Blessed James Alberione

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House to house promotion consists in personally visiting individual persons, families and community groups in order to introduce the press apostolate.
This form of promotion is, actually, the most effective and, more often than not, the most meritorious.

It is an effective means
This is akin to being in the mission field. If the missionary does not go himself to seek out people to lead them to Christ, they do not generally seek him out. Likewise, if the apostle does not bring the good book or the good newspaper to people many would not receive it because they do not look for it.
Moreover, when the apostle is in direct contact with people, he is able to adapt the material to their particular needs, supplement it with advice
and guidance and, when necessary, also apply some friendly pressure.
There are facts to back this up. Here are a few, chosen from the many that came to light during the work of promotion by the Daughters of Saint Paul.
Two Sisters stop off at a pharmacy every month to give the Protestant owner a leaflet on religion. He takes it without saying a word, crumples it up into a ball and aims it at the Sisters on their way out. They pick it up without a word and leave, recommending him to the Lord.
This happens several times. Finally, the pharmacist, giving up, reads the leaflet and then introduces himself to the two Sisters to say that he is willing to embrace the Catholic faith. Later on, he is baptized and becomes a churchgoer.
A hovel in a big city of Italy. A laborer, driven to desperation over financial debt and the sickness of his only child has decided to kill himself and his family. With a knife up his sleeve he is waiting for an opportunity for his wife to leave the child's bedside. His plan is first to kill the child, then his wife, and lastly, himself.
Suddenly, there is a knock at the door. The woman, unaware of her husband's intentions, goes to answer. Shortly after she returns with a leaflet and says:
"Two missionary nuns gave it to me. See what its says."
The laborer takes it and reads it to distract himself. A little later he stands up, transformed. The word of God has saved his physical life and given him back his spiritual life.
A young blind man lost not only his sight but also the grace of God and his own peace of mind.
A Sister asks the young man's sister to buy some books and to read them to him when he is feeling down.
The words sink into his mind and are like balm on his heart. Soon he returns to the Church and the Sacraments. He resigns himself to God's will and then he vows himself to the heroism of suffering.
On a train a group of youths are brawling and swearing.
A Sister hands out some leaflets to them and asks them to read them.
Some comply. One twenty-year-old youth reads the leaflet, puts it down, thinks for a while and then, turning to his companions, says: "I was an angel and I have become a brute... I want to get back to normal." He kept his promise.
A young mountain girl feels attracted to higher things, to noble and great ideals, something indefinable. She is upset because she has no one who understands her, no one to guide her. A book, which arrived unexpectedly, courtesy of
the Sisters of the press, opened up new horizons for her and guided her to the peaks of the spiritual life.
There are countless similar stories. People, who perhaps would never have gone to look for the word of God, on being asked or even urged to take it, have found their moral, and often, material salvation in that word. There are cases of individuals and entire families who have returned to God, prisoners who have discovered the road of conversion and recovery, sick people who have been comforted and people who have found the light that they could perhaps not find elsewhere.

It is a meritorious work
Promotion is to travel to towns and regions, to go from house to house, to the city or the country, to the plains or the mountains, to hovels and to apartment buildings. No preference, no distinction. It is to go to people.
What difficulties! What renunciations! The discomfort of travel and the bad weather, the encumbrance of heavy books, the need of assistance and support, association with the world and all its moral and spiritual miseries, repugnance to have to introduce oneself at people's doors, in public places and to strangers, the humiliation of disapproval and refusal, the responsibility of adapting reading material to people's needs, the obligation of good example, the lack of satisfaction...
Yes, above all, the lack of satisfaction. Those who write, those who print, those who teach, those who dedicate themselves to the sick have, almost always, the satisfaction of ascertaining the results of their own efforts. But who reveals to the promoter the results of her work, of his work? At times, as in the cases above, it is the person that has been helped who comes forward. But these cases are rare. Most times the promoter sows in sweat and then leaves to others the consolation of the harvest. She or he trusts in God alone who sees everything and collects those tears that have secretly flowed in the stormy hours of her or his apostolic travels.
To such and to so many sacrifices there is a corresponding and proportionate merit because God, who has promised not to leave unrewarded even a glass of water given to a poor person, will all the more recompense the sacrifices of those who bring his divine word to people.
House to house promotion can thus be considered a great exercise of charity as well as of atonement and penance. If promotion is carried out properly it will certainly hold in store many surprises for the day of eternal reward. Then there will be fulfilled for promoters the psalmist's words: "Euntes autem ibant et flebant... venientes autem venient cum exultatione portantes manipulos suos."1
Blessed indeed the feet of those who announce the Gospel and bring peace!

1 Ps 125:6. * (Ps 126:6): "He that goes forth weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him."