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A historical-charismatic survey

Acts of the International Seminar
on "Jesus, the Master"
(Ariccia, October 14-24, 1996)

by Eliseo Sgarbossa ssp



127 "The Master crucified anew by the crimes of writers." This is a usage witnessed by Fr. Paolo Pazzaglini in a conversation with this writer. – The point of the "rursus crucifigentes" (taken from Heb. 6:6) was commented by Maestro Giaccardo in a meditation of 15 September 1923, feast of Our Lady of Sorrows (cf. Quaderno di Appunti di prediche 1923-1924, 87-89). (Text)

128 "During the yearly course of Spiritual Exercises, the Primo Maestro gave us, still in manuscript, the prayer ‘for those who thirst for souls’ to be recited every day before the mass, or at the end of the morning prayers or during the visit. Since then it was always recited for as long as Fr. Alberione lived" (Verbal testimony of Sr. Luigina Borrano FSP, to this writer, 15 October 1995.). (Text)

129 The original text was published in UCBS of 16 February 1924. The curator of the PP adds the following note: "The text of this universal prayer, which was eventually entitled ‘Pauline offertory’ was published periodically in the UCBS. It was accompanied by short recommendations which show the importance Fr. Alberione gave to it" (Ibid). – On the meaning of the following developments of that prayer, see the booklet Per chi sente sete di anime come Gesù, edited by A. Colacrai SSP, published by Archivio Storico Gen. F. P., Rome, 1985. The written testimony of Sr. Luigina Borrano at pp. 13-15 is especially meaningful. (Text)

130 "On August 20, 1924, it would be ten years [after foundation]... The first two students have now multiplied to more than one hundred; at the side the branch of the Daughters of St. Paul has grown; the group of the Pious Disciples was born... the house has its name, form and structure... The idea of the Good Press ["ordinary ministry of the Church’] fills hearts... St. Bernard functions as guardian... St. Paul Apostle, who has lived better the spirit and the life of the Divine Master, is its titular, its patron, its protector... Mary, Queen of Apostles, is the Mother... The principal cult is to the Divine Master: he is the Way, the Truth and the Life. Also the priests of the house, in his honor, are called masters. Perpetual adoration is made to him, and to Him are dedicated the postulants, called Disciples of the Divine Master, and the Pious [Sisters] Disciples..." (UCBS 15 August 1924; PP 221-222). (Text)

131 The date March 25, 1924 is conventional. It is good to remember a confidential statement of Fr. Alberione, "In 1908 I started to pray... so that a religious family would be born... a family entirely of Jesus Divine Master present in the Eucharistic mystery" (AD 247). Cf. G. Barbero, op. cit., 611-612. (Text)

132 Cf. AD 33-35 and 132 (the Divine Master center of unity of the Pauline Family ) and CISP 137-138 ("The Pauline families [=congregations] centered on the Divine Master"). (Text)

133 It is interesting to note that that "month of meditations" was preached every day by Maestro Giaccardo, as it appears from his notebook of sermon notes (Quaderni di Appunti di prediche, "Il Divin Maestro," 125ff). Cf. PP 209. (Text)

134 "The Divine Master taught us: he is the way that gives examples, that builds...; he is the truth that enlightens, that preaches what we must believe and do...; he is the life, who gives the grace of believing and doing, who sanctifies, who raises, who multiplies merits, who brings vocation to maturity, who transforms, and without him we are dead. [...] The month was ended with an hour of adoration. The Divine Master is with us, he is in his house; from here, from the Tabernacle, he wants to enlighten both his family and the world..." (UCBS 25 February 1924; PP 458-459). – Notice the implicit reference to the revelatory "dream": the Master with us, his will to enlighten... (Text)

135 "From his fullness we all have received..." (Jn 1:16). (Text)

136 Verbal testimony of Sr. Luigina Borrano FSP to this writer (15 October 1995). – The same idea was expressed much later in Fioretti per il Mese di Maggio: "In the exercise of my apostolate, I must... hand the Gospel with the purity with which Our Lady rendered maternal care to the incarnate Word" (FMM 15). (Text)

137 Cf. Vita Pastorale (VP) November 1923: "Il Vangelo in ogni famiglia"; – March 1924: "Per il Vangelo nelle famiglie"; – April 1924: "Copriamo il paese di Vangeli"; – October 1924: "Perché diffondere il Vangelo?"; November 1924: "Istituire la Festa del Vangelo"; – December 1924: "La Società Biblica per la diffusione dei Ss. Vangeli"; – March 1925: "È urgente la Festa del Vangelo"; – October 1925: "Per diffondere il Vangelo: Festa del Divin Maestro"; – November 1926: "I Gruppi del Vangelo" – and so forth. Till 1935 every year, in the months of February or August or October, an article is proposed with a program of celebration for the Feast of the Gospel, or of the Divine Master, often with outline patterned after the Way-Truth-Life scheme. (Text)

138 News in UCBS 20 December 1925 (PP 863-865). (Text)

139 Cf. PP 626-627, 859, 861-863, 890, 896. (Text)

140 "Inside the church under construction, all green with decorations, the Gospel Congress was held on June 30 and the Rev. Msgr. Goffredo Zaccherini, Bishop of Civitacastellana, celebrated the Mass. The charity table was held in the grandiose apse" (UCBS 20 July 1927; PP 257). (Text)

141 "Inasmuch as we could not do otherwise and to come up with something more proper, the Mass of the Sexagisma Sunday, which the Roman Church used with St. Paul’s basilica as its station, shall be celebrated as the Mass of the Divine Master. We are publishing it in whole [The text follows: Intr.: Psalm 43; epistle: 2 Cor 11:19-23–12:1-9); gradual: Psalm 82 and 59; Gospel: Lk 8:4-15; offertory: Psalm 16; Communion: Psalm 42)" (PP 459-460). Eventually, always while awaiting its liturgy proper, the formulary of the Transfiguration was adopted. – On the following developments of the devotion to Jesus Master, see the study of Fr. Alberto Fusi, Il Signore nostro Gesù Cristo Maestro Via Verità e Vita: Teologia biblico-liturgica del formulario della Messa... Thesis for licentiate at the Ateneo Sant’Anselmo, Rome 1976. (Text)

142 "Jesus Master, who, from this Host, look upon us, your disciples prostrate at your feet, sorrowful for having withdrawn from You, we renew before you this evening the promise to remain faithful disciples from now on:

We believe and confess that you alone are the Universal Master, infallible, and as such proclaimed by the Father: "Listen to him." (PP 864; cf. following note). (Text)

143 Here is the text: "1. We condemn every teaching, book or newspaper contrary to the Gospel. – 2. We promise to read a passage of your Gospel every day in our homes, and to live according to your teaching. – 3. We promise to participate in the explanation of the Gospel and to send our children to Catechism. – 4. We promise to keep away from home every bd press and to support the good press. – 5. We recognize that you alone is our and the world’s Master, union with our Vicar, the Pope." (UCBS 20 October 1926; PP 870-872). (Text)

144 The punctuation is exactly copied. Notice the comma between Jesus and the title Master. (Text)

145 Cf. PP 257-260, and G. Barbero, op. cit., 387-390. (Text)

146 "The Catholic newspaper is the teaching chair of truth" which is counterpoised to "the teaching chairs of pestilence." It is as if an antidote to a poison, the medicine of Christ. "The divine Master is the Truth and he came to enlighten all men of the true light. The Catholic newspaper cures the influenza of the bad newspaper." (Cf. UCBS 20 October 1925; PP 663ff). (Text)

147 The chapel, measuring 7 x 14 meters eventually became the sacristy of the church of St. Paul (to which one entered by a wooden staircase) and was then partly torn down to give way to the present sacristy. (Text)

148 For the chronicle of the "Feasts of St. Paul," see UCBS 25 July 1925 (PP 566-568). (Text)

149 We can speak of a generative nucleus of a theological synthesis on evangelization through the media whose bulwarks, as can be seen even now, are the following: 1) Christ "Master" is the divine source; – 2) The Pauline consecrated person, like a "disciple’ and then a "master", is its first recipient and then mediator; – 3) The salvific transformation of the Word, under the form of light-energy-supernatural life happens by virtue of an instrumental "connection", which we could compare to a "three-phase" cable. – These concepts can be found expressed under the canonical forms in articles 154, 177 and 224 of the Constitutions (1949-1957 edition). – Regarding the stages of the development, from 1936 to full maturation, see Appendix (pp. 129-134). (Text)

150 Cf. AD 64-65, 70, 159; CISP 1054-1055. – In PP, the references to the Apostle occupies two and a half columns of the analytical index. (Text)

151 "The month of June is as well consecrated to the devotion and homage to St. Paul, the Apostle" (UCBS 4 June 1922). And more: "We must learn from St. Paul the fervor of zeal... genuine love for souls, love and fidelity to the Church, and the more profound principles, the bases and the directives of Christian sociology." Also the month of St. Paul of the year 1924 was preached by Maestro Giaccardo with the explanation of the letters (cf. Quaderno, op. cit., 165ff). (Text)

152 Let us remember that such centrality had to be effective and visible in the placement of the main altar at the geometrical center of the church according to the early plan of Fr. Alberione. This plan would eventually be modified. (Text)

153 In that altar, would be adored "the Divine Master in the sacraments at all hours of the day" (UCBS 1 April 1925; PP 557). (Text)

154 The Congress was held, as already mentioned, at the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, from 21 to 23 October 1926 (cf. UCBS 20 November 1926; PP 873-874). (Text)

155 Here is the continuation of the preface: "The Rev. Theologian Alberione himself gave an outline of the booklet and I hope I have executed it faithfully. Would that the Divine Master benevolently accept this humble homage and to make use of it for his glory and the good of souls. – Alba, 15 October 1926 – Can. F. Chiesa." (Text)

156 The trinomial Way-Truth-Life was not yet integrated into the mental system of Canon Chiesa while we find it summarized in his following books as La chiave della vita and Lectiones Theologiae dogmaticae: cf. Bibliografia della Famiglia Paolina, edited by R. F. Esposito, nos. 989, 1000-1003. (Text)

157 As examples, let us set two prayers, the first and the last of the book: "O Jesus, who, in the midst of so many people who pretend to be masters, you alone are the Master of humanity, benevolently grant me the grace to be your true disciple in everything and for everything..." (p. 14). – O Jesus Master, who in your infinite wisdom towards men, you have deigned to raise amidst your Church the apostles of the Good Press in order to spread ever more widely in the world your divine word, benevolently grant to these your apostles the grace that, filled ever more by your Spirit, they may grow in number and soon cover the whole face of the earth..." (p. 432). (Text)

158 This formula appears for the first time printed here and it would be introduced in the second edition of the Pauline manual of prayers, issued during the year 1927. (Text)

159 Some references, however, deserve to be noted inasmuch as Fr. Alberione gave that encyclical much importance. Certain expressions regard the teaching of the Pope, like the following: "Representatives on earth of the Divine Master who... showed with tenderness a very special liking for the children...", and still: "...making ourselves the eco of the Divine Master, we have turned the salutary word...". Other places the infallible teaching of the Church is reaffirmed, starting from the mandate of Christ: "Go... teach...". Or else the proliferation of masters is lamented or the pretentious system of pedagogy, "the infallible efficacy" and all the horizons purely earthy. (Text)

160 Cf. Divinis illius Magistri, in Tutte le Encicliche dei Sommi Pontifici, published by Dall’Oglio, Milano, 1959, 845. (Text)

       Jesus Master yesterday, today and for ever

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