About the Founder

Fr James Alberione
Fr James Alberione

In the little town of Alba, Piedmont, Italy, there was a young man called by God to His service at the close of the nineteenth century. His name: JAMES ALBERIONE. On the night preceding the dawn of the 20th century, James Alberione, then barely sixteen years old, was not asleep. Together with some fellow seminarians, he was in the cathedral of Alba, in deep prayer before the Blessed Sacrament He was pondering on what he could do for Christ and for the people of the 20th century. Earlier he had heard GiuseppeToniolo, a well-known sociologist, calling all the Catholics to unite: "Unite! If the enemy finds us disunited, he will defeat us one by one." He had also read the invitation of Pope Leo XII to pray for the new century. Both the sociologist and the Pope spoke of the need of the Church to convert the means of evil to means for good, to oppose the bad press with a good one, the bad organization with an organization of apostles, and the need to make the Gospel penetrate the masses.

While meditating on these signs, he suddenly sensed an unusual light from the Holy Host and understood better the invitations of the sociologist and the Pope. In his own words he said: "Una particolare luce venne dall" Ostia santa" (A singular light came from the Holy Host). Many years later on, he would tell his children: 'You were born from the Host. The entire Pauline Family has one Eucharistic soul." True indeed, for it was during that adoration of the Blessed Sacrament that he got the idea of forming a new breed of apostles, who would use new means of apostolate. That idea was like a faint light which, with the passing of years of study and prayer, became brighter and clearer.

In 1907, James Alberione was ordained priest with a Vatican dispensation for his young age of 23. For a time he worked as assistant to the parish priest of Narzole and then was appointed by his bishop as the spiritual director of both minor and major seminarians. These assignments offered him a deeper knowledge of man; he came to realize that the press was making havoc among souls through its deceptive, distorted doctrines. That urged him to conceive a plan of battling the pernicious influence of the press.

On August 20, 1914, he founded the SOCIETY OF ST. PAUL with only two boys as recruits. It was a small seed planted during a stormy period of European politics, for several months later World War I broke out. It is said, every beginning is difficult. The beginning of the Society of St. Paul was no exception. Fr. Alberione was branded as impractical. But with his undaunted determination he surmounted all obstacles, knowing where he was heading to. He knew that the world of the 20th century would be a world of rapid communication, a world that would become one village due to the mass media of communication. So he founded the congregation called the Society of St. Paul with the specific purpose of disseminating the message of salvation through the Press, Radio, Movie, TV, Records, Tapes and other means of communication to be furnished by human progress.

Today, the Society of St. Paul, composed of Priests and Brothers, is working in twenty-six different countries utilizing the modern media of communication to fulfill the command of Christ "Go arid make disciples in all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this - I am with you always, even to the end of the World." (Mt. 28:18-20).

Fr. James Alberione founded 10 religious congregations and institutes comprising the Pauline Family: The Society of St. Paul; Daughters of St. Paul; Pious Disciples of the Divine Master; Sisters of Jesus Good Shepherd; Sisters of Mary Queen of the Apostles; Institute of Our Lady of the Annunciation; Institute of St. Gabriel, the Archangel; Institute of Jesus, Priest; Institute of the Holy Family; Union of Pauline Cooperators.

Daily Quotes
The Priest who is learned is esteemed. The Priest who is powerful is feared. The Priest who speaks well is listened to. But only the Priest steeped in great charity is loved.
Blessed James Alberione

Society of St Paul
35 Meredith Street
Strathfield NSW 2135
Tel: 02 9394 3420
Fax: 02 9394 3444