Blessed James Alberione

Opera Omnia


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Rome, January 9, 1947

In 1908 many of you were not yet born. One day during that year, while I was teaching Church history to the seminarians, we were considering the religious state of the world. Jesus our Savior came into the world to bring us grace, salvation. Without grace there is no entry into Paradise. But what is the state of the world 1900 years after the coming of Jesus Christ? At present, the population of the world is about two billion and of these, one billion two hundred thousand do not know yet Jesus Christ. Four hundred million are heretics and schismatics, that is, outside the Catholic Church, outside the institution established by Jesus Christ for salvation, either because they deny truths of the faith or because they do not recognize the authority of the Pope; it is therefore a lack of faith or a lack of obedience.
The other millions are made up of Catholics. But are all those who say they are Catholics really so?1 In Italy which is a Catholic country, the enemies of the Church have been victorious in the last government elections.
Startled by these facts, the seminarians jumped to their feet and asked me: What must we do to bring about salvation for so many souls? Tell us! I answered: first, is to pray. And we prayed that in the Church there might be instituted a religious family who would dedicate themselves to prayer to obtain the grace for humanity to accept, listen to and love Jesus Master and Savior. On
that day your family was born in my mind and in my heart. To pray for the Pope, for the Church, so that priests, men and women religious may be holy, especially those who are closest to you. Let your prayer be alive, effective, such is eucharistic-liturgical prayer. Let your prayer be in cooperation with the Priesthood, based on the example of the Most Holy Virgin.
Yours is an apostolate which is insuperable, the most wonderful; because it is the most wonderful, the devil must wage war on it. The beautiful things are those that are worth something, the beautiful things that persons try to fake.
Fulfill the duty of Our Lady; may you be the sentinels of the Tabernacle; raise up your pure hands, unite to Jesus Host.
The people of God were in combat on the plain and Moseswent up to the moutain to pray. From there he could see the people and he prayed. He prayed with his arms extended, raised up towards heaven. When he lowered his arms, the people gradually lost ground; when he held up his arms, the people started to win. Because he was weary, two men helped him to keep his arms raised and the people of God won!1
Yours is a wonderful apostolate; for this, the devil has his eye set on you; consequently, you will have many temptations and difficulties from within and from outside.
With prayer as your goal, you have to complete the Daughters of St. Paul. This can be brought about in two ways: either by canonical and organic unity, or as a Family linked simply by spiritual bonds. Let us ask for canonical separation, but linked by a spiritual bond.
With your apostolate, you are to support the Daughters of St. Paul; always pray and offer sacrifices for them! Have much love for each other.
A bishop from Japan wrote: Send us the Trappist monks, not because they may preach to us, but because they may pray and do penance. Let them pray night and day and with their silence, may the fruits of salvation be brought to this land. Meanwhile, we will pray.1
Yours is a similar undertaking, and it is the better part. There are some flighty persons who feel they are humiliated and they get lost. You have a chosen apostolate, carry it out with reflective attention. Handmaids, sentinels of the Tabernacle. To take a step forward as you are about to do now, does not mean to turn back. Do not disparage your vocation; esteem it and make yourselves worthy of it. The apostolate you have is a precious one, carry it out in silence. Perhaps if you had been more silent, you would not have to bear the cross1 you now have. You have to merit for all the religious families, for ours and also for the necessities that are to follow.
You have to obtain graces for men and women religious, for the clergy, the Pope, the bishops. You must obtain them through prayer, humiliation, sorrow and sacrifice. Have you made any sacrifices? Some, yes, in your work, certainly, even in tasks superior to your strength. But then in other sacrifices such as silence, mortifications, you have been lax. These are the sacrifices you have to make.
The (P)Disciples are in the Heart of Jesus, but I am afraid that you have not understood this well. Keep pressing forward, ever onward in the eucharistic piety; your goal is to become saints.
I have had in my prayers the same intention for you since 1908. Not only have I and others prayed, but there are those who have offered up their life for you, for your apostolate.1 Yours is a fundamental2 apostolate; if satan attempts to wage war on your apostolate, have recourse to our Immaculate Mother. Then, carry on with beautiful and good Adorations!
Be serene, calm, silent!
Fulfill your vows to prepare yourselves for something better, but before you reach the better you must have reached the good.
Piety, fidelity; as for the rest, the Lord shall take care of it.
May you have faith and do not doubt! What does Jesus say? if you had faith the size of a mustard seed, you would be able to say to this mountain: «move from here to there» and it would move! 1 Do you have this faith? Do you have at least a mustard seed's worth of faith? Many times we have faith to believe in dogmas, but in the things of our everyday life, faith is scarse! Believe without wavering!
When the water began to run out and the animals died and his people were at their lowest ebb, Moses, great leader and man of God, struck the rock as the Lord commanded him, but he had hesitated an instant. As a result of this doubt of his, the Lord punished him by not allowing him to enter the promised land.1
Be calm, serene and count on the graces as if they were already granted.

1 The earth's population was estimated to be 4,991,942,000 in June 1987; in 1990 the Catholics were estimated to be 709 million.

1 Cf. Ex. 17, 8-13

1 About the Trappist, cf. “Dizionario degli Istituti di Perfezione” , EP.

1 The cross was made known in the Letter-Decree of August 24, 1946. cf. Barbero G. James Alberione: a man-an idea (Rome, 1988) vol. III, pp. 35-38.

1 cf. AD, nn. 161-163 and related notes.

2 The term fundamental indicates that the center of life and apostolic action of the Pious Disciple is the Most Holy Eucharist.

1 Cf. Mt. 17, 20.

1 Cf. Nm. 20, 1-13.