Blessed Santiago Alberione
The saint of the day is Blessed Santiago Alberione.
Santiago Alberione was born on April 4, 1884, the fourth of six children in a devout working class family in San Lorenzo di Fossano, Cuneo, Italy. From a young age, he felt God calling him. On the first day of elementary school, when the teacher asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up, he responded, “I want to be a priest.”
While a seminarian in Alba, during the night of 31 December 1900 to 1 January 1901, he prayed for four hours in front of the Blessed Sacrament. He saw a light shine forth from the Host, and from that moment, he had an unusually powerful certainty that God was calling him to do something for the people of the new century.
He was ordained on 29 June 1907 and was assigned to a parish in Narzole. He served as spiritual director for youth and altar servers in the Alba seminary on 1 October 1908 and in September 1913 he became director of the weekly publication Gazzetta d’Alba.
He founded the Society of Saint Paul on 20 August 1914, the Daughters of Saint Paul on 15 June 1915, the Sisters Disciples of the Divine Master on 10 February 1924 and the Sisters of Jesus Good Shepherd in Rome in August 1936. These congregations, under his leadership and still today, publish books and other materials for the spreading of the word of God, thus fulfilling his intense conviction at the turn of the century of helping the people of the 20th century of Christianity.
During the course of his priestly and parochial ministry, he grew in the certainty that his call was to reach out the as many people as possible using new technology and media. To this end, he founded the Pauline family. The family grew as there was an increase in both mens and womens vocations, and the apostolate took shape. He founded various women’s orders whose charisms were the publication and dissemination of books, and ministry to Pastors, among other things.
Alberione’s work can best be summed up in the words of Pope Paul VI, who never held back his admiration for the Pauline ministry. “Father Alberione has given the Church new instruments with which to express herself, new means with which to invigorate herself and to amplify her apostolate, new capacity, and a new consciousness of the validity and the possibility of her mission in the modern world with modern means.
He died on 26 November, 1971 Rome and was beatified by Pope John Paul II on 27 April 2003.