suffused in dealing at length with study or piety, but very little about zeal. And yet zeal is the most essential part of the priesthood; it is the purpose for which science and piety must be useful; it is as if the distinguishing mark of the apostle. Zeal must be developed. It is born of a great spirit of piety that makes one long intensely for God's honor and the salvation of souls: it makes use, for an indispensable means, of priestly knowledge; while in its exercise it presupposes that the priest should have the material means necessary for his existence so he could dedicate all or almost all his time for souls (pp. 5-6).
[DFst 21-22. 84-85] Fueled by this spirit, after his priestly ordination on 29 June 1907, the young priest Giacomo Alberione manifests his dynamism especially when, upon returning as assistant pastor of San Bernardo Abate in Narzole, he assumes the office of Spiritual Director of the Seminary of Alba.
Working as Librarian, he tries to keep the Library updated; he engages himself in the teaching of Liturgy and declares, Then when he became master of ceremonies and sacristan in the seminary, and the Bishop's master of ceremonies with the task of preparing the ceremonial book, he enjoyed even better the prayer of the Church and [praying] with the Church (ADds 72).
He dedicated himself with special efforts to all the initiatives marked with a social spirit: Providence arranged a lengthy preparation for this. [There was] the work undertaken for the Catholic University of Milan (1905-1906) to collect contributions for the promotion Committee to found it. Courses of social conferences and social studies during his Theology years and, later on, conferences of a social nature that he took part in at the request of his superiors, his cooperation in social organizations and works, and contacts with Catholic Action people such as Cardinal Maffi, Professor Toniolo, Count Paganuzzi and the accountant Rezzara (ADds 58-59).
[DFst 85.88] In every instance, however, Alberione had a focal point that he did not abandon since the night of the start of the century, that is, his special vocation. It was not that of becoming a curate or a parish priest, as he confided to a friend: The idea of gathering around me young people seems a pleasant thought... so many young people like Don Bosco, in order to launch them in the apostolate.29
[DFst 76-77] Fr. Alberione saw and lived everything under the point of view of this mission, examining everything with the four ends of Eymard: From Canon Chiesa he had learned to transform everything into a theme of meditation and prayer fore the Divine Master-a prayer of adoration, thanksgiving, atonement and supplication (ADds 68).
It was not just a matter of clarifying one's inner thoughts, an end in itself, but Alberione felt the need of evaluating everything in view of a total self-giving and to make proper choices so he might be prepared for new duties (ADds 55). And this was in a climate of serious disturbances and disorientation, grave ills and social, economic and political needs.
[DFst 90-91] Considering the different church initiatives and taking part personally in them, he declared that at a certain moment he experienced a new light that brought him to take the idea of an organization of Catholics to that of an organization of religious (ADds 7): Toward 1910 he took a definitive step. It became much clearer that the writers, technical personnel and promoters [would have to be] religious men and women (ADds 24).
Hence, he saw the need to launch a new reality, yes, but fully participant in the ecclesial fabric, assuming the evangelical radicality, thanks to the religious consecration.
[DFst 80] Perhaps the Pauline Family has not yet adequately grasped the capacity for reflection and dedication to discernment of Fr. Alberione along the line of the charism of his foundations. It is therefore proper that we consider briefly two features of his itinerary: his ministry as Spiritual Director of the Seminary and the spiritual exercises.
[DFst 11-12] We have available four very precious tools for better knowing Fr. Alberione and his capacity for reflection, study and documentation: three Notebooks30 and the Quaderno di Indice.31
The confrontation between these Notebooks and the Quaderno di Indice allows the tracing of the development of the meditations proposed by Fr. Alberione in the Seminary of Alba, especially from 1908 to 1914, and to notice how they were accurately planned and prepared in writing. Not only that, but, from time to time, Fr. Alberione evaluated not only his own performance but also the results obtained from the seminarians. He seriously evaluated with great frankness every formation proposal both those of his own32 and those of other confreres.33
[DFst 80] There is one that summarizes in one expression what was held by the Fathers of the Church as the fundamental condition for being a spiritual father: The essential and indispensable condition for one to become a spiritual father is above all that of becoming spiritual himself.34 On his part, the Bishop, Msgr. Re, recognized in Fr. Giacomo Alberione, a year after the latter's priestly ordination, the charism of spiritual fatherhood.
[DFst 20-27] The outlines of the first two meditations given to the Clerics by him as Spiritual Director reveal that Fr. Alberione was fully prepared for the new ministry.
In the meditation of 27 October 1908, a week after his return to the Seminary from Narzole, he proposes two teachings on the need and on the manner of making meditations, the basis for growth in the relationship with God (faith-hope-charity) and for the development of one's personality (reason - will - heart). In but two lines he traces a plan-with an opening at 180 degrees-of extreme importance: take away evil by seeking to be attuned with God's plan (Synchronize a clock) in order to give one's self in the apostolate or do good to others.35
In the three points on the manner of making the meditation36 one can already clearly read the indications on the nature of meditation, on the dialogical character of Fr. Alberione's orientation and on the project that he has in mind to do.
These three points, considered in relation with those already said in the second meditation on the next day, allow one to notice how Fr. Alberione already had a profound knowledge of the affective and effective spirituality of St. Francis of Sales,37 of the dynamics of the Exercises of St. Ignatius and of the works of spirituality as that of Chaignon38 and of Faber.39 A look on these Notebooks is enough for one to see how many authors he also explicitly quoted: St. Alphonsus, Scaramelli, Scupoli, Grignion de Montfort, etc.
[DFst 80] We are still far from drawing an exhaustive picture of Fr. Alberione's activities as Spiritual Director of the Alba Seminary. It is enough for now that we have an authoritative testimony, still unpublished, coming from none other than the Sacred Consistorial Congregation.
With a letter dated 29 August 1911, Protocol no. 704, the Sacred Congregation sent to Msgr. Re the summary made by the Consulter on the observations of the Apostolic Visitation of the Seminary. The summary presents a part regarding the praiseworthy aspects and a second regarding the elements on which attention has to be paid.
On the third point of the praiseworthy aspects there is this affirmation: for having a very good Spiritual Father who accomplishes well his ministry and neglects nothing for the cultivation of the spirit of piety of his clerics.
Among the things for which attention has to be paid under letter D, there is this negative admonition which, however, further boosts the positive evaluation of Fr. Alberione. D: Spiritual direction: 1) In spite of the fact that the Spiritual Father does everything to accomplish his mission, undoubtedly, the spiritual direction would have an advantage if the spiritual Father were exonerated from the 9 hours of classes that he currently holds.
[DFst 44-48] The intense ministry performed by Fr. Alberione does not impede him from doing a still more radical search of God's will regarding his personal mission: During the summer vacations (from 1909 to 1918), he used to make his annual retreat at one religious Institute or another. In his free time he sought to approach Superiors to learn the ways they took in the recruitment and formation of people (ADds 36).
In LV03 we find various notes of sermons taken down by Fr. Alberione in different courses of Spiritual Exercises he participated in at the Santuario di S. Ignazio (Lanzo Torinese) or with the Priests of Alba, as well as notes taken of sermons heard during the Clerics' Exercises in the Seminary.
Although the outlines of meditations and instructions are numbered, it is not possible to identify immediately to what courses they belong inasmuch as the notes were taken without following a strict order of the Notebooks.
The meditation and instruction outlines of LV03 nonetheless prove not just the efforts Fr. Alberione-wholly dedicated to his own Spiritual Exercises-to discern God's will but they also constitute an important background for locating many points of Donec formetur.40
[DFst 17-18. 37-43] In particular, take note that on page 15 of LV03, notes on the Exercises in S. Ignazio di Lanzo - 9-11(?) July 1911.41 In meditation I, on the Goal of the Priest,42 one of the points is: 4th We are other J. C.: now J. is. Likewise on page 28b, Meditation VIII bears this title J.C. is.43 This meditation outline, probably dated 1911, assumes a special importance inasmuch as it perhaps constitutes the oldest outline of meditation on Christ Way, Truth and Life among the writings of Fr. Alberione.
[DFst 17. 28. 37. 52. 55. 67. 68. 76] We must consider that between October 1911 and the end of 1912, Fr. Alberione proposes to the seminarians of Alba a cycle of meditations on the Apostles' Creed. These meditations are contained in Quaderno 50.
Let it be noted in the first place that, probably, the meditation entitled And in JC his Only Son, our Lord (pp. 75-83) made on 14/01/1912 to the entire Seminary of Alba, constitutes the development of the outline J. C. is, just noted. Furthermore, let it be noted that the meditations of this cycle constitute an important frame of reference for the Theology of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Spirit of Donec formetur Christus in vobis. The meditations of the four ends of the sacrifice of the Mass, contained in Quaderno 52, but above all the part of Quaderno 53 regarding the Holy Spirit and the Church, have to be connected with Quaderno 50.44
[DFst 13-14] The meditation outline on Christ, Way, Truth and Life allows us to consider another dimension of Fr. Alberione's commitment and of his process of discernment: the search for new answers to the new needs of the times not only through the Spiritual Exercises but also through team work. Fr. Alberione in fact seeks the help of many persons, especially of confreres in the priesthood, a help that involves a fruitful reflection in view of the teachings and the preparation of two programmatic works, Appunti di Teologia Pastorale and La donna associata allo zelo sacerdotale:45 Over a two-year period, in weekly conferences with a dozen priests, he studied methods for the good and up-to-date care of souls (ADds 83).
[DFst 37-40] Providentially, at that time, the book La cura d'anime nelle grandi città (The care of souls in big cities),46 by Enrico Swoboda, was translated in Italy, a book that represents an innovative application of social sciences for a pastoral that corresponds to the needs of the times. Also the work of Cornelius Krieg, Scienza Pastorale47is translated. It is an encyclopedia of pastoral unified in Christ Truth, Way and Life. These are works that allowed Fr. Alberione to crown his research: For the pastoral characteristic in the Pauline apostolate, he took a great deal from two great teachers: Swoboda, Cura d'anime nelle grandi città and Krieg's four volume, Teologia Pastorale, which he read over and over for two years48 (ADds 84).
[DFst 37-38. 49-50. 51-52. 74-78] Another priceless contribution to Fr. Alberione's research was furnished by Cornelius Krieg with the publication of the translation of the work Enciclopedia scientifica e metodologia de le scienze teologiche.49 Krieg's teaching on unified knowledge in the encyclopedia,50 the formation cycle51 and the method52 has profoundly marked the personality and the entire work of Alberione.
Especially as regards DF, it is important to take into consideration Krieg's teachings on the three methods of moral theology53 and, in particular, of his considerations on the mystical method.54
[DFst 14-16. 40-41] If the experience of the night of passage to the 20th century constitutes the principal wellspring for the spiritual life and the mission of Fr. Alberione, it is doubtless that the works of Swoboda and even more that of Krieg mark a decisive point of his maturation and orientation.55
[DFst 21-23] Hence, one can notice, in the first years of Fr. Alberione's priesthood, how he tried to respond, full of zeal, to the call, and God guided him step by step towards his project: Action and prayer pointed the way toward Christian social work geared to revitalize government, education, laws, the family, and class and international relations. All for Christ, Way, Truth and Life to reign in the world! (ADds 63).
[DFst 37] In the reading of the DF, it is important to bear in mind this itinerary of Fr. Alberione, especially as regards the interpretation of the Way of Illumination.

[DFst 18-19] As a seminarian and as a young priest, Fr. Alberione carried out different tasks, thus accumulating numerous experiences through events and persons, but the decisive point for him had been that of allowing himself to be taught by God: The actions of a human being are so imperfect, unsound, inadequate and dubious that one is duty bound to put everything back into the hands of God's Mercy and to allow oneself to be guided. He never forced the hand of Providence but always awaited God's sign (ADds 45).
[DFst 19-20] The ministry of Spiritual Director in a special manner brought Fr. Alberione to recognize the style of God's action and also the manner of responding to such action. What he would eventually state towards the end of his life, like a remembrance of the journey taken, was already wisdom of faith at the very start: Providence worked in accordance with God's ordinary method: fortiter et suaviter. [This method] is to prepare the ways and bring them together according to His purpose, to provide the light and help needed, to make one wait in peace until His time comes, to begin always from the bare necessities, to act in such a natural way as to be unable to easily disguise grace from nature, but, certainly, [employing] both. Conversely, it is not the case to force God's hand. It suffices to be on the alert. To let oneself be guided, and to strive in one's various duties to employ mind, will, heart, and physical strength... (ADds 43-44).
[DFst 93-95] For Fr. Alberione, to let oneself be guided was done in his paying attention to what was happening in the sphere of the Church and in society, mirrored in the publications of the time.
For example, we see it in Notes LV01, which contains a meditation outline made in May 1913 on the Edict of Constantine.56 In Quaderno 61 (= Q061) four instruction outlines are found: Constantine Jubilee-Ancient persecutions (Q061, p. 15); Constantine Jubilee-Modern persecutions57 (Q061, p. 16); Jubilee indulgence (Q061, p. 18); Constantine Jubilee (Q061, p. 31).58
[DFst 85] These documents bring to mind Fr. Alberione's declaration regarding the time when he felt that everything was ripe to begin his foundations: In 1913 a further step was taken toward the fulfillment of his desires. The study of History in the Philosophy curriculum and, even more so, that of Church History in the Theology curriculum, gave him the opportunity to highlight the ills and needs of peoples, their fears and hopes, especially the need for undertakings and means in harmony with the present century. To this end he composed two prayers, one for Italy, another for the other nations; it was an appeal to the Lord to raise up an institution for this [purpose]. The prayer was recited by all the clerics, led by the cleric Giaccardo. That year being the celebration of the centenary of the Constantine peace granted to the Church, the clerics had an even better appreciation of what they were asking of the Lord (ADds 101-102).
[DFst 44-48] From the start, Fr. Alberione kept in mind basic points: the light of God, subject to discernment and approval; to orient himself according to the principle of complete integration between nature and grace; to wait for God's hour; to always begin from the Christmas crib; gradualness at the start and uncontainable thrust in development.
[DFst 88.93] Fr. Alberione felt that the times were ripe for executing that design of God manifested to him and which had engaged him in a constant work of purification and search for enlightenment. By now he was already achieving it as pastor among pastors, as writer and preacher in the countryside and city.
He was completely taken by the new face of the priesthood amidst a journeying People of God, as Israel among the nations, as the Church during the Apostles' time: The priest who writes and the Brother who does the technical work of reproducing it over and over and distributing it. This sounds right: 'But you are... a holy nation, a royal priesthood'. (ADds 41; cf. 1Pt 2:9).
1.2.1 Quærite... primum regnum Dei (Mt 6:33)

[DFst 85-92] From 1908, ever bearing in mind the future beginning of the Pauline Family, Fr. Alberione began looking for and training young boys and girls (ADds 103). Thus, Giuseppe Giaccardo was invited and constantly stimulated to clarify his own vocation.59
Fr. Alberione's work for vocation was discrete but constant: In his role as Spiritual Director and teacher of the student clerics, it was easy for him to talk about the Church's great needs in those early years of the century (ADds 107).
What was happening, more in his behavior than in words, was nonetheless clear in the heart and mind of Fr. Alberione: On the one hand, [this would] lead people to the loftiest perfection-the perfection of those who also practice the evangelical counsels-and to the rewards of the apostolic life. On the other hand, [it would] give more cohesion, stability and continuity, [not to mention] a more supernatural sense to the apostolate. [He was] to form an organization, an organization of religious. Here efforts would coalesce, dedication would be total and the doctrine purer. A society of people who would love God with all their mind, all their strength and all their heart; people who would offer to work for the Church, happy with the wages God pays: 'You will receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life.' He rejoiced then at the thought that some of these people would belong to the militia of the Church on earth and some to the Church triumphant in heaven (ADds 24).
[DFst 93-97] In a moment of crisis of the diocesan press, supported by a circle of qualified persons, Fr. Alberione makes a decisive step. With the consent of the Bishop, he takes over the directorship of Gazzetta d'Alba. Five months later he acquires ownership of the weekly newspaper.
Having chosen the field, it was now necessary for him to let the project germinate, while setting up well the periodical's new orientation.
That the times were ripe was manifested by different publications. La Civiltà Cattolica, for example, had analyzed the great power of the press,60 while pointing out the importance of the good press in the work of social restoration.61 And, in Alba, on 24 January 1914, Can. Francesco Chiesa had approved a book by his vice parish priest, Giovanni Borgna, entitled Il Re dei tempi, Mano alla Stampa,62 that expressed well some of the orientations of Fr. Alberione. In the first part, in fact, the figure of Luigi Veuillot, is seen as a new Saul because of his conversion and eventual involvement in Catholic journalism. A second part exalts the power of the press and presents the ardent thirst for reading among the people63 and, among others, describes the press as a roving university.64 an ongoing movie house,65 an invasion,66 a voice that shouts,67 a public tribunal68 and king of the times.69 The third part points out how the bad press is a plague.70 The fourth part warmly calls the attention on the urgency of promoting the good press as a new commandment,71 an act of charity,72 St. Paul back to life73 and expression of an apostle's heart.74
[DFst 93-97] Finding leverage on the designs of grace and setting into action all the resources of nature, in 1914, Fr. Alberione hastened to gradually and carefully start the foundation, while taking into consideration its characteristic of being new:
1) it had to have the social strength of the press at the service of evangelization; hence it had not to begin from the traditional environments of the seminary or of the community, but concretely in the field of printing: A priest of this diocese, Giacomo Alberione by name, doctor in theology, at the age of 38, he who was the spiritual director of the diocesan seminary for a decade, feeling the call to work in social projects, established here in the city, in 1914, a printing School to which I gave my broad oral approval;75
2) it had to be like a Catholic university, though not aiming at information first of all but on practice; hence it modestly started with a printing school and a shop: Imbue all thought and human knowledge with the Gospel. Don't talk only about religion but talk about everything in a Christian way; in a way similar to a Catholic university which, if it is complete, has Theology, Philosophy, Arts, Medicine, Political Economics, Natural Sciences, and so on, but everything [is] given in a Christian way and in view of Catholicism (ADds 87);
3) he aspired to train men and women apostles according to the needs of the new times; hence, one did not have to start immediately with the characteristics of educational institutions of religious men and women, but it's layout was a training for work, for small workers, boys and girls: Before the public, the Institute was held and is still held now with the name Scuola tipografica (School of printing), but within the house it is called Pia Società S. Paolo (Pious Society of St. Paul), a name given by Theol. Alberione, who, from the beginning entertained the idea of founding a religious congregation of priests and lay persons who would totally dedicate themselves to promote the work of the good press.76
Others soon joined the first young boys gathered, along Piazza Cherasca, on 20 August 1914. These were entrusted to Fr. Alberione as regards formation and to Giovanni Battista Bernocco for the administration and professional training.
Fr. Alberione was decided77 to see the Scuola Tipografica develop fast so that he immediately set to publish: the Piccolo Catechismo by Pius X, La donna associata allo zelo sacerdotale (Woman associated with priestly zeal) and La preghiera del Parrocchiano (The parishioner's prayer book).78
With the fast growth of the number of students, Fr. Alberione procured a more spacious place for the Printing Press, as well as to offer a place, in 15 June 1915, in Piazza Cherasca, for the start of the Laboratorio Femminile (Workshop for Women) which, few months later, moved to via Accademia 5.
After the first steps with their corresponding difficulties, Fr. Alberione began to inculcate the true sense of the foundation that had to be divided into three branches: branch of men-religious, branch of female-religious and branch for the lay: men, women.79
[DFst 85-88] We can have the thermometer reading of the spiritual intensity reached in the description of Cleric Giaccardo of the ceremony of the profession of the private vows: With a strong sentiment of faith, the 'Veni Creator' was sung to invoke for light and strength from the Holy Spirit. The Sig. Teologo sat; we, one by one, knelt before him and we consecrated ourselves to God with this formula. To each of us the Father responded. Indescribable admiration of our companions, more indescribable above all was our impression, our joy; everyone's face was recollected and looking down, hearts beating fast, parts of the body tremble, the solemnity of the step, the Father's word, the importance of the moment went through us. We were no longer ours; we felt to be God's, bound to Him, things freely His, ready to give everything for Him and for the good press. Our life was one and we felt one. We among us: we with the Father, united, bound together, not students of a school but members of one body, the first living stones built into a majestic building. Worship God who elevates his most abject things to become princes. The song, 'Sorgiam con impetuoso ardore' followed. We were truly filled. A prayer to St. Paul and to Most Holy Mary was said; and our Father then blessed all his sons; he blessed our resolutions, our desires, our good will that asserted itself to be found in everyone; he blessed us with the effusion of a tender and most loved father and his words and his face revealed the contentment of the man of God and a heart so touched.80
[DFst 54.67ff] In this atmosphere, which recalls Chapter 17 of the Gospel of John, Fr. Alberione goes through the paschal journey of death and resurrection of the Casa: Since the day of its foundation, our Casa went through numerous storms and its having remained well composed is, most certainly, a sign that God wants this our work; all and especially I were accused of being thieves, but you know that I am not a thief because I place whatever I have on you; we were accused before the Bishops and we ran the risk of closing the Casa, but God saved us. We were accused in Rome and who knows how we could have managed if not for our having a very energetic bishop; before the Mayor, and then before the Sub-prefect, and often before the Prefect. So many good persons do not understand us, too, and they talk with good intentions against the Casa because they are holy persons: I know that each of you, before joining the Casa, must have heard it criticized and many had to struggle against true and serious difficulties and others see their life stumble. Storms are necessary in order to make us fumble and to make us remember that God alone is the Lord and I pray the Lord to send us darker storms. And in spite of these, there are young men who feel called by God to this mission and their vocations prosper and they affirm themselves; this is the most powerful sign of God's will. I do not doubt it and neither should you doubt it.81
Fr. Alberione lived with his young people a paschal atmosphere of death and resurrection also because of the war.82 Eventually, he would always remember well these hostilities: There were numerous dangers of a variety of kinds: personal and financial, and written and verbal accusations; life was marked by danger for days on end; St. Paul was always [our] salvation (ADds 164). He would further state: On a number of occasions, early on, the Socialists in Alba threatened to set fire to the printing plant, the house and newspapers; [we] passed nights without sleep, keeping watch so that at least the boys would not run any danger or be too frightened (ADds 172).83
[DFst 19-20. 61-63] After the footsteps of St. Francis of Sales, Fr. Alberione was moved by a spirituality with a human face and, perhaps because of this, it was full of impulse towards God and neighbor.84 He had undertaken everything, after a prolonged discernment, and now, for a time already, he found himself in the midst of a great tempest: time had arrived so that he remained firm in the trust and abandonment to God.85 Fr. Alberione is now involved with his boys in an experience that is placed as source and guiding light of life and of the vitality of the Casa: the spirituality of the Alliance or of the Pact with God.86
[DFst 23. 63-65. 85. 88] It is in the radical correspondence to God that Fr. Alberione, solemnly and emotionally, integrates the life and mission of the Casa: I speak to you with surplice and stole on because I have something very, very important to tell you: and you know that when the mayor or the King performs official acts, he puts on the sash. It is precisely because of its great importance that I must say it well, and I express it with great simplicity. We often speak about the need of promoting the Good Press: now many are working for the press; they consecrate a part of their time and energies to it; there are those who do so for honor, those for gain and those for the taste of it. We want to work neither for liking it, nor for gain, nor do we want the press for itself, but we seek God with the means of the good press. And there are those among you young men who have decided, not for foolish feelings, but with full knowledge, to consecrate themselves entirely to God and for the good press, and to dedicate to it their time, their ingenuity, their strength, their health, and this evening, before all of you, they shall in my hands profess the vows that they asked me they would do and for which I admitted them: others who asked me were admitted to the private vows.87
[DFst 67] Also here, it is fitting to open a parenthesis to point out that the features of the experience of Fr. Alberione and of the first Paulines, just now described, are the key for the consideration of the Via unitiva (Way of Union) in the Donec formetur Christus in vobis.
[DFst 93-95] Resuming our discussion, it seems suggested to us to consider-as the first fruit of the Pact with God-the approval, that took place on 29 September 1918, of the statutes of the Union of Cooperators of the Good Press, carefully prepared to express the Pauline mission,88 constituted under the protection of St. Paul,89 to benefit the press through prayers, offerings and work (writing, diffusion of the good press, fighting evil).90
[DFst 19-20. 23] Nonetheless, it seems important to note that the first issue of the Unione Cooperatori Buona Stampa came out under the sign of the paschal climate of the Pact (cf. ADds 162-163), either because of the context of the death of Maggiorino Vigolungo or of Clelia Calliano91 or for the celebration wherein Fr. Alberione also remembered the formula of the Promissory note a topic we shall consider later.
[DFst 63-64. 93-96] The bulletin of this Union is, today, one of the most precious sources, also of pleasant reading, for knowing the beginnings of the Pauline Family. From the chosen frontispieces the relationship with St. Paul already appears clearly,92 in the enthusiasm for the Good Press as work of evangelization:93 Prædica verbum,94 Opus fac evangelistæ.95 What the Pauline Family has received as Pauline Spirit96 already appears fully expressed during these first moments of the foundation.97
[DFst 93-95] The articles of the bulletin affirm continually the importance of the apostolate of the press,98 its convenience for women,99 and the ideal being cultivated in the foundation being born.100
The introductions to the Printing School always follow a line of continuity. The branch for men is divided into two sections: the simple artisans destined to receive a diploma of training; the artisan students destined to receive the professional training and to obtain a degree in social sciences.101 Also the branch for women is divided into two sections: the students, destined to learn the art of printing and to obtain the diploma of elementary school teachers and the simple printers, destined to learn and practice the art of printing.102 Readers are also informed regarding the apostolic nature, and not assistance, of the foundation.103
[DFst 19-20] The war's end did not immediately mean peace for the Casa. In fact, the house of the section for women in Susa was just opened and commitments were made to buy a Linotype when, in the climate of hostility wherein they lived,104 fear was heightened with the fire at the printing press on Christmas night of 1918.
[DFst 19-20. 93] With the return of peace, it was time to make new steps forward. It was for this that a few days after the fire in the printing press, Fr. Alberione, on 6 January 1919, proposed to his young wards the celebration of a Pact: the next day Our dear Father recited the formula of the pact, those who wanted repeated it in their hearts.105
What formula was it? In his Diary, Giaccardo makes one understand that it was that inspired after Mt 6:33: ...Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides. Let us take note that he refers to such a gospel expression for the first time in the Diario on 22 February 1917, when he was still a cleric in the Seminary of Alba, and he places it in relation with the Apostolate of the Press.106 On 29 March 1919, Giaccardo notes a conversation wherein Fr. Alberione, regarding a financial problem replies decisively: Now, quærite primum regnum Dei: the rest is done!107
[DFst 17.28. 35-37. 67] Certainly the broad meaning of this word of Jesus has been transmitted in the prayer known under the title of Secret of Success. The conversation between Alberione and Giaccardo, quoted just now, enlightens as on the title Cambiale (Promissory note) given to the Pact celebrated perhaps in 1920 by Fr. Alberione and by the newly ordained priest Giaccardo, where to the commitment Quæro primum regnum Dei et justitiam eius, signed by Fr. Alberione Giacomo and Fr. Giaccardo Timoteo, has the response of the Persons of the Trinity: Hæc omnia adiicientur vobis... Jesus Christus, Pater, Spiritus Sanctus.
[DFst 15.67. 96] Giaccardo's Diario makes us understand how for Fr. Alberione's seek first the kingdom of God concretely meant the search for holiness in the total self-giving to the Press Apostolate. More, it is impressive to notice how, decades later, he still used the same expressions to comment on this Pact.108
[DFst 19-20. 23. 25-26. 30-31. 36. 55-56. 63-64. 77-78] The spirituality of the Pact, in the Casa, is an application to the press apostolate of the spirit that sustained the Piccola Casa della Divina Provvidenza,109 of Cottolengo in Turin: to live in God's presence,110 seek the kingdom of God,111 gratitude to the Divine Providence112 while receiving everything with a Deo gratias,113 horror of sin.114
[DFst 19-20. 27-28. 54. 78-79. 87-88] A special resonance of this experience of faith is found in the affirmations of Fr. Alberione: At times there were urgent and serious needs: we prayed and we sought to drive out all sin and every fault against poverty: and unexplained solutions, money arrived from unknown people, the offer of loans, new benefactors and other things that he never knew how to explain...; the years went by, the forecasts [made] by many of certain failure, the accusations of madness... all dissolved and everything was settled peacefully, although not without hard work (ADds 166).
[DFst 13. 85. 95-96] Holiness and apostolate115 become the strong points of the Covenant assumed through the celebration of the Pact.116 Everything is done with this spirit. Holiness takes the first place among the preoccupations of Fr. Alberione.117 A season of very abundant fruits takes place for the Pious Society of St. Paul118 being born, engaged by Fr. Alberione to achieve two goals: year of vocations (1919) and year of consolidation of the foundation (1920).
1.2.2 I am with you

[DFst 71-72. 77-78] Fr. Alberione moves on to insist on the need of new vocations and sets up also a more spacious residence along Via Vernazza, where the young wards transferred on May 1919.119 Faith would multiply vocations and the means for the Good Press.120 Some features of the life of prayer are drawn121 as well as some devotions of the first week of the month.122
[DFst 93-95] The U.C.B.S. bulletin encourages parish priests to publish parish bulletins123 and mobilizes the Cooperators so they may send offerings for the acquisition of a Linotype124 and open in every parish outlets-selling points of books and religious articles.125 The promotion of libraries is also started.126 Advertisements of the Edizioni della Scuola Tipografica127 and then of the Scuola Tipografica Editrice - Alba are made.128
[DFst 85] From May 1919, in Giaccardo's Diary, beside the title Pia Società San Paolo, mention is made of forming the family,129 the first seed of the future name, Famiglia Paolina (Pauline Family).
[DFst 84-85] From June onwards, life is marked by the preparation for the ordination of the first priest of the Casa. Giuseppe Giaccardo130 receives the minor orders on 22 June, Subdeaconate on 29 June, Deaconate on 20 September. So he could assist the gravely ill mother, Fr. Alberione obtains the permission that the Ordination to the Priesthood be anticipated for eight days: it took place on 19 October. As an immediate preparation of the Casa, Fr. Alberione, while preaching the Spiritual Exercises in the seminary from 13 to 20 October, proposed to the students of the Printing School the meditation on the Priestly Dignity.131
The year 1920 is characterized as the year of consolidation.132 Now it was possible to render public what the Casa was for and how people lived and what was taught in the Casa.
[DFst 93-95] After much prayer and waiting, the land suitable for the new quarters is finally found133 and preparations are made for the construction as tasks are distributed.134 On 30 May 1920 the directorship of Gazzetta d'Alba is entrusted by Fr. Alberione to Fr. Giaccardo. He also leaves behind, from this year, his commitments in the Seminary; and, on the occasion of the request of clerics for admission, he writes the Bishop explaining the meaning of the Printing School: The members of this family, as I have already written you other times, bind themselves to this mission by consecrating themselves to the Lord through the special vows: a part of them also undertakes sacred studies with the intention of becoming writers and priests. We are persuaded that the Good Press is a very important part of the priestly office.135
Also as regards the building of the new quarters, one could notice how Fr. Alberione had a project that matured in reflection and prayer. It is even said that he had received a special light as how to set up the entire arrangement of buildings.136
[DFst 19-20] In the U.C.B.S. bulletin, the need for a house for the Printing School is mentioned, trust in providence is made known and appeal is made to the generosity of Cooperators while indicating five paths, or streets of the Divine Providence.137
The people show sensitivity to the calls of the new apostolate; they respond with a generosity that seems a swollen river and are informed regarding the participation of everyone, above all, of the spirit that is behind the steps being taken.138
The building of the first house started on June 1920. Practically, the floors of the house were furnished gradually as the foundation structures were ready. The printing press bought in Sesto San Giovanni in April 1921 is installed in the new quarters.
[DFst 93-95] The year of consolidation has completed the preparatory stage, adopted according to the principle of graduality referred to above (cf. DFin 62). Such foresight has set up the features of the Casa according to the needs dictated by the novelty of the press apostolate.
To keep high the image of the new vocation as mission mattered: The press is considered a profession by many: in the Printing School, it is wanted that it be raised to the level of a mission, an apostolate.139 More precisely it is declared as an expression of priesthood: And above all, let that spirit be kept and nurtured: it is the principal wealth, the only capital, the best gift of Providence to this house that is: 'to consider the press as apostolate, as a sacred priesthood' by bringing to it the intellectual and moral training that is being brought to the apostolate, to a priesthood.140 Of this priesthood of the Good Press, made up of writers, technicians, diffusers, one must say that the harvest is great inasmuch as it responds to the needs of the times: In every region and diocese, a new need is felt: it is the need of the times; and in every region and diocese a serious need is felt: apostles of the Good Press are wanting. This is the soul of our entire movement: it is a great modern means for doing good; and today it is a most important part of the spirit of the priesthood so that it can give true and abundant fruits to souls! Exercising a profession is very different from exercising an apostolate! It is precisely because of this that everywhere our press has many difficulties: we need our writers, our printers; we need our diffusers.141
[DFst 93-95] This priesthood is comparable to that of the mission ad gentes and to it women are also called: To the Good Press women missionaries are necessary as it is to the work of the propagation of the faith among infidels. The women missionaries among infidels assist the missionaries and in many circumstances they replace the priests in places where they cannot go. The same must be said of the mission of the good press. Many tasks are suitable to women: in many things the daughters succeed better, in others, they show better results.142
[DFst 78-79] Fr. Alberione was strongly driven,143 but he also had piercing doubts. Returning from war, some clerics of the Seminary of Alba had chosen to move to the Pious Society of St. Paul, eliciting many conflicts within the diocese; the financial unease had grown and this complex of things had caused a stormy wind to rise against the house, hitting as well the most trusted friends.144
[DFst 78-79] At the same time, in Italy, raged the storm of the Socialists,145 of the fascists146 and of the conflict among them,147 not sparing the institutions of the Church.148
Some threats to Alberione and to the printing press have been recalled; to them we must add the episode when some Blackshirts burned the newspapers that were being brought to the post office149 and the aggression against Giaccardo, director of the Gazzetta d'Alba, by some fascists.150
In that burning atmosphere, the boys of the Printing School offered themselves to substitute the striking socialists, at the start of 1920, in the printing of the newspaper Il Momento, of Turin.151
[DFst 45-46] Face to face with these dangers and considering his own ever unstable health, Fr. Alberione asked if really it was being imprudent: summoning people for a mission, with the grave danger of abandoning them halfway down the road (ADds 112). To the question, For all that, [was it] an illusion? (ADds 113), he always had peaceful replies either in prayer, or due to some unexplainable experiences, or through the words of his Spiritual Director who led him to no longer have uncertainties (cf. ADds 112).
[DFst 39-40. 46-47. 49-50] At the decisive moment of getting into the new residence, this spiritual torment receives an extraordinary confirmation in a dream that convinces Fr. Alberione to consider the Casa as God's work. Later, preaching the Spiritual Exercises from 1 to 7 June 1938 to the older priests of the Society of St. Paul, in Alba, Fr. Alberione recalls: How clear did it seem to me, what I saw down the house, in that room (the office that P. M. used in the casa San Paolo during the first years that it was built), during one of those days when I don't work: the Divine Master was walking and he had along with him some of you and he said, 'Do not be afraid, I am with you; from here I want to enlighten; only, maintain yourselves in humility... and, it seems to me, be sorry for your sins...152
[DFst 39-40. 46-47. 49-50] The precise dating of this dream is not easy.153 Luigi Rolfo points out as a probable date the first months of 1923.154 According to Caterina Antonietta Martini, this, which she calls grace of confirmation should be located during Fr. Alberione's serious moment of suffering that Fr. Alberione spent in Benevello, where he was welcomed, from July to the first days of September or, nonetheless, it is thought to have been a date prior to the Eucharistic Congress of Genova celebrated on September 1923.155
[DFst 39-40. 46-47. 49-50] We have, however, some testimonies that would direct us to an earlier dating of the dream: the declarations of Fr. Paolino Gilli and Prof.-Dr. Edoardo Borra who knew personally Fr. Alberione from the earliest times of the Casa.
Fr. Gilli writes: The carpenters were working at the finishing of the building and were setting the areas according to the needs and dispositions of the Teologo. We must not fail to say something regarding the place of the Lord of the house, the Chapel. Its place was on the third floor, counting the groundfloor as first; it was at the start of the construction over the office of the Primo Maestro. Nothing special, quite spacious and comfortable for the existing persons, well lighted by three windows. A simple wooden altar, above a pew, a small picture of St. Paul, of the Sacred Heart and of Our Lady. Always clean. It was in that Chapel that, entering one morning, we saw at the side of the Tabernacle two writings, with gold letters on black background: Do not be afraid I am with you - From here I want to enlighten and, after a while, on the pew under the Tabernacle: Be sorry for sins. These were thoughts that the Teologo explained to us for many days as he gave us meditation.156
On his part, Prof. Edoardo Borra, well known doctor of Alba, gave a priceless testimony during a course of formation on Pauline Spirituality in Alba. He affirms: Fr. Alberione received me in a small room, which was his office and where he slept, because he had there an iron divan... where he slept. In this small room he welcomed me; there was also a table and a small cabinet... Something very important: getting to know the Chapel. It was a small room. There was the altar with a beautiful white linen and the tabernacle, a small, modest tabernacle, and a small lighted lamp. Some pairs of predieus, because, generally one knelt on the ground. At any rate, I went there and I saw something extraordinary that remained in my mind. On the altar, in front of the tabernacle, there were two pieces of cardboard, folded. On one was written: Non temere, (Do not be afraid) and on the other was written Io sono sempre con voi (I am with you). This saying, this principle of Fr. Alberione, which was written in a very simple manner, in separate letters, on a piece of cardboard, is now etched, in Latin, beside the main altar of San Paolo: Nolite timere, Ego semper vobiscum sum, it seems to me. Now every time I come to San Paolo I cannot but stare at it because, precisely, I remember those two pieces of cardboard that have become magnificent memorial tablets, written in gold, etc., but still have the same meaning as before.157
[DFst 39-40. 46-47. 49-50] Going back to the subject of date, in these two testimonies and in the affirmation of Fr. Alberione, we find references ante quam (before) and post quam (after), within which the dream took place.
Fr. Alberione affirms that it took place in the room or office of the new house. On the other hand, Fr. Gilli and Prof. Edoardo Borra witness that the written words Io sono con voi and Di qui voglio illuminare were found already in the chapel, located at the floor over Fr. Alberione's office.
The ante quam date, therefore, is 29 June 1922, the date of the blessing of the second chapel at the courtyard, and of the transfer of the Blessed Sacrament from the first chapel. The post quam date is the occupation of the office in the new house by Fr. Alberione, where he experienced the dream.
It is known that the transfer from Via Vernazza was completed on 10 August 1921, but the occupation of the new house, according to Fr. Gilli's testimony, was started much earlier. In fact, the issue of the Unione Cooperatori Buona Stampa, bearing the date of 15 July, proposes already a visit to the new house. It describes the printing press installed on the ground floor and affirms that, on the first floor, among other things, beside the staircase is found the office of the Director. It was, precisely, Signor Teologo's office. Most probably, hence, Fr. Alberione had it hurriedly set after the first days from the start of the transfer, or prior to 15 July.
Prof. Borra, however, used to come to Alba during summer, and his description of the new house leads us to think that the transfer was just over. He narrates that the ground was very irregular and that he fell on a pool of water while going through wooden planks that were used as bridge. Although that inconvenience was repaired by the Cooperators only around February 1923,158 it is unthinkable that such a passageway, used by many persons should remain dangerous for many months. It is safe to suppose, then, that his visit took place during the first summer of the Casa San Paolo, that is between July and August or, at most, September 1921.
[DFst 39-40. 46-47. 49-50] It is entirely plausible that the grace of confirmation might have taken place during the summer of 1921, that is, at the start of the transfer to the new house, considering that it drew the threatening attention of the socialists or of the fascists, an important element of that complex of circumstances that made Fr. Alberione afraid.
Revealing himself to Fr. Alberione and to his religious family being born, the Divine Master has marked his seal of God's approval to the Casa: Neither the socialists, nor the Fascists, nor the world, nor the haste of creditors in an instant of panic, nor failure, nor Satan, nor the passions, nor your inadequacy on all sides... [will be able to obstruct you], but make sure you let me stay with you; do not drive me out by sin. 'I am with you,' that is, with your Family, which I willed, which is mine, which I nourish and of which I am a part, as its head. Do not waver, even if there are many difficulties; but let me remain always with you! No sins... (ADds 156).
[DFst 63-65] This grace of confirmation brings light to the engaging affirmations of the July 1921 issue of the U.C.B.S., dedicated to let the importance and the need of the apostolate of the Good Press known. It constitutes a memorable document for knowing the beginnings of the Pauline Family and publishes among the most beautiful pages written on the new apostolate.159
The issue is solemnly headlined, GOD'S WORK. The house of the Printing School of Alba which manifests the real project of Fr. Alberione: Now we start: The Printing School was opened some seven years ago, on August 1914. This has been a period of preparation, an apprenticeship, a training. Finally a house will be ready for the real purpose; there is an adequate number of persons that are bound together as a society of souls, of wills, of hearts for the work of the good press: it has been understood a little that God alone will do everything infallibly if the kingdom of God and his grace are sought, the teachers of science and of art are quite ready: there are true and numerous vocations that the Lord sends in proportion to the need... etc. Now we ought to begin therefore. Hence, the Casa assumes its true name: 'Pious Society of St. Paul,' while gradually leaving behind the time of preparation, hence its sections for males and females have been formed, each of them having people who attend to work and others to both study and work: hence we hereby furnish a synopsis of the rule for those who may be interested.160
[DFst 49. 59-61] The Casa is God's work inasmuch as, it has been understood a little that God alone does and will do everything infallibly if the kingdom of God and his grace are sought: this certainty, originating from the encounter with Jesus Master, came down on the whole Casa as fire of true Pentecost.
The thought rushes to the Apostles, on whom, ...suddenly there came from the sky a noise like a strong driving wind, and it filled the entire house in which they were (Acts 2:2). One could think that, at least at the start, that noise had renewed in the spirit of the apostles the experience of the sufferings of cross; then, that driving wind was transformed into tongues as of fire that filled them up with the Holy Spirit (cf. Acts 2:2-3).
In the suffered circumstances during those months, certainly some expressions from the Letters of St. Paul were lived as if personally by Fr. Alberione and Fr. Giaccardo: But we hold this treasure in earthen vessels, that the surpassing power may be of God and not from us (2Cor 4:7); or, also, Therefore, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and constraints, for the sake of Christ; for when I am weak, then I am strong (2Cor 12:10).
[DFst 85-86. 91-92] It was precisely in the stormy wind that it was understood... that God alone does everything and shall infallibly do it if the kingdom and his grace is sought: hence, other than closing to self, before the signs of God's mercy and wisdom, Fr. Alberione prepares the integration of the Casa in the Church setup through the approval of the Institution. Towards this end he inculcates unity and co-responsibility, as Giaccardo testifies: The Casa must be one: intimate union, trust, prayer, with the department head, with the master, with the confessor, with the Sig. Teologo. To give the house the solemnity of the constitution and to consider it great.161 More: The Sig. Teologo gathers the highly placed persons in order to let them feel and to divide the responsibilities of the payments, of formation and the smooth operation of the Casa. The Casa is not a domus formata (house formed), but in fieri (in progress): we need to take it as in fieri and not as formata. Much more grace and more virtues are needed now. From our part, what is asked is generosity and total dedication. From God never withdraw anything, refuse anything, and stay in total communion.162
1.2.3 The apostolic times live again

[DFst 85-88] More than a point of arrival, settling in the new house was a point of departure. In a short report regarding the origin and the development of the Pious Society of St. Paul, on 23 November 1921, Fr. Alberione, referring to the date of blessing of the house held with the participation of Msgr. Re, underlines the two events of the profession of perpetual vows and the constitution of the Pious Society of St. Paul: The two moving ceremonies, happily combined, took place on 5 October, at the end of the Most Holy Spiritual Exercises. Before Jesus solemnly exposed, after the hymn Veni Creator the constitution of the Society of St. Paul was held and 14 of the older ones bound themselves with the holy vows of chastity, poverty, obedience and fidelity to the Roman Pontiff, promising to solemnly commit themselves in consecration to the work of the good press, everything that is good that they received from the Lord, all their knowledge, their health, their activity. Amidst everyone being moved, the Director, in God's name, received these holy vows, promising to the generous young men, in the Lord's name, the hundredfold in this life and eternal life in the next. Herein is the formula: 'Before the Most Holy Trinity, the Immaculate Queen of the Apostles, St. Paul, the following persons consecrate everything they received as gift from the Lord to the work of the good press of the Pious Society of St. Paul for their entire life, renewing every year, the holy vows of poverty, chastity, obedience and fidelity to the Roman Pontiff.163
[DFst 85. 91] Concluding his report, Fr. Alberione strongly states his conviction of being engaged in God's work: It therefore appears: that the Pious Society of St. Paul has the visible protection of the Lord; it was willed by him, guided by him, by him brought to the current status. In it there are fourteen persons of the section for men, eight for the section of women who are consecrated to the apostolate of the good press; that in it the students, boys and girls, are conveniently trained, intellectually, professionally and spiritually to dedicate themselves as religious to this means of good; that in it there are initiatives for doing good that are truly useful and stable in character; that it has the means of livelihood; that open to it is a vast field for doing good; that the members strongly desire to promote only and for the rest of their lives the glory of God, with their own sanctification (also through the vows and common life) and the salvation of souls; that this desire is in them for a long time and was effectively tried through a preparatory process lasting for years.164
[DFst 44-48] Fr. Alberione identifies his experience with that of the Apostles: hence on 1 December 1921, he writes Msgr. Re: To judge a vocation belongs to the internal forum of the confessor and through the external forum of persons equipped with prudence, holiness, knowledge. In the aforementioned case, all the means advised for making a right decision were used. From one-two-three-four-five years tests were made, prayers were said, advice was asked: there still exist the proofs of this, at least in part; the pros and cons were evaluated for long and advice was asked from Can. Allamano Giuseppe, from Frs. Coraglia, Reffo, from Card. Maffi, from Fr. Sibona, and from Can. Chiesa. Now also regarding this matter talks were made at length with those persons and with others of equal merit and esteem, who now desire not to be mentioned... The case: either not to correspond to that which secondly can be humanly judged to be God's will that is, vocation; or there may be other ways that I ignore ...If there are all the certainties that could be had in this matter that the Society of St. Paul is willed by God; if it were not so, then, it would immediately be dissolved. Granted, however, that there is doubt, Gamaliel's advice regarding the Apostles seems proper: if these are activities that cannot sustain and make man grow, it would hence disintegrate by itself; if, however, it is the Lord's then it redounds to his glory; and here, there only and always is the will of the Venerable Superiors, of the undersigned and of all the members of the Pious Society of St. Paul.165
[DFst 68-70] The reference to the beginnings of the apostolic activities is full of meaning, relevance and emotions for Fr. Alberione; and it is related with the person of the Pope as we can learn from the Diary of Timoteo Giaccardo: This is our banner: the medal that, on one face represents Sts. Peter and Paul and on the other, the Pope. Oh, should I write all the words, should I ever describe the tender and firm love that our Father nourishes for the Pope: he speaks about him each time he can, with feelings, and his calm, serene words are full of praises, of persuasion that they always impress as new, always most acceptable and each time they fill the soul with the most healthy and efficacious impressions. He wants that we loved the Pope. This love inspires him before the clerics; he wants it alive among the people. To the clerics he recommends many, many times that every year there should be at least a talk on the Pope, on the missions, on the good press.166
Almost in the manner of St. Francis, who moves to Rome to present himself to the Pope, Fr. Alberione begins the year 1922 with a trip to Rome to bring to the Sacred Congregation of Religious the letter of introduction of the Society of St. Paul, written by Msgr. Re.
Benedict XV promoted and encouraged the Catholic Press and established the National Organization of the Good Press. Fr. Alberione was convinced he would obtain the approval of the Pope for the apostolate being born: From January 2 to 8, the respectable Director was in Rome for important interests of the Casa. He was admitted in private audience with the Holy Father, whom he had the fortune of seeing during the last days of his life, whose Blessing he brought us.167
Benedict XV's death on 22 January 1922, was then a painful trial for the Casa: Even during his last days, when our Director referred to him about the young men and daughters who embraced this Mission as their life, Benedict XV welcomed the news with felt joy and fixing his penetrating and eloquent gaze on him who was addressing him, he blessed, with an effusion of affection, him and the whole house and all the cooperators.168
[DFst 43-44. 49-50. 95-97] Meanwhile in the Casa, there reigns a conviction: the apostolic times live on. The Pious Society of St. Paul is introduced as a seminary for the formation of men and women, missionaries of the Good Press.169 The frame of reference is the apostolic times: The beginnings of Christianity are its golden era. We always read with emotion, with fruits, with passion, the pages of the Gospel, when the Apostles at the school of Jesus were telling him: Teacher, teach us to pray; when the crowds were upon each other to listen to the Divine Master's words of eternal life; when the young men were trustfully coming to him and asking: Master, what must I do to reach eternal life!... Magnificent are the scenes where the Apostles gathered around Mary, Jesus' Mother. She was the Mother, the Teacher, the Queen of the Apostles: she enlightened them, she directed them, she prayed... Magnificent is the first Christian Pentecost of the Apostles guided by Mary Most Holy in the first and most important novena to the Holy Spirit... More: impressive are the descriptions of the Acts of the Apostles, when St. Paul made his trips of evangelization and the great men of the areopagus were inviting him to present the new doctrine in the most famous assembly of the world: and the Christians converted by him remained from sunset to midnight and from midnight till morning to listen to his words... The Apostolic times live on.170
[DFst 48-53. 93-97] In the Pious Society of St. Paul, men and women are aware that an inextinguishable thirst to read and to learn torments mankind and all call for newspapers and books: children, adults and elderly ask for them; intellectuals and manual laborers, and from the missions come insistently to us the voice of apostolic vicars and missionaries who ask donations of books, good books, many books...171
On the other hand, they sense the imperious command of the Church: Make Catholic newspapers, spread the good press! Today, as ever, we need good press; blessed is the apostolate of the good press!172
The response of the new apostles, just like at the beginnings of Christianity, shall be that of closing ranks with the Divine Master, be led by the Queen of the Apostles, be oriented according to St. Paul in order to proclaim the Gospel with the fastest means: We shall effectively teach the Savior's doctrine, if before, like the Apostles, we close ranks around the Master. It is a devotion that shall mature in these times of apostolate. And the devotion to Mary, Queen of the Apostles, shall also be developed... she will guide the new Apostles to new marvelous conquests... After St. Paul, the Apostle, the Doctor, the Preacher, the Teacher of the Gentiles, the Prisoner of Christ, the Knight of the Holy Spirit, shall orient those who today labor in order to resolve in a Christian manner the most serious religious, social, political problems; those who yearn to let pure Christianity penetrate the masses and do good through the fastest means; those who know more deeply his spirit, pray to him and are devoted, and the devotion shall be widespread and shall become gigantic in these times of apostolate and it shall be widespread among those dedicated to the apostolate and among those who want to live a robust Christian life.173
[DFst 48-51. 52-53. 93-97] A fruitful wellspring of Fr. Alberione's inspirations -even as a young man-have been prayer and the deeper knowledge of the appeals of current events, under the light of God's Word: The supporting force of the affections of the heart, the motor of the invisible kingdom of thought, in the intellectual and moral union, individual and social, that runs through all the centuries, and expands over all nations is the power of the word. Man speaks and God speaks (SC 155). Listening to God's word has made the deep conviction take a deep root on Fr. Alberione, the conviction that the Gospel presents Jesus surrounded by the apostles and disciples, men and women: Among the great spectacles of faith and of zeal that we admire in the Church there is one, more than any other, that makes us marvel: to see the part exercised by women in the propagation of the faith: the woman apostle of faith and morals. - Beside Jesus and in his school we find women who spread his doctrine: they cooperated much in spreading the Christian faith and the queens and ladies and the poor women of the people, brides, mothers or daughters though they were.174
Therefore, not only men, but men and women.
[DFst 53-54] In the process of further deepening such a reading of the Gospel that emphasized the role of women, Fr. Alberione availed with many writings. Here we cannot but remember two authors among those that inspired him greatly: R.F. Rohrbacher175 for the history of the Church176 and Gioacchino Ventura.177 It is known that Fr. Alberione knew these authors and, as we shall see later, he recommended their reading.
[DFst 40-43. 51-53. 58-59. 74-76. 78-79. 93-95] G. Ventura especially ascinated Fr. Alberione, due to the former's zeal and for his different subject matters: for example, the importance given to God's Word, meditation on the mysteries of the life of Christ, prayer, the Eucharist, Marian devotion, the continuous reference to the Fathers of the Church and to Thomism, the relationship between reason and faith, the importance of women in the work of evangelization and in social life, the attention to current social problems.178
[DFst 58-61. 78-79. 83-85. 93-95. 99-100] The homily on Jesus Christ in the house of Martha and of Magdalene179 appears important for understanding the binomial contemplative life and active life in the DF, in the whole line of thinking of Fr. Alberione, and in the orientations given to the congregations for women. It deals with the subject matter of prayer and wants to present the great and sublime doctrine of the only one thing necessary, while considering the conditions and the work of service to God, its necessity and importance and its reward or guiderdone, in the desire to offer a comment to the words of Paul: But now that you have been freed from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit that you have leads to sanctification, and its end is eternal life (Rom 6:22).
After having given the accent on holiness as the ornament that makes the house of Martha, Mary and Lazarus an environment pleasing to the Son of God, Ventura points at the renunciation of sin as the first condition for entering service to God and, hence he describes an articulated itinerary so that works rendered a true service to God: To receive Jesus Christ intentionally in the spirit by believing in him is therefore rendering him the homage of reason through faith; to receive him morally in the heart, to keep his sanctifying grace, is to render him homage of the soul through love; to really receive him in the body through communion in his holy table is a way of rendering him homage of the flesh through chastity and mortification; finally, to receive him in the house in a figurative manner by taking care of the poor is to render him homage of goods through charity.180
[DFst 58-61. 78-79. 83-85. 93-95. 99-100] Ventura presents the three interpretations of the Fathers of the Church of Christ's words addressed to Martha: the historical or literal interpretation, the ascetic interpretation and the allegorical interpretation.
Although his presentation of the historical and ascetical is particularly close to the proposal of Fr. Alberione, it seems useful to take up here some of the points of the allegorical interpretation.
[DFst 58-61. 78-79. 83-85. 93-95. 99-100] In the first place the symbolism of the active and the contemplative life is taken up: In that instruction, the Divine Master declared that the only, indispensable condition, as well as the infallible condition for securing eternal happiness is that of loving God above all things and our neighbor as ourselves... Martha would be the model of the love that we should have for our neighbor; Magdalene, that of love we ought to have for God. And, according to St. Gregory and other famous interpreters, Martha expressed in herself the active life, with all her attention; Magdalene, the contemplative life in all its perfection. Hence, St. Gregory continues, we see that the Lord does not already condemn Martha's occupation, but exalts that of Magdalene in order to teach us that the merits of active life are truly great, but those of the contemplative life are also greater... The truly necessary thing, of which merit is complete and perfect and must be proposed to all, is hence, only the life where the Christian soul, abandoning itself to God, concentrating itself in God, through love, extends the solicitude of one's devotion to men as well as to all their needs.181
[DFst 58-61. 78-79. 83-85. 93-95. 99-100] The considerations on the contemplative life are especially vibrant: The more sensible souls, the more merciful to human conditions, and enflamed by an ever alive desire to bring relief to them, the souls more zealous for the coming of the kingdom of God among men, the souls who sense more clearly the dangers, the ills, and the loss of their kind and who are greatly involved with the destiny of mankind and of the Church, these are not found in greater numbers if not among the solitaries and the contemplatives.182
[DFst 58-61. 78-79. 83-85. 93-95. 99-100] The paragraph on the strength of prayer also mirrors a deep certainty in Fr. Alberione, that is, that prayer must make the work of every apostle fruitful: Jesus Christ was one day telling his apostles, 'The harvest is great, but the workers are few. Pray therefore the Lord of the harvest that he sends workers to his harvest' (Mt 9:18). It is then evident that if the Spirit of God forms good bishops, good priests, the missionaries, the apostles who cultivate souls, who sow in the vast fields of the world and place them in the granaries of the Church, then, it is prayer that obtains them. Now, this prayer -that multiplies the number of workers of the gospel and attracts heavenly blessings on their labors, blessings that make these fruitful-is in a special manner the prayer of those souls dedicated to contemplation, wherein everything is prayer, also study, also work, and whose entire life is none other but prayer and sacrifice, never interrupted, that rise up to heaven in the odor of sweetness and attract all the assistance, all the graces that lessen the miseries and the scandals on earth. Thus these generous souls speak less of God to men, but speak much of men to God.183
[DFst 58-61. 78-79. 83-85. 93-95. 99-100] The new apostles are so, thanks to the contemplative life lived amidst the world: Do not believe that the contemplatives and the solitaries are not found if not outside the world, in the hermitages, in deserts, in convents separated by every form of contact, every form of interaction with the world. There are, and in a number greater than one would believe, also in the world... These are the new apostles, these new proclaimers of the good news, these men who are so superior to humanity of which humanity boasts, admiring them without being able to explain them, who move about the world and evangelize it, and wherein they are renewed at every hour, who manifest themselves, who perpetuate the spirit, the life, the struggles, the miracles, the triumphs of the apostles of the past for the welfare of souls.184
[DFst 58-61. 78-79. 83-85. 93-95. 99-100] After having highlighted that the divine Savior was... the true model of active life and of contemplative life, Ventura affirms that Martha and Mary embody a figure and an allegory of what Mary, the Mother of God, achieved: infinitely most happy than Martha who received the Lord in her house, the Blessed Virgin received the divine Word and gave him hospitality worthy of him in her own womb, whose purity eclipsed that of the angels, and beautiful with all the ornaments of holiness. Infinitely more recollected and more meditating than Mary, Martha's sister, the Mother of God kept undivided the word of God in her soul; she had her mind fixed on the sublime contemplation, never interrupted, of his word, and her heart rejoiced in it: Conservabat omnia verba hæc, conferens in corde suo (Lk 2:51). Infinitely more jealous of the two sisters in making the grace of which she was full bear fruit, after the Lord's Ascension, the Queen of the Apostles divided her divine life between meditation on the heavenly things and works of zeal and of charity, consoling the faithful, telling the Gospel and helping the apostles with her encouragement, her advice, her prayers in the immense work of the foundation of the Church (see Homily VII, Append.). Finally no one, not even among the angels, has ever understood better than the Queen of Angels and lived up to the doctrine of the only thing necessary. ...It is meanwhile in the Savior's mother that the sublime and perfect life, of which allegory and figure were Martha and the Magdalene, has been accomplished, in all the rigor and fullness of the letter. Formed in the school of the Son of God made man and of His divine mother, the apostles have also united all the works of zeal and of charity of the active life to the occupations of the contemplative life.185
[DFst 68-69] Martha and Mary signify the Church: It is in this house that the love of man is none other that the reverberation, the blooming of the love of God; and that God's love grows and expands through the practice of the love for man.186
[DFst 16. 24-25. 27-28. 35-40. 60-63] In the second part of the homily on the importance and the need of service to God,187 Ventura draws inspiration from St. Augustine in order to point out that God, One and Three, is that unum necessarium of the Gospel of Martha and Mary. So many, indeed, are the points of contact between the text and the thought of Fr. Alberione, especially in those pages that have as a background the doctrine on exemplarism, the following of Christ Master, Way, Truth and Life; the anthropology that sees man one and three after the image of God: Since God is three in Persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, our soul, too, is three in its own faculties: the faculty to form ideas-or to generate by itself in the depth of its own being, its own internal word, its own word-; the faculty of reasoning and the faculty of willing.188
[DFst 189 53-54. 63-64. 68-69. 83-84. 85. 88. 93-97] Aside from these references to the book Le donne del Vangelo (The women of the Gospel), that have a character of similarity with the basic lines of Fr. Alberione's spirituality, we can find some other convergences among the two authors as regards the story, if we take into consideration the books on the La donna cattolica (The Catholic woman).
In his book La donna associata allo zelo sacerdotale (The woman associated with the priestly zeal), Fr. Alberione writes: The story of woman in the Catholic Church would be very interesting and we hope someone writes about it.190 In reality, one can notice that he makes explicit reference to Ventura: Over and above other reasons of hope, we also have this: in general the woman is ours, the woman is Christian and this can be of so much help to us. Fr. Ventura, after having described the present moment had to say that the Church would have entrusted to the Catholic woman a mission of restoration, almost an apostolate.191
Fr. Alberione refers to the first volume of La donna cattolica, where, in the first part, the author presents The need to attend to woman under the Catholic aspect, a broad historical view that goes from biblical considerations to the problems of the modern world; and, in the second part, he presents the 'Cooperation of woman in the foundation of the Church.'
This second part, composed of six chapters, proves to be extraordinarily important for deepening the thought of Fr. Alberione.192
[DFst 53-54. 63-64. 68-69. 83-84. 85. 88. 93-97] In the third chapter, or paragraph, Ventura speaks of the women in Paul's mission: Lydia, Priscilla, Evodia and Syntiche. A highlight drew Fr. Alberione's interest on Phoebe's mission: It is something known that St. Paul did not entrust to a man, but to a woman, St. Phoebe, the task of bringing from Greece to Rome his Epistle to the Romans, that first commentary on the Gospel, that masterpiece of exposition of the Christian dogma. Speaking of this woman to the faithful of Rome, at the end of the same letter, St. Paul tells them: 'I commend to you Phoebe our sister, who is also a minister of the church at Cenchreae, that you may receive her in the Lord in a manner worthy of the holy ones, and help her in whatever she may need from you, for she has been a benefactor to many and to me as well.' Now, to be a minister of the Church is something more than practicing charity. The matters that Phoebe had to deal with in Rome were not temporal but spiritual. Such a step makes it clear that this woman has been supporting Christianity and St. Paul himself in Corinth, that the more serious tasks in the Church were entrusted to her, and that in the company of the Apostle, she exercised a kind of apostolate in the Church.193
[DFst 53-54. 63-64. 68-69. 83-84. 85. 88. 93-97] The fourth chapter presents the life of St. Thecla, the woman who greatly helped St. Paul in his apostolate in the Orient.194 Thecla is St. Paul's associate par excellence: St. Ambrose calls her 'the Associate of the Apostle, Socia Apostoli'... because, for the whole time that St. Paul stayed in Asia, the rich and generous virgin helped him with her means in the work of the apostolic ministry, in such a manner that Paul was greatly indebted to her for the success achieved in this area. Truly, it seems that St. Thecla, as we are told by the Acts of her martyrdom, with her ingenuity, her eloquence, her wealth, her relations, and much more yet with her constancy and ardor of her faith and the holiness of her life, she converted souls for Jesus Christ as many as St. Paul did with the power of his speech (Cujus fidei ardore et vitæ sanctitate, multi ad Christum conversi sunt - Brev. Rom., 23 sept. ex actis).195
Among the many women who have assisted the apostles and shared the labors and the glories of their ministry, Thecla is she who receives great praises from the Fathers of the Church: She has been, among the women, the most noble of St. Paul's disciples, the first of the virgin-spouses of the divine lamb, the first sprout of his blood, the first wonder of his grace, the first to practice his counsels, the first witness of his religion, the first standard bearer among thousands of sublime souls who for eighteen centuries followed him in his life of virtues and martyrdom. Not only St. Ambrose but also St. Augustine, St. John Chrysostom, St. Gregory of Nazianzene, St. Gregory of Nissa and other fathers have celebrated, too, the glories of St. Thecla and have showered on her the greatest and extraordinary praises. So was she to be honored by the Church, this first of the marvels and glories of the Church and one of the most beautiful ornaments of the apostles' century.196
[DFst 53-54. 63-64. 68-69. 83-84. 85. 88. 93-97] This enthusiastic presentation of the woman's ministry during the apostolic times found a strong resonance in the spirit and in the projects that Fr. Alberione was cultivating for sometime. At the beginning of 1922, Fr. Alberione and the whole of his Casa feel the call to be St. Paul alive today, that is, to take part in the apostolic community living today, men and women who live joyfully the Gospel and communicate it. In this climate, on 29 June the first three priests, after Fr. Giaccardo, are ordained, and in the evening the chapel dedicated to St. Paul was blessed, a chapel that was destined to be, for the members of the Casa and for the people of Alba, a center of the principal devotions that the Pious Society of St. Paul intends to spread: Devotion to the Divine Master, to Mary Queen of the Apostles, to St. Paul the Apostle...197
[DFst 53-54. 63-64. 68-69. 83-84. 85. 88. 93-97] A foretaste of this goal is achieved the next day, through the solemn celebration of the Feast of St. Paul, with the first masses of the new priests and the participation of Canon Francesco Chiesa. During the Vespers, he intervened by explaining the symbols of the portrait of St. Paul: the sword, the book, the stylus, and fusing together the words of Msgr. Swoboda: if St. Paul came back to life today, he would continue being the Bishop: and those of Msgr. Ketteler: if St. Paul returned today, he would be a journalist, he said that the mission of the Good Press is an essentially priestly mission: that in order to be apostles of the good press, people have to be priests as well: that the most delicate and effective expression of the priestly zeal, of priesthood as apostolate, is today the Good Press.198
[DFst 53-54. 63-64. 68-69. 83-84. 85. 88. 93-97] In spite of the strong accent on the priesthood, the teaching of Francesco Chiesa wanted to be perfectly in agreement with what constituted as the hinges of Fr. Alberione's project: the association of woman with the priestly zeal in the press apostolate. In fact, since the first years of his formation in the Seminary of Alba, Alberione was affirming with profound conviction, that in the Bible was found the strength capable of making woman much more respected and of winning over that culture that reduces woman to an instrument of pleasure and childbearing (SC 159).
After the constitution of the Pious Society of St. Paul, Fr. Alberione hastens, then, to the formation of the branch for women and in view of this, on 22 December 1921, he asked the city government for the doubling of the first trunk of the house. On May 1922, it is announced that the construction is growing speedily;199with work done, it would be occupied by the Daughters of St. Paul on 10 September of the same year.200
[DFst 53-54. 63-64. 68-69. 83-84. 85. 88. 93-97] It becomes difficult to describe the teeming of vitality in the Casa, amidst the incessant rhythm of the constructions, the apostolic initiatives, the continuous increase of new arrivals, males and females and the tendency towards self-sufficiency. On his part, Fr. Alberione follows up everything although he delegates to others the tasks of doing, but above all he wants to stay for long before God, in order to respond to the divine will in everything.
[DFst 53-54. 63-64. 68-69. 83-84. 85. 88. 93-97] Thus, from Sunday, 16 to Saturday 22 July 1922, he gathers the Casa for the Spiritual Exercises preached by Canon Chiesa and Msgr. Ugo Mioni. Emphatically, the bulletin Unione Cooperatori Buona Stampa announces that also for the Daughters of St. Paul the time of preparation is over with the constitution of the Pious Society Daughters of St. Paul: July 22, 1922 is for the Daughters of St. Paul a historical date. After seven years of trial, of hidden labor, of humble sacrifice, of incessant prayer, of ignored religious life, on Saturday, 22 July, the week of spiritual exercises came to a close, and they made a big step, they perennially bound themselves to God and to the mission of the Good Press through the public [private] vows thus constituting the PIOUS SOCIETY DAUGHTERS OF ST. PAUL. Like the branch for males, they add to the three ordinary vows the fourth, fidelity to the Roman Pontiff. The first group has nine; from today begins their expansion.201
The nine Daughters promise to dedicate themselves for all their life to the apostolate of the Good Press in order to live the life of the Divine Master, under the gaze of Mary, Queen of the Apostles, under the guidance of St. Paul, the Apostle.202
According to a plan prepared and studied deeply since long time, Fr. Alberione imposes on Teresa Merlo the new name, Thecla, the 'Socia apostoli', and names her Superior General of the Congregation.
1.2.4 Vivit vero in me Christus (Gal 2:20)

[DFst 39-40. 57-58 .63-64. 88-89. 93-95. 99-100] Sharing the responsibilities, Alberione asked everyone for full communion with him in order to accomplish together the work willed by God: his feast day, postponed to Sunday 30 July 1922, became a strong expression and an occasion for vocational reaffirmation: The Sig. Teologo left us these memories: an only irritation: we have worked so little at becoming saints; an only preoccupation: to work that we become saints; an only desire; that we become saints. The celebrations and the prayers of Sunday have certainly contributed that we moved ahead one good step towards the Father, whom the mercy of God has given us as guide, support, and nourisher of the most beautiful of all vocations.203
[DFst 39-40. 57-58. 63-64. 88-89. 93-95] The intense tenor of spiritual life and the search for holiness, lived by Fr. Alberione and proposed to the community, can be sensed from the three pages of the Diary of Blessed Timothy Giaccardo, written during the Spiritual Exercises of 1922, which trace a general picture of his commitment, under the light of his initial resolution: Lord Jesus, through the intercession of Mary, Queen of the Apostles and of St. Paul, you have poured on me the outflow of your mercy and of your love. You have made me a Christian, a priest, a religious, and you have held me very close to you in the apostolate of the G. P. Oh! Your love is infinite, and mine infinitely nothing! Love requires love. Lord, from me you want everything; and I give you everything. I am yours O Jesus; all yours through the hands of Mary: Dominus pars hereditatis meæ (The Lord is my part of the inheritance). And so I want to live your life, all your life, like St. Paul, like Mary Most Holy. I live... iam non ego, vivit vero in me Christus. Mihi vivere Christus est. My resolution is: to constantly humble my self love and to work for the acquisition of love for God, of perfect charity.204
[DFst 57-58. 63-64. 88-89. 93-95] Among the various vocations in the Casa, there was a clear awareness of their own identity: Everyone understands the need of cultivating vocations for the mission of the priesthood, for the sisters of charity: many understand the need of men missionaries and sister missionaries: no longer all, no longer many, a few is persuaded that also the Good Press today needs its own vocations, true and holy; of priests, of writers, of diffusers, of printers that are truly religious; of women teachers, writers, diffusers, printers, genuine sisters. The need for these religious men and women for the Good Press, however, is a palpitating reality: it is the breath of souls who better see the flow of the times, of hearts that better feel the needs of the Church.205
The historical moment is seen as the hour of the Good Press. Hence, the members of the Casa feel they are bearers and are made responsible of a true apostolic mandate: Eritis mihi testes: you shall be my witnesses in Judea, in Galilee till the ends of the world, so Jesus told the Apostles: and the twelve and their disciples were witnesses of the divinity of Jesus Christ and of the Christian Religion through preaching. Then witnesses, too, were the Doctors with their books. Then the cloisters were witnesses with the holiness of the monastic life. Then the saints of the modern age with their institutes of Christian education. Today, what bears the principal witness to Jesus Christ is the Good Press. The newspaper that comes into the huts of the poor, and in the study rooms of the learned, and among the papers of the businessman and goes to find the farmer in the field, and rests on the chair of the lawmaker and on the table of the minister, and on the throne of kings; and it leads politics and forms public opinion, and shapes consciences. The ink of good writers is worth the blood of martyrs long ago. The saints of today, the Catholics in action, the priests, the Bishops, the Supreme Pontiffs preach the most serious need for the Good Press; they speak of its urgency, they make it a serious obligation of conscience to attend to it. It is the euntes, docete omnes gentes, of the Divine Savior; it is always the command of the Divine Master to preach to all peoples, which preaching, in every period of time assumes new outfits suitable against new errors, to new social conditions, to new scientific progress, to the new life of humanity. And today it assumes the form of the Good Press. And this ability of the Church to adapt to all the needs of the times, this her fecundity to produce new effective means of defense against new evils and of evangelization, is a marvelous sign of her divinity; it is the character that assures perpetuity and triumph.206
[DFst 57-58. 63-64. 88-89. 93-95] The December issue of UCBS publishes a summary with the title, While the year ends, mixed with joy and surprise: And we think: That the year is over and perhaps we do hold numerous responsibilities before God inasmuch as through the Good Press we could do much more! That the year will no longer come back; it is lost for the lazy sower who could have sown more gospel seeds, and he did not do it! Instead, a very good harvest is expected for the good sower who has broadly sown thoughts, healthy ideas through the Good Press. That we have done some small things: the people in the casa have grown a hundred times more than last year. That the small chapel was built and that in it are celebrated six or seven masses and where many prayers are said. That another portion of the house was built, thus making it capable of housing 236 persons. That the parish bulletins have grown to about a hundred, from the fifty of 1921. That the Gazzetta d'Alba has grown in circulation and that it has improved much in technology. That the collection of beneficial reading has reached 30 volumes. That the collection of ascetical books has reached about a dozen of books. That more than half a million of catechism booklets have been sent to every part of Italy. That the collection of apologetical books has grown much. That the capability of the printing press has reached the point of being able to produce every day a book of about 300 pages. That in our bookstore an average of 2000 books is sold every day. For all these: thanks to God alone! We are useless servants. And yet nothing was done! If one looks at what remains to be done; and yet we do not yet see everything. Also at present we would have already the work not only for 200 persons, but for 200 thousand! We need personnel who writes, who prints, who spreads. Are there 8,000 cooperators! Yes, but we would need 800 thousand who pray, who assist, who spread the Good Press. The Gazzetta d'Alba ought to be the newspaper of each of the forty thousand families of our diocese. The people's libraries urgently need healthy, benevolent, educational reading materials: and in order to confront the strong flow of bad books we still need to go a long way.207
[DFst 57-58. 63-64. 88-89. 93-95] The summary, in numbers, of the work done208 and the influx of vocations209 made possible a foretaste of a stage of growth according to the impelling need of evangelization through the means of the Good Press, reaffirmed also by the encyclical Rerum omnium, of the new Pope Pius XI, who declared St. Francis of Sales as patron saint of journalists.210
[DFst211 9-16. 23. 27-28. 39-40. 54-56. 59-60. 63-64. 70-72. 95-96. 99-100] In contrast, in the year 1923, Fr. Alberione lived a portion of his human-spiritual journey which greatly left its mark on him. After the experience of the encounter with Jesus Master in the dream of 1921, sickness led him to live the mysterious passage of naked faith. On one hand, the signs that the Casa was God's work were evident; on the other hand, he was experiencing danger for his life. This way, he could only count on faith, only in God.
Between July and the start of September, welcomed by the Parish Priest of Benevello, Fr. Alberione went through an experience which, in some sense, was similar to that of Ignatius of Loyola at the brink of losing his life, after getting wounded in battle. St. Ignatius tells it himself: It continued to worsen: he could not eat and it was showing other symptoms that usually foretells the end. On St. John's day, inasmuch as the doctors were worried about saving him, it was suggested that he went to confession. He then received the sacraments and, on the vigil of Sts. Peter and Paul, the doctors declared that if within midnight he did not improve, he could be good as dead. The sick person was always devoted to St. Peter: our Lord wanted that precisely on that midnight he should begin getting better; and so he thus began improving that a few days from then he was declared out of danger.212
During convalescence, Ignatius lived the first and intense steps towards conversion, which are at the sources of his Spiritual Exercises.
[DFst 9-16. 23. 27-28. 39-40. 54-56. 59-60. 63-64. 70-72. 95-96. 99-100] On his part, Fr. Alberione was not at the beginnings of a spiritual journey; he was, however, receiving the gift of the most profound mystical experiences. And the immediate tool was precisely the climate of the Ignatian Exercises, as Sr. Angela Teresa Raballo, who was assisting him in Benevello witnessed: The Signor Teologo was no longer celebrating Mass and neither could he recite the Breviary. He stayed in bed for fifteen days and received Communion in bed. Every day, he let a passage of the book of Spiritual Exercises by St. Ignatius, that he brought, be read. I read until the time that he told me: 'Enough for now. I have enough till tomorrow'.213
[DFst 9-16. 23. 27-28. 39-40. 54-56. 59-60. 63-64. 70-72. 95-96. 99-100] During the first half of 1923, Fr. Alberione waited for the Spiritual Exercises in the Piccola Casa della Divina Providenza, that of Cottolengo, a place which was the home of human fragility. Now, he found himself assimilated with derelicts, condemned in isolation till death: He lost his voice, and always had fever... He did not show any sign of improvement. If I cried, he would tell me: 'Why cry? Don't you know that someone else much better than me shall take my place!' He used to repeat: 'Not being able to go back to the community because of my sickness that forces me to isolation, I shall go to the Cottolengo, and there I shall see the end of my days'.214
[DFst 9-16. 23. 27-28. 39-40. 54-56. 59-60. 63-64. 70-72. 95-96. 99-100] Fr. Alberione had received the confirmation that the work he had undertaken was the work of God, but now God was asking him nothing less than the surrender of his life, he was taking him away from his son, the son of the promise, just born: it was as if to let a new Abraham rise, after the Covenant. God was putting Alberione to test. He was calling him to total surrender, in complete abandonment of self and of everything. It was the experience of total passivity, necessary for experiencing the joyous presence of grace. From this mysterious depth, from his yes to God alone, Jesus Master was taking him by hand, to teach him and, in his school, to guide him, with the profundity of God, through the revitalization of everything that he had in his heart. The time chosen by God to seal, for always, his Covenant with Alberione had come. But like a new Jacob in the night of the sickness, he was called to struggle against God, lasting long weeks. It was only that way, taken by the Spirit, that he could actively embrace again, in all things, the will of God, truly seek His greater glory, find His peace, unify the journey lived till now, and totally give himself to the communication of the Gospel. It is precisely for this that Benevello was also Sinai, where Fr. Alberione sought, before God, the face of the Casa willed by him, while dedicating himself also at the drawing up of the Constitutions, as soon as the improvement of his health allowed it.
[DFst 9-16. 23. 27-28. 39-40. 54-56. 59-60. 63-64. 70-72. 95-96. 99-100] During the long months of suffering, Fr. Alberione dwelt on the beauty and urgency of the mission entrusted to him and the Casa and, at the same time, he embraced fully the value of the witnessing, rendered according to the wisdom of the Cross, inspired by Paul: For as I see it, God has exhibited us apostles as the last of all, like people sentenced to death, since we have become a spectacle to the world, to the angels and human beings alike. We are fools on Christ's account...; we are weak..., but we are held in disrepute. To this very hour... we toil, working with our own hands (1Cor 4:9-12).
[DFst 9-16. 23. 27-28. 39-40. 54-56. 59-60. 63-64. 70-72. 95-96. 99-100] The more the human situation made one think of a final collapse, the more Fr. Alberione understood that, in the work undertaken, one could and had to count only on God's power: We are afflicted in every way, but not constrained; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body of the dying of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our body (2Cor 4:8-10).
[DFst 9-16. 23. 27-28. 39-40. 54-56. 59-60. 63-64. 70-72. 95-96. 99-100] Like Paul, Fr. Alberione felt crucified because of the Gospel. One day, however, Fr. Alberione did not want to have to do any more with doctors and medicines, and he started to work as before, perhaps even more than before.215 And the Lord wanted to seal this period of most intense teaching, by granting Fr. Alberione the strong experience of a special encounter with the Apostle Paul: To St. Paul the healing of the Primo Maestro has to be attributed (cf. ADds 64).
This healing certainly is one of the reasons for which Fr. Alberione, on the fortieth foundation anniversary, would state, full of wonder and gratitude: St. Paul has made this family with an intervention that is so physical and spiritual that not even now, reflecting, can one understand well; much less, explain.216
Recalling this period, he could testify: There were numerous dangers of different kinds: personal and financial, and written and verbal accusations: life was marked by danger for days on end; St. Paul was always our salvation... the years went by, the forecasts made by many of certain failure, the accusations of madness..., all dissolved and everything was settled peacefully, although not without hard work (ADds 164.166).
...How he has led us

[DFst 63-64. 77-78. 95-97] Even during Fr. Alberione's sickness, the Casa practically went on with its usual rhythm, strengthening itself with the principal devotions:217 to Jesus Master Eucharist,218 to the Queen of the Apostles219 and to St. Paul220 towards whom, since the beginnings, everyone in the Casa had a special attachment.221
[DFst 93-95] Also the proclamation of the deaconship of women in the evangelizing mission, as sisters of the Good Press, was introduced with the usual vigor: The Apostles trained the deaconesses, because a good part of the apostolate was proper to them: also beside Jesus Savior, and as helpers of the Apostolic College, there were pious women. The mission of evangelizing is not exclusive of man: as help to missionaries, God has raised and sends the sisters; the great missions, the great apostolic vocations, in the Church are complete with two branches. And now is the time of the Press: the time of the mission of the Press: and God raises the Apostles of the Good Press as well as the Sisters of the Good Press, who shall not be, so they say, in lieu of, but they shall occupy a place that today is of mercy and of Providence.222
[DFst 42-43. 52-53. 74-75. 93-95] One of the first and important novelties, after the Founder's illness, was the attention to the spread of the Gospel, especially in every home and in the schools. In the issue of San Paolo (= UCBS), November, Fr. Alberione launches the initiative of the Gospel at one lira, and locates the apostolate of the Good Press in relation with the spread of the Gospel: Let us be familiar with the sources of our faith! The sources flow from the book of the Gospel: in it are the teachings, in it are the miracles, in it are the institutions and the examples of the Divine Master; the Gospel is the whole of Christian Religion. The Church has her bases on the Gospel, and her life is the Gospel in action. All the saints are the application and the incarnation of a verse of the Gospel of the Divine Master, who did everything that he taught. The Apostles and the Fathers have borne witness to the Gospel; the Doctors and the Theologians have defended and explained it; the priests preach the Gospel, the Good Press draws strength from the Gospel, and it is the fastest means to make the Gospel penetrate the hearts, the homes, the social and political life.223
The commitment for the spread of the Gospel in every home is motivated with great strength: Just as Jesus-Host, clothed in bread, comes to our hearts, so Jesus-Word clothed in paper enters every home; let it be in the hands of every Christian.224
[DFst 93-97] On December 1923 the renewed trust in the Divine Providence is felt strongly and the Casa is introduced as a house of pastoral initiatives, in view of evangelization, beside and at the service of the parish ministry.
Before introducing the picture of the initiatives for the evangelization of the people, it is strongly affirmed that the existing initiatives shall be developed and that others shall be taken: The Pious Society of St. Paul for the apostolate of the Good Press is born at the appropriate hour, and God grants it mercy and graces, so that it lives its own time. The Pious Society of St. Paul, as a house is not a refuge for abandoned children, nor an institute of apprenticeship; but a seminary for the formation of Apostles and of Missionaries of the Good Press. So, too, is the institute of the Daughters of St. Paul. As a publishing house, it is not a printing press for commercial jobs that intends to live in order to print books cheapest possible; also this is a great secret for doing good: the training also demands numerous adjustments, as among missionaries who explore the ground to evangelize. It is instead a house of initiatives: those existing shall be developed; others shall be taken according to how Divine Providence shall guide us. The Pious Society of St. Paul stands beside and at the service of the parish ministry, it stands beside and close to parish priests and intends to assist them on the part that the Good Press ought to have in the evangelization of their people. For now, effective initiatives are: the association of thousand Masses to propitiate before God for the Press, the weekly magazine for the instruction of the masses of people in the diocese; the prosperous work of the parish bulletins spread through Italy, that bring to families the word of the Parish Priest and of faith; the work of the roving and popular bookstores that are healthy pastures for the many souls who are thirsty for reading materials; the shops-retail outlets for the formation of piety; the anti-blasphemy work for the purification of Italy from the cancer that humiliates it and makes it bad before God; the Bible Society for the spread of the gospels among the people. Oh! The field is still so vast!... And all the Cooperators ought to find ways to do this good and to participate in it.225
[DFst 85] At the close of the year 1923, the Unione Cooperatori Buona Stampa, in a sidebar with the title, Our needs presents the projects for the Casa, that manifest the full recovery of Fr. Alberione and a decided awareness of the three points of reference for spirituality: the Divine Master, the Queen of the Apostles, St. Paul. Among the new initiatives, those of the Bible Society and the construction of the Church dedicated to St. Paul deserve special mention: Numerous initiatives of the Pious Society of St. Paul are prospering under the beneficial shadow of the Divine Master, of the Queen of the Apostles, of the Apostle. Among them: The bible section, the work of the Thousand Masses, the work of the parish bulletins, the weeklies of the diocese, the anti-blasphemy campaign, the general association of libraries, the shops-retail outlets of good books and religious articles, etc. Three are the needs that we more urgently feel on the material order: 1. a distinct house for the Daughters of St. Paul, capable of housing at least one hundred persons; 2. a beautiful Church for St. Paul; 3. a paper mill for the manufacture of paper. Anyone who knows closely the Pious Society of St. Paul sees it clearly; and we humbly invite our good Cooperators to pray, to think and to work with us.226
[DFst 36. 39-40] After the experience of the encounter with Jesus Master, followed by that of the annihilation in Benevello, and his sudden recovery, Fr. Alberione feels deeply rooted in the Covenant experience; his presence in the Casa becomes even more incisive, accompanied every day by ever more courageous initiatives, and his teachings, that come from experience, come to be unified in Christ Way, Truth and Life.
[DFst 36-38] We can state that it is from the book of life (= the time of the Covenant) that the Casa assumes its authentic physiognomy (= the book of Holiness), whose salient features are expressed soberly and profoundly in the book Donec formetur Christus in vobis, a book that ought not to be separated from the lived experience, described till now, and from its interpretation that we shall attempt to describe.

[DFst 10. 37-38. 63-64. 95-96] In 1923, we find in the General historical references of the Pious Society of St. Paul a piece of precious information on the months dedicated to St. Paul and to Jesus Master: In the Casa, every first Monday of the month is consecrated to St. Paul. At the start, half of the month of June is celebrated in honor of the Sacred Heart and half, in honor of St. Paul: then the month of June is reserved entirely to St. Paul; to the Divine Master and his Eucharistic Sacred Heart is consecrated the month of January. The Sig. Teologo wrote the considerations for the month of St. Paul; and these are used each year for meditation or for reading.227
In the published part of Giaccardo's Diario, we find pieces of information on the month of June dedicated to St. Paul beginning from 1918, but no information on the month of Jesus Master.
Very important is the information just now referred to regarding the considerations of Fr. Alberione for the month of St. Paul. It is a manuscript notebook,228 that is the basis of the book229 published by Giaccardo with the title, Un mese a San Paolo (A month for St. Paul).230
Fr. Alberione's manuscript seems to date back to the first years of the Casa. One can notice the absence of references to Jesus Master Way, Truth and Life, contained, instead, in the edition of the aforementioned Un mese a San Paolo.
A brief prayer, published in UCBS on December 1923, makes one see the massive outburst of Jn 14:6 in the life of the Casa, that took place in 1924: And you, Baby Jesus, Way, Truth and Life, have mercy on our desires, grant us the grace to love you and to work for you, and may your mercy make fruitful every means for doing good and the work of the Good Press.231
[DFst 39-40. 77-78] The January 1924 issue of UCBS, like the Notiziette mensili (Monthly newsbits), speaks more precisely and clearly on the month of the Divine Master, making references to the grace of confirmation, but now made explicit in the relationship with Christ Way, Truth and Life: The month of the Divine Master. We celebrate it in January: a month of meditations, of spiritual union with Jesus, of visits; a practice and characteristic of the month is the visit to the Eucharistic Divine Master: adoration, thanksgiving, propitiation and reparation, supplications after the example of Jesus, after the teachings and on the grace that the Divine Master grants. He is in the midst of us; from there, from the Host, he wants to give light. Jesus, the Divine Master, is the way that leads, the truth that enlightens, and life that sanctifies. How good one feels going out of the adorations to the Divine Master!232
[DFst 37-38. 77-78] This information allows us to shed a great light on the first month dedicated to Jesus Master, Way, Truth and Life preached by Fr. Alberione of which notes taken down by Fr. Timoteo Giaccardo we still keep.
Following these notes, one could see so many points in common with Donec formetur Christus in vobis.
One first similarity can be identified in the fact that the theme of each day was subdivided into three parts, in a manner similar to the chapters of DF. Let it be noticed that the third part was generally dedicated to the Visit.
[DFst 37. 77-78] But the points of contact concern above all the contents of the Month of the Divine Master and, especially the Way of Illumination of DF.
The first day is dedicated to the introduction to the whole month: 1. January for the Divine Master: we do not know how to make the visit to him: we shall learn. 2. Jesus Way, Truth and Life shall be the theme: example, teacher, sanctifier. 3. To place ourselves with every intensity at his school...233
[DFst 40-49] For the meditation on Jesus Way, nine days are dedicated:234 II - Qui sequitur me; III - Abneget semetipsum; IV - Humilis corde; V - Subditus illis; VI - Veni ut vitam habeant; VII - Ut faciam voluntatem ejus; VIII - Ut faciam voluntatem ejus; IX - Ut faciam voluntatem ejus (quæ placita sunt ei facio semper); X - In oratione.
[DFst 49-54] From the eleventh to the twenty-second day, the meditation is dedicated to Jesus Truth, presented especially through the themes of the Beatitudes:235 XI - Docebat eos; XII - Ecce mater tua...; XIII - Subditus;236 XIII - Tanquam auctoritatem; XIV - Beati pauperes spiritu; XV - Beati mites...; XVI - Beati qui lugent...; XVII - Beati qui esuriunt...; XVIII - Beati misericordes...; XIX - Beati mundo corde...; XX - Beati qui audiunt...; XXI - Beati pacifici...; XXII - Beati qui persecutionem...
The third point of the eleventh day deserves a special attention: Jesus is here in the host: from here he wants to enlighten...; let us adore him as Divine Master... Let us be grateful that he has taught us... he forgives for our having wanted to do things by ourselves... Doce nos pugnare, orare, amare....237
[DFst 54-63] To Jesus Life are dedicated the days from the twenty-third to the thirtieth.238 The meditation of the first of these days contains something like a solemn enunciation of the subsequent themes, and it seems interesting to quote it in whole: XXIII - Ut vitam habeant. Jesus, in the last supper discourse, tells Thomas: Ego sum via, veritas et vita; in order to go to the Father, you need to place your hands on mine. I. The Divine Master is life that sanctifies. From among the principal things we receive from the Gospel of St. John, this immediately comes in view: Jesus is life: in ipso vita erat... with Nicodemus: ut omnis qui credit vivat... habeat vitam æternam... with the Samaritan woman: acqua salientis in vitam æternam; after, the Paralytic: filius habet vitam… verba vitæ… Good Shepherd: ut vitam habeant… other quotations follow. II - Supernatural life of grace, life of resurrection, life of vocation maturity… III - Visit on Jesus, he is with us and from here he wants to enlighten.239
The themes of the succeeding days are: XXIV - Life of grace and of fidelity: St. Timothy; XXV - Life of resurrection: Conversion of St. Paul; XXVI - Life through Mary; XXVII - Qui manducat; XXVIII - Qui manet in me...; XXIX - Sic orabitis; XXX - Closing adoration.
[DFst 37-38] From the sources available till now, this month for the Divine Master is an expression of the turning point towards the centrality of Christ Way, Truth and Life in the life of the Casa, as one could notice from the information of the February 1924 issue of the UCBS: In the Casa, the month of January is consecrated to the Divine Master: an artistic portrait that represents to us his Sacred Heart: and we pray to him that the altar be soon built. As in the Cenacle for the last supper, as for the coming of the Holy Spirit, the Divine Master gathered around himself the whole family: because he wants everything around himself in Heaven at the table of his Father: he is the way, who gives example, who builds: how holy is Jesus' life! He is the truth that enlightens, that preaches what we must believe and what we must do; before the doctrine of Jesus, human wisdom that is not enlightened by him, is ignorance and is foolishness! He is life who gives the grace for believing and doing, who sanctifies, who raises from the dead, who multiplies merits, who brings vocations to maturity, who transforms, and without him we are dead. The Divine Master teaches, and gives the example of the most beautiful devotion to Our Most Holy Mary, and he has made Her the treasurer of his graces. We all draw from the fullness of the Divine Master. The month was closed with the hour of adoration: the Divine Master is with us, he is in his house; from here, from the Tabernacle, he wants to enlighten both his family and the world... Principal practice of obeisance was the visit to the Most Holy Sacrament, to the Eucharistic divine Master; adoration, thanksgiving, propitiation and reparation and supplication; in the morning, the young ones made the short visit of one minute. The Divine Master brought us this other grace; the perpetual adoration shall begin in but a short while.240
[DFst 52-54. 85] Spared from the risk of a precocious death, Fr. Alberione continues his push towards the mission, received and confirmed by God, by busying himself to clarify the components of the Casa, altogether gathered under the name Pious Society of St. Paul. Thus in the February 1924 issue of the UCBS, one could draw four important news: the intention to open a house for the aspirants for the missions ad gentes,241 the outline of the Statute of the Bible Society,242 the prayer, For those who thirst for souls like Jesus243 and the foundation of the Pious Disciples of the Divine Master.244
[DFst 52-53. 76-79] Like before, for Fr. Alberione, the makeup of the Casa, as said above, had to mirror the relevance of the apostolic times: men and women associated with the mission of Jesus Master.
Now had come another moment for a new step ahead in the foundation. The Casa was firmly established on Jesus Master Eucharist and for a time a special expression of the laus eucharistica was being preannounced.245 Then, after the experience of Benevello, Fr. Alberione, on 21 November 1923, separates by apostolic work, in the house called Divine Master, two among those under formation in the Casa: Orsola Rivata and Matilde Gerlotto. Then, on 10 February 1924, St. Scholastica's day, the new religious family of the Pious Disciples is officially started.246 The UCBS bulletin describes the religious clothing of the Pious Disciples-eight of them-that was held on 25 March, feast of the Annunciation, of the same year.247 Orsola Rivata receives the name Sr. Scholastica of the Divine Providence and was given the responsibility over the internal affairs of the group.248 Fr. Alberione had trained her by entrusting her the duty of reading the book Le donne del Vangelo (The women of the Gospel).249 More than the name Scholastica, of which Ventura does not speak, this book had to prove useful for orienting the new family in its specific mission, in harmony with the general design of the Casa,250 which was that of living the relevance of the apostolic times: The Daughters of St. Paul are to attend to the Gospel of the Divine Master: to teach in school, to write, to diffuse, to printing work. The Pious Disciples attend to the Divine Master, and of His Ministers: adoration, work in the Church, house chores, embroidery, sewing, kitchen. These wear their habit; those, no. The Daughters of St. Paul are women religious, with persons in formation, novices: and they have made their perpetual vows; during profession, they assume the new name: they are called Maestre (Women teachers). The Pious Disciples assume the new name during religious clothing, and they make the private vows, and they are called Suore (Sisters).251
[DFst 85-91] In the year 1924 the Pious Society of St. Paul is introduced as an institute of persons living in common in the manner of religious men with the aim of sanctifying themselves and in order to spread Christian life and thought through the Good Press; newspapers, periodicals, magazines, bookstores, books, parish bulletins, etc. In it may join Priests as much as lay persons: by taking the usual commitments of religious, that is, perfect charity, poverty, obedience with the obligation of living life in common under the defined rules. In order to carry out the apostolate of the Good Press, it has various initiatives; while for training personnel, it has opened different sections of aspirants.252 And the list is always made: workers' section, young students, press for the missions, the Pious Disciples, the Daughters of St. Paul.
[DFst 91-92] The August 1924 issue of UCBS, opens with a touching commemorative article on the Ten years of the Casa:

On St. Bernard's day, 20 August 1914, the Casa was opened. On 20 August 1924, ten years have passed. How much work of grace in this span of time! The Father's Design has been given flesh, confirmed, diffused, making means out of things that are not. With deep gratitude, we shall celebrate this date. May all the Cooperators join us on that day in prayer of thanksgiving, and in the expression of the liveliest love: a great mercy the Lord has bestowed on them!...
Work of God's mercy. The first two students have been multiplied a hundred times: the branch for the daughters has grown: the group of the Pious Disciples is born: around St. Paul with the heart, with sacrifice, with prayer more than ten thousand cooperators are gathered; in order to do good and to enrich themselves with merits.
The Casa has had its name, form and structure: the Holy See has approved the existence and the mission and opened for it the treasures of the indulgences.
The Divine Providence has given house, courtyard, garden, machineries, and various branches of apostolate. The idea of the good press covers the hearts and God rules supreme with his spirit, in spite of the infinite acts of ingratitude, rebellion and human limitations...
The Heavenly Father holds the family in his loving arms. The titular, the patron saint, the protector of the Pious Society is St. Paul, the Apostle, who has lived better the spirit and the life of the Divine Master, and has better brought the Gospel to the souls and to nations.
Mary, Queen of the Apostles, is the mother, the protectress: She has formed the Savior: to Her are dedicated the Novices, called Servants of Mary.
The principal devotion is to the Divine Master: he is the way, the truth and the life. Also the priests of the Casa are called masters after His honor. To Him perpetual adoration is made, to Him are dedicated the postulants, called the Disciples of the Divine Master and the Pious Disciples. The Holy Spirit is prayed to every day. The other principal devotions are: to St. Joseph, to the Guardian Angel, to the souls in purgatory.
Men don't count; men would not have done anything.
The Casa comes out of God's will; otherwise, it would not have any sense, it would be a foolishness, it would not be existing at all.
People speak of admiration: more marvelous is that which is not seen: the vocations and the hidden sacrifice of the Cooperators. But this was not done by men; God did it out of his love: it is the will of God who guides and supports: and everything is done for God alone. With the will of God taken away, even humanly, every fruitfulness of life is taken away; there would be dryness in everything.
No one has therefore to count on human beings and their wealth: infinite is wealth: God.
The first end of the Society is therefore that of letting her members become saints: in order to please God, to please him in everything, in order to hate sin, to serve Him well, to seek his will, his glory, his pleasure above all. This is what is preached.
The principal book for formation is the Exercises of St. Ignatius.
The principal work that is done in the Casa even today is the choice and the care of vocations: today, the G. Press needs persons, vocations, more than any other thing.
Here the most delicate and assiduous concern of the Sig. Teologo is concentrated.
Then comes the apostolate: the G. Press; not any press whatsoever; but the press that is the Gospel that is the Revelation that is the commentary of the Gospel, the popularization of divine Revelation.253
[DFst 91-92] After a journey of ten years, the name Paulines254 has begun to be used and, for all, men and women, insistence is made on the formation according to the style of the Casa.255
[DFst 9ff. 52-53. 93-95. 104-106] On 31 December 1924, Fr. Alberione addresses a warm greeting to the cooperators, expressed in 4 Deo Gratias and 6 Ora et labora.256
We have to underline that the first Deo Gratias is meant for the Exercises of St. Ignatius: Deo gratias! For all the benefits that have come to us, as if from a unique, inexhaustible, most pure spring, from the Divine Master. The spirit of the exercises of St. Ignatius has penetrated better and the meditation on the end for which we have been created has cast shafts of living light on the entire journey of our life. I prayed the Lord that he grants to all the grace of making the complete most holy exercises; at least once in a lifetime. What a grace this is!! Many of us have already received it.257
[DFst 52-53. 63-64. 89. 91-95] As an expression of the spirit of the Casa the Gospel, the letters of St. Paul and the Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola are indicated: THREE BOOKS: They shall be the spirit and life of the Cooperators who shall take them as spiritual pasture. For the Pious Society of St. Paul they are three books, let's say, fundamental for formation. Let each one use them according to his capacity. Here they are: the Holy Gospel, the Letters of St. Paul, the Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola. The Divine Master is 'way, truth and life', example, light, grace. The Gospel is the Divine Master's book. The truths of the Gospel are not man's teachings. The teachings of the Gospel are lived teachings, they are the life of God, and they have the strongest efficacy. The words of the Gospel contain the graces for one to understand, for one to practice. One who reads the Gospel walks in order to please God. The Letters of St. Paul train souls and hearts for the apostolate: they train the apostles according to the heart of Jesus, solid apostles, holy apostles, fruitful apostles, apostles of the times: they teach the secret of cultivation, they furnish the seeds, and they teach the secret of making the sowed field productive. The Exercises of St. Ignatius have a weighty spiritual power. They establish the life of man on the true foundation, and they orient to God, they give the meaning of life. They organize the spiritual life and educate one to live it fruitfully.258
[DFst 52-53. 63-65. 91-92. 99-100] Beginning with the March 1925 issue, the articles on The new church of St. Paul in Alba or The Church of the Good Press or The Church for St. Paul began to occupy the first place in the UCBS bulletin.
Emphasis is made on how the new church contains the spirituality of the Casa,259 which has as its center Jesus Master, Way, Truth and Life: It is the Church of the missionaries of the good press: the church is incorporated with the houses: and the houses make one body with the church as in the parishes, beside the Church there are the halls for catechism classes, side by side with the Church of St. Paul, incorporated in it, a church one with it, are the houses for the sons and the daughters of St. Paul. The plan reproduces it: the houses are like small choirs of the Church: in it are taught, are educated, are trained the missionaries of the good press: and in it little missionaries write and work for the spread of the kingdom of God. The Divine Master in the Church casts his light that are the way, that are the truth, that are the life: and these rays of light radiate in the house through the heart, through the spirit, through the mouth of superiors; they form the apostles of the press: and through the pen, the types and the machines of the house they enlighten souls, lead them, vivify them. And from here shall depart the missionaries of the press for the Mission lands.260
Presenting the still incomplete plan of the Church, it is added: It shall be open to the public, especially for the ease of approaching the Sacrament of Penance; there shall be held a continuing adoration, night and day, before Jesus exposed; it shall be utilized especially for the religious service of the Pious Society of St. Paul,261 whose center shall be Way, Truth and Life.262
One cannot but admire how, in a short period of time that spans the end of October 1923 and the half of 1925, the centrality of Christ Way, Truth and Life has affirmed itself in the life and in the activities of the Casa. It is a very important stretch of time that has to be borne in mind in the reading of Donec formetur Christus in vobis.

[DFst 39-40] In the Month of the Divine Master of 1924, we find these affirmations: Jesus, way, truth and life shall be the topic; example, teacher, sanctifier;263 Coepit facere et docere: via edificante; e verità illuminante;264 The Divine Master is life that sanctifies.265
[DFst 39-40. 61-62] The parallelisms among way-example-edifying; truth-teacher-enlightening; life-sanctifier-sanctifies constitute a clear reference to Jn 14:6, in the key of the salvific functions of Christ.266 It is precisely this key that will direct us towards the works of Francesco Chiesa that constitutes a first exposition of Way, Truth and Life and are located in the prospects of the DF's directions: Gesù Cristo Re,267 Gesù Maestro268 and Ego sum Vita:269 Euntes ergo, docete omnes gentes, baptizantes eos in nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti, docentes eos servare omnia quæcumque mandavi vobis (Matt. XXVIII, 18). Go therefore, teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. In these words, the triple power of the kingdom of God is clearly expressed: the doctrinal power, docete; the sacramental power, baptizantes; the jurisdictional power, servare omnia quæcumque mandavi vobis.270
[DFst 37-38. 40-41] The book Gesù Cristo Re271 is a commentary on the encyclical Quas primas, published by Pius XI on the occasion of the feast of Christ, the King, at the end of the Liturgical Year of 1925,272 and it can be considered as the expression of the salvific function of Christ Way, or jurisdictional power.
[DFst 37-38. 60-61. 65] The following part of a paragraph of the encyclical has especially inspired many pages of the book Gesù Cristo Re: For a long time Christ used to be called with the name King for the highest degree of excellence that he has in a highly imminent manner among the created things. In this manner, in fact, it is said that He reigns in the minds of men not only for the loftiness of his thought and for the vastness of his knowledge, but also because he is Truth, and it is necessary that men drew and received with obedience the truth from Him. Similarly, he reigns over the will of men either because the perfect integrity and submission of the human will responds to the divine will or because with his inspirations, he influences our free will in a manner that he sets us afire for more noble things. Finally, Christ is recognized King of the hearts because of the charity of Christ that surpasses all understanding (Eph 3:19), human, and for the attractiveness of his meekness and kindness: in fact, no one among men has been so much loved and shall ever be in the future as much as Jesus Christ.273
[DFst 40-41. 44-45. 48-49. 51-54. 60-61] Thus Francesco Chiesa dedicates three chapters to the Territory of Christ's Kingdom, that is, on the mind, on the hearts and on the will. He dedicates also different chapters to the Extension of the Kingdom of Christ. To comment on the DF, it is good to remember especially these: The Kingdom of Jesus Christ in us,274 The Kingdom of Jesus Christ in the mind,275 The Kingdom of Jesus Christ in the will,276 The Kingdom of Jesus Christ in the hearts,277 The Kingdom of Jesus Christ in our body.278
[DFst 16. 44-45] This vision of the mind, will, heart and body as expression of the totality of the person is taken up and developed in the book La chiave della vita.279 The importance of this book for the Pauline spirituality280 so dear to Fr. Alberione is not affirmed enough so that he takes it up in a chapter of the DF.281
[DFst 39-40. 49-50] The trinomial example-to enlighten-to sanctify, as expression of Jesus Master Way, Truth and Life, however, is undertaken, in a simple and captivating manner by Francesco Chiesa, under the clear solicitation of Fr. Alberione, in his book, Gesù Maestro.282
[DFst 49-50] In the Preface, the author traces the book's plan: The present booklet is divided into three parts: in the 1st part, the need of a teacher is discussed; in the 2nd, it is demonstrated how Jesus is precisely the true Teacher, and his qualities, the method, and the subject matter taught; the 3rd part teaches the manner of drawing benefits from the teaching of the Divine Master.283
[DFst 49-50. 51-52] In the first part, in 6 short chapters or readings, as he calls them, Chiesa deals with the true Master, with the need of the Master, on the part of our nature, on the part of the human person, on the part of the disciple284 and on the part of the subject matter to learn.
[DFst 39-40] The second part on Jesus true Master is composed of 19 readings and repeatedly discusses, from different points of view, the trinomial way, truth, and life, according to the threefold function of Christ considered as light, example and sanctifier.
The first four lessons deal with Jesus true Master by nature, by vocation, necessary Master and Master by universal acceptance. Then follow two series of three readings on the qualities of Jesus Master.
[DFst 39-40] In the first series the qualities of Jesus are presented: knowledge, exemplarity, and charity, which correspond to truth-way-life.
[DFst 51-52] The first quality of Jesus Master is knowledge (Ego sum veritas, Jn 14:6)285 The qualities of an ordinary teacher are of three kinds: intellectual, moral, pedagogical. The intellectual talents may be grouped together under knowledge. The teacher must be a teacher, or to teach and communicate doctrine, knowledge... Let us see how in Jesus the first quality, or knowledge: knowledge of the truth to teach, knowledge of the disciples to be taught, knowledge of the method to use.286
[DFst 52-53] It is proper to emphasize here the considerations on the method of Jesus Master: From the dual knowledge of the truth to teach and of the disciple to be taught follows the possibility of another knowledge, not less necessary, which is that of method. There are most knowledgeable scholars who know but only for themselves. When they must communicate to others their knowledge, they prove themselves not at par at all, or very much below mediocrity. And why? Because they do not know the method of teaching. Method is the way to follow: not knowing the method is not knowing the way to let the truth reach the disciples' mind. Now he who knows not the way how to let the goods reach their destination is, evidently, in the worst condition. Instead, he who knows well the method finds himself in the possibility of making understood and with ease every difficult truth. Now in the divine Master Jesus we find, concerning the method of teaching, knowledge that is at par with the two already considered: most lofty knowledge, full of prudence and practicality; infinite knowledge that we are incapable of penetrating to the bottom. However, the little that we can perceive is enough to give us some idea. The method of teaching chooses the time, the place, the manner, the persons.287
[DFst 48-49] Among the moral qualities of Jesus Master, Canon Chiesa underlines the example of his life (Exemplum dedi vobis, Jn 13:15): Jesus, supreme teacher of man's moral life and perfect expert of human nature could not but put in the first place the example. Giving example was the first step of his redemptive work: Coepit facere, et docere (Acts 1:1). Even more, his entire life was a model to imitate, beginning from his birth till his death.288
[DFst 37-38] Can. Chiesa also considers another moral quality of the Divine Master, a quality that summarizes in itself all the others, that is, charity: This is the light with which He, having come from heaven because of love, wanted to clothe himself; also in love, he wanted to accomplish his mission. St. Francis of Sales who said these words, Benignitas et humanitas apparuit Salvatoris nostri Dei (Ti 3:4), observes that Jesus appeared first as benevolence before as man. Like the sun that begins to cast its light at dawn, at sunrise, before appearing on its orbit, so our Savior began to spread rays of goodness even before he appears as a person. We see how important is the quality of charity in the teacher and how Jesus exercised it in his teaching, with words and with deeds.289
[DFst 37-38] In the second series of readings on the qualities of Jesus Master, Can. Chiesa takes pleasure in using the words terpic and plastic pedagogy, rare words indeed, but they effectively express his teaching: Aside from the intellectual and moral qualities, the so-called pedagogical qualities are necessary for the teacher. These refer to the manner, or method of teaching. St. Augustine, speaking precisely of the teacher of religion, says that he needs three things: ut doceat, delectet, moveat. They are precisely the pedagogical qualities that belong to every teacher: ut doceat, this refers to that art that is called didactic; ut delectet, thus the terpetics, or the art of pleasing and of drawing interest in the class; ut moveat, and here the supreme art of shaping characters is most beneficial and hence it can be called plastic pedagogy. We shall consider here the didactics of the Divine Master, and we shall see its importance, and how Jesus practiced it in his gospel metaphors and parables.290
As one can see, Francesco Chiesa proposes the truth, way, life dynamics from a joyous and progressive point of view.
[DFst 49-51] As equivalent of truth, he presents the illumination of the mind in spousal terms: The illumination of the mind is not the whole of education, but it is a part of the summary value. Just as God, the Creator, before anything else, created light: fiat lux; in like manner, before everything else it is necessary that light shines on the soul of the person being educated... And this through the teaching of the truth. Now the intellect and truth are like bride and groom. One looks for the other continuously because they have been destined by the Creator to be united in perpetual marriage. But before this desired marriage takes place, comes first an entire novel of harsh and difficult ups and downs. How much struggle first before man can unite his intellect to legal science and become a doctor of the law! To the science of numbers, so one could be called professor of mathematics!... And it concerns only the union of the mind with a single truth, e.g. the truth of the way of adding two numbers. The same thing takes place always: the marriage of the mind with the truth. Didactics is destined to diminish the difficulties of that union and to speed up the time.291
[DFst 40-45. 48-49] As equivalent of way, Francesco Chiesa presents the pedagogical terpetics of Jesus: This is the second of the qualities necessary for the teacher: the art of pleasing and drawing interest of students: ut delectet, as St. Augustine says. That such an art is of summary importance to the teacher is easily understandable either when the class is directed towards the instruction of the mind, or when one aims also at the education of the will as it ought to be. In either one or the other case, it is always of summary importance to catch interest. If it concerns education, this is evident. Hence, the will must be pushed towards virtue which, by itself, is tough and difficult, and one must know how to stir esteem and admiration towards it. The real purpose of the art should precisely be this. Between knowing the virtue and practicing it, there is an abyss in between. Ovid says, Video meliora, proboque, deteriora sequor. The art throws a bridge across this abyss so that the will may easily cross it. It is for this that effectively educational books are those that do not contain precepts but those that are artfully written... If it concerns only pure instruction, also then, one needs to know how to please and draw interest from the will. Everything depends on the will: the presence in school, diligence in application, attention, reflection, initiative, constancy in overcoming obstacles. Give me a student with good will and you will be sure of good results. Because of this, in books of pedagogy, so much is said about the interests of the student on different ages; and, especially in modern schools, so many means are used in order to make the school likeable and pleasant. Attempts are made to draw interest and to please in order to more easily educate. This is terpetic (so called from Greek térpo - delight) art of drawing interest and pleasing. An art so natural and necessary could not be set aside by the Divine Master. More, He who, more than all the educators, has used this art in a divine, and unsurpassable, manner. And this in the manner of teaching, in the substance of doctrine and in the manner of confirming it.292
[DFst 54-58. 59-60] As equivalent of life, Francesco Chiesa presents the pedagogical plastics, by initially making a very important consideration on the formation of character: True education does not stop at instruction, but proposes for itself education, which in turn must succeed in the formation of character. This is the ideal that those who seriously are concerned of education long for in achieving the real good of humanity. Just as the will is the queen of all human faculties, so formation of character is the highest peak which education must reach. The real worth of man depends on this because character is virtue. Without good will all the other beautiful qualities can become a danger, like firearms in the hand of an evil or crazy person. We are all called to perfection. Hæc est voluntas Dei, sanctificatio vestra (I Thes. IV, 3). Now, only the perfection of the will is in our hands. No one could scold a man because he is not handsome, healthy, robust, learned, noble, rich, because these things do not depend on him. But he deserves blame if he is not virtuous. Virtue depends on our freedom.293
[DFst 63-64] Can. Chiesa then presents the persons formed in the school of Jesus: the apostles Peter and Paul, the martyrs and the saints. As regards the means of formation adopted in their education, he affirms that together with the supernatural means, Jesus did not neglect the natural means; but it is in the explanation of what he calls pedagogical plastics, that Canon Chiesa writes a most beautiful page, fully shared in by Fr. Alberione:294

The pedagogical plastics is not like the industrial plastics that does everything by itself, and mechanically prints its form on materials, like when bricks and tegolas are machine made, or when statues are cast in metal. The art of pedagogical plastics has to do with living and free beings and treats them in a manner that respects their nature.
A living being, more so if intelligent and free, works by an intrinsic and immanent principle and a freely understood and pursued goal. To shape such a being means to form it in its perfection, but respecting all these facts: rather, by leaning on them.
Has that living and reasoning being an intrinsic principle that, as what St. Thomas says, is expressed in two elements: in the form that is within him and in the end, that is outside? The educator or formator should see to making this form more alive and active, by reinforcing its activity if the form is adequate by itself, and adding potentials if the form is inadequate. As regards the end, he must make it known with total clarity and certainty by surrounding it with those elements that would enhance its attractiveness.
Then, does the same free being need to operate freely in view of its end? One needs to help it bring down the obstacles of freedom, let grow and stimulate ever more its will power so that, with courage and energy it may run towards its end.
It will only be then, that is, when the intelligent and free being may have acquired a total awareness of itself and, having made itself independent of all the obstacles of all sorts, it shall have acquired the habit of pursuing its end with energy, constancy, effectiveness; it is only then that that being shall have acquired its moral character.
Now, all this the Divine Master did with his disciples.

* * *

The tasks of the educator are intended to be gathered in these two verses:
Del savio educator questa è la legge:
Eccita, lascia agir, guida e corregge.
(The wise educator's law is this:
Stimulate, let do, guide, correct.)

The first is stimulation: the stimulus towards action. Jesus stimulated with the teaching of the truth, with letting its beauty be seen through his example with the promises made to those who listened to his words, with the strength of the miracles.
What an unsurpassable stimulation to the spirits in the discourse of the beatitudes. What fire it must have lighted in the souls of the listeners!
But Jesus always respects freedom: si vis ad vitam ingredi (Mt 19:17), qui vult venire post me, etc.
He lets do also St. Peter who denies him.
Jesus guides his disciples: Caveat a fermento Phariseorum (Mk 8:15), beware of the leaven of the Pharisees.
Jesus corrects: just as he corrected Peter after his fault and when he wanted that Jesus did not meet death, just as he corrected James and John when they wanted to pray for fire on the city of Samaria, and in a hundred of other circumstances.295
[DFst 58-63] Finally in this reading, Francesco Chiesa speaks about Grace as the most important means of education utilized by Jesus and he underlines the importance of prayer and of the sacraments.
[DFst 37-38] After speaking about the qualities of Jesus Master, Francesco Chiesa deals with the subject of the Master's teaching: In the last readings, we took into consideration the qualities of the Divine Master. It is time that we move on to consider the subject of his teaching. What could this subject be? The well-known rule stands here: In omnibus rebus respice finem. For what purpose did Jesus come in our midst? In order to show us the way to salvation. Propter nostram salutem descendit de coelis et incarnatus est. It was therefore logical that Jesus should teach mankind all the truths necessary for salvation. Now, these concern the whole person, which is intelligence, sentiment and will. The Master's teaching comes precisely to satisfy the needs of these faculties. He teaches knowledge for the mind, morals for the will and an art for healing and strengthening the heart.296
[DFst 43-45] It is not possible to present here the teaching of the entire book Gesù Maestro. However, to study more deeply the Donec formetur Christus in vobis, it matters that one bears in mind also the other readings that make up the book.
Francesco Chiesa presents yet another trinomial of readings on the subject of Jesus' teaching, which follows closely the scheme truth, way, life: he speaks of knowledge, of morals297 and of the means for salvation.
Then follow five readings on the means of teaching of Jesus: his living word as true word, easy and effective; the institution of the Apostles and of the disciples; the institution of the Church; the Gospel, the Master's presence. The second part concludes with a reading on the effects of Jesus' teaching.
The third part of the book is dedicated to our duties relative to the teaching of the Divine Master: attending to sacred preaching; reading of the Gospel; the duty of accepting the teaching of Jesus; duties of living the teaching or, as one reads in the contents, the example of Jesus; cooperation with Jesus through oral teaching; cooperation with Jesus by means of the press (to train writers, print books, spread the books).298
[DFst 52-54. 74-78] The book Ego sum Vita finds its place as an aid for deepening the gift, which is lived in the Casa, of the constant union with Christ present in the Word and in the Eucharist: The Gospel is the word of God. Jesus, Verbum or Word of the Father, is present in the Gospel, as word that teaches, and in the Eucharist as food that nourishes. The Gospel and the Eucharist are two different manners of the presence of Jesus, as light and warmth are the two manifestations of the sun. Very suitably, in the Congress of the Gospel, which was held in Alba on 30 June 1927, the book of the Gospel was placed, between two candles. In the Pious Society of St. Paul, amidst the big printing halls, the book of the Gospel stands, in front of which shines a lamp, like one before the altar of the Most Blessed Sacrament. Then, on the altar of the Church, the Eucharist and the Gospel are continually together, day and night, exposed for adoration amidst burning candles. Tertullian already said that we must have the same respect to the least words of the Gospel, as we have for the fragments of the Eucharistic Host. Now, in the Gospel, Jesus says of himself: I am the life: Ego sum vita. This word contains such a deep meaning that the whole time of our life would not be enough to fathom it. Especially in our time, when the exigencies of life are meant to be elevated to be the supreme criterion of morality, how useful and fitting it is to fix our eyes more intimately on the essential and supreme and divine life of Jesus! He is not just life, he is the life. If we arrive at living this life in the degree to which we are meant, it is enough; nothing more is required.299
[DFst 55] Can. Chiesa himself presents the parts and the content of the book: The book may be considered divided into three parts. The first speaks of the life in general; the second explains that Jesus Christ wants to be our supernatural life; and presents how He is our life, in what it consists, its effects, its means and fruits. Finally, the third part teaches how each of us can live the life of Jesus Christ.300
[DFst 11-12. 46-47] More than going through the pages of Ego sum Vita,301 indicating the contact points with DF, it seems important for us to emphasize that Can. Chiesa's book presents, at the same time, the environment, the thrust and the fruits proposed by the Donec formetur Christus in vobis.
Hence, we limit ourselves to recall that Francesco Chiesa indicates as aim of the development of one's life the goal drawn by Gal 4:19: When Jesus can freely breathe in us, when the pulse of his heart regularly beats in us, and we are regularly nourished by the Bread of life, would that everything stays! What remains is that Jesus not only lives in us but even grows and develops day by day, until his complete formation: donec formetur Christus in nobis. Oh, happy are those who can have such a fortune! Now this is not a privilege only of some souls. We are all called to that, because all of us must become saints: hæc est voluntas Dei, sanctificatio vestra.302
[DFst 9-13. 104-106] Thanks to the three books of Can. Chiesa, which are Gesù Cristo Re, Gesù Maestro, and Ego sum Vita, we can have a truly broad view for understanding the many affirmations of the book Donec formetur Christus in vobis.
In its manuscript version, this book dates back to at least 1927, with the beginning of the Course of meditations and extended exercises to orient our life held by Fr. Alberione for the adult members of the Casa, from 11 October 1927 to 23 May 1928.
[DFst 9-13. 17. 37. 67. 104-106] The meditations generally had a frequency of three times a week; and notes of them are carefully contained in notebooks B2.5 and B2.6 of Maestra Thecla Merlo and in notebooks no. 18, 19 and 20 of Maestra Teresa Raballo. Following up these notes, one can notice that they substantially reproduce, even if at times in a different order, the chapters of DF, contained in the handwritten notebook of Fr. Alberione, divided essentially into three parts: Way of Purification, of Illumination and of Union.303
[DFst 9-13. 104-106] It may be asked whether the handwritten notebook of DF is not prior to 1927. Perhaps the adequate elements to confirm this hypothesis are still wanting. What is fundamental is to consider it not as casual notes, but as the fruit of a long itinerary lived by Fr. Alberione in his intimate experience and in his ministry.
[DFst 9-13. 17. 37. 67. 104-106] Surely, an important frame of reference of DF is that of the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises, but re-read by Fr. Alberione in his own point of view. With this frame, Fr. Alberione loved to consider the novitiate as Spiritual Exercises prolonged, not closed, but undertaken in day-to-day life.304 What is prescribed in the Rules of the Pia Società S. Paolo, approved in 1927, is proof to this. Article 10 regarding the novitiate states: The novitiate is the time in which the three great ways have to be undertaken: purification, illumination and union, after the book of Exercises by St. Ignatius, as a long and calm course of Spiritual Exercises and hence the practices of piety of the Servant of Mary aside from those of the Disciple, are the hour of adoration and spiritual reading (or instruction) on the course of Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius with the comments of the more respected authors.305
[DFst 9-13. 104-106] Concretely, the Course of Extended Spiritual Exercises conducted by Fr. Alberione, was intended to be an immediate preparation for the diocesan approval of the female branch of the Casa, since the approval of the male branch took place on 12 March 1927.306
[DFst 83-92] Having obtained the approval of the Daughters of St. Paul, Fr. Alberione intensified formation to the religious life. Well kept are notes of a complete course on the religious life taught by Fr. Alberione starting from 28 October 1929.307 These notes are helpful for the broadening of the discourse on the states of life, the vows, the religious vocation, etc., presented by DF, pp. 83ff.308
[DFst 85] During these years the work of formation of the Casa assumes an ever more profound resonance inasmuch as the members of the male and female branches found themselves involved in a work that grew with stupefying rhythm.309
At the middle of January 1926, the House of Rome, composed of male and female branches, was founded and soon, news began being published, in the UCAS, on the two families in Rome. In 1927, the Vigna San Paolo was acquired from the Benedictines. Here were found together on the first months of 1929, the Paulines, the Daughters of St. Paul and the Pious Disciples of the Divine Master. It was precisely in the publication of the news of the land acquisition that the name Pauline Family310 was used, perhaps for the first time in the UCBS.
Meanwhile, foundations in other Italian cities follow one another: Turin (FSP: 1926), Salerno (FSP: 5 November 1928); Bari (FSP: 15 November 1928), Verona (FSP: 15 November 1928), Sanfré (PD: 10 December 1928), Cagliari (FSP: 5 February 1929).
The UCBS publishes the photographs of the buildings and of groups of persons of the House of Alba311 and, in the commemorative issue of the thirteen years of foundation, it presents A limited view of the Apostolate of the Good Press in Alba, or a photograph wherein 9 important points are marked: 1. The construction site of the new church of St. Paul, 2. The St. Paul chapel, 3. The Casa San Paolo, 4. The Casa Divina Providenza, 5. The Casa Regina degli Apostoli, 6. The Casa San Giuseppe, 7. The Casa Divin Maestro, 8. The furnace for brick-making, 9. The big courtyards.312
While attention is externally directed to the building of the Church of St. Paul, which grows speedily, new initiatives313 and spiritual contents, are also introduced.
[DFst 52-53. 93-95] The Feast of the Divine Master, celebrated in the Parishes for the spread of the Gospel,314 assumes its features closely attuned with the Gospel Congresses, to the point that, after the Congress of Bologna (1925)315 and the Congress of Milan (1926),316 the third Gospel Congress is held in Alba, in 1927,317 at the Pious Society of St. Paul, which had prepared for the occasion a big Exposition-Book Fair.318
[DFst 63-64. 95-96] Teachings on St. Paul are intensified and deepened and it is recommended that the month of June be dedicated to him319 the expression Pauline spirit,320 is made popular and the week of devotions is introduced321 and the summit is reached in the presentation of Pauline spirituality of the Casa through the publication, for many months in UCAS, of the images, with the respective explanations, of the stained glass windows of the new Church.322
[DFst 63-64. 95-96] The feast of St. Paul becomes an occasion for the people of Alba to meet and of larger participation of the Cooperators of the Good Press in the Convention. On the occasion, drama presentations are held for several days, like the Dramma di Cristo (1925 and 1926),323 San Francesco d'Assisi 'L'araldo del Gran Re' (1926),324 Maria di Magdala and Il Figliuol Prodigo (1927).325
[DFst 63-64. 95-96] In 1928, the feast of St. Paul is celebrated at the end of October because of the blessing of the Church of St. Paul; and an entire week of solemn celebrations is planned from 28 October to 4 November. At the same period, nine deacons are ordained, 51 young students and a good number of young girls put on the religious habit. Every day celebrations, meant for the people's participation, are held and a course of Spiritual Exercises of three days is proposed for the youth.326
[DFst 93-95] In all these initiatives, one could notice the closeness of the Pauline apostolate being born with the ecclesial community and, from the simple Centers of diffusion of good books and religious articles, propagated in the preceding years, steps are made to move vigorously for the creation of basic nuclei of the apostolate of the press through the formation of Parish sections of the Unione Cooperatori Buona Stampa327 in order to effectively achieve the goal proposed by the Rules of the Pious Society of St. Paul: The Press Apostolate is the illustration, defense, spread of the Catholic Doctrine: that is applied to the international, public, domestic, life thereby turn to Christians individuals, families, the school, the laws, the nations.328
[DFst 52-53 93-95] Together with the concrete initiatives329 and, aside from the traditional articles, in the bulletin that now bears the new name of Unione Cooperatori Apostolato Stampa (=UCAS), a real theorization of the press apostolate is now begun, with the handling of themes in the manner of demonstrations of scholastic thesis.330 These themes would be again taken up and expanded in the book Apostolato Stampa, summarized in one of the parts of DF.
[DFst 96-97] Also the devotion to Mary Queen of the Apostles is deepened, with references, for example to the Encyclical Adiutricem, of Leo XIII,331 and it is made popular through the publication of the book of Timoteo Giaccardo,332 taken up in various installments in the bulletin of UCAS, beginning from the issue of April 1929.333
More than anyone else, Giaccardo had assimilated the Pauline charism and this book attests to this thanks to the perfect integration and continual reference to the spirituality and apostolate of the Casa.334
[DFst 88] During the last months of 1928, while intense work is being done for the approval of the female branch, Fr. Alberione brings to perfection also the physiognomy of the male branch.
From the Regole, approved in 1927, the Pious Society of St. Paul appears in fact to be composed of Priests, addressed with the title Maestri, and lay coadjutors, addressed with the title Signori. Those under formation were addressed Discepoli. From some testimony,335 it appears that in October 1928, Alberione proposed to the lay coadjutors, till then always introduced as Operai (workers), the name Disciples of the Divine Master.336
In the correspondence of Fr. Alberione with Giaccardo, we find some exchange of ideas in view of a model of the habit for the Pii Discepoli, until the event was announced: You can do two meditations: the most serious, most numerous, most thought of, most shameless and solemnly committed sins are those of the bad press; the Pii Discepoli are souls that with mortification, prayer, humble work, the vows, clothes of death (dark) are destined to Reparation. They shall have a black habit after the manner of the habit of the lay Jesuits with the symbol of the Gospel and the Crucifix. The ceremony of the conferring of the habit we shall hold on the day of St. Paul.337
The bulletin of the Unione Cooperatori Apostolato Stampa presents a chronicle of the solemn celebrations of the feast of St. Paul in 1929 and furnishes also some interesting bits of information on the Disciples of the Divine Master in the intentions of the Founder: The feasts of St. Paul. These were held during the week from 29 June to 7 July. Exclusively religious feasts, of much prayer, thanks and blessings. After speaking about the ordination of six new priests on 29 June and of the professions of the Daughters of St. Paul on 1 July and of the Pious Disciples the next day, it continues: The conferring of the religious habit to the Disciples (young workers) on Wednesday, 3 July, turned out to be most moving. In prayer and in silence, with the constant exercise of the hidden virtues, they prepared for a long time for this fortunate day. Before the conferring of the habit, the Signor Teologo explained the meaning of the ceremony. The Disciples of the Divine Master are the lay religious of the Pious Society of St. Paul. They, the Signor Teologo was saying, are most dear to us because, although last in the execution, they were first in the intention. In fact, already since 1909, the first idea of our institution was to gather a group of souls that would be dedicated in a special manner for the reparation of the sins of bad press. And behold that today, after so many prayers and sacrifices, the Lord grants us the grace of the first group of seven young men to put on the uniform that would point to them death to the world and consecrated to the Lord in order to make reparation for the numberless sins that are committed especially with the bad press. And they shall make reparation in a special manner through a mortified and pious life, through the continuous exercise of the hidden virtues, employing their energies on the Press-Apostolate. The principal devotions are: devote assistance to the Holy Mass, and the Exercise of the Via Crucis. To them comes the wish for a most fruitful apostolate that is most rich in merits; and to the Divine Master, the prayer that his Disciples may be so many and in the manner that He wants them.338
[DFst 55-56] Regarding this reparatory mission a particular comfort from the encyclical of Pius XI Miserentissimus Redemptor, on Reparation, published on 10 May 1928339 isn't certainly wanting. It was taken up by Fr. Alberione, few days later, in the Extended Spiritual Exercises340 and commented on by Francesco Chiesa, profoundly and broadly, in a book prepared during the following months.341
This encyclical came to become a part of that broad channel of references to Christ Redeemer by Fr. Alberione, and constitutes an immediate reference for the reading of the chapter Jesus Redeemer of the DF (pp. 55-56) in view of the Casa.
[DFst 85] After the first conferring of the religious habit of the Disciples, in an article on L'ora delle vocazioni (The hour of vocations), the bulletin of UCAS introduces the Casa in a new manner, describing the purpose, the means and the spirit of the male branch, made up of two classes (Students and Lay Coadjutors-Disciples), and of the female branch made up of two sections (the Daughters or the Sisters of St. Paul and the Pious Disciples).342
[DFst 88] The September 1929 issue of UCAS continues its vocation pastoral343 and furnishes a statistics table of the students of the Pious Society of St. Paul (including the female branch), that now numbered a total of 900 names, coming from 32 Italian provinces.344
[DFst 88] In the month of October the vocation of the Disciples of the Divine Master begins to get introduced,345 in the UCAS and the physiognomy of the Casa is completed, a physiognomy that would be kept unchanged for some years and it would form the framework to whom the formation proposal of DF would be addressed.
Fr. Alberione, however, wants to count on a complete philosophical and theological elaboration according to the spirit of the Casa. This task could not but be entrusted to Francesco Chiesa, with whom he has deepened every research and project in this almost thirty years of exchange of communication.
A step forward in this direction was made with the editing of the Introduzione all'Ascetica (Introduction to Ascetics),346 as Study Manual, in view of making the general principles known and of showing the connection of Ascetics with Theology.347
[DFst 36] Repeatedly Francesco Chiesa points to Gal 4:19 as the occupation of the entire spiritual life: The duty of grace in us is expressed in varied ways: it is said that it consists in extending in us the kingdom of perfection, of sanctification, of virtue, of divine love, or of the Holy Spirit, or of the kingdom of Jesus in us, donec formetur Christus in vobis. All this shall take place at the establishment in us of the kingdom of the Christian virtues.348
[DFst 17. 28. 37. 67] In a letter, dated 4 November 1928, Fr. Alberione announces to Giaccardo: I have been thinking that Can. Chiesa could do for us a Theology.349 He takes up the matter on 10 January 1929: Canon Chiesa shall begin the Theology towards Easter, God willing.350 In September, he brings the good news: Can. Chiesa's Theology is under the examination of our Bishop.351 Finally, in a letter wherein he ignores the date, he requests: After having read some lessons of Can. Chiesa during Visit, he desires that you tell him if you think that the fruit corresponds to the expenditure of time, energy and money.352
These letters bear witness to the interest for the Lessons of Theology of Chiesa that contained, for Fr. Alberione, the theological reference for the Pauline spirit of his religious family.
In reality this Theology Course, in four books, constitutes the frame of reference within which Fr. Alberione completed the final draft of the DF, especially what concerns the Theology of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Considering that it is not possible to present here the close relationship between the Lessons of Theology and DF,353 we shall limit ourselves, going over the text, to make references to the more significant points of contact.
[DFst 70-71] The intense research work of Francesco Chiesa finds a further development: he applies to the formation of the clergy the theological vision espoused in the Lessons of Theology. From it he draws the book: Per l'unità nella formazione del Clero [For the unity of the formation of the clergy].354
Formation is seen as a work of integration of the whole person. It is significant how this also is the objective of Pius XI, while referring explicitly to the Pauline text donec formetur Christus in vobis, assigns to Christian education in the encyclical letter Divini illius Magistri of 31 December 1929: The proper and immediate end of Christian education is to cooperate with divine grace and to form the true and perfect Christian, that is, Christ himself in those regenerated with Baptism, according to the living expression of the Apostle, 'My children, I labor in giving birth to you until Christ is formed in you.' Inasmuch as the true Christian has to live the supernatural life of Christ: 'Christ is your life' and manifests it in our flesh. Hence, Christian education includes the whole arc of human life, perceptible and spiritual, intellectual and moral, individual, domestic and social, not to mangle it in whatever manner, but to raise it, to regulate it and to perfect it according to the examples and the doctrine of Christ (La Civiltà Cattolica, year 81, vol. I, quad. 1911, 25 January 1930, pp. 225-226).
Along such line, the Church considers five ways of unification, acceding to what one chooses: the path of history, of psychology, of reason, of faith or of the love of God.
Arriving at the second to the last of these steps, the Church affirms that the unification of faith, or theological synthesis, is not enough, but the unification in love, or mystical synthesis, is necessary: Faith, however, strictly taken, alone, does not yet touch the ultimate sublimities of spiritual life. Nunc manent fides, spes, charitas, so the Apostle says, maior autem horum est charitas. Charity that divinizes the will, which is the queen of all human faculties, and also is the virtue in which the human soul reaches the most sublime peaks of its elevation. One can believe without loving... Instead in love there is a synthesis in which, indeed, all forms of unification takes place.355
[DFst 12. 39-40] Fr. Alberione fully shares the theological vision of Canon Chiesa356 and, for his religious family, he indicates as goal of formation work the unification in Christ, according to the shared indication of Paul: Filioli mei, quos iterum parturio, donec formetur Christus in vobis (Gal 4:19).
[DFst 52-53. 85. 93-95] At the beginning of the Thirties, that which in the future would be called Pauline Family found itself in a stage of continuous expansion in its activities,357 in the number of persons358 and in the foundation of new houses359 In 1931, in fact, its spread in other continents also began.360
Hence a ratio formations was becoming indispensable, that which, more than a treatise, would contain the charism of a testimony, capable of eliciting greater vitality, inasmuch as it is born from life.
Fr. Alberione, then, decides to complete the drafting of his formation proposal and he entitles it Donec formetur Christus in vobis.361
The Donec formetur can be considered, therefore, as the book that encloses in itself many other books, with the purpose of achieving a single end: to interpret that inexhaustible document which is the life lived by Fr. Alberione and by the first generations of Paulines, totally dedicated to correspond to the call to holiness.
Because of this, it cannot be read simply as a collection of bare notes, but has to be considered, just as it is rightly so, the book of Pauline holiness.

Rome, 31 December 2000.



1 G. D. P. H., Donec formetur Christus in vobis, Meditazioni del Primo Maestro, Pia Società San Paolo, Alba-Roma, 1932. - In many publications of the first years of foundation, the initials G. D. P. H. (which means: Gloria Deo, Pax Hominibus) was used to take the place of the author's name. See frontispiece (DFst 3) reproduced on page 175 of this edition.

2 G. ALBERIONE, Donec formetur Christus in vobis, Critical edition by A. Damino, Edizioni Paoline, 1985.

3 It seems suitable that we introduce the usage of using DFcr to refer to this edition. We shall present a concordance table among the numbers of pages of DFcr, of DFms and of DFst at pages 281-284 of the current edition.

4 Quotations of passages of this Introduction shall have the abbreviation of “DFin” followed by the respective marginal number.

5 G. T. GIACCARDO, Diario, 1913-1925 1942-1946, pagine scelte, Edizioni Centro di Spiritualità Paolina, Roma, 1996, 19 November 1917, p. 92.

6 Ibid., 3 January 1919, p. 249.

7 Two versions of this document are extant: the manuscript text (= ADms) and the typewritten one (= ADds). The 1985 edition, by E. Pasotti and L. Giovannini attempts at a synthesis of the two versions. The 1998 edition by A. Colacrai and E. Sgarbossa, starts from the typewritten version.

8 We preferred to quote directly from the UCBS, although many passages are found in La primavera paolina (= PP), edited by Rosario F. Esposito, Roma, 1983. The texts quoted in this Introduction shall be found in PP through a related analytical index (pp. 1257ff) and in the Index of names (pp. 1279ff).

9 The printed Donec formetur (1932) is quoted with the abbreviation of DFst followed by the number of page. Cf. DFin 5.

10 Cf. G. BARBERO, Il sacerdote Giacomo Alberione, un uomo - un'idea, Vita e opere del Fondatore della Famiglia Paolina (1884-1971), Edizioni dell'Archivio Storico Generale della Famiglia Paolina, Roma 1991, pp. 73ff.

11 Regarding this period, Sr. Mercedes Mastrostefano, fsp, affirms: “The three prominent persons of Cherasco were Prof. Giovanni Ferrua, the musician, father of Fr. Ernesto Ferrua who was Alberione's companion in the seminary; Prof. Bartolomeo Rinaldi, poet and mathematician; Prof. Giovan Battista Adriani, historian. All these three persons taught at the high school and were friends of Fr. Montersino, parish priest of San Martino. During the year that Alberione went to high school, only a year as he later entered the Seminary of Bra, he no longer had the possibility of having meals as he had during the elementary grades so Fr. Montersino invited him for lunch at his convent. With the parish priest, there was the vice parish priest, Fr. Giuseppe Colombara, his aunt Angela and his niece Vittoria. Fr. Montersino most often, almost every day, invited those prominent persons to take coffee in the convent. Alberione narrated: 'I have never forgotten those persons who impressed on me the love for books. Their conversation fascinated me: music, literature, history, philosophy... I believe that I learned from them the value and the joy of books and of reading.' Thus did Bonfante [later the directress of teaching in Cherasco] told me and wrote. She added that little Alberione was very happy although he was quite intimidated.”

12 F. TORBIDONI, Un ritratto grafologico del giovane Giacomo Alberione come risulta dai manoscritti (1900-1907), in AA.VV., Conoscere Don Alberione (1884-1907), Strumenti per una biografia, Edizioni del Centro di Spiritualità Paolina, Roma, 1994, p. 315.

13 Fr. Alberione's affirmations find confirmation in the recent approaches on his youthful writings: “In Transactional Analysis, it is affirmed that at the start of life (existential script) a person establishes his life plan that could be defined only by a single word; hence he does it still at the start of his adult life, for every important change in it he redefines the plan by altering or confirming it, or, still confirming it in part (existential rough draft). The existential script of Giacomo is definable with a DOPO (AFTER) (true happiness and love comes only after death, now, for the little life that is left me I shall be strong and gentle and good in order to be great). Also at the end of adolescence, the script choice can be summarized in an “After”, which, however, projects as reward a hard and long work...” (M. T. ROMANINI, Lettura ermeneutica analitico-transazionale degli scritti giovanili di Don Alberione, in AA.VV., Conoscere Don Alberione (1884-1907), Strumenti per una biografia, a publication by the Centro di Spiritualità Paolina, Rome, 1994, p. 246). Also based on a comparative study of his handwriting, it shows that the young Alberione “must have minced his sentiments and his vocation; he must have gone deeply into the consequences and implications of the choices made and those to be made” (F. TORBIDONI, Un ritratto grafologico..., op. cit., p. 315).

14 Cf. R. F. ESPOSITO, L'enciclica “Tametsi Futura” e la notte eucaristica del secolo, Società San Paolo, Casa Generalizia, Roma 2000, pp. 320.

15 Cf. R. BALLERINI, Il cattolicismo cadente il secolo XIX, in La Civiltà Cattolica, series XVII, vol. V, quad. 1166, 21 January 1899, pp. 170-175.

16 Cf. G. BARBERO, Il sacerdote Giacomo Alberione..., op. cit., pp. 114ff.

17 Cf. Manoscritti di Don Alberione, Quaderno 36, edited by Centro di Spiritualità Paolina, 1993. Useful aids for knowing this Quaderno: Guido GANDOLFO, Per un primo approccio alla lingua di Alberione nei manoscritti, in AA.VV., Conoscere Don Alberione (1884-1907), Strumenti per una biografia, Edizioni Centro Spiritualità Paolina, Roma, 1994, pp. 145ff; Angelo COLACRAI, “Dio” e “Storia”. Un profilo dello studente Alberione (1901-1907), in Ibid., pp. 165ff.

18 G. ALBERIONE, “Sono creato per amare Dio” (I was created in order to love God), edited by G. Barbero, Edizioni Paoline, 1980.

19 G. ALBERIONE, Taccuini (Notebooks), no. 2.

20 Cf. G. BARBERO, Introduzione, in G. ALBERIONE, Mazzo di fiori a Maria Santissima, Edizioni Archivio Storico Generale Famiglia Paolina, no. 4, Roma, 1981. In Mazzo di fiori a Maria Santissima, the young Alberione limited himself to copying “the book of Contessa Rosa di San Marco; he thought of drawing out of it the outline, the thought and also the verbal expression, although he allowed himself the liberty of abbreviating, modifying as how his intimate feelings made him” (Ibid., p. 5). “The choice may have been determined precisely by the title of the book, Un Mazzo di fiori, that brought to mind the Madonna dei Fiori di Bra (Cuneo), a most venerated sanctuary of the same name... His mother brought Giacomino, still a child, before the altar of the Madonna dei Fiori, and she consecrated him to her many times” (Ibid., p. 6).

21 G. ALBERIONE, La B. Vergine delle Grazie in Cherasco (La Madonnina). Memorie - Ossequi, Alba, Tip. Albese di N. Durando, 1912, 136 pp., 8 ill., 15.5 cm.

22 Cf. Lavori vari, no. 4. Unpublished notebook, restored and kept at the Centro di Spiritualità Paolina.

23 In 1933, Fr. Alberione proposes a list of saints to imitate during formation: “Let us look up on Priest Saints: 1. St. Gregory the Great - Pastoral. 2. St. Bernard - . 3. St. Francis of Sales - Ascetics. 4. St. Alphonsus de' Lig. - Morals. 5. St. Bonaventure - Mysticism. 6. St. Thomas Aq. - Philosophy. 7. St. Augustine - Theology” (LV01, p. 163).

24 The pontificate of Pius X and his program outlined in the encyclical E Supremi Apostolatus had an important influence on the priestly formation of the young Alberione: “Nonetheless, inasmuch as it pleased the divine will to raise Our lowliness to such sublimity of power, We take courage in Him who comforts Us; and setting Ourselves to work, supported by the power of God, We proclaim not having, in our Supreme Pontificate, no other program if not precisely this: 'to sum up all things in Christ' (Eph 1:10) in such a manner that 'Christ is all and in all' (Col 3:11). [...]
“God's interests shall be Ours; for these We are resolute to expend all Our energies and life itself. Because of this, if anyone asks of Us a rallying word, that may be an expression of our Will, We shall always give this and none other: “Restore all things in Christ.” [...]
“Nonetheless, Venerable Brethren, this pleading of men on the majesty and kingdom of God, no matter how We work on it, shall never be obtained if not through Jesus Christ. 'For no one,' so the Apostle tells us, 'can lay a foundation other than the one that is there, namely, Jesus Christ' (1Cor 3:11). It is Christ alone, 'whom the Father has consecrated and sent into the world' (Jn 10:36), refulgence of his glory, the very imprint of his being (Heb 1:3), true God and true man; without whom no one can truly know God, as it befits our salvation, so that 'no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal Him' (Mt 11:27). From this follows that to restore all things in Christ and lead men back to subjection to God is one and the same purpose. Hereby We are urged to turn Our concerns to lead mankind under Christ's rule; only through this would We have led it also to God.
“It is your task, Venerable Brethren, to support Our efforts through holiness, through knowledge, through your experience, and above all through your zeal for divine glory; do not have any other goal but that Christ be formed in each one.
“What means or task should be used to achieve such a great purpose, it seems superfluous for Us to point out; they are obvious by themselves. Your primary concern should be to form Christ in those who, by duty or vocation, are destined to form him in others. We refer to priests, O Venerable Brethren. This being so, inasmuch as it has been conferred to priests that they should know, amidst the people with whom they live, that they have that same mission that Paul attested to have received through these tender words, 'My children, for whom I am again in labor until Christ be formed in You!' (Gal 2:20). 'For me life is Christ' (Phil 1:21). Because of this, although the exhortation to aim at the perfect man, by the measure of Christ's full maturation to the extent of the full stature of Christ (Eph 4:13) is addressed to all, nonetheless, it is addressed to those who exercise the priestly ministry; as they are therefore called other Christ, not only through the communication of power, but above all through the imitation of the deeds through which they must bear in themselves the same image of Christ. [...]
“Inasmuch as it is not true that progress in the sciences extinguishes faith, but rather ignorance, thus it happens where ignorance dominates, there unbelief does greater damage. And this is the reason why Christ commanded the apostles, 'Go therefore, and make disciples of all nations' (Mt 28:19).
“However, in order that from this apostolate and zeal for teaching, the hoped for fruit be had and in all Christ is formed, let everyone bear in mind, O Venerable Brethren, that nothing is more effective than charity. This is so because the Lord is not found in commotion (1Kgs 19:11). In vain can one hope to attract souls to God with a bitter zeal: so that instead of harshly confronting errors, and bitterly repress vices; often this does more harm than good. The Apostle indeed exhorted Timothy: 'convince, reprimand, encourage' but he also added 'through all patience' (2Tm 4:2). Surely, Jesus left us with such examples: 'Come to me,' so we find him to have said-'all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest' (Mt 11:28)” (cf. La Civiltà Cattolica, series XVIII, vol. XII, quad. 1280, 7 October 1903, pp. 129-149). (Translation ours).

25 Letter dated 16 April 1906. Cf. G. BARBERO, Il sacerdote Giacomo Alberione..., op. cit., pp. 135-136.

26 G. ALBERIONE, Istruzione I, in Ut perfectus sit homo Dei, Mese di Esercizi Spirituali, aprile 1960, Vol. IV, Quarta Settimana, E. P., Ostia (Roma), 1962, p. 7. Cf. Ibid., in the single volume: G. ALBERIONE, Ut perfectus sit homo Dei, Month of Spiritual Exercises, April 1960, St Pauls, 1998.

27 It is significant that in the sermon held the day of his first Mass (30 June 1907) in the parish church of San Martino in Cherasco, the young priest wanted to quote Jesus' invitation “Venite ad me omnes” something that deeply struck him on the night of the century's passage: “Spiritual graces - Jesus cured so many sick persons, consoled so many afflicted ones, enlightened so many persons in doubt, strengthened many who were weak. Widows, orphans, the poor, the old folks, the young, the rich and the poor: he has graces for everyone because he is infinite in power and in mercy: listen to his words: Venite ad me omnes qui onerati et laborati estis et ego reficiam vos: come to me all of you who are burdened either by sins or by defects, or by the loss of loved ones, or by material calamities: come all of you: I will refresh and console you” (Q007).

28 Cf. G. ALBERIONE, Appunti di Teologia Pastorale (Pratica del Ministero Sacerdotale per il giovane Clero), Cav. Pietro Marietti Editore, Torino, 1915

2 .

29 Cf. G. BARBERO, Il sacerdote Giacomo Alberione..., op. cit., p. 154.

30 Cf. A. DAMINO, Quaderni autografi di Don Alberione (anteriori al 1914), in Conoscere Don Alberione nostro Primo Maestro, Informazioni dell'Archivio Storico Generale della Famiglia Paolina, n. 3 - novembre 1981, pp. 9-18. These three notebooks are classified as Lavori vari: 1) Outlines of meditations (Notes), 1912-1954 (LV01), 187 p.; 2) Outlines and indices of meditations, 1908-1912 (LV02); 3) Outlines for spiritual exercises, 1909 [?]-1913 (LV03).

31 Fr. Alberione had made a Quaderno di Indice (Index Notebook) of his sermons, which, in turn, are contained in about ten manuscript Notebooks.

32 In the Quaderni, Fr. Alberione used to add notes, after the meditation text, like this that is found after the second meditation on “I believe”: “Place - the whole seminary. Date - 29 October 1911. Weather - Beautiful. Preparation - Scarce. Duration - 30 min. Delivery - Poor. Effect - Satisfactory” (G. Alberione, Quaderno 50, p. 23). In Appunti di Teologia Pastorale, Fr. Alberione writes: “Taking notes of these things, the preacher shall have a norm to follow inasmuch as he is bound to repeat that sermon: he shall remedy the defects committed and shall keep what was good” (op. cit., p. 258).

33 For example: “Spiritual Exercises to the Ven. Clerics - October 1991 - Preacher - Fr. Giusta S. J. - quite impractical in application. Generally not liked - Scarce fruits - did not let people reflect seriously. Did not enter the true spirit of the Spiritual Exercises” (LV03, p 30); “Spiritual Exercises to the Ven. Clerics. June 1912 - preachers: Fr. Latini and Fr. Mario (Missionaries). Very practical in application - very much liked - Abundant fruits, inasmuch as it made people reflect much” (Ibid., p. 30); “Spiritual Exercises to the Clerics - October 1913. Preacher: Fr. Cerutti: practical and intimate” (Ibid., p. 25b).

34 Cf. IRENEE HAUSHERR, Direction spirituelle chez les spirituels orientaux, in AA.VV., Direction spirituelle, in Dictionnaire de spiritualité, fasc. XX-XXI, 1956, col. 1015.

35On Meditation - 27 October 1908.
Need -
a) for not leaving stagnant God's grace (faith - hope - charity)
b) for not leaving stagnant natural gifts (reason - will - heart)
c) for taking away bad sayings (Synchronize a clock)
d) for doing good to others”

36Ways of doing it:
Take note:

st do not want to judge the book or the preacher

nd speak up as well if there shall be useful things for meditation

rd we shall make great exercises - via purgativa (way of purification) - hate sin - via illuminativa (way of illumination), virtues of J. [Jesus] C. [Christ] - via unitiva (way of union), the rewards” (LV02, p. 1). Points “a” and “b” of the same outline on the Need for meditation correspond respectively to “1

st ”, “2

nd ” of the Manner of doing it; and points “c” and “d” correspond to “3

rd ”. These seven points are broadly developed in DFst.

37 At the end of LV03 Fr. Alberione composes an index of 56 topics for meditation and discernment inspired after the “Spirit of St. Franc. of Sales.”

38 P. CHAIGNON, Il prete santificato dalla pratica dell'orazione ossia Corso di meditazioni pei sacerdoti, voll. I-III, Venice, 1907

5 .

39 F. G. FABER, Progressi dell'anima nella vita spirituale, Cav. Pietro Marietti, Torino, 1872.

40 For example, “Inst. X To Imitate J. C.” (pp. 31a-31b) has as subtitle “Sancti estote, estote perfecti: but with J. C.'s sanctity” and ends thus: “...copy him, taking each morning some example of J. C., meditating on it and seeking during the day to translate it in us as a painter does when recopying a great model. Donec formetur Christus in vobis, exemplum dedi vobis... Vita Christi manifestetur in corporibus vestris (S. Paul)”. - DFst 44ff.

41 It is possible that this course may have lasted more than three days as the notes, that are interrupted at page 17b with Instruction III, seems to be taken up on page 27 with Instruction VII. The theme, in fact, is interrelated. For example, the theme of mercy announced at the second point of the Introduction is taken up only in Meditation VII, on God's Goodness (p. 27). Fr. Alberione made in this house also the exercises of July 1909 and 1910. Cf. G. BARBERO, Il sacerdote Giacomo Alberione..., op. cit., no. 14, p. 175. By itself, Meditation VIII could be connected to the “Spiritual Exercises to Priests 1912 - Alba Seminary”. In any case, though, this outline of meditation seems prior to 1913.

42 This Meditation contains themes taken up also in DF: “Nosce te ipsum = and made better by: noverim me, noverim te (cf. DFst 17). ...From where do we come?... [...] Who are we?... [...] For what are we? In order to save others and with them, ourselves”.

43 “J. C is:
Way = inasmuch as through his humanity we go to the divinity -
(by Him we were redeemed - humanity makes us know the attributes of the divinity [)]
- we must have as well devotion to his humanity.
Truth = inasmuch as he communicated it to us.
Life = He who lives like Him can say: vivo ego jam non ego - vivit autem in me Christus.”

44 In order to understand Donec Formetur it seems important to cite here the start of the first meditation of Quaderno 53, held on 31 March 1912, on the Holy Spirit as the Author of the Bible: “'I believe in the Holy Sprit.' The Bible. 1. The H. Spirit is he who in baptism gives us the virtue of faith, of hope, of charity: from Him come the gifts of wisdom and intelligence, of counsel and of fortitude, of knowledge, of piety, of fear. From him the eight evangelical beatitudes proclaimed by the Lord in the sermon of the mount: from him the twelve so-called fruits of the Holy Spirit described by St. Paul: from him the inspirations, from him the entire sanctification of the soul, by him the Church is made infallible and indefectible. In order to speak to you less inconveniently of the Holy Spirit I ought then to explain to you all these things: but time does not allow it. I cannot, however, set aside to give instructions on one of the works of the Holy Spirit. - It is of extraordinary importance: it forms today the objective of the most profound and most varied studies: I am referring to the Bible. I would be quite fortunate and grateful to the Holy Spirit if I could induce you a bit to read it also when alone: my efforts to do this sermon would have been repaid. I say then: 1. Let there be the Bible, 2. Something of its beauty - 3. What duties we have towards it” (p. 3).

45 G. ALBERIONE, La donna associata allo zelo sacerdotale (Per il clero e per la donna), Alba, Scuola Tipografica “Piccolo Operaio”, 1915, pp. 342.

46 E. SWOBODA, La cura d'anime nelle grandi città, Studio di Teologia Pastorale, Italian version edited by B. Cattaneo on the second German edition, F. Pustet, Rome 1912, pp. 392.

47 C. KRIEG, Scienza Pastorale, Pastoral Theology in four books. Authorized version on the first German edition by Archpriest Antonio Boni.

48 As regards Krieg, Fr. Alberione here refers especially to C. KRIEG, Libro I. Cura d'anime speciale, Cav. Pietro Marietti Editore, Torino, 1913, pp. 652. Cf. A. F. DA SILVA, Cristo Via, Verità e Vita centro della vita, dell'opera e del pensiero di don G. Alberione, in AA.VV., L'eredità cristocentrica di don Alberione, Edizioni Paoline, Cinisello Balsamo (Milano), 1989, pp. 241ff.

49 C. KRIEG, Enciclopedia scientifica e metodologia de le scienze teologiche, (Scientific encyclopedia and methodology of the theological sciences), Libreria eccl. Editrice Cav. Ernesto Coletti, Roma, 1913, pp. 392.

50 “The innate desire of knowing has given origin to two forms of Encyclopedia: to the compilation of summaries materially arranged; and to the formal or scientific Encyclopedia, presented systematically. Each of the two forms has its long history, both have an adequately harmonic progress, both respond to psychological laws. Formal encyclopedias on that subject matter came about slowly due to the ever growing amount of scientific knowledge, that has led to a more exact arrangement and to the systematic organization of them. In a special manner, after the half of XVIII century, alongside the material “lexicons,” there appear a growing number of encyclopedias, works that only include all branches of sciences and arts, and where the tendency for clarification and synthesis became even more accentuated but where there is still an attempt to reproduce the mutual connection among sciences, with particular sciences, or the unified body of all human knowledge in a systematic synthesis” (Ibid., p. 10).

51 “During the classic age, however, the learned Greek, in order to be considered “learned,” had to have an encyclopedic culture or a specified conventional scholastic education. Whoever took the kuklos was considered enkuklios, “learned”, paideutós, but not a specialist, a scientist; who did not was akuklios or apoideutós [apaideutos?], that is, unlearned; he did not possess the paideia en kuklo. With kuklos meant in Greek so much the circle as the circular movement as well as the field of knowledge considering that knowledge arranged according to determined laws forms a circle, the middle of which is the fundamental idea. In contrast with paideia eleuthéra, there were, in a lower level, téknai (bánausoi), the purely mechanical arts that were not useful for the perfection of the free man as the Greeks thought it, and in a superior level there were the superior sciences. Only the first represented the learned for the Greeks and hence, the true man. Over and above, special culture was cultivated through philosophy” (Ibid., p. 13).

52 As guide, the encyclopedia “has two tasks: it must be introductory and directive... Each science, like theology or jurisprudence, forms a closed circle of knowledge, or of cognitions, with the fecund idea at the middle and the various parts or members, which, like branches, originate as if like rays from the fundamental idea (principium, arké), and go back to the center. The particular branches all together form the whole (totum); or the totality of a science, intimately bound by a single principle (or idea); they have in it the only center. Thus, for Theology, the idea of God and, for jurisprudence, the concept of law, constitutes the fundamental concept (fundamental or general idea). Now the encyclopedia has precisely to bring out clearly the fundamental idea of a science, and to indicate how from it the other parts originate, without however having to deal or perform these material parts” (Ibid., pp. 4-5). “The encyclopedia, however, also has a practical purpose because it aims at being a directive and guide as to how a specified science is studied... Thus another task falls on the encyclopedia, that of being a Methodology, or in order to indicate to the student the right path and the most conducive means for the purpose, how he ought to enter the spirit of a science, and if he assimilates its content. This is the practical side, or the teaching-introductory element of the encyclopedia. Thus, the encyclopedia does not only want and ought not to teach theoretically, but at the one time it must guide and practically train towards study, if not to a profession, to life. Making the nature of science and its connections with the branches known and showing us in this orientation how we have to assimilate the spiritual content of a science and translate it one day into concrete life, the encyclopedia becomes contents and methods oriented. As methodology, the encyclopedia must indicate how one has to prepare, regulate and pursue the study of the science, how the scholar may elevate, through researches, thoughts and original observations, and furthermore what qualities of heart and will he has to possess so that his study becomes fruitful” (Ibid., pp. 6-7).

53 “Moral theology must accomplish a threefold task whose composition requires a special treatment of the moral law. In conformity with it, three methods related to the conception and exposition of Moral theology have also been historically developed: the speculative (scholastic), the mystical and the practical-casuistic. These three directions in the treatment of morals correspond to the three paths that were opened to us in order to achieve the goal of acting morally. The law of the N. T. makes eternal life depend first on the knowledge of truth (conoscenza della verità) (Jn 17:3) [one, probably by mistake, reads “conseguenza” della verità], then follows the fulfillment of the precepts (Mt 19:17) and finally comes union with Christ (Jn 6:57). According to how it is directed by one or the other, the exposition of moral theology assumes a different character. Scientific treatment therefore must tend to unite the three ways without exclusively professing one or the other method, because they in fact converge among themselves, integrate each other and support one another. Precisely in the field of morals, there ought to be a wise and discrete timing of the aforementioned methods of research and of exposition; every unilateral treatment leads to a certain deviation because, in the speculative method, life and practice are not adequately considered, and in the casuistic method, the fundamental laws of morality easily disappear and are weakened and forgotten” (C. KRIEG, Enciclopedia scientifica e metodologia de le scienze teologiche, Libreria eccl. Editrice Cav. Ernesto Coletti, Roma, 1913, pp. 310-311).

54 “The mystical method considers the principles and the precepts of moral life under the aspect of their supreme purpose, or under the aspect of the union of the soul with God, through an impulsive or higher knowledge and intimate love of God (unio mistica). Taken from this point of view, moral doctrine is shown as the doctrine of virtue, and, practically seen as ascetics, or as the science of the means for achieving virtues, or of those moral exercises, through which the intimate life of grace is received, promoted and brought to fulfillment and to perfection. Here Moral Theology presents principally a virtuous Christian life in its perfection, and the fulfillment of all moral precepts as the means for achieving it. This treatment above all underlines the means proper to the promotion of interior life of the soul, or man's life hidden in God (Col 3:3: Mortui enim estis et vita vestra est abscondita cum Christo in Deo). It gives us principally the guide for achieving the three stages of Christian perfection: on the way of purification (purification with works of penance), on the way of illumination (superior spiritual-moral knowledge) on the way of union (degree of man's union with God through contemplation and similar means)” (C. KRIEG, Enciclopedia scientifica..., op. cit., p. 311).

55Christ's pastoral office and its division.
1. Pastoral theology is the science of the redemptive work of Christ or, according to the metaphorical denomination § 109, that is to be explained, of the pastoral functions of Christ that the Church accomplishes through its parts. Those manifestations of the Church's life comprise the object of Pastoral. The Lord had to accomplish a great life work (opus Dei, Jn 4:37; 17:4)-this was his “mission,” that is, the work of Redemption (sotería), to which belongs a complex of roles that can be divided into three groups: they are the so called duties (officia, munera) of Christ, that together comprise the opus or officium. The Lord presents himself to the world in threefold qualities: he calls alétheia, zoé and odós (Jn 14:6). The apostolic writings call him logos, arkieréus, leitourgós and arkegós, and arkipoimén (1Pt 5:4), a word that embraces all his attributes. In order to save humanity, the Savior (sotér ) [The Greek contemporary theologians divide it thus: 1) kerux kai Didáskalos; 2) arkieréus; 3) basiléus] ought:
a) to reveal the eternal truth, with which men could reacquire the possession of the pure knowledge of God. Above all, Christ unveiled the supernatural revelation of God to humanity, in its supreme and absolute form. Through it reason was freed from the bonds of error;
b) to expiate the sin of humanity and pay with the malediction (Eph 2:14) the punishment, that due to sin weighed on it, in order to reconcile it with God and place it in a new vital relationship with him, (the principal thought that dominates the splendid letter to the Ephesians). This took place due to the corresponding satisfaction by Christ;
c) to bring to humanity a new law of life, in order to educate and raise weak will.
With this threefold redemption function, the Lord came to meet a threefold spiritual need that he himself affirms by calling himself Way, Truth and Life. Hence, with the threefold office we come to indicate the organic complex of those actions that, in the mind of God, the Man-God had to accomplish, and which the Church pursues until now through its servants. These are object of Pastoral” (Ibid., pp. 326-327).

56 In order to understand the mental horizon and the preoccupation of Fr. Alberione as regards to what awaited him, it seems useful to analyze the following outlines for meditation:
“The Edict of Constantine -

st The whole world celebrates. It should be celebrating even much more.

nd The pagan world - worshipped false gods.
It was immoral.
It was persecuting the Christians - persecutions. - Prohibition to preach Constantine's work - Apparition of the cross.
Edict - The Cross - Temples - The right to inherit
Processions - freedom of speech - Freed slaves
Prohibited immorality - Woman - Emperor -
Liberty - equality - fraternity
Reflections - Thank - Power of J. C.
Take courage - Do not believe it is all over - martyrs -
Work - Become good in order to become holy ministers, to let known and loved J. C.

rd May the freedom to be obtained through prayer, with sacrifice, with work come out in heaven” (LV01, p. 21).

57 Since the graphic arrangement of the 29 lines of the handwritten outline isn't possible, here the text is presented in a more fluid manner with the parenthesis of line 19, rather difficult to interpret, removed (“Era Italiano!! ?”):
“Constantine Jubilee - modern Persecutions -

st The Constantine feasts are intended for thanksgiving - and also so that the modern times may learn. Persecutions have changed - Tortures have changed: but the substance remains the same - instead malice has become refined -

nd Persecutions -:
Governments against catechism in schools - crucifix - religious marriage - Popes - bishops -
The press with calumnies - with falsification of dogmas - that they ignore - that they discredit the clergy - by publishing obscenity...
Freemasonry = against the Church - Socialism - that takes advantage of elections - through false entertainments, with discourses, seeking to win over also women -
Victories -
In England - 32 profess. - and better -
In the United States - 2,500 learned converts, converted each year
In China - the way is open for Christianity
In Japan - Catholic university -
In Germany - Catholics have doubled, having their own center -
In France - happy awakening in schools and universities - Lourdes -
In Austria - Eucharistic Congress
In Italy - to Leo XIII -
Means -
a) Everyone's zeal - also of the woman at home - to defend religion... religion is yours: just as health is yours, not the doctor's; yours is life, your bag
b) Popular union -
c) Catechism in the school - Popular vote, France - (praise) send to catechism.
d) Against bad press - against fashion - (People - press- clergy)... And newspaper of priests!
Objection: Priests say it... Hence should we do what is against - they also say do not kill - or kill one's self -

rd Time for half solutions is over -”.

58 We find in the Notes of Cleric Giaccardo (often he used to sign Giaccardi) summaries of the sermons along this theme. Cf. Ch. GIACCARDI GIUSEPPE, Sunti di prediche, panegirici, istruzioni, meditazioni, no. 19, summary CLXVIII and CLXX.

59 The meeting of the 11-year-old Giaccardo with Fr. Alberione and the former's vocation itinerary until ordination is related, although the names are not expressedly mentioned, in Unione Cooperatori Buona Stampa, year VII, no. 5, 15 May 1924, pp. 3-4. - As a cleric, Giaccardo summarizes his itinerary: “1. I go to the seminary; some liking for the “Gazzetta”, also for other things. I want to do good at home through good books, that, either due to laziness or human respect or prudence, they mostly block. 2. Last thing during high school and senior high school: desire to work in Catholic Action, of becoming free soon to work in the press and in the C. A. Then to become vice or Parish priest, but to work in this field. Truly, the area of a single Parish does not quite satisfy me... I feel the press is more of my area. Special love for the Church, the Pope; living faith in the true triumph of the Church. In Theol. the work of the press seems more important to me: then I am convinced of the necessity of the apostolate, then I feel it, then I am convinced and the more I feel it to be my apostolate. A very strong inclination. I do not know what could fill it. Salesian, Jesuit or Missionary. 3. Relationship with the Teologo. He tells me about Priests of the Press, and I do not understand God's will. He founds the printing press and immediately I have this intuition as to where he wants to go, and he does not talk to me about it. A desire to see him, straight. Let me not will it. He considers me as member = I do not want. He speaks about the need of such priests, = Obstacle. He speaks directly about me, I put up problems and I take time for his school. Meanwhile I feel I am a member there. I get convinced and I feel most inclined that it is my area. Days of conviction, of persuasion; of strong inclination, for the press, and the Congregation, for the Teologo, for his feelings, because he does not talk to me = what he feels now. 4. To convince myself of the need of the Apostolate and of the Congregation! My area. Excitement. Motives = Excitement. Time? Pride and Mission?” (G. T. GIACCARDO, Diario..., op. cit., pp. 278-279). As regards his first year in Senior High School, Giaccardo writes in a summary the sermon made by Fr. Alberione: “I. Modern society is so down. 1

st The socialists have in their hands workers and farmers, through their own Chamber of labor, and they infuse in them hatred towards God, the church, the priest, and they are de-Christianizing them. 2

nd Not even noble, cultured, landed class is with us, they are given only to luxury, pleasures, pastimes. We are agni inter lupos (sheep among wolves). II. Nonetheless it is our task to reform society, and we shall reform it: 1

st through intellectual means: by spreading and supporting the press; a) intellectually: sending short and fresh and important articles b) morally: a) praising our publications; b) informing the editorial when something is unpleasant; g) congratulating it, when something is liked; c) financial support...” (G. GIACCARDO, Libretto per i Santi Spirituali Esercizi, June 1913, XIX, unpublished).

60 A. PAVISSICH, La stampa grande potenza, in La Civiltà Cattolica, year 64, vol. 1, quad. 1502, 18 January 1913, pp. 129-140; Ibid., year 64, vol. 1, quad. 1504, 15 February 1913, pp. 398-408.

61 “Meanwhile, the work of social restoration is not simply a work of destruction of what is evil, but is as well the building of what is good, that is, substituting the evil press with the good press. Against the destructive energies of imperious capitalism, in the field of the press, the healthy and vigorous energies of a regenerating culture, drawn from the pure wellsprings of Christian civilization, are a force. This is so since Christian principles, on which contemporary society has had its origins and its development, with all the advantages that are therein, can stop and demean the damages of the modern apostasy that is threatening its very foundations” (A. PAVISSICH, La stampa grande potenza, op. cit., pp. 407-408).

62 G. BORGNA, Il Re dei tempi, Mano alla Stampa, Premiata Scuola Tipografica Michelerio, Asti 1914, pp. 114.

63 “Fifty years ago, one could ask: Who reads? Now one should say: Who does not read? Reading is a need of our times, our society would not know how to live without reading. Today everyone wants to know about what is going on in the world. Each one wakes up in the morning, impatiently waiting for the newspaper, eager to know about the new politics, the surprises of the stock exchange, the goings on in business, the gallant adventures, the strange things that happen under the moonlight from one continent to another, from one sea to the other” (Ibid., p. 28).

64 “The longing for novelty is what keeps fashion up and it is what feeds journalism, too. The bringer of novelties is precisely the newspaper that grows old in a day. Its coverage has no limits: it speaks of everything; it takes over the religious and political movement, refers and discusses matters regarding education, commerce, events; speaks of the theater, of accidents and crimes, of domestic and agrarian economy, of gymnastics... in short, it revolves around everything that embraces nature, culture, the world” (Ibid., p. 29).

65 “Whoever is not informed about this modern invention and which shapes entertainment every day? Who has not seen the chaos of scenes that in few hours, few minutes pass through the screen? The newspaper is something like it since in it we see, we observe in detail, uninterrupted, the convulsive agitation of the universe, of the heavens and of the earth, of the sea and of the elements, of nations and of humanity” (Ibid., p. 30).

66 “[The newspaper] goes up buildings and goes down to the hovels, enters in shops and in neighborhoods, passes through academies, rests on the table of the learned, runs in public ministries, enters the schools, circulates through the streets and the squares, takes the railroads, branches through the streets of nations, lords it over all parts of the social body, imposes itself on the intelligence and shapes public opinion” (Ibid., p. 31).

67 This chapter is entirely published, without any reference to its source, in the bulletin Unione Cooperatori Buona Stampa, year II (1919), no. 7, p. 7: “ 'O press, so Krueger writes, you are the orator, the great preacher of our times. The words that you pronounce with so much passion echo in a few hours over the entire country. You preach in taverns and coffeehouses, in buses, in trains and in the privacy of homes and strongly in all the squares. Where a number of people meet, you are in their midst and you preach. But your word is not lost like in the pulpit as soon as it is spoken. What is not impressed on the memory of the desirous reader, remains impressed on paper, and, and to him who casts his glance on it, it preaches assiduously. Thus you shout day by day, without ceasing and without rest.' The press, for the great multitudes of peoples, is the universal supplier of spiritual elements: it is the only daily bread of numberless souls; its judgments form the 'Creed' of millions.”

68 “When the newspaper appears, millions of hands grasp it, millions of faces devour it, and imperceptibly it takes over their intelligence and their hearts. It sows ideas, makes them fertile, and obtains from them fruits of works according to its will” (Ibid., p. 31).

69 “In our times when many would like to see the word king erased, one is forced to bear the dominion of a new and untamable power: that of the press. It is the king of the times, because it exercises its magical and mysterious power on all men, with no class or condition excepted. The world does not go on its own; the newspaper takes it by the nose.
“It is the king of the times because it speaks of everything that takes place in time and in space.
“It is the king of the times because it makes its command, its laws heard every day, every hour and at the same time in ten, a hundred, a thousand places, everywhere.
“It is the king of the times because it takes in its hands the present, the past and the future.
“Finally, it is the king of the times because its power grows without limits with the passing of years, with progress in education and of civilization.
“The Hebrew-Mason Cremieux therefore was right when, in 1842, he shouted at the Masonic lodges of Paris, 'Brothers, consider gold as nothing: the press is everything. Buy the press and you shall be lords of public opinion, that is, lords of the whole nation.' Thus it happened: and Freemasonry became in reality the master of France and of many other nations.
“Let us understand it too: the press is everything: without it nothing shall be done; it is the king of the times” (Ibid., pp. 40-41).

70 “It is a much more formidable plague than war. It is a more formidable plague than hunger. What is then this ever formidable plague? It is the bad press” (Ibid., p. 45).

71 The author quotes the words of Luigi Windhorst at the Catholic Congress of Frieburg: “Help the good press!... here is great apostolate, the modern apostolate, the modern and worthy apostolate, if the Supreme Authority considers it suitable, let it be established as a precept of the Church” (Ibid., p. 78).

72 “It is charity, charity par excellence. The Divine Master tells us so: 'not every charitable deed is made of bread'... Blessed are they who understand that the most cruel of all hungers is the 'hunger for truth' according to the expression of Msgr. Delamaire. Clearing the minds from error through newspaper, we cooperate to the triumph of truth and social redemption. Woe to us if, instead of spending our money to found and support good newspapers, we spend it in worthless things or even in good works of which we could not make an entirely good use. Let it be known well and not be forgotten: The most important work, more necessary for the modern times, is the press: to help and support it is the most fruitful act of charity” (Ibid., p. 83).

73 “The following expression of Msgr. Ketteler, Archbishop of Munchen, has rang throughout the world: 'If St. Paul returned to the world, he would be a journalist.' And I firmly believe it” (Ibid., p. 97). The whole chapter, without any reference to source, is published in Unione Cooperatori Buona Stampa, year II, no. 5, May 1919, pp. 5-6: “St. Paul back to life. The following expression of Msgr. Ketteler, Archbishop of Munchen, has rang throughout the world: 'If St. Paul returned to the world, he would be a journalist', and I firmly believe it.
“Truly, what did St. Paul do? He sowed the word of God everywhere. For such purpose, he chose the places and the most reputable teaching chairs in order that he could be heard by the greatest number of people. He looked for it and asked for it in the synagogues, he sought it in the Areopagos of Athens, at the court of Agrippa, at the Theater of the great Diana of Ephesus, at the prisons of Rome.
“Let us suppose that one day they told St. Paul: Paul, there is a teaching place where you can be heard not only by a small synagogue but by the entire population, rather, by the whole world: from Syria, from Palestine, from the whole of Asia, from Egypt, from Greece and from Italy. More; from up this teaching place you could proclaim Christ, preach the Cross, raise the people to justice and truth.
“I am sure that St. Paul would have immediately asked: 'Where is this teaching place? I want to be in it.' And if it were pointed out to him, he would have gone up there in a wink of an eye and stayed there for the rest of his life, just like the stylites on their columns.
“This teaching place did not exist during St. Paul's time, but it now exists: it is the good newspaper. This is humanity's pulpit: the 'perpetual mission' as Leo XIII used to call it.”

74 The author publishes a page containing ten “I wish” or wishes regarding the press apostolate. Let us quote the first: “I wish, these are the desires of a worthy Catholic, I wish as so many of my friends want, as so many fervent souls of brave Christians and most zealous Catholics wanted and want, they who with their examples make me fervent for the propagation of the good press, I wish as how one French newspaper - that in the same guise in times past soup was being served to the poor from convent doors, that today at the doors of the Church the Catholic newspaper were distributed” (Ibid., pp. 106-107).

75 G. F. RE, Lettera ufficiale alla S. C. dei Religiosi chiedendo il nulla osta per l'erezione della SSP in congregazione religiosa diocesana, 31/12/1921. Cf. G. ROCCA, La formazione della Pia Società San Paolo (1914-1927), Appunti e documenti per una storia, Roma 1982, pp. 562-563.

76 G. F. RE, Lettera ufficiale alla S. C. dei Religiosi..., of 31/12/1921, cf. Ibid., p. 563. The name “Scuola Tipografica Piccolo Operaio” (Small Worker's Printing School) was certainly chosen for reasons of convenience, while waiting for the suitable hour to express the real intention of the institute. In this regard, the testimony of Fr. Alberione on the fortieth year of foundation is interesting: “When the first boys were gathered, in 1914, in a small house and a minute printing press, something curious happened, as if an alarm: 'Work and bread are taken away from the printers.' Appeals to the Authority were made. The Church authorities replied, 'Respect the freedom of everyone.' The civil authority replied: 'it is stillborn... we shall watch over it, at the first unlawful move, it shall be closed.' So, it had to be born even smaller, and not let anyone hear even a sigh... So, everything was covered by the name 'Small worker's printing school.' It was a Christmas crib. We ought always to consider ourselves, only as small workers of God; just as it is in fact with respect to the whole world and the colossal means that make use of false teachers, enemies of Jesus Christ and of the Church” (G. Alberione, Nel quarantennio, Welcome address to the visitors of the Pauline exhibit, Alba [20.08.1954]). The FSP, in Fascicoli 1954, make known the date of this talk: “Printed in SP, July-August 1954, pp. 1-3; in RA [Regina Apostolorum], August 1954, pp. 1-3. It was reproduced in CISP, pp. 145-148; in CVV 212. The text is taken from RA, August 1954. A voice recording is extant. In various printed publications, the date is missing. The recording carries this date: Alba: 20.08.1954.”

77 We have the testimony of G. B. Bernocco: “The young priest gave me the best impression for his warm and concrete manners with which he exposed his program of action. From his looks and voice, the ardor of an industrious zeal, inspired by concreteness of intent for the realization of the Institute thought of at length, transpired” (cf. G. BARBERO, Il sacerdote Giacomo Alberione..., op. cit., pp. 229-230).

78 Cf. G. BARBERO, Il sacerdote Giacomo Alberione..., op. cit., p. 233.

79 Cf. Documento del giorno dell'Assunzione, 1916, in G. ROCCA, La formazione..., op. cit., pp. 551-552. What Cleric Giaccardo writes in his Diary on 19 October 1917 is very significant. For reason of space, we shall quote only a part: “Declarations of the Sig. Teologo to the students better able to understand him, so that they may decide with related knowledge for their future: 1

st Where we are going: The Casa shall be a Religious Institute with a first, a second and a third order, of which the first two shall profess the vows. The first order is for men and it is composed of students and workers. The students shall graduate in social sciences and some will stop here; others, who aspire for the priesthood, shall be ordained; priests graduates and simple graduates; their task is the directorship, editorial, writing in newspapers, conducting and holding conferences. The artisans, having become capable printers, shall have the direction of the printing press, the compilation and the technology of the newspapers. The first order for men is already started; there are already students with vows, bound to the Casa: students and artisans. The second order for women is already started; its task: to print, write, catechize, cooperate entirely with the Christian-social action. The third order, which is hoped to be canonically established soon, embraces the cooperators of either or both sexes; this, with material and moral assistance, with advice and diffusion, well informed by the spirit of the Casa. This third order exists already in reality.
“Setup: the Casa shall have a Director General who will give the directive norms, the points of struggle; to him everyone must obey. Every newspaper shall have its Director; alongside with the older ones, shall arise, too, a Novitiate of students. The Casa shall be spread in Italy, then in Europe and in the world.
“End: The good press: journalism; newspapers of all the world, ours; they shall help one another materially and morally with every means. Our struggle shall be for the triumph of the Church, of the Pope, of Christian civilization, against the powers of the devil and especially against Freemasonry” (cf. G. T. GIACCARDO, Diario..., op. cit., pp. 79-81).

80 G. T. GIACCARDO, Diario..., 8 December 1917, op. cit., pp. 105-106. In parallel, also the branch for women followed its own path of consecration through the private vows. Cf. C. A. MARTINI, Le Figlie di San Paolo, Note per una storia, 1915-1984, Roma, 1994, p. 96.

81 Alberione's words noted by Giaccardo. Cf. G. T. GIACCARDO, Diario..., 8 December 1917, op. cit., pp. 104-105.

82 Giaccardo, on 29 April 1918, reveals also the serious problem of hunger: “Rain goes on. It contributes to castigate us with hunger. War, hunger, pestilence are three sisters ever bound together. God now is set to punish us and beats us and he must go to the bottom of it; war also ends, but the scourges shall not end, till now the children of the people are the ones hit. He who has wanted the war has gone into hiding and eats white bread, but God is not going to let him off the hook easily” (G. T. GIACCARDO, Diario..., op. cit., p. 201).

83 We find an actual reference to these affirmations in the page of the Diario of Giaccardo, dated 29 November 1917: “At dinner this evening the Sig. Teologo told us that the times are most serious, so serious, that we do not understand it, that we will not be eating any more. He vehemently protests against the thoughtlessness of life in movies and in theaters. Most serious are the military situation, most serious is politics, most serious is the economy and social life, most serious is the religious situation. We are therefore at a stage that Italy has never gone through in a thousand years. This is also on the occasion that the Sub-prefect has censored the Gospel on the bulletins. The Functionaries see themselves in deep waters and they are keeping themselves up: more, they are the pressing weight of Freemasonry that wants the priests pay for it: the spirit against the Church is very strong. During St. Paul's time, people spoke and then they died: now no one can even speak because of censorship. There is God behind men and blinds them and lets them get to the bottom: and it is from all this that the Church shall have a very great victory but first there would be very painful days: the Roman question is Italy's thorn, but it is not only she who is a sinner: the whole of Europe. The Good Press is a mission of restoration and of strength” (G. T. GIACCARDO, Diario..., op. cit., p. 95).

84 On 19 March 1918, Giaccardo writes in his Diario: “The characteristic of our Father is not the extraordinary but the ordinary: He recommends to us prayer and faith and with it concern, diligence, work, speed, life, cheerfulness, and not poetry, but he educates us to reality by subjecting us to the serious states of individual, political, national states; he wants to give us the spirit, but he insists on humility, naturalness, on simplicity” (G. T. GIACCARDO, Diario..., op. cit., p. 194).

85 “Two things are my only irritations, our Venerable Father tells us during meditation: that I am not good enough and you are not saints enough. These two alone are my irritations, others I don't have, all the rest is nothing and it just comes. Should an earthquake level our house, this shall rise back and shall extend throughout the world in the principal countries and shall last for many centuries, it is absolutely necessary. The need is impelling and God wants to do this, but we are setting up pitfalls to Providence. Who knows how many more bulletins there were, how much has the cause of our newspapers gained if in us there were greater spirit, if we were more saintly” (G. T. GIACCARDO, Diario..., 15 February 1918, op. cit., p. 191).

86 In the Diario, Giaccardo notes down the short sermon Fr. Alberione had on 12 March 1918: “...Hence, we must have clear but very simple agreements with the Lord: Lord, I must know many things and I have little time for studies: I also have to typeset, to print, hence, I will typeset and print for as long as you want and what you will. Give me knowledge. Clear agreements and trust. The apostles were ignorant but after having received the Holy Spirit, they stupefied the world and confused the learned, and enlightened all men. The Holy Spirit shall not come down on us in the form of a ball of fire, but he shall come this way: he will make us learn faster what we read; store more of what we learned; and apply better our studies; in a way that what others learn for three hours and not easily remember or lived, we might learn it in one hour, remember it and use it. Let there be this faith and let it be real. The Father has had the experience regarding two young men who, with such faith, in a month did what they could in six. Let no one say, I haven't studied, I haven't learned. You have not studied, you have learned more, not grammar perhaps, but other things, and you shall see in thirty years if you are not as knowledgeable as others. This faith is essential in the spirit of the Casa, just as its spirit is new, in this manner, it possesses new means: one of the principal ones, an essential part of the spirit, is faith in learning without much study. He who does not have this faith is out of tune and makes others laugh at him. We have to keep it well in our heads: this faith is essential. St. Paul worked for God and was telling God that he had the right to earn his bread: qui altari deservit, de altare vivere debit. The same is for us; we must work for God and we need to learn many things. We work and the Lord shall think of giving us food, not only for the mouth but also for the mind and the heart. We must then not behave as others tell us so, but what the life of the Casa requires of us. To whomever that objects we study little, we answer: We are and God's grace: one part us, two parts God's grace” (G. T. GIACCARDO, Diario..., 13 March 1918, op. cit., pp. 195-196).

87 Fr. Alberione's words quoted by Giaccardo. Cf. G. T. GIACCARDO, Diario..., 8 December 1917, op. cit., pp. 103-104.

88 Referring to the day before, Giaccardo writes on 30 September 1918: “And the Sig. Teologo explained to us the three branches of the Casa; male, female, cooperators; and he continued, 'This last had greater difficulties of all; it is not that the first ones have already been established, but some more freedom could be enjoyed. Now also the last has begun; the union of Cooperators of the Good Press. During the Exercises, I have written down the rules and regulations, then we recommended them to God; now I have presented and subjected them to the Msgr. Bishop, who not only approved them fully, but has wanted to be the first to enroll. Let us then thank God that it has begun and so well at that.' He explained to us the contents of the Statute; those who could join are all those who are committed to perform for the good press either special prayers or offerings or to work, to write... 'To begin is not everything, later shall follow difficulties, disapprovals, impediments, discouragements and it shall be like pushing a ship across the woods. We need to pray then; and you pray and let us pray: St. Paul would have no problems. He shall take and make this new Union fruitful, you shall be zealous as you can in its behalf before everyone. In thirty years time, you shall understand the importance of what I have said this evening: in thirty years'.” (G. T. GIACCARDO, Diario..., 30 September 1918, op. cit., pp. 233-234).

89 It is interesting to note that already in January 1918, Giaccardo, under the title, “Conversion of St. Paul,” had outlined for himself a life program laid out in three points that are the same as those indicated by Fr. Alberione as the means of the Unione Cooperatori Buona Stampa: prayer, offering, action (cf. G. T. GIACCARDO, Diario..., 1918, op. cit., pp. 124-125).

90 G. ROCCA, La formazione..., op. cit., pp. 551-552.

91 “25 October 1918. Yesterday the copies of the bulletin of the Unione Cooperatori Buona Stampa were laid out before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. The Sig. Teologo blessed them with the Pyx and the Most Blessed Sacrament. We were all kneeling around. The dear Father first spoke to us: 'For the first time, the bulletin goes out. It has to support our good press. It is good that it goes with the Lord's blessing. We did everything possible to let it go out beautiful and proper, but if God does not give his blessing, our efforts are worth nothing: with God's blessing, instead, it shall penetrate and obtain fruits. It brings us the example of the Blessing of... the dying, the last words of Clelia. What price is it for God to raise the Cooperators of the Good Press? With a fiat, he raised the heavens, let the fish that swim in the water appear, the birds that plow the sky and has created man 'king of all creation.' We need to be deeply convinced that raising the work of the good press is a great miracle, and we are content that God shall do it. On our part, however, we need: 1) Quærite primum regnum Dei et iustitiam eius, the rest shall be the butcher's free piece. Seek holiness and God's glory only; 2) trust in God alone and not in our own energies. We tell God: let me do it. God withdraws and we rock our heads. God, who fears nothing, is afraid of our self love. God does all things well and always 'bene omnia fecit'. Hence, when we see things go bad, it is a sign that something of ourselves has set it and let us ask ourselves immediately: what have I done? On God's part, we need his grace that we obtain through prayer: humility therefore and prayer” (G. T. GIACCARDO, Diario..., 25 October 1918, op. cit., pp. 237-238).

92The conversion of St. Paul. On the 25

th of this month the Catholic world celebrates the feast of the conversion of St. Paul. It is a date to remember in the Church. Saul was the most terrible enemy of Christianity being born: angry, he moved towards the city of Damascus with his soldiers to bind as prisoners the Christians he would have found. But the grace of God hits him at the city gates and he is changed into a completely different man. I chose him so he may proclaim my name to the Hebrews, the gentiles, the princes, and kings, the Lord says. And Saul, changed to Paul, becomes the first among the apostles, he who gathered in the bosom of the Church most souls over the other apostles. For him the Church had a new life; instead of a persecutor. This is how therefore this great feast in the Christian world has been established. There are some parishes where it shall be solemnized with a 'day of the good press.' In others, a special ceremony for the conversion of sinners, especially of those who, like Saul, make use of their ingenuity, their culture, their social position to fight the Church, the Vicar of Christ, religion. All those enrolled at the 'Union of Cooperators of the good press' are warmly invited to receive communion that day for such purpose. Let us ask that we be converted from a lukewarm life to an ardent one: let us ask for the energy and the right spirit for Catholic writers; let us ask for the conversion of impious journalists. Let his novena also be celebrated, especially with the recitation of the prayer printed on the holy cards of St. Paul” (Unione Cooperatori Buona Stampa, year II, no. 1, January 1919, p. 2).

93 “The Apostle Paul has traveled the world known at the time, proclaiming the good news and gathering under the banner of the cross an endless number of Christians. He is therefore a man of zeal: it is almost as if zeal were personified in St. Paul. From here followed naturally that the Apostle Paul should be chosen as protector of the Good Press. No means of diffusion today can be more universal and effective than the newspaper in particular and the press in general. Thus, the journalist enclosed in his editorial office extends his work and let it reach the ends of the earth. The statement of Ketteler is not without meaning or is proffered accidentally: 'If St. Paul were born now, he would become a journalist'.” (Unione Cooperatori Buona Stampa, year II, no. 1, January 1919, p. 4).

94 “Proclaim the word” (2 Tm 4:2).

95 “Perform the work of an evangelist” (2 Tm 4:5).

96 “The spirit of Saint Paul is drawn from his life, his Letters and his apostolate” (ADds 94).

97 “The direction of scholarship, that was had before the war, brought by its nature the attention of the learned to the origins of the Church. The Church's ancient history was the preferred object of scholars of things Christian. Many aberrations came up in the modernistic and protestant side; but good fruits were not wanting, rather, they abounded. From among these good fruits, one of the better ones is the broader and more profound knowledge of the life, the works and the doctrines of the apostle Paul. Not only this; but also, and this is the natural consequence, the desire to make the devotion to this great preacher of the Gentiles more practical and as if popularized” (Unione Cooperatori Buona Stampa, year II, no. 1, January 1919, p. 4). “Devotion to St. Paul. Msgr. Bonomelli well said that many of the most distinguished saints of the Church are those that are less remembered by the people. How many, in fact, pray to St. Peter, St. Paul, St. John Chrysostom, St. Ignatius Martyr, etc. If we only knew what St. Paul has done to the world, especially to us descendants of the gentiles! If only we read the life, the works, the epistles: how much more shall we pray to him, love him, imitate him. From him we shall learn two virtues that are the foundation of Christianity: love for Jesus and love that is shown in the zeal for one's neighbor. Let us celebrate devotedly the feast of St. Paul on June 30: it shall be a beautiful occasion for letting this great apostle known. Let us spread his image and let us pray to him as the protector of the Good press. It is as well most useful. Explain St. Paul's epistles at least once. This is already being done in some parishes where every 5, or 6 years, instead of the Gospel, the epistle of the Mass is explained to the people: and the epistle is almost always a passage from the letters of St. Paul” (Unione Cooperatori Buona Stampa, year II, no. 6, June 1919, p. 2).

98 Every issue of the UCBS bulletin refers to the said importance of the press. Let us quote some: “The world is governed by public opinion and this, by journalism,” Pavissich (Unione Cooperatori Buona Stampa, year I, no. 2, 28 November 1918, p. 2). “Nowadays people do not form any other opinion and it regulates its life if not from the daily reading of newspapers” Leo XIII (Unione Cooperatori Buona Stampa, year II, [no. 2?, between Feb. and Apr.] 1919, p. 3). “Believe me, this need to consecrate our energies for the development of the press is a need of such an importance that I, bishop, would delay the building of a church in order to assist the foundation of a newspaper” Card. Mercier (Unione Cooperatori Buona Stampa, year II, [no. 2?, between Feb. and Apr.] 1919, p. 7).

99The new mission of woman. Women cannot stay out of the great apostolate of the press; on the other hand, in the press there are parts that are especially suited to women. This is a most lofty mission. Besides, among the Salesians we can see its confirmation. I just saw in three places the sisters in the printing press: they are working so well; there are many of them who write, not long time ago, the Cardinal exhorted that the sisters joined the staff of the publication of newspapers. 1. There are women, employed at the post, telegraph offices, shopkeepers, educated women who could attend to columns for women, letters, various articles. 2. Many women have time to promote and gather subscriptions to our newspapers, religious bulletins, to distribute them; to make libraries work. 3. Many women have the possibility of donating, instead of spending much in things less useful. 4. Daughters who would want to give themselves to the good press through a work that is much better than the sisters of Schools, Clinics, Hospitals, Missions: they, for many things, in the printing press, work better than men. 5. Besides, all women can pray, make communions, recite the rosary many times for the good press, subscribe and diffuse the Unione Cooperatori Buona Stampa” (Unione Cooperatori Buona Stampa, year I, no. 2, 28 November 1918, p. 2).

100The fundamental idea. Is this: the good press is today a real apostolate, the first of apostolates, after that of prayer. However, in order that it be a true apostolate, we must consider it not as an industrial undertaking or as if a profession: but in view of forming souls, of minds, of hearts, of an apostle. Which means: that those who are dedicated to it are men of prayer, of sacrifice, of social virtues; that they be upright in character, learned persons, so that the enemies of the Church may be unmasked, the truths of religion be well presented, the morals and the dogmas are well defended. Needed too are workers-printers who do not give in to attractions of profit, subjecting themselves to the service of liberalism or the sects: workers who render their work with the spirit of faith as for a sacred apostolate: workers that are so capable that they do not fear competition from anyone. Let us therefore have printers and writers of virtue and knowledge. The ideal. The ideal would be to have: A family, union of souls and of hearts, consecrated to the very urgent work of the press. It shall be made up of printing workers, of writers; but persons who should bind themselves with a sacred and solemn promise that they will dedicate all their energies to the work of the press. With this the cooperators shall associate themselves within the limits of their possibilities, with prayer, offerings, work” (Unione Cooperatori Buona Stampa, year II, [no. 2?, between Feb. and Apr.] 1919, pp. 2-3).

101 “The young students are divided into two sections: the simple artisan and the artisan students. The first learn the art of printing and they have their own time to study, to work, to do practices of piety. The second, less work and much study. For the simple artisans the complete course lasts for five years. At the end they receive a diploma of professional training and, if needed, a proper employment shall be sought for them. For the student artisans the course lasts for eight years and they can be graduated in social sciences (Pontifical faculty in Faenza). Should they not succeed in their studies, they would however have most certainly the most advantageous printers' profession” (Unione Cooperatori Buona Stampa, year II, [no. 2?, between February and April] 1919, p. 2).

102Section for Women of the Printing School. It surely is not a novelty if women are engaged in work for the press; it is something that in our times one ought to take as a much greater development. Girls can work in typesetting, printing, binding, mailing and writing. Numerous jobs can be done better and more easily by them than by young males and men. Intending to succeed in this, the section for women has been opened in the printing school in Alba. It went through a long work of preparation: now, capable of working on its own, it has been transferred to Susa where the diocesan director has entrusted to them the newspaper and the printing press, and Msgr. Bishop has furnished their residence. It has the same purpose as that of the section for men, that is, to benefit the good press. Only that: while the young men are trained to graduate in social sciences, the daughters (who intend to study) are trained to have the license of elementary school teachers. Apply to T. Alberione in Alba: or to teacher Boffi Angelina in Susa. N.B. In Alba, the section for women of the Printing School had the bookstore at Via Accademia which, as a consequence, is currently closed. Those who still have bills to pay, contact the section for men at the Printing School, publisher of the Gazzetta d'Alba” (Unione Cooperatori Buona Stampa, year II, no. 1, January 1919, p. 8).

103It would be a grave error. To confuse the Printing School with ordinary charitable or recovery institutes. The Printing School is an institute essentially dedicated to the apostolate of the Good Press and the young persons have to be good and must demonstrate genuine inclination to be welcomed. Being more or less rich, having great or discrete intelligence is not a problem. No one shall be excluded from it only because of poverty” (Unione Cooperatori Buona Stampa, year II, [no. 2?, between Feb. and April] 1919, p. 5).

104 Fr. Giaccardo wrote on 26 December 1919: “A number of malicious individuals would like to damage the press. The Sig. Teologo sleeps there with two young men. Yesterday evening he was telling me: We shall take human measures and what prudence suggests, from the roof down. As for the rest, I am most serene; the Guardian Angel should do the guarding. What consoles me most is the thought that these things are not mine, but the Lord's; this way, I feel I am living up to the detachment of the heart; and should the case come that we leave them, I will not be afflicted; Providence shall see to it that they come, to take care of them, to make them grow. Oh, Providence! Only yesterday even I came to know that people fear for my life: it was decided upon to kill me during the election week; and yet we walked through the streets at all hours of the night; and God has protected us” (G. T. GIACCARDO, Diario..., 26 December 1919, op. cit., p. 287).

1057 January 1919. Yesterday evening the dear Father invited all of us to make a pact with the Lord. It is the pact he made with the Lord: to study for one and learn for four. This morning, at meditation, he repeated to us the importance, the bases, the conditions, the invitation. His word was burning and full of conviction and so persuasive... At Mass, for that matter, the Litany of the Blessed Virgin, the 'Veni Creator', 3 Pater Ave Gloria, one for each condition that must be placed. Before the 'Hail Mary' the dear Father recited the formula of the pact, those who wanted, repeated it in their hearts” (G. T. GIACCARDO, Diario..., 7 January 1919, op. cit., pp. 250-252).

106 “My Most Holy Forty-Eight Hour devotion went well. Under the influence of Jesus Eucharist these texts have produced in me an impression of the most healthy kind: Docentes eos servare omnia and... et ecce ego vobiscum sum; prædicate evangelium...; quærite primum regnum Dei et hæc omnia...; non vos... sed ego elegi vos ut eatis. And all these texts in relation with the good Press. A stronger spirit of prayer was reawakened in me, prayer of living faith and of trust in Jesus Eucharist, formator of the Clerics: a passion for humility, humiliation and for sacrifice. I long to live entirely the whole life of Jesus C. Priest. I have seen more clearly, he has more greatly impressed on me my mission for the Press Apostolate and I felt myself better burning for it. The Apostolate of Christian civilization, based on Jesus C. first missionary, who now sends us. I long to seal a life entirely for the love of God and souls, wholly for holiness, humility, entirely for zeal, branded with zeal and the doctrine of God on the cross of Jesus C. Towards this I want to come with a series of small sacrifices, and spiritual and corporal, of the senses” (G. T. GIACCARDO, Diario..., op. cit., pp. 42-43).

107 Here is the dialogue between Fr. Alberione and Cleric Giaccardo: “We have to put at the place of the Bianchi advertisement one of the bookstore.” “Will it earn more,” I interrupted. “If it earns more, I do not know: but it is of greater advantage to souls. Now quærite primum regnum Dei: the rest is gain!”. Fr. Alberione continues: “Look after the substance: in accounting look after the substance, simplicity: when you shall be quite ahead, adopt as well a modern, precise accounting, you will do well: for now look after the substance. They were saying: To open a similar House we need directors, professors... If we wanted to begin like that, the house would not have ever been opened!” (G. T. GIACCARDO, Diario..., 19 March 1919, op. cit., pp. 261-262).

108 Commenting on Mt 6:24-33 before the Pious Disciples on 16 September 1962, Fr. Alberione says: “ 'Seek first the kingdom of God,' in the first place, holiness and the other things shall follow suit, adiicientur vobis. That is the apostolate: to seek the kingdom of God either with Adorations or with priestly service or the liturgy. But above all, for every individual: holiness. First, that the kingdom of God be in us, that is, that we are saints, then the reign of God on all the earth, and then, all the rest is added, et hæc omnia adiicientur vobis. Because (the comparison is very material): if you buy meat from the butcher he thinks of adding the bone as well” (G. ALBERIONE, Alle Pie Discepole del Divin Maestro, Rome, 1986, no. 164, p. 166).

109 “From us the Lord demands as well special faith, faith that must distinguish us from the others: this faith is the foundation of the Casa. The Casa possesses it and it shall succeed, but he who does not possess it shall not succeed and shall be a stumbling block to others. We need to have faith also without us understanding: because the Sig. Teologo himself does not understand certain things: and here is the proof of faith: when one works and believes without seeing, even more, with contrary foresights. What an act of faith had the Cottolengo to make when he was about to found the Piccola Casa, and he was believed to be crazy, and no one was supporting him! But faith made the miracles. What must we believe: that God wants the B.S. (Buona Stampa = Good Press), that God wants our Casa for the B.S., that the necessary knowledge will be acquired, also with less studies, and knowledge for writers and journalists, that one will have the piety that God requires from us also almost without spiritual direction. That God will send true vocations, also when the B. S. is little understood among our people; that God will send what is necessary for the job, the money, food and nothing shall be wanting” (G. T. GIACCARDO, Diario..., 19 March 1919, op. cit., p. 260).

110 Gastaldi writes about Giuseppe Benedetto Cottolengo: “The grace of ingenuity, that sprang up in Giuseppe, through miracle so to say, demonstrated as well how God had for him designs that were not ordinary and common... Grateful, then, the young man for the sake of such a precious gift, wanted to show his gratitude for it, by proposing and setting his mind to want to become a saint. He then started to penetrate deeply this truth, that God saw him in every place and in every moment; and wherever he would go and whatever he would do, God was most present to him, and he was most present to God. Not content with having etched it in his heart, he wanted to see it with his own eyes; and so on the frontispieces of books and notebooks, instead of short sayings or epigraphs as was customary among the young, he used to write this truth: God sees me. In his study room, bedroom he had hung a billboard that reminded him continuously of God's presence; he was not satisfied with this either, and perhaps in order to remind others, he had painted in big letters on the wall along the courtyard where he used to play with his companions: God sees me” (P.P. GASTALDI, I prodigi della carità cristiana descritti nella vita di San Giuseppe Benedetto Cottolengo, Piccola Casa della Divina Provvidenza, Cottolengo, Torino, 1959, pp. 18-19).

111 “The Venerable Father, speaking sometimes of prayer and of trust that one must have in God, spoke of himself: Whenever one can ask the Lord for some specific thing, also things material, the Church herself gives us the example, nonetheless, as for me, I would be afraid to fail if I should ask in a similar manner, because I am attracted by another spirit. He therefore prayed much, very much, but in his prayer he was asking neither for help nor assistance; and speaking with the patients themselves, he used to say: In the Piccola Casa no one has ever to pray for material bread. Our Lord, he used to add, taught us to seek first the kingdom of God, and the rest would follow, and we must pray like that. I do not condemn anyone, he used to say some other times, but as for me, along the road that God wants for me, I feel instead the duty to pray that way, and to abandon myself completely in his hands praying: Quærite primum regnum Dei, and this is enough for us. He knows our needs: Scit Pater vester quia his omnibus indigetis; let us think only in making him happy; let us pray to him, yes, but in broad lines. From such a noble beginning it happened that not only the saint but no one else in the Piccola Casa, at least in public, asked for particular requests for temporal needs, many instead prayed that they become saints; and thousands of times during the day and night, this most beautiful prayer was repeated: Virgin Mary Mother of Jesus, make us saints” (P.P. GASTALDI, I prodigi della carità cristiana..., op. cit., pp. 314-315).

112 In places of the Pauline Family being born the example of the Piccola Casa della Divina Provvidenza was being perfectly followed; to always say, “Deo gratias,” as it can be garnered from the testimony made by Domenico Bosso in the process of Beatification and Canonization of Cottolengo: “No action was ever begun without invoking God's help; often this phrase was said in Domino: and it was willed that these words were repeated by the Piccola Casa. Then the houses and the various families and courtyards had sacred names, for example, Providence, the House of God, Hope, Faith, Providence, Charity, etc. Then the families were placed by him under the protection of saints. He founded the whole Piccola Casa on faith. It is enough for me to say that he had established the Deo gratias in the Piccola Casa, with which he wanted, beginning with himself, that everything were received from God, material bread, spiritual bread and all the rest, repeating always, Deo Gratias! He considered all the benefactors of the Piccola Casa as so many instruments of the Divine Providence and wanted for everything thanks be given only to God by repeating Deo gratias and in the receipts of money or of things the Venerable ordinarily wrote the Deo gratias. I take note that in the Piccola Casa the Deo gratias is heart beat of every family and that even in our times it is repeated for every small thing received either from the superiors or from companions. Also in the church for the public, whoever has finished his sermon, the patients greet him this Deo gratias, as it was already mentioned at the end of the sermons of the Venerable. And he wanted that these repeated this Deo gratias also when some accident takes place or when one received some correction as he himself used to do in similar instances, one of which I have referred to earlier, so that he wanted the Piccola Casa to live in gratitude and thanksgiving towards the Lord by always hoping in the Lord, hence, in Domino and Deo gratias were the heart of the piccola casa” (Recensio Virtutum, pp. 19-20, in SACRA RITUUM CONGREGATIONE, TAURINEN. BEATIFICATIONIS ET CANONIZATIONIS VEN. SERVI DEI JOSEPHI BENEDICTI COTTOLENGO, Nova Positio Super Virtutibus, Romæ, 1899).

113 “He who gave everything to the Casa is the Divine Providence and the Sig. Teologo wanted that we expressed to the Lord the sense of gratitude by Deo gratias, as it was done at the Piccola Casa of Cottolengo: and the use was introduced among the older ones and the young, and the Deo gratias repeated each time one receives something good. Besides, it is the form that one reads in every epistle, the hymn of thanksgiving of St. Paul, also for the least of things” (Unione Cooperatori Buona Stampa, year VII, no. 4, 15 April 1924, p. 8).

114 “With so much horror for sin from the start of the Piccola Casa, he [Cottolengo] wanted that at the beating of the hours everyone prayed: a peccato mortali libera me Domine (from all mortal sins deliver me, Lord). After a short while, however, observing that being delivered from mortal sin was quite little, he wanted yet that each one be delivered from venial sins, too, so correcting, he let people say: ab omni peccato libera nos Domine (from all sin, deliver us Lord). If something contrary happened, or if the Divine Providence was delayed with his aid for a while, he used to immediately say, let us examine our conscience, as if to say that he was rather finding out if he himself has committed some sin, though small, to delay that much the divine assistance. So it went that he used to say, let us examine ourselves, it must be me, I must be the cause of the delay. Doing so, he was doing more than any sermon or correction. From here followed that the Venerable Servant, aside from the examination of conscience that by rule he gave to the Piccola Casa in the evening during time of prayers, he wanted that during the aforementioned circumstances of adversity an examination of conscience by each one be done, asking himself, could it be I the cause so that Providence is late in coming?” (Summarium super dubio, Summ. Num. IX, De Heroica Charitate in Deum, p. 401, in SACRA RITUUM CONGREGATIONE, TAURINEN. BEATIFICATIONIS ET CANONIZATIONIS VEN. SERVI DEI JOSEPHI BENEDICTI COTTOLENGO, Positio Super Virtutibus, Romæ, MDCCCXCVI).

115 An expression of these two points of reference are the works of St. Alphonsus and of Chautard, that inspire the meditations proposed by Fr. Alberione: “Aside from the Spiritual Exercises on piety, all the meditations and spiritual labor of this year are directed to the interior life in order to develop it; the dear Father read to us and explained very well The great means of prayer in the first part. Now he has taken up The soul of the apostolate. All the novenas are directed to the resolution of the Exercises and the sermons are conclusions on it” (G. T. GIACCARDO, Diario..., 17 January 1919, op. cit., p. 252).

116 The celebration of the Conversion of St. Paul, on 25 January 1919, was utilized also as a monthly retreat. Giaccardo affirms that the four entertainments of the dear Father were such that in order not to vaguely narrate it, photographs would have been needed. He nonetheless quotes the words of Fr. Alberione: “Listen attentively to me, open your ears and don't sleep: stay awake. In every effort, you should progress ten times over. Why so? Because the Lord calls you to a most lofty holiness at which you cannot arrive with but your own efforts and with ordinary graces. How much holiness! ... You are at the foot of a great mountain, climb up, look at your horizon: it is the whole world; when a ball is so smooth and round, let it rest on well-polished marble, only a part of it touches and all the ball's weight is on that point. On your conscience a million, three million, ten million souls weigh... this is why you should be very holy and much holier than ordinary priests. It is all about saving many souls, of saving ten million or saving a million only. But the Teologo is crazy to speak to us of ten million. I say that a good journalist saves much more. Raise your eyes, look up to a giant tree whose top you can't see: this is our Casa and it is truly a huge tree, you are nothing but the roots. The present Casa is nothing but the root of this giant tree. Oh, if you only understood the treasure that is in you, where the Lord calls you, you shall all be full of life, and you will not let yourself stay put, that is, you shall not leave the Lord alone, you shall be beside him to tell him, 'But I still need this, but I still need that, but give me yet this grace...' But, you will say, where does the Teologo want to bring us tonight? I want to bring you to the mountain of perfection. Understand how much must you be saints” (G. T. GIACCARDO, Diario..., 1919, op. cit., pp. 254-255).

117 “The only irritations are these: I am not yet sufficiently good and you are not yet saints enough. As for the rest, it matters to me as much as a slipper in the drainage. If you love me, take also these irritations, feel them, suffer them, choose to free the house of them. We need more spirit of humility, of docility, of enthusiasm; everything depends on your fervor, perfect union of spirit and heart with me is needed. Go ahead, take to yourselves these irritations, the only irritations of the Heart of Jesus and pray much. In Heaven we shall see how much harm our sins has done to our institute; we shall see how holiness was the only true irritation here on earth. We shall laugh over the other irritations and we shall be amazed how we have not done much of this second” (G. T. GIACCARDO, Diario..., 15 February 1918, op. cit., pp. 191-192).

118 In 1919, beginning from 13 April, mention is made more and more of the Society of St. Paul. Cf. also 25 April 1919, 25 May 1919, 30 June 1919, 17 August 1919 (cf. G. T. GIACCARDO, Diario..., 1919, op. cit., pp. 263ff).

119 “For days now, the dear Father is imparting on us the truth above [= faith and holiness]. This evening he told us: 'The next issue of the UCBS shall describe the house. Let us try to welcome for this summer about ten boys. I count on you, too. Pray: that the Bulletin be well accepted, that it produces fruits, that young boys having the vocation come, that they allow themselves to be trained; you are firm, having good will, capable of training them. That I may understand how to get along with festina lente (move fast by slowing down), and another thing that I know'.” (G. T. GIACCARDO, Diario..., 21 February 1919, op. cit., p. 259).

120 In the quoted sermon of 19 March 1919, Fr. Alberione continues: “We should not think that this faith comes only from God; we also ought to sweat it out to acquire and keep it. When all human forecasts are against, to firmly believe is a great merit and it obtains grace. Faith under test: do you believe that before the year ends we shall have 40 boys? Let no one doubt: if someone doubts, we shall have only 39. Do you believe that by January the second machine shall have been paid? If one doubts, about a thousand lire less!” (G. T. GIACCARDO, Diario..., 19 March 1919, op. cit., pp. 260-261).

121 On 30 June 1919, before the first renewal of the vows, Fr. Alberione takes into consideration 'why the casa is not bearing all the fruits': “It is said, because we are not united enough among us in charity and in spirit: but the root evil is found in our lack of adequate spirit of prayer and the above is solved: from it follows the resolution: ALL OF US SHALL DO AT LEAST A QUARTER OF AN HOUR VISIT TO THE MOST BLESSED SACRAMENT! The dear Father spoke of this resolution in the casa as if it were a matter of primary importance. As love is nourished, we could ask for more and we could achieve an hour a day for adoration. After 17 days all of us have been faithful with a little exception: and most of all we are very happy about the resolution” (G. T. GIACCARDO, Diario..., 30 June 1919, op. cit., p. 267).

122 “The first week of the month in the Casa: Monday: St. Paul, Rites for the Cooperators of the Good Press; Tuesday: Souls in Purgatory; Wednesday: St. Joseph; Thursday: Guardian Angel; Friday: Blessed Eucharist, Sacred Heart, hour of adoration. Saturday: Mary Most Holy” (G. T. GIACCARDO, Diario..., 1 September 1919, op. cit., p. 285).

123 “Along with newspapers and weeklies, for sometime now, parish bulletins have surfaced. They have the purpose of integrating the parish priest's work: by bringing the parish priest's word also to those parts of the population that, for whatever reason, do not participate in the instructions of the parish priest; for reminding also by writing notices of the parish priest; for keeping alive and making all the institutions that have arisen in the parish (child-care center, hospital, catechism classes, etc.) prosper. In the Diocese of Alba there are about twenty of them; as far as we know none of the parish priests who started its publication had second thoughts over it or had to suspend publication. Voluntarily, the population has given and the bulletin has never been at a loss. The Scuola Tipografica of Alba prints some of them of every size, periodicity and format. It also tries to facilitate the work either for the price as for the compilation and the shipping. For example, it could provide shared materials for two or three pages of the periodical: it can take care of shipping, etc. Ask for samples, quotations, etc., from the Scuola Tipografica of Alba” (Unione Cooperatori Buona Stampa, year II, no. 5, May 1919, p. 2).

124 Cf. Unione Cooperatori Buona Stampa, year I, no. 2, 28 November 1918, p. 3. In issue no. 6, June 1919, p. 5, notice is posted that the necessary amount of L. 20,034.95 was reached; it concluded: “Trust was not in vain: the machine was fully paid, as one can see in the statement we are publishing above. H. E. Our Bishop has deemed to come and bless it: we hope that by divine grace, things proceeded well. Therefore we address our most felt gratitude: with prayers for everyone, the Lord's great blessings to all.” Cf. also G. T. GIACCARDO, Diario..., 5 March 1919, op. cit., p. 259, where mention is made of an acquisition of another machine that would cost £ 16,500. Cf. Ibid., 30 May 1919, pp. 265-266, where Giaccardo speaks of the Bishop's blessing and of the name “Paolina” given to the Linotype.

125In every parish. There ought to be an outlet for selling books and religions articles... The members of the Unione Cooperatori Buona Stampa are especially invited to see to it that the outlet-selling point is opened in every parish. No one more than they know well what the good press can do: and perhaps few other ways of diffusion can achieve results as much as a store-selling point can do” (Unione Cooperatori Buona Stampa, year II, no. 5, May 1919, p. 6).

126 It seems useful to quote the entire promotion article: “Library made!!! Let us propose to the Ladies and Gentlemen Cooperators of the Good Press. A certain number of them are desirous to promote small libraries for the common good of the population of a parish as a whole, or especially of a certain class of persons. Well, the bookstore of the Scuola Tipografica, using the method already practiced in England, provides at fixed prices, a small library, with selected books, secure as regards good morals, at very special conditions. For now, it proposes for every kind of person the following, while proposing to offer later other kinds for ladies, students, workers, farmers, etc. Small library of 25 books L. 25. It includes 5 volumes of light reading, 5 volumes of lives of saints, 5 volumes of culture, 5 of ascetics, 5 volumes of novels. Small library of 50 books L. 50. It includes 10 volumes of pleasant reading; 10 volumes of lives of saints; 10 volumes of culture; 10 volumes of ascetics; 10 novels. Small library of 100 books L. 100. Includes 20 volumes of pleasant reading; 20 novels; 20 volumes lives of saints; volumes of ascetics; 20 volumes of culture. Small library of 200 books L. 200. Includes 40 novels; 40 volumes of pleasant reading; 40 volumes of culture; 40 volumes of ascetics; 40 volumes of lives of saints. We have ready also libraries of 500 volumes: of culture, of educational and pleasant narratives, etc. That we could offer at L. 450” (Unione Cooperatori Buona Stampa, year II, no. 6, June 1919, p. 2).

127 The list of newspapers (Gazzetta d'Alba, Torre di S. Stefano Belbo, Avvisatore Ecclesiastico Albese Astese Alessandrino Saluzzese), about fifteen Parish bulletins, five published books, Bookstore and bindery, Catechetical specialties (Christian doctrine for 3 classes), Class booklets (for fourth grade) and Easter Cards (cf. Unione Cooperatori Buona Stampa, year II, [no. 2?, between February and April] 1919, p. 8).

128 Two books of Fr. Alberione are introduced La donna associata allo zelo sacerdotale and Vigolungo Maggiorino Aspirante all'apostolato Buona Stampa, and the book Un modello di Catechista Emilia Moglia, by Can. Francesco Chiesa (cf. Unione Cooperatori Buona Stampa, year III, [July

?] 1920, p. 8).

129 “The dear Father called around himself the Pious Society of St. Paul; he admonished for not keeping him well informed about what is happening in the Casa; then he went back to the basics. We need to form the family: otherwise the work of the G. P. (Good Press) dies with us. Because of this it is necessary that we should be united among us first of all, that we love each other, that we help one another, that we pray much; and that we fill ourselves well of the spirit of the Casa. We need to form the spirit: to work for God: the Sig. Teologo in order to train us to live by ourselves does not offer us caresses: we resist. We need to form the family” (G. T. GIACCARDO, Diario..., 25 May 1919, op. cit., p. 265).

130 Giaccardo would receive the name Timoteo, secretly wanted by him, on the occasion of his religious profession on 30 June 1920, after his priestly ordination.

131 Cf. G. ALBERIONE, LV01, p. 92.

132 “10 February 1920. Many things worth noting and useful to us and to our children are taking place: I forget or do not find time to write. This year is called the year of consolidation as last year was the year of vocations. The current year brings to mind what the Sig. Teologo said inaugurating the first of January” (G. T. GIACCARDO, Diario..., 10 February 1920, op. cit., p. 288).

133 “We prayed for a house. St. Paul has given us the grace the day of his conversion: he has given us a field in a very good location. Providence is to be admired: three suitable lots, at the eve of closing the deal every contract provisions went off; this, unplanned, came; and no one thought of having it. Hence, it is the place of God: the prayer that everything gets done rests under the feet of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament signed by all the components of the Society of St. Paul. Means are thought as to how to pay the 350,000 lire debt. First: faith and prayer; second: holiness and diligent work for the G. P. (Good Press); third: each one does his part well so that we could earn at least our food through work” (G. T. GIACCARDO, Diario..., 10 February 1920, op. cit., p. 288).

134 “Then: Master: look for souls that would do good by helping the G. P.; Torquato: secret ways of Providence; Assistant: U.C.B.S. and the means of the bookshops: holy pictures, cards; Vice-Piazza: subscriptions to the Gazzetta, lottery...; Ambrosio: subscription. The Sig. Teologo directed every project and work. Everyone prays and the processing of papers regarding the contract are also taken into consideration: legal security, construction...” (G. T. GIACCARDO, Diario..., 10 February 1920, op. cit., p. 288). The assistant is Costa and the Vice, Marcellino, as we can see in this text: “27 September: Today assistant Costa and Vice Marcellino have arrived from Bergamo: they have happily passed the first course of social sciences. Deo gratias!” (G. T. GIACCARDO, Diario..., 27 September 1919, op. cit., p. 286).

135 Cf. G. ROCCA, La formazione..., op. cit., p. 559.

136 “One of the first young men attests that, on November 1919, the founder told him straight: 'Take courage: next year we shall have a big printing press and a beautiful house, and then a beautiful Church that we will dedicate to St. Paul. But we are not going to stop in Alba.' And many years later during the course of exhortation to his young men, the founder confided that, while he was examining for the first time the lot wherein the houses and the Church of St. Paul now stand, he had a moment of mysterious confusion during which he saw most clearly the entire complex of buildings, the way it is now seen by the visitor” (L. ROLFO, I primi passi (1914-1930), in AA.VV., Mi protendo in avanti, Edizioni Paoline, Alba, 1954, p. 117). Cf. G. ALBERIONE, Mihi vivere Christus est, Edizioni Paoline, Roma, 1972, no. 138.

137We expect from Providence. What do we need? We need a house capable of accommodating a hundred people: because currently the Printing School has 46 and this number shall have to double soon, in order to still increase. Hence a shop where about ten printing machines could be placed (which is the number that the Printing School has and where the compositors, printers, linotypists, binders, shippers and proofreaders could comfortably work; at least three rooms for the director's office, accounting, conference room; rooms useful for study, classes, kitchen, refectory, chapel, etc.; dormitory for an adequate number of beds; vast courtyard wherein the young could do recreation; garden and vegetable patch so we could save a bit of the considerable amount that currently is spent for meat and vegetables. For now, we only want to provide for what is immediately necessary. At what point are we? A piece of land, big enough for building a house, allow a courtyard, a garden and what is necessary for the current need and also that of the near future. It has cost much though: but what is not too expensive these days: The area is found in Alba and it covers the property commonly called Fornace; it is found near piazza Savona, at the left of one who goes from the city and leads to the Sanctuary of the Moretta and goes to the limits of the street. The five paths. Varied are the ways through which Providence will send us what we need: 1. There are his secret ways of which we men know little or nothing. 2. let us open pledges. 3. We approach people who have. 4. We promote a lottery. 5. Address ourselves to the cooperators of the good press” (Unione Cooperatori Buona Stampa, year III, no. 2, 1920, pp. 3-4).

138 In the month of June [1920] digging was done; during the first fifteen days of July, the foundations were finished; in the second half of the month construction of the walls began; at the time of writing (25 September) the steel beams are being placed for the vault of the first floor... The ground floor is destined for the printing machines, warehouse, with two rooms that would be used for visitors. The place for the machines is notable: it's height is convenient, length is 20 meters, width 11.5, it could very well accommodate 10 machines, allow yet a free space for the printers to move about and a corridor for helpers, for the transport of forms, paper, etc. Well visible, airy, abundant light; it could be equipped with an elevator to allow the compositors of the hall upstairs to bring the forms for printing. The student printers almost every evening come to see the building of their place of work and they bless Providence and pray for their benefactors. The spirit with which the house of the Printing School is being built is different from that which pushes the building of other houses. Here work is done as if to raise a Church: from the Church of the Good Press the word of truth shall continually go out, word that is written on paper; it shall fly to all parts in order to enlighten, comfort, urge towards good. Even more, this house shall be as if a Seminary of Apostles and Workers of the Good Press! It is going to be a seedbed, a blessed greenhouse from where they shall be transplanted into many, many places (Unione Cooperatori Buona Stampa, year III, no. 7, September 1920, pp. 3-4).

139 Unione Cooperatori Buona Stampa, year IV, no. 5, 15 July 1921, p. 10.

140 Ibid.

141 Ibid., year IV, nos. 3-4, 10-15 April 1921, p. 2.

142 Ibid., year V, no. 2, March 1922, p. 4.

143 On 16 March 1921, Giaccardo writes: “The words of the Sig. Teologo on our holiness penetrate my soul, shake me up: I propose to pray better... I can see that the Sig. Teologo runs and runs, and I am able only to follow after him, on my part, I can do only the least!” (G. T. GIACCARDO, Diario..., 6 March 1921, op. cit., p. 298).

144 Giaccardo's description is precious: “A rather stormy wind has risen these days against the Casa; it came as a serious economic problem; 'The Sig. Teologo was disillusioned, rejected by the ecclesiastical authority: these voices have also hit the parish priests of Vezza (Fr. Vigolungo) and of Benevello (Fr. Brovia). The Sig. Teologo drew the balances of the Casa and there is a surplus of 524,000 £. Good, a letter arrived from Pisa; it insisted that we went to Card. Maffi. The Vicar Msgr. advised us to stay in Alba. Msgr. Bishop tells Can. Chiesa that he esteems the printing school more than he did. These things referred to the aforementioned persons, and to whomever needed it, calmed the winds, and the ever good Lord wanted to grant us, in his mercy and wisdom, serenity” (G. T. GIACCARDO, Diario..., April 1921, op. cit., pp. 298-299).

145 “A new Socialist dirty trick has bloodied the streets of another Italian city. On the municipal hall of Ferrara the red flag waves since the last elections: and the comrades wanted, on 19 December, to hold a protest rally at the municipal theater for certain maltreatments that were said to have been done against two officers of the party in Bologna, Bentini and Niccolai. The authorities, who had permitted the socialists to hold the meeting, could not forbid the adversaries to hold a patriotic demonstration in the hour following the meeting in the theater: thus was it arranged. It was not true, however, that the socialists kept the injunctions of the authority: hence while the fascists and the nationalists in closed groups went through the principal roads of the city, at the corner of the Piazza del Commercio, they met a group of socialists from the League of nurses of the mental hospital, preceded by a red flag. Plunging forward to take the flag, they were welcomed by a pistol fire that wounded one of the fascists. At that signal, from the terrace of the oranges which, from the Castle's top, dominated the street, started a storm of rifle fires against the fascists who found themselves between two fires, surprised by the ambush and in a very dangerous situation. The victims were many; three dead and twenty wounded among the fascists; among the bystanders: a person dead and a number of wounded, among whom was Doctor Magrini who was going to the hospital” (cf. Cronaca contemporanea, 23 December - 6 January 1921, in La Civiltà Cattolica, year 72, vol. I, quad. 1694, 8 January 1921, pp. 180-181).

146 “In the entire country bloody clashes still continue, clashes that we deplored in the preceding reports, with the addition of some circumstances that makes brutal violence even more repugnant. In not a few cases, the clashes are seen to be provoked by predatory aggressions by socialists against the fascists... It is becoming clearer, however, through the confession of the same leaders of fascism, that the movement, started early as a reaction against the acts of arrogance of the socialists-bolshevists-communists or anarchists of some breed, not infrequently goes beyond the limits, thus committing the same sin of arbitrary violence rightly brandished against the subversives and doubling the confusion instead of benefiting order and public peace. To cite some example of arbitrary acts of arrogance made part of the fascists' ways, it is enough to recall the abuse committed in Pisa some days ago against Hon. Modigliani who was traveling with his wife, and was obliged to get down the train that the troublemakers did not want to depart. In Pavia, Hon. F. Mani, insulted while seated in a café, followed up to the higher floors of the house, was brutally beaten and attempts were made to throw him down through the balcony to the street because he did not want to shout what the caprice of those violent men was imposing on him. In the same manner the Hon. Albertelli was jeered and called a villain in Pavia while obliging him to withdraw from a public meeting place and retire in his house. In many places, the fascists broke into private homes looking for men of another party and beating them up and offending them in all manners, just as they did in Mantova against the Socialist Zanolli, with an open violation of a private residence” (cf. Cronaca contemporanea, 28 April - 12 May 1921, in La Civiltà Cattolica, year 72, vol. II, quad. 1702, 14 May 1921, p. 371).

147 “The duel between socialists and fascists is becoming more bitter and bloody every moment at the expense of the country's order and peace. The socialists, as usual, shout to hoarseness against their adversaries, who are making themselves complaining victims of their acts of violence; however, on closer look, it is like an affair between shipmasters and mates. Meanwhile, however, it cannot be denied that Italy, not only in major cities, but in the smaller neighborhoods and even in the rural areas, looks like a country not worth calling a civil one; for that matter, we would want to give proof to this the events of the weeks. On the 6

th of April, in Padova a fascist student was attacked and beaten by workers; in return, the Labor Office is devastated and burned. The next day, a fascist is maltreated and wounded by the railway workers at the station of Reggio Emilia; his companions came to his aid to defend him and these occupied the Labor Office and the offices of the socialist newspaper La Giustizia and set it on fire. On the same day, in Venice there was fisticuffs between two parts in the Campo santi Apostoli: the guards intervened: two pistol shots against them; one dead and fifteen wounded... And the destruction is multiplied each day so that it would be quite long to follow their marks. While we write, troubles, rumbles, gunshots, fires in Taranto, in Minervino Murge, in Ortenova, in Spinazzola, in Parma, in San Damiano in the Piacentino area, in Legnago, in Viadana, in Campitelio, in Girgenti, in Nettuno, in Arcole, in Iglesias, Sardinia, again in Turin, in Livorno, in Figline Valdarno; and we can continue the sad listing if this were not enough to show the state of deep disturbance with which the country is being reduced” (Cf. Cronaca contemporanea, 7-28 April 1921, in La Civiltà Cattolica, year 72, vol. II, quad. 1701, 30 April 1921, pp. 275-277).

148 “The savage bullyings and the socialist criminal aggressions against the Catholics are being multiplied in a rather serious manner; it is clear by now that there is an order, a violent campaign to suffocate, perhaps also in blood, every manifestation of religious freedom. The most recent tragedy took place at the Abbazia San Salvatore, that one in Siena, on Sunday, 15 August. The feast of the Assumption was being celebrated there with a procession wherein mostly women and young girls participated. The socialist league held on the same day a meeting wherein a socialist lawmaker, among the most furious bolshevists, had vented all his bile against priests and the police, exciting those villains to every excess. In fact, a group of those brutes affronted the procession and, having beaten the priests, “they wounded seriously the parish priest and brandished fists and batons as if they were crazy”. Then, as the Resto del Carlino reports, a newspaper not suspected of anticlericalism, “sensing that a group of running ruffians was directed towards the church of the Convent, the police officer of the carabinieri went there with 17 officers: but the socialists met them with stones and pistol fires. Two shots fired at close range wounded the targeted Nazzareno Ciarrocchi who died moments later, and some stabs brought down police officer Burriggi. At this sight, the police officers used their guns; and the flag bearer Ovidio Sabbatini, who the soldiers are certain to point as the one who shot the victim, fell wounded by a bullet.” At the same time a group of socialists had penetrated the church, attacking the faithful who had taken refuge there. A religious, Friar Angelico of the Minors, was killed. In the terrifying mix-up that followed, the police officers had again to use their guns for defense, and the church echoed with shots from one side and the other: two of the aggressors and a poor child fell in their blood. The police officers had to withdraw to their headquarters and braced themselves up against the mob that tried to set them on fire. New gunfire and stones and pistol shots until 10 in the evening. The count of the day amounted to eight dead and numerous persons wounded; furthermore, many of the rebels were arrested. In exchange, the socialists, as usual, called for a general strike, the height impudent brutality after the most ferocious brutality” (cf. Cronaca contemporanea, 12-26 August 1920, in La Civiltà Cattolica, year 71, vol. III, quad. 1685, 28 August 1920, pp. 464-465)

149 Cf. L. ROLFO, I primi passi (1914-1930), in AA.VV., Mi protendo in avanti, op. cit., p. 127.

150 Cf. S. LAMERA, Lo spirito di don Giaccardo, servo di Dio, Edizioni Paoline, III edition, no date, p. 115.

151 Cf. G. BARBERO, Il sacerdote Giacomo Alberione..., op. cit., p. 311.

152 G. ALBERIONE, Sectamini fidem..., Ricordi del Primo Maestro ai Sacerdoti Sampaolini, Pia Società San Paolo, Alba, p. 48.

153 Cf. G. BARBERO, Il sacerdote Giacomo Alberione..., op. cit., p. 362.

154 “The Founder always attributed a great importance to this dream that should date back to 1923 and, perhaps, during the first months of that year when his health was about to suffer the most serious crisis of his life, in the sense that the words he was saying to have heard from the lips of the Savior became for him a certainty and a program of life” (L. ROLFO, Don Alberione, Appunti per una biografia, Edizioni San Paolo, 1998

3 , p. 187).

155 C. A. MARTINI, Le Figlie di San Paolo, op. cit., p. 129.

156 P. GILLI, Così come mi ricordo, Cenni sulla storia della Congregazione, Alba, July 1995. Unpublished notes entrusted to the author at the CSP.

157 Transcription of the video recording of the round table discussion held at the Stabilimenti del Gruppo Periodici, in Alba, on 13 September 1995, with the participation of Acc. Antonio Buccolo, Prof. Edoardo Borra, Dr. Gianfranco Maggi and Dr. Piero Reggio. Cf. M. BUCCOLO, Alba 1914-1925: don Alberione fondatore e il suo tempo, in Il Cooperatore Paolino, no. 9, November 1995, pp. 12-13.

158 “The courtyard had to be done as soon as possible: during the rains it became a pool that stayed on for a while. The inconvenience was serious. Twenty young men of Priocca offered themselves to level it off. A beautiful Monday morning they came in two carts with shovels, picks, pails... Heading the group was Mr. Corsero Stefano, who was doing a lot of good to our Casa. They leveled down the hump in front and expanded the courtyard for more than three meters. They raised the ground in various places by 30, 40, 50 cms., by transferring soil with hand a drawn carts or horse a drawn. If they worked on their own, they would not have done so with greater fervor... The work was finished late Friday evening” (Unione Cooperatori Buona Stampa, year VI, no. 2, 27 February 1923, p. 4).

159 We reprint entirely this memorable page: “In front of the machines. Reflections. The machines are material, and this would not have any attraction to the Christian: it were not that man himself were spirit alone. But this material thing that makes up the machines are God's handiwork, and are worked on by the marvelous ingenuity that God has entrusted to man. These marvelous machines become dear and venerable as the pulpit to the sacred speaker. St. Paul in that monument of science and charity raised before the centuries, his letter to the Romans, exclaims: faith comes from hearing and from hearing the gospel: how beautiful are the footsteps of those who proclaim peace, who announce joy! How beautiful are the machines meant for the good of those evangelizing. The apostle of the good press before the machines experiences something more than St. Francis when he felt the hymn for brother sun come through his soul. The thought of the apostle goes through the machine that makes it material in paper, that is, almost alive, because it brings eternal truths, spiritual nourishment that feeds an infinite number of readers: not by bread alone that man lives, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God. Divine wisdom, through the divine word, has nourished the heart and the soul of the apostle, who has meditated on it in the Divine Scriptures. From his soul it has taken form, is incarnated, become material through the melting pot, the coils, the gears, the plates, of a machine; it has come out with a body of paper; it shall become the thought of other men, of other souls; it shall cross seas, go mountains, turn into brothers the sentiments, the ideas of two souls who have never seen each other, the writer and the reader; Christian the writer, Christian the reader. The divine truth illumines the world, the kingdom of Jesus, wins over new minds, new spirits, new hearts. The missionary of the good press loves his machine; he wants it beautiful, modern, very fast, so much so as to reach and overcome in the race the bad press; he loves his small church, keeps it clean and orderly; he dreams of it as always working, bringing forth good word. I wish to be found always at the pedestal of my machine. The saints are painted with their tools in hand, the symbols, the emblems of their sanctification: I, apostle of the press, wish to be portrayed with the pen and inkwell, or standing straight near the machine that runs. How can one otherwise paint on a canvas the thought of that most broad mind that was Tertullian: a day shall come when the ink of writers shall be as valuable as the blood of martyrs. The martyrs show swords, bonfires, grates, crosses, wild beasts... And how are many saints represented? St. Paul is depicted with a book of his epistles in hand; St. Thomas holds a pen between his fingers, Dominic Savio holds in his right hand a sheet of paper; the evangelists are shown writing down in scrolls what the Spirit of truth inspired them; St. Francis of Sales has beside him the works that made him be declared doctor of devotion; St. Gregory the Great is portrayed in the act of writing his book of Morals; St. John Berchmans keeps close to his chest the book of rules meditated upon for long” (Unione Cooperatori Buona Stampa, year IV, no. 5, 15 July 1921, pp. 5-6).

160 Ibid., p. 8.

161 G. T. GIACCARDO, Diario..., May 1921, op. cit., p. 299.

162 G. T. GIACCARDO, Diario..., 19 June 1921, op. cit., p. 299. “To live entirely in common” here means most likely “having everything in common.”

163 G. ROCCA, La formazione..., Document no. 31, op. cit., pp. 569-570.

164 G. ROCCA, La formazione..., Document no. 31, op. cit., p. 570.

165 G. BARBERO, Il sacerdote Giacomo Alberione..., op. cit., pp. 319-320.

166 G. T. GIACCARDO, Diario..., 10 February 1918, op. cit., p. 190.

167 Unione Cooperatori Buona Stampa, year V, no. 1, 5 February 1922, p. 5.

168 Ibid., p. 3.

169 Ibid., p. 7.

170 Ibid., year V, no. 7, August 1922, p. 4.

171 Ibid., p. 2.

172 Ibid.

173 Ibid., p. 4.

174 G. ALBERIONE, Quaderno 39, 29 November 1909, p. 15.

175 R.F. ROHRBACHER, Storia universale della Chiesa, 16 voll., Giacinto Marietti, Torino, 1869-1870

3 .

176 Cf. for example, G. ALBERIONE, Quaderno 39 and R.F. ROHRBACHER, Storia universale della Chiesa, op. cit., vol. IV, pp. 149ff.

177 G. VENTURA, Le donne del Vangelo, Giosuè Rondinella Editore, Napoli 1856-1875; ID., La donna cattolica, 3 voll., Carlo Turati, Milano - Dario G. Rossi-Genova, coeditori, 1855; ID., La Madre di Dio Madre degli uomini ovvero La Santissima Vergine a piè della croce, Rondinella & Loffredo, Librai-Editori, Napoli, 1903

6 .

178 Cf. F. ANDREU, Ventura, in Dictionnaire de Spiritualité, vol. 16, fasc. CII-CIII, Paris, 1992, coll. 364-372.

179 Cf. G. VENTURA, Le donne del Vangelo, op. cit., second part, pp. 24-77.

180 Ibid., p. 34.

181 Ibid., pp. 41-42.

182 Ibid., pp. 42-43.

183 Ibid., pp. 43-44.

184 Ibid., pp. 44-45.

185 Ibid., pp. 45-46.

186 Ibid., p. 48.

187 Cf. Ibid., pp. 49-67.

188 Ibid., p. 53.

189 These references to DFst are valid also for the next numbers of this section (nos. 125-131).

190 G. ALBERIONE, La donna associata allo zelo sacerdotale, op. cit., p. 46.

191 Ibid., p. 24.

192 Ventura's work helps to locate Fr. Alberione's affirmations on the “Woman's apostolate in the past”, in the fourth chapter first part of the book “La donna associata allo zelo sacredotale” (The woman associated with priestly zeal), 1915, pp. 42ff. Cf. for example, what Fr. Alberione writes about St. Olimpia (pp. 49-50) and the II vol. of La donna cattolica, pp. 126ff. Although Ventura favors the exposition on woman as mother and in the non-monastic church roles, and leads himself to present the women who worked in the French Church, the book La donna cattolica serves as a very vast point of reference for the mind of Fr. Alberione.

193 G. VENTURA, La donna cattolica, op. cit., vol. I, p. 258.

194 Ibid., p. 259.

195 Ibid., p. 260.

196 Ibid., p. 263.

197 Unione Cooperatori Buona Stampa, year V, no. 7, August 1922, p. 9.

198 Ibid.

199 Cf. Ibid., year V, no. 4, 6 May 1922, p. 8.

200 Cf. G. BARBERO, Il sacerdote Giacomo Alberione..., op. cit., pp. 373-374.

201 Unione Cooperatori Buona Stampa, year V, no. 7, August 1922, p. 11.

202 Cf. C. A. MARTINI, Le Figlie di San Paolo..., op. cit., p. 119.

203 Unione Cooperatori Buona Stampa, year V, no. 7, August, 1922, p. 10.

204 G. T. GIACCARDO, Diario..., July 1922, op. cit., p. 300.

205 Unione Cooperatori Buona Stampa, year V, no. 8, 10 September 1922, p. 2.

206 Ibid.

207 Ibid., year V, no. 12, 23 December 1922, p. 3.

208 “Work accomplished. In 1922, 350,000 copies of the Gazzetta d'Alba came out of the Printing School; 482,000 copies of parish bulletins of all formats and frequency; 120,000 copies of Vita Pastorale (magazine for priests); 150,000 of small and big catechism books; 9 books of devotions, for a total of 27,000 copies; 36,000 copies of “Dottrina e fatti”; 12,000 copies of “Armonie Sociali”, a sociology magazine of the Pontificio Ateneo of Bergamo. Two collections of novels “Tolle et lege” and “Fons aquae” for a total of 69,000 copies; eleven books of different kinds: in all 27,500 copies. Furthermore, 70,000 calendars were published; Easter cards of different kinds, about 75,000; about 75,000 of religious leaflets, an immense quantity of circulars, sheets, posters, registry books and tickets for catechism. And yet, nothing was really done! In the field of the press and face to face with the bad press we are nothing but an infinite minority, an imperceptible dot! We need vocations, printers, aids” (Unione Cooperatori Buona Stampa, year V, no. 12, 23 December 1922, p. 4).

209 In the Cenni storici generali della Pia Società S. Paolo, (Historical references of the Pious Society of St. Paul) , after having spoken of the beginnings of the foundation projects of Fr. Alberione, in 1903-1904, and of the two first young men, initiated in 1908 at the schools of the Seminary, there came a growth in number of students in the Casa. “On August 20, the first student entered to begin the new family; in 1915, they were 9; in 1916, the number went up to 14; in 1918, to 25; in 1919, to 35; in 1920, to 42; in 1921, to 90; in 1922, to 172” (Unione Cooperatori Buona Stampa, year VI, no. 2, 27 February 1923, p. 10).

210 Cf. Ibid. , pp. 2-3.

211 These references to the DFst are valid also for the following numbers of this section (nos. 138-143).

212 IGNATIUS OF LOYOLA, Autobiografia (Autobiography), n. 3. Cf. ID., Gli scritti, edited by M. Gioia, UTET, Torino, 1977, p. 660.

213 A. RABALLO (Suor Teresa, F.S.P.), Memorie del Primo Maestro Rev. Teologo Giacomo Alberione, unpublished work. Cf. G. BARBERO, Il sacerdote Giacomo Alberione... , op. cit., p. 359.

214 A. RABALLO (Suor Teresa, F.S.P.), Memorie del Primo Maestro.. ., op. cit. Cf. G. BARBERO, Il sacerdote Giacomo Alberione... , op. cit., p. 359.

215 G. BARBERO, Il sacerdote Giacomo Alberione..., op. cit., p. 360.

216 G. ALBERIONE, San Paolo, July-August 1954, p. 2.

217 “Last year [1922] in the evening of 29 June, a first procession accompanied Jesus Eucharist from the inside Chapel in order to take possession of the new church, which was blessed then; on 1 May of this year a second procession aux flambeaux with the singing of the Laurentine Litany, brought in triumph to the new Church the portrait of the Queen of the Apostles; last June 1, St. Paul, the patron and the soul of the casa and of our Pious Society, was made to stay near blessed Jesus, the Divine Master, and Mary Queen, in the church dedicated to him” (Unione Cooperatori Buona Stampa, year VI, no. 6, 21 June 1923, p. 7).

218 In an article of June 23, entitled Eucharistic dates, the UCBS bulletin draws the development of the Eucharistic spirituality of the Casa from the beginning to 30 May of that year: Mass, Communion, Eucharistic presence, Eucharistic laus perennis, visit, greetings and short visit. Especially significant are the beginning and the end of the article: “The devotion to the Divine Master in the Casa is concentrated on the Holy Tabernacle. When the Casa was still small and composed of very young people, Jesus was satisfied that they went to him in the morning for Mass and to receive him in Holy Communion. We, however, already knew that when the Casa would have developed we would have the laus perennis eucharistica as at the Cottolengo. Meanwhile they grew bigger, one started in 1917 to make the visit to the Blessed Sacrament every day in S. Damiano... On 22 July [1922] visits were thus established: the members of the Pious Society of St. Paul would make an hour of visit to the Blessed Sacrament every day during free time; the Servants of Mary half an hour of visit together everyday; the Disciples and the students twenty minutes together. The Daughters of St. Paul would also make an hour of visit every day; the others, half an hour. This rule now exists in the Casa. Thus in the afternoon, from 2 to 9 Jesus continually has adorers while in the morning from 4 to 8 Masses follow one another. And so we were able, thanks to God's mercy, to bring to realization that which is the dream at the beginning: the laus perennis... Half a day of Laus Eucharistica! But also during hours in the afternoon or morning they find us often present before the Tabernacle and we trust in another mercy: that Jesus would remain exposed from 4 to 21 hrs. And the other hours of the night? Oh also they are and must be of the Divine Master present in the Tabernacle!” (Unione Cooperatori Buona Stampa, year VI, no. 6, 21 June 1923, pp. 8-9).

219 Its own iconography is developed during the first ten years of the Casa: “The picture of St. Paul was placed in the Casa at the place of honor, between the Artistic Sacred Heart of Morgari, and the Immaculate by Murillo... The first and every Saturday of the month is consecrated to Mary: and in honor of Mary, the month of May with flowers, flowerettes, with thoughts and meditations; the close of the month of May, since the first year, was a divine poetry, a mystic harmony of hearts, of heartbeats, of flowers, of prayers, of songs. The devotion to Our Lady is the leverage of every initiative, of every progress, of every success, of victory over the devil, of the most beautiful and loftiest holiness” (San Paolo [= UCBS], year VI, no. 11, 22 November 1923, p. 8).

220 “In the Casa, the whole month of June, which is the Casa's great month, is consecrated to St. Paul: twice a day he is spoken of: twice a day we go to visit him and render him homage and He exchanges our homage and love with abundant graces. The devotion to St. Paul is made popular in Alba and also outside: many are those who pray to him for conversion, for material help and they obtain it: in his church almost continually there is someone present, and the candles before him burn almost continuously” (Unione Cooperatori Buona Stampa, year VI, no. 6, 21 June 1923, p. 7). - In 1923 UCBS, which from August to November comes out under the title San Paolo, publishes so many short articles on St. Paul. Mention is made of “Paologia dantesca” (Dantesque Paulology) (San Paolo [= UCBS], year VI, no. 8, 25 August 1923, p. 19) and, of all this, of the Eucharistic heart of St. Paul, as if he cultivated the devotions after the ways of the Casa (cf. Unione Cooperatori Buona Stampa, year VI, no. 7b, 20 July 1923, p. 5). Interesting are the brief articles on “The Paulines during the apostolic times, ” following the liturgical calendar: St. Thecla: 23 September (Ibid. , no. 9, p. 5), St. Dionisius the Areopagite: 9 October (Ibid. , no. 10, p. 3), St. Clement of Rome: 23 November (Ibid., no. 11, p. 5), St. Philemon and St. Appia: 22 November (Ibid. , no. 12, p. 4), St. Timothy: 24 January (Unione Cooperatori Buona Stampa, year VII, no. 1, 15 January 1924, p. 4), S. Titus: 6 February (Ibid. , no. 2, p. 8).

221 In the issue of February 1923, the publication of the “General historical references of the Pious Society of St. Paul” begins. The annotations of the Historical references... of the June issue are interesting: they refer to the transfer from Villa Moncaretto to the Casa Perrando [=Perraudo], along via Mazzini; it is noted that the name Little Worker is removed and remains alone the name Printing School, it concludes: “The Casa developed and assumed its face in casa Perrando [=Perraudo]” (Unione Cooperatori Buona Stampa, year VI, no. 6, 21 June 1923, p. 6). The July issue describes how, in the quarters along Via Mazzini, there was but one heart and one soul around Fr. Alberione and adds: “In the parlor of the Casa was placed, on very modest little throne, the picture of St. Paul: it was the very first beginning of the Chapel of St. Paul: there, kneeling down on the floor, they were reciting the morning and evening prayers, the “Angelus”; the examination of conscience was done, the Hail Mary is said before going out and as soon as entering; kneeling on the floor, the prayers of the Casa are said. An electric lamp was kept lighted in the Casa and in the Press. St. Paul watched, protected, blessed, gave growth” (Unione Cooperatori Buona Stampa, year VI, no. 7b, 20 July 1923, p. 7).

222 Ibid. , p. 13.

223 San Paolo [= UCBS], year VI, no. 11, 22 November 1923, p. 1.

224 Unione Cooperatori Buona Stampa, year VII, no. 1, 15 January 1924, p. 12. Especially felt is the presentation of the Bible Society: “Bible Society Section. Why spread the Gospel. Let's go back a little. Christian life will not be in us if Jesus C. does not infuse it; neither do the most marvellous discoveries make it come in us! The Jansenists blocked the Chrisian from the source of their own life: from the Eucharist and from the Gospel, and Christian life languished. Pius X, saint, whose greatness shall appear ever greater in the future, reattached the Christians to these sources and immediately one could see a reflourishing. If, however, much was done for leading people back to Communion, one cannot say so for the penetration of the Gospel among the people, although much work has been done on this. Thus work, discipline, order, pain, joy, poverty, wealth, entertainment, authority, force, rights, the law, private and, worse, public economy, everything is seen and guided by principles and maxims of the world, rationalistically and naturalistically; where the secondary causes reach, there is confidence; beyond it, nothing. It is because of this that we need to shout strongly to the low and the high with private propaganda and even more, with public affirmations, pertaining to the Gospel, to make it esteemed and to create its environment. From here, O people, we can move on to Christ, the only way and life, and he who is God only has done and said this and none other. This is for us a duty and a serious responsibility: we have salvation in our hands. Jesus Christ has entrusted it to us and he has imposed it on us to apply it; let us apply it with all patience, but also opportune et importune. J. C. shall ask of us an accounting of the blood that flows under our eyes, of the moral and material ruin that is accumulating, and of the souls that are lost. We cannot remain idle spectators and let it pass without any newspaper comment or complain, we are priests, other J. C., what would he have done in our place? This is the reason why the Gospel is spread: to reattach the intelligence of our people to the divine mind, so that thoughts and judgments are harmonized with it and consequently, actions. From this one could see already the spirit that is behind the Bible Society, farthest from any commercial speculation that could also do some good, but above all that the kingdom of J. C. should come into the minds and the hearts through the Gospel, and bring them back to communicate with the life of J. C.” (Unione Cooperatori Buona Stampa, year VII, no. 8, 15 August 1924, p. 11).

225 Unione Cooperatori Buona Stampa, year VI, no. 12, 15 December 1923, p. 2.

226 Ibid. , p. 13.

227 San Paolo [= UCBS], year VI, no. 11, 22 November 1923, p. 8.

228 An unpublished notebook containing 68 pages of Fr. Alberione's manuscript and 49 pages of Fr. Giaccardo. Missing are many sheets; for example, those regarding the fourth, fifth, seventh, eighth, ninth and 23

rd day.

229 Cf. A. DAMINO, Bibliografia di Don Giacomo Alberione, Roma, 1994

3 , pp. 31-32.

230 Un mese a San Paolo, meditazioni e letture, Pia Società San Paolo, Alba, 1925. Contains texts by Fr. Alberione, completed and reworked in some parts by Giaccardo.

231 Cf. L'Immacolata e il Natale, in Unione Cooperatori Buona Stampa, year VI, no. 12, 15 December 1923, pp. 2-3.

232 Unione Cooperatori Buona Stampa, year VII, no. 1, 15 January 1924, p. 11.

233 Quaderno manoscritto Timoteo Giaccardo, no. 6, p. 125.

234 Cf. Ibid. , pp. 125-130.

235 Cf. Ibid. , pp. 132-150.

236 Probably this meditation was held during the mass of Sunday, hence, in the morning.

237 Quaderno manoscritto Timoteo Giaccardo, no. 6, p. 133.

238 Cf. Ibid. , pp. 150-155.

239 Cf. Ibid. , pp. 150-151.

240 Unione Cooperatori Buona Stampa, year VII, no. 2, 15 February 1924, pp. 11-12.

241 “Hence by the coming autumn, a house annexed to the Society of St. Paul for the young persons who aspire for the missions: with the understanding that they will work for the infidels and schismatic, in a special manner (not exclusively) with the press. Already 14 young men have requested to join, considering that the time destined for it is already usable “ (G. ALBERIONE, in Unione Cooperatori Buona Stampa, year VII, no. 2, 15 February 1924, p. 3).

242 “So that the spread of the Gospel may become greater and greater, a society from among the Cooperators was formed, with its own Statute. Outline of the Statute:
1 - At the Pious Society of St. Paul the section “Bible Society” of the Union of Cooperators of the Good Press has been instituted.
2 - The diffusion and penetration of the Bible, and in a special manner of the Holy Gospels, are proposed.
3 - It is made up of perpetual members who contribute L. 1000 once, of outstanding members who contribute L. 500 once, of ordinary members who contribute L. 5 every year, of those who make one Communion a week in behalf of the work, or are committed to spread the Bible personally, or with the newspapers and other means.
4 - They participate in life and after death with the Thousand Holy Masses that every year are celebrated in the Pious Society of St. Paul, with the indulgences granted by the Holy See to all Cooperators of the Good Press and with the good the Pious Society of St. Paul does.
5 - They receive monthly the bulletin “Unione Cooperatori B. S.” where a report shall be made of the good done.
6 - The income from the offerings are committed to the spread for free or with minimal prices of the Bible and of the Gospel.
7 - The Director's Office is at the Pious Society of St. Paul.
This present statute has the approval of the Bishop” (Unione Cooperatori Buona Stampa, year VII, no. 2, 15 February 1924, p. 5).
We must remember here also the influence of the encyclical Spiritus Paraclitus of Benedict XV, published on 15 September 1920, on the occasion of the fifteenth centenary of St. Jerome, wherein the importance of the study of the Sacred Scripture is called for.

243 For those who thirst for souls - Like Jesus -. “Lord, I offer you, in union with all the Priests who celebrate the Holy Mass today, the Divine Victim, Jesus Host, and myself, a small victim.
1. In reparation for the innumerable blasphemies, errors and obscenities that are printed in so many printing presses from where every day emerges a river of paper that floods the world like putrid waters;
2. To invoke your mercy on the numerous readers, perverted or innocent, that the scandalous press grabs away from your Heart as Father, thirsty for souls;
3. For the conversion of many writers and blind printers, ministers of satan, false teachers who have raised their teachings against the Divine Master, poisoning every teaching, the human thought and the fountains of human activity;
4. In order to honor, love, listen only to Him, whom You, O Heavenly Father, in Your great heart have given to the world, saying: “This is my beloved Son: hear Him.”
5. In order to know that Jesus alone is the perfect Master: that is the Truth that enlightens, the Way or model of every holiness, the true Life that animates, that is, the sanctifying grace.
6. In order to obtain the grace that the number of Priests, Religious men and women, consecrated to the spread of the doctrine of Jesus through the press multiply.
7. In order that the writers and workers of this press are saints, full of wisdom and of zeal, for the glory of God and for souls;
8. In order to ask you that the Catholic Press may prosper, be spread, assisted, and be multiplied, thus raising its voice in such a way that it covers the inebriating and alluring clamor of perverse press;
9. In order that all may know our ignorance and misery, and the need to keep our pleading eyes and our heads bowed to your Holy Tabernacle, O Lord, invoking light, pity and mercy” (Unione Cooperatori Buona Stampa, year VII, no. 2, 15 February 1924, p. 4).
Notice especially the fifth point that shows Jesus as perfect Master: “Truth that enlightens, the Way or model of every holiness, the true Life that animates, that is, the sanctifying grace.” Cf. “Per chi sente sete di anime come Gesù”, Offertorio Paolino, by A. COLACRAI, Edizioni Archivio Storico Generale Famiglia Paolina, no. 8, Roma 1985.

244The Pious Disciples. They are a religious family of daughters, in Alba (Piemonte), from 16 up. They are consecrated to adore, continuously by turns, the Divine Master, Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, in order to bring to reality the “Your kingdom come” especially by means of the Good Press. They live common life in the manner of sisters living the vows privately. Each of them has two hours of adoration each day: aside from the common practices of piety, they are engaged also in common chores (sewing, mending, etc). They live in their own house, under the guidance of the Superior of the Pious Society of St. Paul. They are to be chosen among the young women inclined to piety, especially the Eucharistic one. They shall be healthy in body and in mind, and that they are not beyond the age of 25 years. Joining, they do not pay any fee of sorts, but they have to be furnished with enough personal outfit; and for their clothing, for two years, they will take care of the expenses for clothes, laundry, etc., etc. TEOL. ALBERIONE GIACOMO.
The House of the Pious Disciples. For the Pious Disciples, the furnishing of the house at the end of the garden is being properly done: there will be place for fifty daughters, and for their work of laundry, sewing, etc. The House has a divine name: it is called “Divine Master,” and he who wants to know where the Pious Disciples are, the answer is, at the “Divine Master's” (Unione Cooperatori Buona Stampa, year VII, no. 2, 15 February 1924, p. 28). - For further studies, the following carefully prepared studies published recently by the Pious Disciples may be consulted, especially: R. CESARATO, L'albero visto dalle radici, Le Pie Discepole del Divin Maestro tra carisma e storia, Notes, booklet 1, Manuscript use, Rome, 1997; R. CESARATO - G. M. J. OBERTO, L'albero visto dalle radici, Le Pie Discepole del Divin Maestro tra carisma e storia, Notes, booklet 2, Manuscript use, Rome, March 2000; AA.VV., Eucaristia, Sacerdozio, Liturgia, l'unità come mistica del servizio, Acts of the International Seminar on the unity of the three apostolic dimensions, Camaldoli, 22 February - 5 March 1998, Rome, Manuscript use, October 1998.

245 Cf. this Introduction, no. 144, footnote 218.

246 Cf. R. CESARATO, Dagli inizi al 1944, in R. CESARATO - G.M.J. OBERTO, L'albero visto dalle radici... , op. cit., Booklet 2, p. 43.

247 “The Signor Teologo Alberione officiated at the ceremony at 6:30 and gave everyone a name, and celebrated the Holy Mass for them and said 'paternal words that they had to meditate on'. It was a small recollected ceremony, simple of meaning and of love and of joy and of exaltation for those daughters who, with intense desire, wanted the day and the hour to come soon. A little ritual was prepared for this ceremony. Here are the names of the eight Pious Disciples who made the first religious clothing: Sr. Scholastica of the Divine Providence, Sr. Antonietta of the Divine Master, Sr. Mary of St. Joseph, Sr. Teresa of Our Lady of Sorrows, Sr. Annunziata of Mary, Sr. Paolina of Jesus' Agony, Sister Giacomina of the Guardian Angel, Sr. Margherita of the Souls in Purgatory” (Unione Cooperatori Buona Stampa, year VII, no. 4, 15 April 1924, p. 24).

248 Cf. M. RICCI, Madre Maria Scolastica Rivata, fedele Discepola del Divin Maestro, Not for sale edition, Rome, 10 February 1996. Orsola Rivata was born in Guarene, on 12 July 1897. It is probable that she may have heard Fr. Alberione during his preaching in Guarene, for example on 9 October 1910 (on the Most Holy Guardian Angels) and on 10 April 1910 (on St. Vincent Ferrer and the importance of God's Word). She joined the Daughters of St. Paul in Alba on 29 July 1922.

249 Cf. this Introduction, no. 113.

250 “The Pious Disciples. They are a religious family, at the side of the Daughters of St. Paul. They welcome young girls who want to consecrate themselves to the Lord with the perpetual adoration of the Eucharist, praying for the spread of the kingdom of O. L. Jesus Christ, and spending the remaining time in common chores for the Priests and the religious of the Good Press (sewing, mending, kitchen work, etc.). They profess the vows before the Lord and in particular they have two hours of adoration each day. They have their own habit... The name of the “Pious Disciples” is derived from their role: they have to accomplish before the Divine Master the role of the Pious Women, that of the first among the Pious Women, that is, the Blessed Lady. To adore Jesus, console him in the Most Blessed Sacrament, to be in vigil before the Holy Tabernacle in order to burn even more and better than candles of wax, to pray to the Divine Master for the triumph of the Good Press over the bad, then to do the tasks and service for Priests, those that Our Lady was doing for Jesus and the Apostles. Thus their humble life is summarized, life lived in silence, in love, in prayer, reminded also by the color of their habit that bears the colors of Our Lady; white and blue, with the eucharistic rays, burning on the breast” (Unione Cooperatori Buona Stampa, year VIII, no. 9, 20 August 1925, pp. 10-11).

251 Unione Cooperatori Buona Stampa, year VII, no. 11, 15 November 1924, p. 20.

252 Ibid., year VII, no. 5, 15 May 1924, page after cover.

253 Ibid. , year VII, no. 8, 15 August 1924, pp. 1-2.

254 “The new Paulines have also assumed a new name, a witness and an admonition to the newly clothed man” (Unione Cooperatori Buona Stampa, year VII, no. 8, 15 August 1924, p. 8).

255 “The arrival of a student or of an adult in the Casa is welcomed with that pleasure, with that joy that is had for a newborn child. As of now, the principal duty of the Daughters is especially the formation of the spirit that prepares them to become good apostles. As the new ones arrive, they find their Guardian Angel, and are raised as little plants. To them are taught the way of making well the holy meditation, how to practice the exercises of piety: the Holy Mass, the Holy Communion, spiritual reading, the Holy Rosary, spiritual work, the examinations of conscience in the morning, at noon and in the evening, the manner for doing good confession, for staying united with the Lord; to imitate more closely the examples of Jesus, especially his obedience, humility, spirit of sacrifice and love. Then the young ones with filial trust they reveal their spirit to their Assistant, the adult ones to the Mistress of Novices, by manifesting the difficulties met, the defects, the virtues, the holy desires, in order that they be guided, comforted, and supported in the personal and constant work that each has to do in order to win over herself, in order to progress in the purity of heart and in the gradual practice of the virtues” (Unione Cooperatori Buona Stampa, year VII, no. 8, 15 August 1924, p. 22). - In this same period, is published the handbook Metodo di esame particolare, secondo Sant'Ignazio, Alba, Pia Società San Paolo, no date, pp. 54. At the end of the book the weekly graphs useful for marking failures and victories in the daily spiritual work.

256 Among the commitments listed in one of the “Ora et labora” is found the spread of the Gospel among Christian families and of the Giornalino, an illustrated color weekly for children, whose publication began on 1 October 1924. The October issue of the UCBS informed: “The Section of the 'Bible Society'. The spread and penetration of the Bible among the people is being proposed, and in a special manner of the Most Holy Gospels. In a year of life, 200,000 copies of the Holy Gospel have been diffused. Under preparation as well are the unified Holy Gospel, the Holy Gospel for families, the Holy Gospel for children, the letters of St. Paul and of the Apostles, the Sunday Gospel pamphlets, the complete Bible” (Unione Cooperatori Buona Stampa, year VII, no. 10, 25 October 1924, p. 11).

257 G. ALBERIONE, A tutti i cari e buoni Cooperatori della Pia Società San Paolo, Alba, 31 December 1924, in Unione Cooperatori Buona Stampa, year VIII, no. 1, 20 January 1925, p. 1.

258 Unione Cooperatori Buona Stampa, year VIII, no. 1, 20 January 1925, p. 9. The February issue opens with an article on The Letters of St. Paul, wherein, among others, it is affirmed: “We managed to examine and had others examine the manuscript of the Letters of St. Paul, which is in Rome for the revision: it was found to be truly beautiful and within the reach of the people, both for their clear translation, simple, and for the notes, abundant, suitable and alive... St. Paul has a mission and a social, religious duty, which has to be well valued: it is the ministry for the Gospel for the Gentiles. Humanity was divided by a deep division: God's people (the Hebrews) and the people not of God (all the rest of mankind). Jesus Christ came to save all, the ministry of St. Paul was this: to preach the universality of redemption and to attach the people not of God to that of God making out of it only one people, to graft the wild olive into the good olive, so that all may be saved. His letters do this work: instaurare omnia in Christo, to restore all things in Jesus Christ: and then to make men live a heavenly life, because the members of the body, that first have been used for evil deeds, might now be consecrated to the service of God as living hosts and temple of the Holy Spirit. Even more: that the whole nature, ruined also as it is by the original sin, might be associated with man in a continuing hymn of blessing to God... We hope that the great Apostle, who takes the pagan people and plants them on Jesus Christ in order that his spirit may penetrate in them and vivify their whole life to the point of making man God, shall know how to attract not only admirers, not only critical scholars, but souls that may love him, that may fall in love with him and attempt with him at ascending to God until vivo iam non ego, vivit vero in me Christus” (Unione Cooperatori Buona Stampa, year VIII, no. 2, 20 February 1925, pp. 1-2).

259 The Church of St. Paul was built between the Casa San Paolo (at the right of one who faces the façade of the Church) and the Casa della Divina Providenza (on the left), and parallel to the Casa Regina degli Apostoli. The August 1924 issue of UCBS publishes the photograph of these three houses (Unione Cooperatori Buona Stampa, year VIII, no. 9, 20 August 1925, pp. 7-8).

260 Unione Cooperatori Buona Stampa, year VIII, 1 April 1925, pp. 1-2. In this same issue, information is given that “a movie projector has been bought, for the educational recreation of the grand days. At the beautiful evening of Easter was presented: Fabiola, with St. Sebastian, St. Agnes, St. Tarcisius and the art of maps” (Ibid., p. 9). Reference is as well made as regards other new means of apostolate: “Train, telegraph, telephone, stenography, linotype, rotogravures, electricity, etc. These elements that God created for his glory... woe to us if neglectful we let the kingdom of satan make use of them” (Ibid. , p. 24).

261 Considerations on the need to hurriedly build the Church of St. Paul are often found in the UCBS bulletin, also in order to meet the needs of the numerous members of the Casa, that now reached the number of 408 persons, coming from 30 Italian provinces (cf. Unione Cooperatori Buona Stampa, year VIII, no. 9, 20 August 1925, p. 1). On May 1925, a four-page pamphlet, like a supplement of the UCBS, is published. It contains an interesting introduction of the Casa to the Cooperators and Friends: “This family is composed of two big branches: the interns, the members of the Pious Society of St. Paul who are working for the spread of the Gospel and who pray; they are the male Religious and the Daughters of St. Paul; and the externs, the Friends and Cooperators, take care of their works and help the Casa with their offerings.” The Pious Disciples are called sisters: “The family of the Pious Disciples is also born in the midst of the Casa. They are sisters who, aside from attending to the ordinary needs of the numerous Institute, take turns day and night, uninterruptedly before the Most Holy Sacrament, exposed in the Chapel, in order to pray for God's blessing over the Casa and on the families of Cooperators” (Unione Cooperatori Buona Stampa, year VIII, 10 May 1925, p. 1).

262 Unione Cooperatori Buona Stampa, year VIII, no. 9, 20 August 1925, pp. 7-8. The celebrations of the Feast of the Divine Master, for the spread of the Gospel, increase. The enthronement of the Gospel is solemnized as it is learned from the description of what was done in Benevello: “On the little throne, at the right and at the left of the Raggio are placed two books of “The Divine Master,” the unified Gospel, quite visible, in order to also materially project the idea that the Holy Gospel is like the continuation of Jesus Eucharist, his Parabola (=Parable) [Parola = Word], his complement” (Unione Cooperatori Buona Stampa, year VIII, no. 13, 20 December 1925, p. 20). The book referred to is Il Divin Maestro, a concordant text of the Four Gospels, with notes, Società S. Paolo Editrice, Alba-Roma, 1925.

263 Quaderno manoscritto Timoteo Giaccardo, no. 6, p. 125.

264 Ibid. , p. 132.

265 Ibid. , p. 150.

266 This combination among Truth-Master-Doctrine; Way-Example, and Life-Grace is not new in the Casa. Rather, already in 1910, speaking to the seminarians of Alba, Fr. Alberione affirmed: “It is after the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ that we have to model ourselves: quos præscivit et prædestinavit conformes fieri imagini Filii sui. He has given us the example of the highest and perfect virtues. He is such a good Teacher that while he teaches, he gives us the example and communicates medicinal grace to our weak will” (G. ALBERIONE, Quaderno 8, 1 June 1910, p. 35). Furthermore, Timoteo Giaccardo notes in a text of his Diario of September 1918: “On the evening of the entrance, after the prayers, the Sig. Teologo introduced me to the young ones and gave me the name of maestro and invited me to say some words: I did not want to talk because I was not ready. I would have said: if I entered today = after a year or more... I would say: Master: I obey: but our master is only one: Jesus who speaks to us and cultivates us through the Sig. Teologo.” In another text of the same period, Giaccardo has certainly in mind the trinomial Truth, Way, Life, considered under the aspect of doctrine, example, grace, where the term Master acquires a special connotation with Truth-Doctrine: “Jesus Master: 1. Vos dicitis me magistrum et bene dicitis quia ego sum: with doctrine, with example, with grace. 2. The Teologo lets me be called master: I must have doctrine, example, prayer. 3. Examination of conscience, resolution, prayer” (cf. Quaderno manoscritto Timoteo Giaccardo, no. 68, schema LXX).

267 F. CHIESA, Gesù Cristo Re, Pia Società San Paolo, Alba, 1926.

268 F. CHIESA, Gesù Maestro, Pia Società San Paolo, Alba-Roma, 1926.

269 F. CHIESA, Ego sum Vita, Pia Società San Paolo, Alba-Roma, 1927.

270 F. CHIESA, Gesù Cristo Re, op. cit., p. 22.

271 The magazine La Civiltà Cattolica published, on 11 September 1926, a review of the book that we are quoting completely here: “Along the marks of Pius XI's Encyclical, 'Quas Primas' the cleric Canon Chiesa has drawn thirty readings, 'that, distributed through the days of the month of October, shall be useful as very good preparation for the feast of the kingship of Jesus Christ' that falls on 31 October this year. The idea has been most opportune and the A. has had the good fortune of executing it on time and well, two things that usually don't go together well. The book, which can be of great advantage to the clergy, also for preaching, leaves nothing to be desired for precision in doctrine, which is proposed in clear and worthy form of this most noble subject. We would have omitted, in a book of this kind, the figure at the start of reading XXIV, and the explanation which, at some points is not clear, e.g. on p. 239 where a printing error (la volontà unita alla morte [?]) makes the Author's psychological analysis less clear. The thirty readings by Fr. Chiesa, on the sovereignty of Jesus Christ, show also how important is this prerogative, which reunites around its light, so to say, all the splendors of the Catholic doctrine, as for example one could see from the readings XVII-XXI, on the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, on its general form, its organic constitution, the form of government, the extension of the Kingdom, that give an exact idea of the true Church of Christ” (La Civiltà Cattolica, year 77, vol. III, quad. 1830, 10 September 1926, pp. 535-536).

272 Cf. La Civiltà Cattolica, year 77, vol. I, quad. 1814, 8 January 1926, pp. 97-126.

273 In F. CHIESA, Gesù Cristo Re, op. cit., p. XI. The importance for Fr. Alberione of this passage of Quas primas can be derived also from the fact that it inspired the monthly retreat of the Feast of Christ the King, on 31 October 1926, according to the notes taken down by Maestra Thecla Merlo (cf. Quaderno no. 4, unpublished, pp. 5-6).

274 “The Kingdom of God covers the universe, society, families, but it is certain that its final purpose are we. It is in us, or in our soul, in our person that Jesus Christ wants to reign. Regnum Dei intra vos est. All the perceptible universe is not worth a soul. The soul is spirit and in the spirit there is freedom. In the spirit God exemplifies himself. In the spirit the entire universe returns to God, because the spirit is capable of knowing that everything comes from God, and everything returns to God, thus giving knowingly and freely glory to Him, as the first Principle and final End” (F. CHIESA, Gesù Cristo Re, op. cit., p. 234).

275 Can. Chiesa presents some important considerations for the interpretation of the DF. In the first place, he traces its framework in the faculties: “The kingdom of Jesus Christ must above all be established in our soul. This we have considered in the preceding reading. But our soul has various faculties: intellectual, sentimental, moral faculties. Let us see now how this kingdom must be established in our mind” (Ibid. , p. 245).
He then starts his teaching by speaking, in the first paragraph, of the importance of the idea, compared to a seed that gives origin to an animal or a plant, to a cedar of Lebanon or to an elephant. He continues: “On what does all this depend? From the entelechia as Aristotle would say; - from the form, as St. Thomas would say; - or from the soul that gives it form. If that matter is in-formed in the soul of a grain of wheat, it shall become grain, if in the soul of an elephant, then it shall grow into an elephant. What guides the evolution of the seed is the soul. In fact, from where did the infinite diversity of species and the variety of living things come? Precisely from the soul... Now, we need to think that what animates it, in the biological evolution, is the idea in the history of men. Alfred Fouillée wrote beautiful books on the idea-force. Eymieu, in his Governo di se stesso, beautifully utilized the doctrine regarding our education. Everyone knows, in whatever century, that the thought is always the seed of progress. The whole of the Christian era has come from the Christian idea that was spread, penetrating humanity deeply and producing its fruits... In short, I repeat: the idea is a seed; and to have a plant one must sow the seed, in the same manner to have men of developed character, one must begin from the idea. Education must begin from instruction. Nothing can be willed and judged without it being known. Nil volitum quin præcognitum, so the proverb says. And thus, Christ's kingdom must begin from the mind. Before it is Christian life, it must be Christian idea. Without the idea, life would be wanting of foundation” (Ibid. , pp. 245-247).
In the second paragraph of the reading, Chiesa affirms that wherever Christ's teaching is found, there is the Christian idea and that “Jesus Christ is King of the mind, because he is essential truth like God, and because in Him dwells the fullness of wisdom and divine knowledge.” He goes ahead indicating that the Christian idea is found in the Sacred Scriptures and in the Christian tradition and is interpreted by the Magisterium.
In the third part of the reading, he affirms that we must know the Christian idea through study and listening to the teachings and appropriate them through faith, that must be universal, firm and constant (cf. Ibid. , pp. 247-253).

276 “The will of God is manifested in three principal modes: in the commandments, in the examples and in the events. The first and the second are called will of sign, the third is will of approval... And what commandments! To love God above everything and our neighbor as ourselves. To respect life, honor, things, good name of neighbor. To give food to the hungry, clothing to the naked, to forgive one's enemy, to do good to him who offends us, and many others of which the Gospel is full. Other things more perfect, e.g., evangelical poverty and perfect chastity belong as well to the will of Jesus, not as command, but as counsel. The same will of Jesus the Christ is manifested in the examples. Rather, the examples of Jesus comprise the first expression of his will. Coepit facere et docere (Acts 1:1). And what an abundance of examples! His birth in a poor shed in Bethlehem, and the whole of his private life of thirty years are the most effective expressions of his will that commands us humility and love for poverty and for hiddenness. What a clear expression of his will in his fasting of forty days, in the continuous example of prayer, of union with his Eternal Father, of meekness, of patience, of forbearance. What would we say then of his Passion, of his prayer for his enemies, of his death on the cross? The example is much clearer and much more effective than the word. Verba movent, exempla trahunt, so the proverb says. Words move, but examples draw. How much have we thanked our Divine Savior for deigning to give us his examples! Words could always leave some uncertainty on the manner of practicing the law. But example takes away all shadows. The will expressed in the examples comes to us through Imitation of the life of Jesus. Finally, there is the will of approval that is manifested in the events. Also here, how vast is the field of the Kingdom of God in us! All the events of history, of our family, of our person, express divine will, or at least divine permission. Good or bad weather, abundance or want, health or sickness, wealth or poverty, peace or war, success or failure, life or death, everything takes place around and within us, everything we can recognize as coming from God” (Ibid. , pp. 259-261).

277 “1. The human heart. - Physiologically the human heart is a muscle as big as the fist, that is the propulsory center of the circulation of the blood. Inasmuch as all the parts of the body are maintained by the blood, one could say that the heart is the cause that nourishes and preserves the human body. Psychologically speaking, the heart is the center of the affective life. We can consider in the heart as if various levels or strata that represent different degrees of the affective power of man. First of all the tendencies constitute the base of the heart, first of all the tendency for happiness. This brings with itself the other tendency to hate everything that may bring distaste and unhappiness to the heart. Above the tendencies come the inclinations, that are tendencies, too, but are more defined. Thus, for example, the tendency for happiness generates the inclination for wealth, for honor, for work and the like. The inclinations, however, are dispositions permanent in character, calm and equal. Passions, that occupy the center and principal part of the heart, are placed over them and they form even a vast and complex world within us. Over the passions fluctuates variably and changeably the multitude of sentiments and affections... 2. How can one establish the Kingdom of Jesus in the heart. It is clear that to have dominion over one's heart must be something of very great importance. Of a certain king it was said: if you want to win him over, try to win over to yourselves first his favorite minister who holds the key to his heart. The will is the queen by right; but the heart is its favorite. Having dominion over the heart is having dominion over the man. Fortunately, however, the will can have a dominion of industriousness, as St. Francis of Sales would say, over the heart. How then can one lord it over the heart? This way: by letting a true and strong love enter into it, and this is the love of God. Already we have observed above that all the twelve generals of the army of the passions are under the command of a supreme general, which is love. Thus St. Agustine says: Ama et fac quid vis. Love and do what you want. If divine love dominates the heart, we can tell one without fear: do what you want. We are sure that he will not do anything but what is good” (Ibid. , p. 267-271).

278 “1. The body and its members. - Man is made up of soul and body. The soul is the invisible and spiritual part, the body is the visible and material part. We intend precisely to speak of this body inasmuch as, united with the soul, it is an essential part of the living and active human being. It can be robust or weak, healthy or sick, perfect or defective. The body may be used well or badly, as the soul. It can be an instrument of virtue or of vice. As for the parts of the body, they are the exit doors of our impressions, as the senses are the entrance doors. Every cognition begins from the senses, and every expression ends at the body or at the members. The name member is given above all to the hands and feet... But together with the other parts there also are the senses, which can be useful for many uses under the rule of the will. [F. Chiesa reviews the eyes, the ears, the tongue, the mouth, the senses of smell, taste and touch]. - 2. In order that the Kingdom of God may extend also over the body and the members. - Even if we consider the body, its members and things by themselves, without any relation with the soul, they as well belong to the Kingdom of God inasmuch as this extends over all created things. Domini est terra et plenitudo eius (Ps 23:1). But we consider here the body and the members inasmuch as they are essential parts of man and hence dependent on the spiritual and immortal soul. In this sense they fall within the spiritual kingdom of Jesus Christ, precisely as they belong to the souls created, redeemed and sanctified by him. - 3. How the Kingdom of God may be extended over the body and its members. - It is something most simple: by making the body and its members serve as instruments not for doing our will, our caprices or pleasures but only for doing the will of God… Here is the genuine turning into truth the famous words: Vivo autem iam non ego, vivit vero in me Christus (Gal 2:20). I live now not I but Christ lives in me. And what is all this? It is the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, that, begun in the mind, has moved to the will, has gone down to the heart to move, to cast its light with the body and in the members. It is the complete realization of the Kingdom of Jesus in us!” (Ibid. , pp. 279-286).

279 F. CHIESA, La chiave della vita, Pia Società S. Paolo, Alba-Roma, 1927. Cf. A. F. DA SILVA, Cristo Via, Verità e Vita, centro della vita, dell'opera e del pensiero di Don G. Alberione, in AA.VV., L'eredità cristocentrica di don Alberione, op. cit., pp. 253-254.

280 In its 11 February 1929 issue the La Civiltà Cattolica published a very positive review of it: “That the five lessons contained in the beautiful book that the untiring Canon Chiesa presents to the public, should meet 'the satisfaction of the 62 teachers who took part in the course' of teaching culture, organized by the Istituto Superiore di Magistero del Piemonte, and that many of them asked 'officially for its publication' (p. VII) does not surprise us at all. For the solidity and profundity of the doctrine, for its clear, approachable, almost familiar form, for the marvelous order, and tightness of reasoning, it could not be otherwise. And yet. Cl. A., without making his listeners tire too much, guides them to the heights of sublime thoughts. What is the life of man? What in it and through it must he achieve? What would be the natural end of human life, and what is in fact its supernatural end? (pp. 1-48). Hence, our life here on earth is a preparation; we must prepare ourselves for the life of heaven: preparation of the mind by faith and religious instruction (pp. 49-96); preparation of the will by the observance of the divine law (pp. 97-145); preparation of the heart by cultivating the sentiments of the good and the beautiful through virtue and the means of grace (p. 146-195); preparation of the body through mortification and the exercise of what is good (p. 196-258). Such bone structure of the beautiful work, without saying of the clear-headed Author's art, leads the minds to abstract and subtle concepts to offer a solid intellectual foundation to life. It is so for example with the happy comparison with the X-ray (p. 54). Aside from some printing errors (see pp. 3, 51, 65, 71, 76 etc.) some expressions do not seem exact to us like that (p. 58) concerning the light; neither would we say that 'the state of seeing things with one's own and natural light' is for the mind 'object more of renunciation than of exercise' (p. 72); because the supernatural life cannot do away in man with life natural to him. At any rate, the book appears to us to be well conducted and relevant to our times, and we would like that it were read by many” (La Civiltà Cattolica, year 80, vol. I, quad. 1888, 11 February 1929, pp. 359-360).

281 Cf. La chiave della vita, in Donec formetur Christus in vobis, Pia Società San Paolo, Alba-Roma, 1932, p. 16 [DFst 16). Since it is not possible to present here even a simple summary of the points of contact between the La chiave della vita of Francesco Chiesa and Fr. Alberione's thought, it seems interesting to quote at least this passage on the preparation of the will: “Well, here we are ready to understand in what the preparation of the will must consist. We are always in the same principle: to prepare ourselves is to do now what we can do by then. When they spoke of the beatific vision, this meant to train our mind in this world to understand the things of God; how in God it shall see them in the future life. And here what could it mean? It is clear. To begin even from this life to live in the will of God and not in our egoism. The distinction that shall be seen clearly in the future life between the blessed and the damned is seen also in the present life. There are human beings who live by themselves and of men who live in God. Those who seek to do what pleases them are human beings who live by themselves. This is not the way that our Savior and model Jesus, who is way, truth and life, has taught us. He has taught us first with example, and then with the word, that the way to take is another. I came down from heaven, he says, not to do my will but the will of him who sent me (Jn 6:38)” (F. CHIESA, La chiave della vita, op. cit., pp. 128-130).

282 F. Chiesa, Gesù Maestro, Pia Società S. Paolo, Alba-Roma, 1926.

283 F. CHIESA, Gesù Maestro, op. cit., p. 1. The 20 February 1927 issue of UCBS informs that: “The month of January was dedicated to the Divine Master: everyday a meditation was conducted for the Casa on the Divine Master, following the book, Gesù Maestro, written precisely in order to offer the material for suitable preaching” and a synthesis of the book follows (Unione Cooperatori Buona Stampa, year X, no. 2, 20 February 1927, p. 12). In the 29 September 1928 issue, the magazine La Civiltà Cattolica published the following review: “The Pious Society of St. Paul, that with so much generous zeal promotes the apostolate of the Good Press, if it publishes often books like this of Can. Chiesa, cannot but find favor and help. Gesú Maestro is a book that shall please and shall do much good to souls; we wish, however, that it were read and meditated upon especially by priests, who, under the guidance of Jesus are called to be teachers. The book certainly deserves it: sure doctrine and expressed with much clarity, drawn from De Magistro of St. Augustine and more from St. Thomas; joy in the presentation of concepts, also the subtle and sublime ones under the configuration of objects and of ordinary relationships and above all a prominence of logical order, that certainly would show even better if the cl.A. expanded the index of titles into an analytical index of doctrines. Canon Chiesa must have intimately formed, in the clear doctrinal visions of St. Thomas, a clear and effectively assimilating mind, to enable him to expose with such precise clarity the doctrine of our means of knowing (p. 46, ff). At times, however, it seems to us that he insists too much on analogies, like precisely that of the sun and of the moon (pp. 46 and 278, ff), and that simple references without entering into a historical wilderness of their doctrines, (see especially Zarathustra, p. 57, ff) at this time, when on the History of religions rather detailed studies are being done, much more when he has not mentioned anything of the masters of the Old Testament. We would have excluded some neologisms in a book that wants to be and is for easy understanding, e.g., valorizzate (p. 9), torpetica [sic!] (p. 193), plastica pedagogica (p. 207)” (La Civiltà Cattolica, year 79, vol. IV, quad. 1879, 29 September 1928, pp. 73-74). In UCAS, part of this review has been taken up more than once, for example, in the issue 12, of 15 December 1928, p. 9.

284 Chiesa's thought that considers nature and the Sacred Scriptures as two teachers given by God to mankind is most interesting: “Tertullian, in a most happy statement that proves truly that he is a genius, summarizes and draws the divine master of humanity and he marks the purpose. He says: Præmisit tibi naturam magistram submissurus et prophetiam, quo facilius credas prophetiæ, discipulus naturæ (De Resur. Carnis, c. 12). It is as if he says: two are the masters (= teachers) that God has sent to mankind: nature and the Sacred Scriptures. God, however, as that supreme teacher that he is, wanted to observe the due order, proceeding from the easy to the difficult. And so what did he do? He sent first nature, because in the variety and magnificence of its spectacles, it could serve as teacher to mankind: and so human beings, taught at the school of nature, could easily profit of the teaching of the Sacred Scriptures. These are his words: 'He sent nature to you first, in order that prophecy would be sent next, and that you could easily believe the prophecy, insofar as you have already become disciple of nature.' Well, we, also face to face with nature itself, already need a teacher who may guide us and help us to interpret it rightly. This we mean especially in the matter that is of our utmost interest, that is, in the field of moral and religious truths” (F. CHIESA, Gesù Maestro, op. cit., pp. 27-28). These are concepts that Fr. Alberione frequently took up in his writings.

285 In her notes of Friday, 25 November 1927, Maestra Thecla Merlo takes note of Fr. Alberione's pointer: “Jesus Christ says: I am the Truth (to understand better this, read the book Gesú Maestro)” (Quaderno no. 4, unpublished, p. 102). On her part, Maestra Teresa Raballo also notes: “Io sono la Verità, to consider it as it deserves, one ought to read the book printed in the Casa, entitled: Gesù Maestro. Topic discussed in the said book under different aspects: philosophical, theological, ascetical and pastoral” (A. T. RABALLO, Quaderno no. 19, unpublished, Friday, 25 November 1927, p. 56).

286 F. CHIESA, Gesù Maestro, op. cit., pp. 138-139.

287 Ibid. , pp. 147-148.

288 Ibid., pp. 155-156.

289 Ibid., pp. 165-166.

290 Ibid., p. 179.

291 Ibid., pp. 180-181.

292 Ibid., pp. 193-195.

293 Ibid. , pp. 207-208.

294 Cf. G. ALBERIONE, Metodo d'educazione, in Quaderno 40, 17-19 October 1911, pp. 143-157.

295 F. CHIESA, Gesù Maestro, op. cit., pp. 213-215.

296 Ibid., p. 220.

297 “We take here the meaning of morals in its broad sense, inasmuch as it refers to the will; it includes then both morals properly called, either ascetical and mystical. We shall now see how the teaching of the Divine Master extends over all these three parts” (F. CHIESA, Gesù Maestro, op. cit., p. 235).

298 “We observe, however, that, speaking of the Press, we ought not limit ourselves only to the printed Gospel. The doctrine of Jesus Master is contained in the Gospel, but not all of it. We recall the words with which the Gospel of St. John ends: 'There are also many other things that Jesus did, but if they were to be described individually, I do not think the whole world will contain the books that would be written' (Jn 21:25). We can consider as doctrine of Jesus not only the Letters of the Apostles and the other books of the New Testament, but the entire Bible. Not only that. At the entrance hall of the Pia Società S. Paolo in Alba, where precisely the Apostles of the Good Press are trained, over a picture the figure of the sun is depicted, casting around itself its light with so many rays. At the center is the book of the Gospel: the rays around represented the other good books, periodicals, sheets that are printed and diffused. Parish bulletins, the Giornalino, etc. In fact, every good book that diffuses the gospel spirit can be called a ray of light of the Gospel. Just as the sun's light forms all the fifteen thousand colors of the iris, similarly the Gospel casts its rays on the entire good press. Now if we observe how in practice the Good Press is achieved, we shall come to know well the manner of cooperation. For the Good Press three fundamental things are wanted: 1) to form people; 2) to print books; 3) to diffuse them. Here is a most vast area of cooperation” (F. CHIESA, Gesù Maestro, op. cit., pp. 417-419).

299 F. CHIESA, Ego sum Vita, op. cit., pp. V-VI.

300 Ibid., p. VI.

301 In her notes of Tuesday, 29 November 1927, Maestra Thecla Merlo notes: “What does it mean: Ego sum Vita (Book)” (cf. Quaderno no. 4, unpublished, p. 107). Maestra Teresa Raballo notes: “The last book of the printed collection is entitled: Ego sum Vita” (A. T. RABALLO, Quaderno no. 19, unpublished, Tuesday, 29 November 1927, p. 60).

302 F. CHIESA, Ego sum Vita, op. cit., p. 331.

303 Cf. A. F. DA SILVA, Tavola sinottica dei documenti relativi al testo di Donec formetur Christus in vobis, 35 pp. (unpublished).

304 “The Exercises are a period of time wherein the novice prepares herself to become a true religious. The novitiate is a time wherein the soul is oriented towards the Lord” (T. MERLO, Quaderno B2.5, unpublished, Tuesday, 11 October 1927, p. 3).

305 Cf. Regole, Pia Società San Paolo, 1927. During the same year 1927, was published the book Corso di Esercizi Spirituali per otto giorni secondo il metodo di S. Ignazio, compiled for the special use of religious and priests by Fr. Luigi Pincelli S.J., 2 vols., Pia Società San Paolo, Alba, 1927. On the following year was published the book of L. BELLECIO, Gli Esercizi Spirituali secondo il metodo di S. Ignazio di Lojola, translated and in some places compiled by Fr. Antonio Bresciani, Pia Società San Paolo, Alba, 1928; cf. A. F. DA SILVA, Il cammino degli Esercizi Spirituali nel pensiero di Don Giacomo Alberione, Centro di Spiritualità Paolina, Casa Divin Maestro, Ariccia, 1981, pp. 33ff.

306 There is no news from the notes taken by Sr. Scolastica Rivata regarding this “Course of Extended Spiritual Exercises.” In her unpublished notebook of 1928 are found notes of themes very similar to those taught by Fr. Alberione for the formation of the female branch of the Casa and contained in lapidary form in the DF. For example, the notes of the “Ritiro. Maestre. 4-28” contain references to the press apostolate, similar to the affirmations contained in the instruction held on 16 April 1928, during the Course of Extended Exercises. One can perceive the particular attention to what was more pertinent to the life of the Pious Disciples: “Jesus has truly done with me as he did with the Apostles; they were poor fishermen, and I am a poor country girl! What did they know of his mission? So do I with the Press Apostolate... I must love the others who are in other institutes as brothers and sisters, but consider that with our Apostolate, we embrace all of them as well, as if the other things necessary for doing good for the glory of God and the welfare of neighbor, this our new apostolate remains to be a new manner for completing, including even others and to do things together. It is not that it is new in its kind because it dates back to the times of Our Lord Jesus Christ, but new in its manner. Few have come to understand the true meaning of the Press Apostolate, and we are those fortunate souls that God has chosen for this very delicate mission. With prayer and with the press. With prayer to obtain the grace that the press may do good and that he who performs it may have light and grace to perform it with holiness and to obtain a large diffusion, and many fruits of goodness. I am ignorant that I do not know anything and less than nothing, I am more incapable than any other, I was chosen to do this great deed” (SUOR SCOLASTICA, Quaderno 1928, unplubished).

307 Cf. Manuscript notebook of Sr. Giuseppina Ambrosio, Instructions I-XX + 1 Monthly retreat on the Religious State (unpublished, currently kept at the Centro di Spiritualità Paolina).

308 Particularly interesting is Instruction XVIII, on Jesus Master Way, Truth and Life. Here is a broad quote: “A great grace that we must ask the Divine Master is this: That we may always be faithful to our vocation, seeing to it that our press is always pastoral, that is, that it be written with pastoral, parochial spirit, with the truths that save. You shall truly love the Divine Master when you shall give pastoral press, not luxurious but all simple and clear, because Jesus said, 'I am the Way, the Truth and the Life' and we must let this press reach all and save souls, to let the light of the Gospel reach all families. This is the first homage that I suggest you make to Jesus Master... Jesus Master Way, Truth and Life is our path; for as long as we remain in it, we shall be well, we shall be blessed, our apostolate shall be blessed. Keep yourself then on this road, do not escape from it, do not look for unoccupied roads, tell Jesus Master Way Truth and Life, have mercy on us, be our path, enlighten us, guide us to Yourself, please keep us close to You. - Our respects to Jesus Master - In the second place, aside from the Gospel, there is the study of the Catechism. Truth - The first part of Catechism is the Creed, dogma, and you shall honor Jesus Truth. Way - The second part, that is, the precepts, the commandments and the virtues, that is, morals - it brings honor to Jesus Way. Life - The third part includes the sacraments, the Mass, prayers, or worship in honor of Jesus Life. 'I am the true Life'.” In the conclusion of the following Instruction, Fr. Alberione affirms: “The religious life is the Way, the Truth and the Life lived in the most perfect manner. It is a must that during the time of novitiate, you must show you are ascending to the religious life, to the vows, and that you already practice them with eagerness and fervor” (G. AMBROSIO, Quaderno 1929, unpublished).

309 Among the many initiatives, it's good to remember the start of the excavations for the building of the church of Jesus Master in Borgo Piave, Alba, on 14 March 1927.

310Two news items... In Capital Letters.. . Are those that the Signor Teologo communicated to the Pauline Family on the evening of that assault that we mentioned elsewhere, that is, at the eve of his feast. - But why news in capital letters? - Because all the others, in comparison, are in small letters. Here are the two news items: 1

st The conclusion of the contract for the building of the Paper Mill; 2

nd The acquisition of a piece of land for the new quarters of the House of Rome. And without any further addition, it is easy to understand that for the Casa the news means two events of maximum importance. Friends can easily imagine how these two news items were received by the boys” (Unione Cooperatori Buona Stampa, year X, no. 8, 20 August 1927, p. 12).

311 Ibid., year X, no. 3, 20 March 1927, pp. I-XVI.

312 Ibid., year X, no. 9, 20 September 1927, pp. 8-9.

313 “Duly approved by the Royal Procurator General of Turin, a new publication has been added to the numerous family of confreres who see the light under the aegis of St. Paul. “La Famiglia Cristiana” is a great weekly publication of 12 pages, a real treasure for Christian families, and it is especially destined to those dioceses that are without a Catholic weekly magazine or hardly manage to keep it alive. We wish the new preacher of the Gospel of Christ a vast diffusion and an abundant harvest of good” (Unione Cooperatori Buona Stampa, year X, no. 9, 20 September 1927, p. 14). This periodical stopped publication after some months. “La Famiglia Cristiana” is reborn in 1931.

314 “Master was the title with which Jesus Christ preferred to be called. Satan, with the bad press, dethroned Jesus Christ from the minds and through them from the hearts, the desires and in works. The feast of the Divine Master wants to place Jesus Christ through the Gospel back in throne and through them in man and in life; to establish the Kingdom of Jesus Christ in the minds by winning them over through the powerful word of the Gospel; the other presses have less power on man” (Unione Cooperatori Buona Stampa, year IX, no. 1, 20 January 1926, p. 11). The article moves on revealing nine reasons for the promotion of the feast.

315 Cf. Unione Cooperatori Buona Stampa, year VIII, no. 10, 20 September 1925, pp. 12-13.

316 Ibid. , year IX, no. 11, 20 November 1926, pp. 8-9.

317 The Congress opened on 30 June “with the Pope's blessing, with the participation of some twenty Cardinals, Archbishops and Bishops and with the most genuine approval of the clergy and of the Catholic laity of the Piedmontese dioceses... Amid a volley of applause, the Pope's telegram was read: 'The Holy Father, pleased with the opportune activity Pious Society of St. Paul Press Apostolate sends heartfelt sought blessings to the associates and participants of the Gospel Congress. Cardinal Gasparri'.” (Unione Cooperatori Buona Stampa, year X, no. 7, 20 July 1927, pp. 2-5).

318 Ibid. , pp. 6-7.

319 “The month of June closes with the feast of St. Paul: those who have consecrated the month of January to the Sacred Heart, may give the whole of June to St. Paul: those who honor the Heart of Jesus in June, let them be introduced by St. Paul to the love of the Sacred Heart. St. Paul is the prisoner of Jesus; he is the Apostle of love of Jesus Christ; he is consumed by charity for Jesus Christ: he is the life of Jesus Christ. The devotion to St. Paul is a sign of predilection of God: the devotion to St. Paul lists us in the book of life. Saints are that great before God, and that strong help for us the more they approach and copy the Divine Master way, truth and life. Way as model; truth with teachings; life with the grace that they communicate to us by praying for us. St. Paul is way: the Holy Spirit makes him write three times these words: 'be imitators of me as I imitate Jesus Christ.' St. Paul is truth: he is the Teacher and the doctor, he so possesses and communicates the Gospel which he calls 'my Gospel' and 'he generates in the Gospel.' St. Paul is life: because his life is identified with that of Jesus Christ: 'I live now not I, it is Jesus Christ who lives in me'.” (Unione Cooperatori Buona Stampa, year VIII, no. 7, 15 June 1925, p. 1).

320 Unione Cooperatori Buona Stampa, year X, no. 8, 20 August 1927, p. 1.

321 “The Casa di S. Paolo has its special protectors who inspire the institution and who, with ceaseless assistance, make it prosper; and towards them it nourishes and practices particular devotions each day, and more solemnly and together at the start of every month. The first week of the month has hence taken the name of Week of Devotions that always comprises an event of certain regularity... And here is a brief reference to the various devotions. The Casa wants to be characterized: with the spirit and life of St. Paul: it has taken its name from him, Society of St. Paul, the first house, the Chapel; and so shall also be the name of the Church under construction. Thus is dedicated to St. Paul the first Monday of the month. In the second place, the press apostolate is distinguished, but never separated from the apostolate of prayer: resolve is made to save souls and does not leave them until they enter heaven. In purgatory, there are those who suffer due to bad press, and the Casa cannot but be involved with them. Hence the first Tuesday is consecrated to the Souls in Purgatory. The press apostolate needs material means, and there is no better Provider of these than he who was chosen to provide for the Holy Family, St. Joseph. The press apostolate is a universal apostolate, and it is good that it should rely on the Protector of the Universal Church. The evil press is that which sows unbelief, hatred for the Church that has given value to religious practices, the sacraments... etc., and is the cause that so many persons approach death unprepared and indisposed. It is the task of the apostles of the good press to make reparation for these ills by letting the mediation of the Protector of the dying stand in between. The students are all enrolled in the Sacred Crusade for the dying, and on the first Wednesday of the month, they honor and pray especially to St. Joseph for that purpose. The first Thursday is dedicated to the Guardian Angel. Every book, every good Periodical is an Angel that leaves the printing press as an inspirer of good sentiments, a proponent of strong proposals, sower of chosen seeds that bring eternal fruits. Many of the Bulletins, in fact, are named 'Angel' and bear as symbol an Angel. And truly they accomplish that work of prolonged, silent, sweetly insinuating presence, without pretensions as the good guardian angel. He who writes, too, has nothing but an anonymous and imperceptible communication with the person who reads while the angels of whom he writes and of whom he reads can, with extreme ease, be in communication and to prepare the proper soil on one hand and an appropriate seedling on another. The press apostolate is nothing but the continuation of the Evangelization started by the Divine Master: it is the execution of the command: 'Go to all the earth, preach the Gospel to every creature... ' The Divine Master is the inspirer, and he who gives growth, who gives life to the seed and makes it sprout; he who sustains and guides the gospel sower. To him the first Friday is consecrated with the reparatory Communion, the Communion of the nine Fridays, and the explanation of the intention of the apostolate of prayer. Saturday is dedicated to Mary. The Apostles were entrusted to this Mother and they owe her the fruitfulness of their apostolate. Mary is Queen of the Apostles, and also is the Queen of the Good Press inasmuch as all the sacred writers have consecrated to her the most beautiful pages! The sweetest expressions, like literature, also the profane, and the related arts created for her the most beautiful masterworks. Perfect devotion is explained according to blessed Grignion de Montfort” (Unione Cooperatori Buona Stampa, year X, no. 8, 20 August 1927, pp. 10-11).

322The stained glass windows of the Church of St. Paul - Alba. The windows must be proportioned by style, richness, piety, with the rest of the Church. And thus a special study was done with particular attention and thus, stained glass windows, frames, figures are turning up very beautifully. There are 22 windows above, of which: 1. Four in the form of shell with glass of fourteen square meters. They shall have stained glasses illustrating: the letter of St. Paul to the Romans, the conversion of St. Paul, the martyrdom of St. Paul, the glory of St. Paul. 2. Four in oval helixes, of about eight square meters; they open in the pier of the central vault. They shall have illustrated glasses representing the evangelists with their respective symbols, that is: St. Matthew with the Angel; St. Mark with the lion; St. Luke with the ox; St. John with the eagle. 3. Twelve windows of baroque rectangular form, opened above the transepts of the Church, of two dimensions, that is, a part is 6 square meters and another is 4 square meters. They shall have stained glass, too, and the twelve apostles shall find place there. 4. Two other windows, oval, shell form, of eight square meters open above the entrance arm of the Church. The illustrated stained glasses represent the two disciples of St. Paul: St. Titus and Timothy. St. Timothy at the act of being ordained Priest by St. Paul; St. Titus at the moment he expires in sprit, 'plenus dierum ac meritorum'. In this manner the young men who shall be apostles of the Gospel through the Press shall have one day, continually before their eyes, the examples of the Apostle par excellence, St. Paul; and of the twelve other Apostles, chosen by the Lord, and of the Evangelists who left us this inexhaustible treasure of the Gospel. Of St. Paul we are reminded of conversion of the heart; of the masterpiece of his writings, the epistle to the Romans; his labors for the Gospel, specifically his martyrdom; his crown of justice, that is, the eternal glory among those who followed him, St. Luke, St. Titus, St. Timothy, St. Thecla, etc., etc. And thus the windows shall be as if a continuing story, preaching and encouragement to the Clerics to follow, after the example of their heavenly protector, the way in which God calls them. And so that the life of the apostolate may always be considered in its principle of grace and of mission given by the Church, behold St. Timothy who receives the sacred ordination from St. Paul. And so that it may be considered in its true end, behold St. Titus who leaves the earth surrounded by the disciples and already goes to the eternal reward of heaven. The most illustrious examples of virtue and zeal were left by the apostles, directly chosen by Our Lord Jesus Christ and given authority, powers, special gifts by him. Hence, their presence shall be a continuing lesson. May the Evangelists obtain for us then the grace of better understanding, and living, and publishing the Gospel to every creature. Work becomes worthy for as long as humanly speaking it could be said so. The style and the right attunement with the church, the colors, are distributed with richness and proportion; the figures are alive, speaking; the position of each one has its own meaning” (Unione Cooperatori Apostolato Stampa, year XI, no. 8, 31 August 1928, p. II).

323 Unione Cooperatori Buona Stampa, year VIII, no. 8, 20 July 1925, pp. 17-18.

324 Ibid. , year IX, no. 6, 15 June 1926, pp. 2-3.

325 Ibid. , year X, no. 6, 15 June 1927, pp. 1-3.

326 Alongside a narration of the celebrations of the blessing of the Church of St. Paul, a short article informs on the Spiritual Exercises for the young and, among other things, it says: “The Spiritual Exercises lead not only to a good Confession, but more easily, to a good choice of state in life, and in a sincere and lasting conversion to God through Christian life. At 'St. Paul' this year, various courses of Spiritual Exercises for the youth outsiders were held: aside from the usual persons inside. Three courses for the daughters, wherein 210 young persons became fervent in Christian and pious life; and a course for young men, for which in a most edifying manner 60 young men waited. Many young men insisted that they too may have such a fortune; many daughters are waiting that their turn may also come; now men and women have also asked. It is hoped that everyone will be satisfied. From here, however, everyone will see what an advantage it would be if there might be something more suitable and permanent” (Unione Cooperatori Apostolato Stampa, year XI, no. 11, November 1928, p. 2). Sensitive to the pastoral of the Spiritual Exercises, at the start of 1930, Fr. Alberione makes the first steps for the construction of a House for Spiritual Exercises. Cf. A. F. DA SILVA, Cristo Via, Verità e Vita centro della vita, dell'opera e del pensiero di don G. Alberione, in AA.VV., L'eredità cristocentrica di don Alberione, op. cit., pp. 282-283.
One can notice that this initiative of Fr. Alberione responded to what the encyclical Mens nostra of Pius XI augured regarding “the importance and usefulness of promoting the Spiritual Exercises.” In order to see the attunement of the DF with this encyclical it is perhaps enough to quote the following passage: “In the difficult times wherein we live, wherein the true sense of Christ, the supernatural spirit, essence of our holy religion, suffers many obstacles and impediments, with the spread of naturalism that tends to make the ideals of the faith languish and to weaken the ardor of Christian charity, it is salutary as ever to take away man from that 'fascination of vanity' that 'obscures what is good' (Wis 4:12) and bring him to that blessed solitude, where, in a heavenly teaching, the soul learns the true value of human existence placed precisely in God's service, the salutary horror for sin, the holy fear of God, the vanity of earthly things in the contemplation of Him who is 'way and truth and life' (Jn 14:6), learns to take off the 'old man' (Eph 4:22) and to deny himself in the exercise of humility, of obedience, of mortification in order that he may put on Christ, till he reaches that 'perfect man' and to that 'measure of the fullness of age of Christ' (Eph 4:13) of which the apostle speaks, even until he can say with him 'I live now not I but Christ lives in me' (Gal 2:20): sublime ascensions and divine transformation that the soul accomplishes under the action of grace invoked in the most frequent and fervent prayer, drawn in the most devote participation to the most holy Mysteries” (La Civiltà Cattolica, year 81 [1930], vol. I, quad. 1909, 28 December 1929, pp. 10-11).

327 Unione Cooperatori Buona Stampa, year X, no. 1, 20 January 1927, pp. 4-6.

328 Regole, Pia Società San Paolo, 1927, Prima Parte, La Pia Società S. Paolo, art. III. In the month of April 1927, the bulletin of the UCBS dedicates various pages to the Parish Sections. Before presenting the Statute, Fr. Alberione addresses the Cooperators: “The Pious Society of St. Paul works in the Press Apostolate that is, it directs its activity to the spread of the truth and Christian life through leaflets, periodicals, books, libraries, bulletins, etc., etc. It is dedicated to the spread, popularization, defense of the word of God through the Press: as the Priests with preaching. Hence, it tends to form priest-writers and religious workers; to write, to print, to diffuse; to form teachers-writers and women religious workers; to spread the persuasion that we need to be attached to Jesus Master who manifests to us in tradition and in preaching just as in the Scripture and in the Press-Apostolate. Currently, the Pious Society of St. Paul has almost five hundred young men, a number that is increasing every year. It is a group that educates with two hundred Daughters who are dedicated to the Press-Apostolate. In parishes, however, it tends to form the Sections of Cooperators: these take the place of the Press Apostolate and makes the works of the Society of St. Paul live, with its spirit and with its direction. Thus they become most effective help to the most reverend Parish Priests and to souls; while with their prayers, work, and offerings they support the initiatives of the Center... The Press Apostolate is today the ordinary means of instruction for the Parish Priest as to St. Paul his letters, as the Sacred Scriptures stand beside preaching” (Unione Cooperatori Buona Stampa, year X, no. 4, 20 April 1927, p. 5).

329 For example, the publication of the “Bibbia per delle Famiglie” is announced: The Bible turned into breviary of the people, a book of holy devotion addressed to families and to schools, so that it may be an inexhaustible source of instruction, of education and of holy works for parents and children, for teachers and students. “Inasmuch as it is for the people, the translation is of the Vulgate, according to the desires of the Church; and the notes are either of the Fathers or of the Doctors, or of already approved ecclesiastical writers. Important: the “Bibbia delle Famiglie” shall also be available in illustrated weekly installments” (Unione Cooperatori Apostolato Stampa, year XI, no. 2, 15 February 1928, p. 27).

330 For example: “God wants the Press-Apostolate” (Unione Cooperatori Apostolato Stampa, year XI, no. 6, 30 June 1928, pp. 8-9); “God himself directly designates the purpose of the Press-Apostolate, or its teaching mission” (Unione Cooperatori Apostolato Stampa, year XI, no. 7, 31 July 1928, pp. 7-9).

331 Cf. Unione Cooperatori Buona Stampa, year X, no. 2, 20 February 1927, pp. 4-5.

332 T. GIACCARDO, Regina degli Apostoli, le ragioni del titolo, i benefici del titolo, il culto del titolo, Pia Società S. Paolo, Roma, Alba, Torino, 1928. In a letter to Giaccardo, published as a presentation of the book, Fr. Alberione writes: “The doctrine, the thoughts, the sentiments and the respects that are exposed herein are not new things for us: together, we have meditated on them, studied and practiced them. But to see them today proposed in an orderly manner, fixed on pages addressed also for others is something useful, meritorious and certainly pleasing to Mary” (G. Alberione, Alba, 19 March 1928).

333 Cf. Unione Cooperatori Apostolato Stampa, year XII, no. 4, 16 April 1929, pp. 6-7.

334 Giaccardo dedicates a chapter to “Mary Queen of the Press,” composed of an introduction and three points: the kingdom of the press, the kingdom of Mary in the press and the apostolate of the press under the governance of Mary. At the end of the chapter, an example follows wherein the vocation of Fr. Alberione, that of Giaccardo himself and the development of the Casa are told. It seems proper to quote some of the passages of the article here: “...we, sons of St. Paul, little ministers of the apostolate of the press, we who proceed from the will of the Holy Father, with whom by religious bond we are bound for the defense and the spread of the Church with the means of the Press. The apostolate of the press takes the features of books, of periodicals, it is the living word of God, living and savior, just as the preaching, that comes in articulated sound, is the living word of the living and saving God. The apostolate of the press is the defense, the explanation, the spread, the application and the popularization of the Gospel... I. THE KINGDOM OF THE PRESS. In the power of this kingdom shines the regal crown of Mary... Every new area of human activity and of Christian zeal, destined to the expansion of the heavenly Father's kingdom, is by the gift of God, subject to the reign of the Most Holy Virgin and recognizes Mary Most Holy as its Queen. The phenomenon of the press today is perhaps the principal manifestation in the field of human activity: it is one of the most principal means of zeal. The most marvelous progresses, the most amazing discoveries, of these last years have been made in the field of the press and at the service of the press. The greater part of the intellectual activity of men is dedicated to the press. The newspaper is the hunger of today, the thirst of today, the breath of today: the newspaper stirs ideas, leads the will, forms consciences, dominates public opinion. The newspaper, the press is called with a most expressive term, the King of the times. And of this most important kingdom, of this most noble and most effective work of zeal, Mary is and must be the Queen; Mary cares for the press, and the press and the men of the press recognize it” (T. GIACCARDO, Regina degli Apostoli, op. cit., pp. 197-199).

335 Cf. the dossier “1928. I primi Fratelli Discepoli di Gesù Divin Maestro”, by Bro Maggiorino S. Caldellara, submitted by the author to the Center of Pauline Spirituality.

336 This novelty is not yet shown in the December issue of the UCAS, in a news item on Mr. Giovanni Marengo, assistant to the workers. “He is a good Pauline who now is out of the Casa in order to fulfill his duty towards the motherland. He was with us for ten days and he came purposely for the spiritual exercises. We found him well and we gladly see him again: his student workers, of whom he took good care and with whom he shared the same sentiments, celebrated much for him. A few months more, and then he shall always be with us” (Unione Cooperatori Apostolato Stampa, year XI, no. 12, December 1928, p. 5). Instead, in the May 1929 issue, it is affirmed: “Also the Disciples, in their courtyard, raised a small pillar on which they placed a beautiful statute of the Immaculate Mary” (Unione Cooperatori Apostolato Stampa, year XII, no. 5, 16 May 1929, p. 6).

337 G. ALBERIONE, Alba 29/05/1929 (cf. Corrispondenza Don Alberione - T. Giaccardo, unpublished, kept at the Archivio Storico Generale della Famiglia Paolina, in the General House SSP).

338 Unione Cooperatori Apostolato Stampa, year XII, no. 7, 16 July 1929, p. 2.

339 PIO XI, Lettera enciclica della riparazione che tutti debbono al Cuore Sacratissimo di Gesù, cf. La Civiltà Cattolica, year 79, vol. II, quad. 1871, 23 May 1928, pp. 385ff.

340 Cf. Quaderno no. 6, unpublished, Friday, 18 May 1928, p. 177.

341 F. CHIESA, Riparazione!, Comment on the encyclical letter “Miserentissimus Redemptor” in a month of Instructions with examples, L.I.C.E., Lega Italiana Cattolica Editrice, Torino, 1930. Let it be noted that the Preface of the author bears the date, “Alba, Feast of the Epiphany, 1929”.

342 “Many are the religious institutes of the Church: old and recent, all of them venerable and rich with fruits for souls. In a very special manner, an institute that is dedicated to the divine and necessary Press-Apostolate is convenient. The Press-Apostolate is in its substance ancient as the Bible; today, however, it has assumed a new form, an effectiveness and a new need, considering the new social conditions today and the new inventions. For such an apostolate two institutes have been approved as two religious congregations, according to the norms of sacred canons. They are distinct in their Direction and Administration, akin to each other for the commonness of end, for the commonness of many means, for the commonness of spirit. They are: THE PIA SOCIETÀ S. PAOLO (male branch), THE PIA SOCIETÀ DELLE FIGLIE DI SAN PAOLO (female branch). - End. Both are resolved to preach with the Press, in the manner that preaching is done with words the Christian truths; in view of sanctifying its own Members; attracting souls to the school of the Divine Master in order to lead them to Heaven. Means. Common life, the religious vows, practices of piety, daily Apostolate, the practice of virtues, etc., are the means for the members' own sanctification. For the spread of Christian doctrine, the Members shall attend to: a) writing periodicals, pamphlets, books, broadsheets, with the spirit of communicating, commenting, spreading the Holy Gospels and its teachings; b) to print, that is accomplish the typographical work of typesetting, printing, gathering and binding, etc; c) to spread and diffuse with various book initiatives, parish bulletins, biblical works, weeklies, etc. SPIRIT. It is the command of the Divine Master that his teaching be taught to every creature according to how it is watched over and taught by the Catholic Church, infallible Teacher of the truth. Preaching has to be done in simplicity and as the entire manifestation of Jesus Master Way, Truth, and Life according to the example and under the protection of the Apostle Paul, vessel of election and doctor of the Gentiles. The Lord, the Sacred Writers, the Apostles, the Holy Fathers, the Doctors, the Church, are the teachers, the models of this Apostolate exercised singularly because this is eternal life, that those who know You, (Father), know Him whom you have sent” (Unione Cooperatori Apostolato Stampa, year XII, no. 8, 16 August 1929, p. 1).

343 Among the news items of the Casa of Alba, is about the return of Sig. Giovanni from military service and of his reception of the religious habit among the Reparator-Disciples: “During these days our young Signor Giovanni has come back from military service. After a week of Spiritual Exercises, he received the Religious Habit of the Family “Reparator-Disciples”. While we thank the Lord for keeping him good also amidst all the dangers of military life, let us extend to him the wish of an ever more fruitful apostolate” (Unione Cooperatori Apostolato Stampa, year XII, no. 9, 16 September 1929, p. 12).

344 Unione Cooperatori Apostolato Stampa, year XII, no. 9, 16 September 1929, p. 5. Cf. This Introduction, no. 166.

345 “In the Pious Society of St. Paul, the Disciples of the Divine Master are the lay religious who dedicate themselves to the Apostolate of the Press. Their scope is dual: 1) To make reparation for the numerous sins caused by bad press, through a pious life, with the exercise of Christian virtues, with the sanctification of self. 2) The theoretical-practical study of printing work of typesetting, of printing, of binding, of the paper, of inks, of diffusion, etc. They follow Jesus Master by practicing the two most important devotions: devote assistance to the Holy Mass (two Holy Masses every day) and the exercise of the Way of the Cross twice a week (Tuesday and Friday) aside from the daily Visit to the Most Blessed Sacrament. They spend all their energies, always cheerful and happy, by being employed in the most varied kinds of work: they must possess a complete set of theoretical and practical knowledge of everything that concerns printing work; not only that, but in the Casa where it is not enough just to typeset or print but also to prepare the ink for printing, metal cast the characters for typesetting, produce paper, etc. Hence, it's beautiful to see them move from the typesetting department to the printing hall, from the typesetter to the ink-maker, from the mechanical department to paper making, to the practice of diffusing printed books. And they perform all these variegated work with much care and dedication; motivated by the only thought of gaining for themselves merits, and many merits for Heaven; to save many, very many souls. The Disciples of the Divine Master are increasing and may no one of those called ever leave but that all may generously correspond. We recommend to all our dearest Cooperators and in a special manner to the Most Reverend Parish Priests the work for vocations to the Press-Apostolate among the Disciples of the Divine Master. Often in the Catholic Male Youth Circles are known young men and even older ones who are much inclined to piety; it would be an act of charity to lead them to the religious life where their merits would be multiplied! Innocent small ones, spotless ones are met; it would be a great act of charity to suggest to them a religious house where they could be saved from many dangers and where they would develop the divine seed of vocation. At times young men are met who are alone or somehow an excess in the family: if they possessed too that foundation of piety and docility wherein a special hope of religious vocation could be cultivated, there is an occasion for a good deed that God presents to us” (Unione Cooperatori Apostolato Stampa, year XII, no. 10, 16 October 1929, pp. 2-3).

346 F. CHIESA, Introduzione all'Ascetica, Pia Società San Paolo, Alba-Roma, 1929.

347 F. CHIESA, Prefazione, in Introduzione all'Ascetica, op. cit., p. VII.

348 F. CHIESA, Introduzione all'Ascetica, op. cit., p. 166.

349 G. ALBERIONE, Alba 04/11/1928 (cf. Corrispondenza Don Alberione - T. Giaccardo, unpublished, conserved at the Archivio Storico Generale della Famiglia Paolina, in the SSP General House).

350 G. ALBERIONE, Alba 10/01/1929 (cf. Corrispondenza Don Alberione - T. Giaccardo, unpublished, conserved at the Archivio Storico Generale della Famiglia Paolina, in the SSP General House).

351 G. ALBERIONE, Alba 11/09/1929 (cf. Corrispondenza Don Alberione - T. Giaccardo, unpublished, conserved at the Archivio Storico Generale della Famiglia Paolina, in the SSP General House).

352 G. ALBERIONE, [1929?] (cf. Corrispondenza Don Alberione - T. Giaccardo, unpublished, conserved at the Archivio Storico Generale della Famiglia Paolina, in the SSP General House).

353 Cf. A. F. DA SILVA, Il cammino degli Esercizi Spirituali nel pensiero di Don Giacomo Alberione, op. cit., pp. 72ff; A. F. DA SILVA, Cristo Via, Verità e Vita centro della vita, dell'opera e del pensiero di don G. Alberione, in AA.VV., L'eredità cristocentrica di don Alberione, op. cit., pp. 263ff.; A. F. DA SILVA, Gv 14,6: eredità carismatica per la Famiglia Paolina, in “Spezzate il pane della Parola”, Dossier for the Pauline Bible Year 1991-1992, Rome, SSP General House, January 1991, Pro manuscripto, pp. 52ff.

354 F. CHIESA, Per l'unità nella formazione del Clero, Pia Società San Paolo, Alba-Roma, 1932.

355 F. CHIESA, Per l'unità nella formazione del Clero, op. cit., pp. 130-131.

356 Consider the consonance of the mind of Alberione with the following passage from F. Chiesa: “Now what is said of the Priest? Is he not an other Christ? Sacerdos alter Christus. And if it is so, should not the training for the Priesthood be done by the Cleric in the Seminary be a continuing study of copying in himself the examples of Christ, donec formetur Christus in vobis? (Gal 4:19). It is true that the purpose of the Priesthood is to continue the mission of Christ in the midst of mankind. Sicut misit me Pater, et ego mitto vos (Jn 20:21). Hence, the Priest himself can exercise the mission, inasmuch as he is united with Christ, his mandate-giver and model. Like the metal wire that is capable of bringing to us the power that gives life to a motor, inasmuch as it is attached to the source of electric energy; - and as, according to the beautiful simile of Our Lord Jesus Christ himself, a branch can bear fruit inasmuch as it is attached to the vine, - so is the Priest. This cannot bring to souls Christ's redemption if not inasmuch as he is united with Christ, made one with Him: Sine me, nihil potestis facere (Jn 15:5). Now which Cleric prepares himself more effectively to be an other Christ and hence bear more abundant fruits in the mystical vineyard of Christ? Certainly, it is he who with greater diligence attends to unifying in himself the elements of Jesus' mission, that are way, truth, and life; or that which is done, in imitation to Jesus, way of the faithful through examples; truth with learning of the true doctrine of Jesus in order to teach it in due time; and life, through frequent reception of the Sacraments in order to be able to administer them to the faithful. Mind and heart, teaching and life, study and virtues, theology and conduct, theory and practice, everything must be only one thing in him: Cleric, so it is said, who is entirely a single unit, without contradictions and reservations” (F. CHIESA, Per l'unità nella formazione del Clero, op. cit., pp. 52-53).

357 For example, the photographs of the Disciples working in the paper mill are published (cf. Unione Cooperatori Apostolato Stampa, year XIII, 17 July 1930, p. 5). In August 1931, the new Italian translation of the Bible is announced (cf. Unione Cooperatori Apostolato Stampa, year XIV, no. 8, 17 August 1931, p. 14). In its February 1932 issue of UCAS, Fr. Alberione dedicates a page to the solemn announcement of the project of publishing, each in four volumes, different editions of the Bible: Latin-Italian Bible: Latin-French; Latin-English; Latin-Spanish (cf. Unione Cooperatori Apostolato Stampa, year XV, no. 2, February 1932, p. 10).

358 The December 1929 issue of the UCAS publishes in a calendar for the year 1930, 12 photographs presenting the various groups of the Casa, in Alba (cf. Unione Cooperatori Apostolato Stampa, year XII, no. 12, 17 December 1929, pp. 4-15). The issue of July 1930 publishes the photographs of the solemn procession of the Corpus Domini (cf. Unione Cooperatori Apostolato Stampa, year XIII, no. 14, 17 July 1930, pp. 10-11).

359 Aside from the foundations already cited, here is a list of the new houses opened. In 1929: Brescia (FSP: 8 August), Udine (FSP: 17 September), Genova (FSP: 25 November), Palermo (FSP: 28 November). In 1930: Novara (FSP: 10 May), Treviso (FSP: 27 June), Ancona (FSP: 10 July), Bologna (FSP: 20 July), Sanfré (SSP: 15 September), Napoli-Capodimonte (FSP: 8 October). In 1931 the foundations in Italy were about ten.

360 In 1931, the departures of some Paulines for Brazil, Argentina and United States took place as well as of the Daughters of St. Paul and the Pious Disciples for Brazil and Argentina.

361 In the February issue of UCAS, among the news from the Mother House in Alba, it is affirmed: “The month of January - It is dedicated by the Casa to Jesus Master and the Primo Maestro at the hour of adoration done on day 3 told us that in the month of January we ought to obtain the grace of growing, of going forward and of progressing, donec formetur Christus in vobis. The month is consecrated for the youth of Jesus in order to obtain the grace of imitating him in his private life. The Primo Maestro explained to us as follows: to grow for us means to be more saintly, to be wiser, to acquire greater spirit of piety and not only to increase days in life. We are the disciples and as such we must imitate the master who told us, quemadmodum ego feci ita et vos faciatis” (Unione Cooperatori Apostolato Stampa, year XV, no. 2, February 1932, p. 3).