Society of Saint Paul



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The Society of Saint Paul is a religious congregation which was founded in 1914 at Alba, in Italy, province of Cuneo, by Fr. Giacomo Alberione.

Its members are known as the Paulines. Faithful to the mission assigned them by their founder, they communicate the Christian message with the use of all means that technology put at the disposition of modern man. They are present in 30 countries around the world. They are active in many fields: editorial and bookstores, journalism, cinematography, television, radio, audiovisual, multimedia, telematics; centres of studies, research, formation, animation.

Their logo represents well the dynamism which fills them.

The General and the Provincial Government, assure that the mission comes to life. Father Giacomo Alberione, in the footsteps of Saint Paul to become one for all, has, besides the Society of Saint Paul, founded four congregations: the Daughters of St. Paul, Disciples of the Divine Master, Sisters of Jesus Good Shepherd, Sisters of Mary Queen of Apostles; four associated institutes: Priest Jesus, Saint Gabriel Archangel, Mary Most Holy Anunciation, Holy Family; as well as the Association of Pauline Cooperators. Together, they constitute the Pauline Family.

Society of St. Paul
Founded on 20 August 1914 and approved officially by the Holy See on 27 June 1949.
Its mission is to "evangelize with the modern tools of communications". It is made up of religious priests and lay consecrated (called Disciples of the Divine Master). They are present in five continents. The Society of St. Paul makes use of magazines, books, cinema, radio, television, discs, casette tapes, compact disc, internet and all technological means of communication to announce Christ and speak of everything in a Christ like manner to all those away from the parish life. The models of the mission are: Master Jesus, Saint Paul, the apostle who became one to all, and Mary Queen of Apostles who gave life to Christ, communicator of the Father.

Father Giacomo Alberione
"Here he is, humble, silent, tiredless, contained in his thoughts, which flows from prayers to works, always ready to read the signs of the times. Our Father Alberione has given the Church news instruments to express herself, new means to give vigour and new breadth to its apostolic mission ... May the Pope, in the name of the whole Church, express its gratitude."Don Giacomo Alberione

These are the words of Paul VI on 28 June 1969. Father Alberione had been received in audience with representative sisters and priests of the Pauline Family on the occasion of the second General Chapter of the Society of Saint Paul.

On this occasion, the Pope granted to the founder and the Pauline Family the cross "Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice". Two years later, in late afternoon, on 26 November 1971, Paul VI visited Fr. Alberione on his death bed.

He died that same day at 18:30. His last words that he left to his sons and daughters, as his spiritual testament are an invitation for hope: "I die... I pray for all, Paradise!".

Important moments of his life:

  • 1884, 4 April - Birth of Giacomo Alberione in San Lorenzo di Fossano (Cuneo).

  • 1890-1891 - Attends first elementary in Cherasco.

  • 1896, 25 October - Enters the Seminary in Bra.

  • 1900, April - Asked to leave the Seminary in Bra.

  • 1900, October - Enters the Seminary in Alba.

  • 1900, 31 December - 1 January 1901 - While participating at the nightly adoration, he feels called to do someting for the Lord and the men of the new century.

  • 1907, 29 June - Ordained priest in Alba.

  • 1908 - For a few months he fulfills parish duties in Narzole.

  • 1908, 1 October - Reenters the Seminary and is appointed Spiritual Directors to the youth and the Alter Servers.

  • 1913, September - Assumes the direction of the weekly Gazzetta d’Alba.

  • 1914, 20 August - Founding of the Society of St. Paul.

  • 1915, 15 August - Founding of the Daughters of St. Paul.

  • 1921, 5 October - Constitution, with the taking of vows (privately) of some of members of the Society of St. Paul.

  • 1921, 23 November - Alberione asks bishop Giuseppe Francesco Re, then bishop of Alba, to erect the Society of Saint Paul as a diocesan congregation.

  • 1924, 10 February - Founding of the Sisters Disciples of the Divine Master.

  • 1936, August - Beginning, in Rome, of the Sisters of Jesus Good Shepherd.

  • 1938, 7 October - At Genzano (Rome) official birth of the Pastorelle.

  • 1947, 3 April - The Disciples of the Divine Master becomes a congregation with Canonical Rights.

  • 1957, 4 April - Beginning of the first General Chapter, during which Fr. Alberione is confirmed as Superior General.

  • 1959, 8 September - At Castelgandolfo (Rome), birth of the Sisters of Mary Queen of Apostles (Apostoline).

  • 1960, 8 April - The Holy Congregation for Religious gives approval for the "Associazione Paolina" made of three associated institues: Priest Jesus (Gesù Sacerdote), St. Gabriel Archangel and Mary Most Holy Annunciation.

  • 1965, 5 August - The second General Chapter of the Society of St. Paul, proclaims Fr. Alberione Superior General Emeritus, and elects Fr. Luigi Damaso Zanoni as the new Superior General of the Society.

  • 1971, 26 November - At 18:26, Fr. Alberione dies in Rome, in the Generalate House, after receiving the visit of Paul VI.

  • 1981, 4 May - The Nihil Obstat is granted to the pursuit of his beatification.

  • 1996, 25 June - The Decree of Venerability is signed, establishing the heroicity of his virtues.

  • 2002, 20 December - The official proclamation, by His Holiness Pope John Paul II, of the decree of Beatification of our Founder, Fr. Giacomo Alberione.

This great work had been foreseen in 1918 when Fr. Alberione, addressing a small group of his first youth, inspired by the Holy Spirit, said: "Lift up your eyes, look up on high and see the great tree of which no one can see the top: this is our House, which is really a great tree (alberone); your are but the roots. In fact, the actual house is the root of this great tree. You are at the foot of a great mountain, go up, look out, the horizon is the whole world". Today, the paulines throughout the world, give thanks to the Lord for having given to His Church this tiredless apostle.

Mission of the Society of St. Paul
The objective of the mission is to put the totality of Christ in contact (as expressed in the title "Christ Divine Master of Life, Truth and Way") with all human faculties (mind, heart and will) through the communication which is realized with the modern means.
The metodology used includes the proposal of the Christian experience (dogma, moral and cult) and the presentation of all human realties in the Christian perspective.

The historical development of the Society of St. Paul follows the evolution of the media of communication. Initially, Fr. Alberione adopted the printed press; then he added cinema, radio, television and LPs. Presently, the Paulines are involved in the world of communication, preparing themselves to incarnate Christ Divine Master of the Way, the Truth and the Life in the "culture" created by the communications.

Following the indications of Fr. Alberione to always "put yourself forward", the Paulines wish to be in the Church of the next millenium among the pioneers of a complete evangelical spirituality that knows to inculturate itself in global communications and multimedia. In fact, for Fr. Alberione and the Paulines, communication is not a simple aid to evangelization, but an original way of preaching, that reaches the masses which are far away from the parishes.

Pauline Family
From 1914 to 1959, Fr. Giacomo Alberione founded a number of institutions. Together, they constitute the Pauline Family.
There are five congregations (Society of St. Paul, the Daughters of St. Paul, Disciples of the Divine Master, Sisters of Jesus Good Shepherd, Sisters of Mary Queen of Apostles), four secular institutes (Priest Jesus, Saint Gabriel Archangel, Mary Most Holy Annunciation, Holy Family); as well as the Union of Pauline Cooperators.

In 1960 Fr. Alberione seeing that the foundations of the institutions were solidly established, traced the mission of the family of the Pauline Family: "The spirit must be one, as the one in the heart of Saint Paul, ‘Cor Pauli, cor Christi’; the devotions are the same, and the various ends converge in the same end: «Give all of Christ to the world, as he defined himself: ‘I am the Way, the Truth and the Life’».

The first models of Pauline Life
On the 25 June 1996, the Church recognized officially the sanctity of Fr. Alberione’s life, through which his heroic virtues were recognized. Among the daughters and sons of Fr. Alberione’s family, others are one their way to be recognized as saints.

The merit of Fr. Alberione is not only to have given the Church new means to give a new breadth and outreach to the mission of evangelization, but also to have contributed to form men and women who, through the use of the instruments of social communications, can reach the highest degree of holiness.Fr. Giuseppe Timoteo Giaccardo

Historically, the road to holiness for the sons and daughters of Fr. Alberione has been opened by the first priest and first vicar general of the Society of St. Paul, Fr. Giuseppe Timoteo Giaccardo,
whom Fr. Alberione himself described as: "most faithful among the faithful". On 22 October 1989 Fr. Giaccardo (1896-1948) was, in fact, proclaimed "Blessed" by John Paul II.Sister Tecla Merlo



Also relevant is the figure of a woman who worked in perfect harmony with Fr. Alberione: the Venerable Sister Tecla Merlo (1894-1964), first superior general of the Daughters of St. Paul, model of a woman who believed in the efficiency of the new form of apostolate.Canon Francesco Chiesa

Among those great witnesses, lest we forget the spiritual director of Fr. Alberione and godfather of the Pauline Family, the Venerable Canon Francesco Chiesa (1874-1946), model for all spiritual directors.Maggiorino Vigolungo



A particular fruit of the educational model of Fr. Alberione, who filled with enthusiasm even the youth to the apostolic life, is the Venerable Maggiorino Vigolungo (1904-1918), model for all youth who aspire to the Pauline apostolate.Brother Andrea Borello


Another example of life given for others is the Venerable Brother Andrea Borello (1916-1948), model for all those who consecrate their life to the apostolate of social communications as lay consecrated.Sister Maria Scolastica Rivata



And then there is the beautiful example of Sister Maria Scolastica Rivata (1897-1987), first Disciple of the Divine Master, and first Mother of the congregation.

Postulazione Generale        
00148 Roma RM
Via della Fanella 39
Tel 06.657.488.11
Fax 06.657.488.00

In 1991 the Society of St. Paul initiated the study for the development of a new visual identity: "evangelize with the modern means of communication".

The creator Giorgetto Giugiaro developed and realized the new logo of the Society.

From the public survey regarding the logo, the following comments were expressed:

  • appreciation for its formal and estetic beauty

  • reading it in terms of free associations, it was described as caracterizing the combination of two different elements with great dynamism

  • the major values associated to the logo were: precision, energy, tension, openness, dynamism, creativity, spirituality, infinity

  • the products to be combined with the logo were: cultural products, public opinion, spiritual creativity.

By its nature, the sign that expresses the visual sinthesis of the mission of a society, is not the equivalent of a logical reflection or a linguistic affermation.

The St. Paul logo is not a contradiction, on the contrary, it may suggest the mission of putting in contact the Word of God and the unfolding of history as the rich and dynamic apostolate of Saint Paul.

The Logo in the world

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Società San Paolo Cod. fisc.: 00434810586 - P. Iva: 00891531006
Updated 11/09/09 -  Webmasters: Società Apostolato San Paolo
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