Today (November 17) is the first day of the Novena leading up to the feast day of the Founder of the Pauline Family, Blessed James Alberione, which we celebrate on November 26. If you don’t know about this great media saint (still to be canonized), you are in for a treat!
Two years ago, the novices of the Society of Saint Paul (the brother community to the Daughters of Saint Paul) created a series of images with quotations from Blessed James’ writings and preaching. I thought I’d share one each day of the novena.
This trailer of the inspiring documentary about his life, Media Apostle, is a wonderful short introduction to the visionary, mystic, and saint whom Pope St. John Paul called, “the first saint of the New Evangelization.”
(You can watch the entire film, Media Apostle, here.)
Blessed James Alberione (1884-1971), the Founder of the Pauline Family (five religious congregations, including the Daughters of Saint Paul, four secular institutes, and the lay association of Pauline Cooperators), was one of the most prophetic figures of the twentieth century. His prayerfulness and his insatiable desire to integrate faith, culture, and the needs of the person transformed this frail Italian priest into a visionary whose tireless and innovative efforts to bring Jesus Master, Way, Truth and Life to all of humanity continues to bear fruit today. The first two religious congregations which Alberione founded–the Society of Saint Paul and the Daughters of Saint Paul–are dedicated to communicating the Gospel through the media. The Pauline Family has thousands of members worldwide, each of whom seek to live Christ as Saint Paul understood, lived, and communicated him.
A prolific writer, preacher, teacher, and founder, Blessed James Alberione lived an extremely active and communicative lifestyle. The spirituality which inspired and sustained him is based on the Gospel and the Letters of Paul, which he summed up once in these simple words:
“The Pauline Family
strives to fully live the Gospel of Jesus Christ,
Way, Truth, and Life,
in the spirit of Saint Paul,
under the gaze of the Queen of Apostles….
The aim is to live in Christ the Master
and in the Church.”
The Pauline spirituality is, after the Pauline Family itself, perhaps the greatest treasure which Alberione has left, not only to his spiritual daughters and sons, but to any Christian who seeks to authentically engage with today’s communications culture. His spirituality, intended specifically to support those who live, breathe, and work in the media, is characterized by: Eucharistic prayer, integration (unity of life), and transformation in Christ: “For me, to live is Christ” (Phil. 1:21). The communications spirituality Alberione lived and passed on was definitively validated when he was beatified in 2003 by Pope Saint John Paul II.