January 24, 2019

⛪ Blessed Giuseppe Giaccardo - Priest

Blessed Giuseppe Giaccardo,
Pray For Us !
⛪ Saint of the Day : January 24

⛪ Other Names : Father Timoteo

Memorial 24 January • 19 October (Pauline Congregations)

Born :
• 13 June 1896 in Narzole, Cuneo, Italy as Giuseppe Domenico Vincenzo Giaccardo

⛪ Died :
• 24 January 1948 in Rome, Italy of leukemia • His funeral was conducted in the apse of the Basilica of Saint Paul in Rome • Relics enshrined in the crypt of the sanctuary of Mary, Queen of the Apostles since 1966.

⛪ Major Shrine :
• Basilica di Santa Maria Regina degli Apostoli alla Montagnola, Italy

He is the first religious priest of the Society of St. Paul founded in Alba (Cuneo) on 20-8-1914 by the Servant of God Fr. James Alberione (1884-1971) for the evangelization of peoples through the apostolate with the instruments of social communication. Il Giaccardo was born on 13-6-1896 in San Giovanni Sarmassa, a village of Narzole d'Alba (Cuneo), the eldest son of five children, Stefano, a modest sharecropper, had Maria Cagna, a very active and very devoted housewife of the Madonna del Rosary. At the baptismal font the names of Giuseppe, Domenico and Vincenzo were imposed on him.

Giuseppe's childhood (Pinot) took place under the gaze of the pious and honest parents, former workers on the "Battaglione" farm where he was born, and shortly afterwards in a house in Narzole, not far from the parish church dedicated to San Bernardo , in which his father, due to financial difficulties, had been forced to move, adapting himself to acting as mediator, butcher and even a little sacristan. At four years the Blessed learned all the prayers of the good Christian attending the nursery school, directed by the Sisters of St. Anne, and seven years began to learn the rudiments of knowledge by attending municipal schools, directed by excellent teachers. We do not know what year the first communion took place. He produced in him without a doubt salutary fruit if the elderly father, in the trial, could affirm: "

When he saw him arrive in the parish early in the morning with Francesco Grosso, later a Consolata missionary, to serve the Mass, Fr. Alberione was immediately impressed by his docility, his spirit of prayer and his daily attendance to the sacraments. Since he expressed his desire to become a priest, in October 1908 he took him with him to the seminary, having been appointed spiritual director of the students. Pasquale Gianoglio, a seminarian, later vicar general of the diocese, attested to him: "He was a skinny boy, physically insignificant, he had two very dark black eyes that mirrored a serene, calm soul, always smiling, composed, gathered, especially in the chapel in prayer , without any singularity, and this behavior maintained throughout life.

According to Fr. Alberione "he did not fail in some difficulties that I could call" crisis of the young ", but he overcame everything with a strong soul so as to assert that he had never offended the Lord voluntarily". Two years after entering the seminary, he issued the annual chastity vote. The strength to observe him always derived him from a tender and filial devotion to Maria SS. of which he was considered a slave, according to the spirit of St. Louis M. Grignion de Montfort (+1716). According to Francesco Grosso, his classmate, "on the study table he kept the image of the Consolata and often kissed her, saying some briefings ... He often said to me:" Let us make ourselves saints because this is our profession ... " me not to be able to sing Mass because of its out of tune voice ". For the rest of his life he was unfortunately also immature, little like that of an adult. In the five years of gymnasium the Blessed was constantly committed to fulfilling all his duties with fidelity and love.

The diary or examination of conscience that began to do in writing after the dressing of the clerical dress (8-12-1912), and that protrasse up to the death, in fact describes it committed and struggled in an effort that does not suffer slowdowns or bending , towards holiness, through an incessant inner work of purifying one's own conscience, the flight of venial sin, the exercise of humility, the fulfillment of daily duty, in the aspiration to an ideal that he summarizes in a formula that is always recurrent under the pen: assimilate the spirit of Jesus to live only of him, in him, with him, for him.

On 22.1.1915 Giaccardo was called to arms and assigned to the 2nd Health Company of Alexandria, but on 7-1-1916 he was reformed because he suffers from oligoemia (anemia). He returned to the seminary to act as assistant to the students, but he was soon exempted because in demanding discipline he was pedantic and meticulous. The Blessed One, prey to unacceptable humiliations, envies and principles of discouragement raised the cry out loud: "Jesus, you sustain me, and I trust in you. I want to become holy, turn me into you" (Nov. 1916). 

On the solemnity of the Immaculate he issued the perpetual vow of chastity, grateful to the Virgin because he had helped him overcome the hard struggles that, for more than a year, he had had to support regarding chastity.

From hand to hand that the Giaccardo grew in science and virtue, the ties with Don Alberione and his work became ever closer. Also the can. Francesco Chiesa (1874-1946), his professor of philosophy, confirmed him in that friendship. He asked permission to the bishop to unite him "with humility, firmness and simplicity", but to test him he informed him that if he wanted to remain a cleric he had to stay in the seminary.

Giaccardo did not fail to make his decision although in the seminary there were those who told him that Fr. Alberione would keep him with his dozen boys who constituted the "Piccolo Operaio" Typographic School so that it would be useful, and then he would abandon it; or whoever insinuated that he wished to reach Don Alberione in order to repay all the help he had received from his childhood. In the diary he also noted: "I am told beyond the rest, that I am hypnotized by him and that I lack the journalist's own abilities". In fact, during the studies, if the Blessed had always succeeded well in the exact sciences, in the elaboration of the themes he had left somewhat to be desired. Alberione gave him courage and told him: "He is very certain of your vocation.

On 4-7-1917 the Blessed One entered the Work of Don Alberione with the consent of the Bishop. Being a cleric of fourth theology, he had the task of assisting the youngsters of the Typographic School, making them school, correcting the drafts of parish bulletins and books that were printed in typography, and continuing to study in preparation for the priesthood. The founder had introduced him to his community as "Master", and he in his zeal of neophyte, little by little began to cross the boundaries that had been assigned introducing in the community life a formalism lover of rigid schemes with disorientation of the aspirants older children, so much so that some of them proposed that "Mr. Master" should be sent back to the seminary. Don Alberione, who needed his help, simply told him: " You are still imbued with the spirit of discipline of the seminary and not with the spirit of the Institute. It must be all courage, joy, unity. Your place is that of a humble disciple. You must be superior only for knowledge, for virtue and especially for humility. All here are under my care: this is required because God's will is not hindered. So it will be better for you, for the house and for me ".

Blessed Giaccardo understood the lesson on the fly and, from that moment until his death, at the cost of shedding tears of blood, renounced completely to his way of seeing the Opera, as to the claim to give it a new address, to act in conformity with formalism more suited to one's temperament. Thus he took the right path to achieve holiness as soon as possible. Don Stefano Lamera, postulator of his cause, wrote in The Spirit of D. Timoteo Giaccardo, published in Alba in 1954: "Despite his good will, he did not, even for his character, fully possess that simplicity, sobriety and fluency that it is proper to Pauline piety "(page 91). And again: "Because he was engaged in other duties, he could not acquire a real competence in technical and propaganda work" 

The bishop, who was following the development of the work of Don Alberione, against the predictions of some priests of the diocese, on 19.10.1919 consecrated priest Don Giaccardo and incardinated him to the diocese because the Institute of Don Alberione was not yet canonically cretto in the congregation. Nevertheless, on 30-6-1920 the founder had his first spiritual son give his private vows in the Institute with the name of Timothy, the beloved disciple of St. Paul, and he charged him with preaching spiritual retreats, confessing and going every Sunday on foot in Benevello, 13 km from Alba, to help in the care of souls the parish priest, Fr Luigi Brovia (+1926), who had been generous with aid.

Despite the increased commitments Don Giaccardo also continued his studies. In fact, on 12/11/1920 he obtained a degree in theology at the faculty of St. Thomas with full marks, although he did not have any special qualities. Later he continued to update, but the increasingly rapid development of the Pauline family and the increasingly urgent occupations to which he had to cope, prevented him from deepening the specific subjects of the priest. From the reading of his little flowing writings, of parenetic and devotional character, one gets the impression that his theological formation remained rather brief.

At that time Fr. Alberione, in order not to compel his boys to move constantly, decided to have the Motherhouse of the Institute built on his own, although several diocesan priests feared their failure. The first trunk was personally blessed by the bishop on 5-10-1921. From that day on, the Work of Don Alberione was called Pia Società S. Paolo. Don Giaccardo was named vice-superior and bursar. As if this were not enough, he was also in charge of directing the Cassation of Alba, a diocesan weekly, of which Fr. Alberione had become the owner. It was the time when Benito Mussolini (1883-1945) was preparing to march on Rome to seize the government and gag the press against fascism. In writing the weekly Don Giaccardo s'.

According to Don Pietro Occelli, confessor of the Blessed in the last sixteen months of his life, "he was not a man made to administer money". Don Giovanni Basso, who shared with him the heroic times of the beginnings, deposed in the process: "He struck me and impressed how he could behave with peace and serenity in a job fraught with enormous difficulties, especially in contact with the suppliers of the house and creditors in general The manner in which he treated them was proverbial: he managed to tame even the most recalcitrant, saying: "They went to ask him for money and very often they were persuaded to bring him more." This calm came from a profound inferior life, from faith. live in Providence and its conviction about the goodness of the Work of Don Alberione.

No initiative Don Giaccardo took without the consent of the founder by all called the Primo Maestro. Having tied all his life to him, he played a preponderant part in welcoming and forming the first aspirants, the first clerics and priests, and in sharing the joys and sorrows of the early developments of the Institute. Between the two there was no shortage of frictions because they were of diametrically opposite temperament, "without ever diminishing the esteem and trust and mutual affection". The Blessed in his diary noted: "Lord, thank you for everything ... also of the strong hand of the Primo Maestro I do not see, I believe, I hate what I see, I believe and I submit and I unite my heart to what I do not see ". When he felt in himself more alive the stimuli of the rebellion he proposed: "

Knowing that he had an obedient disciple in Don Giaccardo, Fr. Alberione entrusted him with the arduous task of building the first house of the Institute no less than in Rome, on 6 January 1926, although it had not yet been erected in a religious congregation. . In his diary the Blessed, then thirty years old, wrote: "I am here to do even now your will, simply, humbly! Lord, you govern my life, you are infinite in your love, I trust in you". In the farewell greeting, among other things, Fr. Alberione told him: "I am sending you to Rome for your love and your fidelity to the Pope". In fact, Luigi Rolfo (+1986), who was part of the expedition, testified: "

On July 15, 1926, Blessed Giaccardo set up a small printing house in Rome in via Ostiense n. 75, with the help of 14 gymnastic students who had taken with them from Alba. It was thus able to begin a few weeks after the weekly publication La Voce di Roma, to which they soon followed another eleven diocesan weeklies. At the beginning the Blessed lived in extreme poverty in a rented house built as a warehouse and therefore without furniture, sufficient toilets and a chapel. For the mass and the visit to the SS. Sacramento, had to go with his boys to the Basilica of St. Paul, officiated by the Benedictine Fathers under the guidance of Abbot Ildefonso Schuster (1880-1935), or to the nearest church of St. Benedict, officiated by the priests of the Opera del Card Ferrari at which he was studying Giacomo Violardo, later a cardinal, also from the Alba seminary. The faithful who took part in it were immediately built up. In fact they asked themselves: "Who is that little priest who celebrates so well, he looks like a saint!" Towards the middle of the year Don Giaccardo managed to set up a small chapel with a portable altar he had borrowed and the ornaments had as a gift from the Benedictine Fathers.

When he arrived in Rome the Blessed only had 3,000 lire. The sum was enough to provide the first necessities of the 14 young girls, directed by the teacher Suor Amalia Peyrolo, of the Daughters of St. Paul, established near the Paulines to support them in the work of typography with appropriate schedules. Peyrolo deposited in the process; "I never caught on the lips of Giaccardo any expression of regret, because of this obedience that certainly cost him, as for the inconveniences this first foundation brought with him", having no other priests with whom to share the labors of the apostolate, Don Giaccardo found himself in need of acting as superior, as spiritual director of both small communities, as a school teacher, as a treasurer, as a proto in typographic work. He did not make an economic step without the prior permission of the founder. Sometimes he could not pay his creditors in time. He knew how to apologize with such grace and humility that often the creditor remained confused. The Blessed One said: "I am never so quiet as in difficulties, God does him".

The Abbot Schuster, from the first day he met Don Giaccardo, conceived of him great esteem for his humility and simplicity. He asked who he was and what he had come to do in the Eternal City. Knowing that Fr. Alberione had sent him to Rome without bothering to ask for a proper license from the Vicariate first, the saint Abbot promised that he would speak to the Cardinal Vicar Basilio Pompili (+1931). Thus he avoided the humiliation of returning to the city from which he had left. A few months after the opening of the Pauline house, Abbot Schuster went to visit it. He was very impressed by the poverty and serenity that reigned there. Going from one place to the next, he would occasionally sigh: "Bethlehem! Bethlehem". "But when he took his leave, he said:" The house was born in poverty: if it continues in poverty, Fr. Anselmo Tappi-Cesarini, secretary of the abbot, declared Don Giaccardo, plunged into many difficulties: "I never saw him discouraged." He used to say that the young are the lightning rods of the house and that Providence would not come to them. less". According to the Violardo, who attended him for confession and spiritual direction, "he treated his children in a truly paternal way, inspired by the educational teachings of Don Bosco." He followed them closely and studied their tendencies. another thousand will come, I will not be frightened; and the Lord who sends them and he himself will provide to keep them. "With all of them he was very affable, but he refrained from showing signs of affection, obtaining what he needed to live and increase the Institute from the work done in typography.

Blessed is doing according to the constitution every day an hour of adoration before the SS. Sacramento, reciting "beautiful rosaries" in honor of the Queen of the Apostles, working hard as the Apostle St. Paul, succeeded with the help of Fr. Enrico Rosa (+1938), director of the Catholic Civilization, to act as mediator between Don Alberione and the dicasteries of the Holy See regarding the approval of the congregation. It is certain that Fr. Rosa, who valued Don Giaccardo as much as the apostolate to which he dedicated himself, spoke personally with Pius XI and that the pope, receiving the Cardinal Camillo Laurenti, prefect of the Congregation of Religious, he told him: "We want a religious congregation for the good press". The bishop of Alba, Mons. G. Francesco Rè, on 12-3-1927, he recognized the Pious Society of Saint Paul as a congregation of diocesan right and Fr. Alberione as his First Master. On that occasion, B. Giaccardo went to Alba to congratulate himself on the event with the father of his vocation, and also issue his perpetual profession. The future of the family, Pauline was so assured.

In the Roman house, Don Giaccardo did not know where to host the vocations that increased. The Benedictines, not far from the Basilica of San Paolo, owned a land of five hectares called the "vineyard of S. Paolo", with a modest farmhouse. Don Giaccardo went one day to see him, he liked it and wrote to Fr Alberione. The answer in July 1927 was: "I believe very clearly the will of the Lord, that we fix ourselves on a stable ground in Rome." The vineyard of San Paolo is good to buy it ". In the same month the Abbot Schuster signed the deed of sale, and Fr Alberione promptly arrived from Alba to pay the first installment of L.20,000. In October of the same year the little Pauline community began to take possession of it. Don Giaccardo transformed the barn of the farmhouse into a chapel and the cellar in a print shop.

After his perpetual profession, Don Giaccardo wrote in his diary: "Lord, I offer you the hard work of being superior, bless the family you gave me". His prayer was answered. In fact, he obtained from the Vicariate (1928) to build immediately on the land purchased, a first trunk of the house for the Pious Society of St. Paul and, later, another trunk of the house for the Daughters of St. Paul on a hill of their property, indispensable for the formation of vocations that were multiplying.

In October 1930 Don Alberiore recalled to Alba Don Giaccardo with the young people who had taken part in the foundation of the Roman house for a period of more tranquil studies and more intense spiritual formation. However, in 1932 he sent him back to Rome as superior so that, in the Holy Year of Redemption 1933-1934, he was able to welcome all the Pauline professed and novices who wished to go there for the purchase of the Jubilee.
On 10-6-1936, the founder transformed the Roman house into the headquarters of the Superior General and assigned Don Giaccardo to Alba to direct the Motherhouse with the commitment to teach everyone: boys, clerics and priests, to practice the life of prayer , of study, of apostolate and of poverty, constituting the four wheels of the Pauline cart as they had learned since the origins of the congregation. In a spirit of humility, the Blessed welcomed this second ministry with joy and sincerity: to preserve, interpret, make penetrate, let pass and flow the spirit and directions of the founder "in the soul of the Paulines, proposing to behave as superior". and wise, in seeing; strong and patient, in tolerating; sweet and confident in correcting ".

The decade that the Blessed spent in Alba with this task (1936-1946) represented the most active period of his life. According to Don Rolfo, a close collaborator of Giaccardo, that period "was the best in the history of the Mother House for religious observance, for the harmony of minds and for the good name of the community. , the good example, the preaching and the great charity of heart ... It was of very mild temperament, free from psychic imbalances and, therefore, very pleasing to those who lived with him ". Monsignor Gianoglio testified: "As a general vicar, I formed this concept of him: he was an uncommon Pauline religious, edifying for piety, zeal and the way he treated the confreres and the inferiors so much as to be considered"

The Blessed One used to say to Mother Lucia Ricci, superior of the Pious Disciples of the Divine Master, founded by Fr. Alberione in Alba on 20.2.1924 for the service of cooking and wardrobe to the Pauline family, Eucharistic adoration and the liturgical apostolate "If we are clothed with authority, we remember that we are by God's will, and that our task is to serve others, in his name, and not to be served". He proved this truth with facts because he was always available to everyone. According to Mother Lucia "he listened continuously to all those who turned to him, without ever giving to see that he was bored or annoyed, as far as possible he tried to please everyone, because he was convinced that" authority is at the service of charity " and why, personally, "

When, in 1936, he arrived in Alba, the Blessed one found about 500 youngsters to be educated and about a hundred clerics and priests to lead to holiness. It was not always easy for him to make quick decisions for such a large group of people, and some confrere complained occasionally. Yet no one had ever seen him prey to anxiety, disturbances or nervousness even when, in the years before the Second World War (1940-1945), complaints of unpaid creditors arrived in the curia, or the bulletin of the protests in each number long list of bills expired and not paid for debts contracted by Don Alberione. The reason is that, before deciding, he loved to reflect, pray, advise and especially wait from Rome, less for the most important matters, Don Giaccardo repugnant to make corrections especially to professed priests and confreres. Shy by nature, he always had to struggle to win. Not always, however, his observations were accepted with due submission. He did not lack scrimmage, ingratitude, coarseness, but he always endured them without a complaint and without holding grudges against anyone.

Says Fr. Alberione, who during his stay in Alba, Don Giaccardo held no less than 400 sermons each year on the most varied religious topics to the members of the Society of St. Paul, to the Pious Disciples of the Divine Master and to the Daughters of St. Paul who had established the Mother House in borgo Piave, one kilometer and a half from the city center, which he reached on foot every Friday for the celebration of Mass, meditation and confessions. Don Gianoglio asserted that "Giaccardo, both for the voice and for the period, was unattractive." According to Don Basso, however, he "preached with warmth and unction." Not everyone tasted it, his word was mostly high and often convoluted. this dispensed it.

The Blessed drew his arguments for his reflections from the Gospel that he wanted to exhibit in the church, in his studies, in printing, in the dormitories and that he kissed with folded hands every time he passed in front of them, but in a special way from the Letters of Saint Paul, who read in Greek and knew almost by heart. He carried a small edition in his pocket and often consulted it. In his preaching, the reference to the apostle's thought was a necessity for him.

When the Blessed spoke of sin he felt that he was dealing with an argument that embarrassed him, that repelled him. It was deduced from the contraction of the face. He could not conceive of it. When he was referred to guilt by some confrere, he remained distraught. Because he hated subterfuges and lies, he corrected the wanderers, but not always, with due solicitude for the great fear of grieving dear ones. As a penance he recommended charity, the examination of conscience and the common life. He could not bear that in the hours of recreation crocchi formed. He said: "I will banish the murmuring and criticism in me and in the house and in my brothers like the plague". He therefore arranged that in church, before the celebration of Mass, one sang in Latin for a year: "Where there is love and love, here is God".

The love of chastity was the main characteristic of his life. Some confreres thought he was "exaggerated" because he showed his sincere disgust every time he heard unseemly jokes or scurries. He said: "Religious lukewarm is a contradiction, or one is religious, and then one is fervent, or one is cold, lukewarm, and then as a religious there is only a habit, a name, a larva". In the exhortations he recalled: "Whoever obeys only because he understands the reason, he is a rationalist, a naturalist, he is not a religious". "With the superiors we cooperate, we can not resist". "In the authority to see, to follow, to listen to the Divine Master: small hymns and great hosts: it is always him". "We must arrive at active, loving obedience". "Oh obedience! I l '

Humility training was one of the themes on which Don Giaccardo stopped the most when he dictated the meditations. He said: "For me the Gospel is the book of humility". He therefore deduced the need to "be small, feel small, stay small". He exhorted; "In humility you never say no, because the more you enter into humility, the more you will look like Jesus Christ ... Let's humble ourselves even when we have to nail our will to the cross with Jesus". Because "love for comfort never makes saints", while "those who kill the ego find God". He stimulated his listeners to practice any virtue in a prompt, easy and delightful manner. He always and especially stressed the last adverb because he was convinced that "a displeased man is a half-man".

In the direction of the community, Don Giaccardo always had the concern to put into practice the recommendations about the peculiarities of the Pauline life that the founder occasionally sent to the various houses scattered throughout the world through his circular letters. He was always "the most faithful" of all his children, the most prompt to defend and support their intuitions. "I must be a priest of prayer" had proposed and, as long as he lived, he was exemplary in carrying out the practices of piety. He got up at half past four in the morning even when he went to rest very late in the evening, having to do the correspondence first and prepare the notes for morning meditation, or spent the night in white for some disagreement or lack of charity that had occurred between the confreres.

The Blessed did not neglect to make the prescribed hour of adoration to the SS. Sacramento, perhaps after dinner, if he had missed the time during the day. In church he did not like being disturbed: "I am in relationship with God - he said - there is no one more important than Him, now!" During the prayer, the recital of the Divine Office or the rosary was never seen sitting or resting on the counter. During the day the ejaculations called "our phone calls to paradise" spontaneously flourished on his lips, especially the invocation "Deo gratias", every time he received a benefit and "my God and my all", which also inculcated to others. To a brother who asked him one day how he was able to remain quiet and serene among so many worries, he replied: "See, after a quarter of Don Giaccardo felt moved to convey the spirit of prayer from which he was animated into everyone. He had a very lively love for the liturgy. In advance of the times he wanted the community Mass every Sunday "to be in dialogue" and that the "great Mass" should be celebrated in beautiful Gregorian chant. He loved the beautiful religious functions, the sound of the organ, the long processions that presided surrounded by clergymen in crush, priests dressed in very beautiful vestments as well as several paggetti in costume. For the house of God he paid no heed to expenses as for the sick who, once a week, went to visit their residence in Sanfrc. It required the maximum splendor to make Eucharistic adoration more solemn and more devout on the first Sunday of the month in which it made a special worship to Jesus Master. Street, Truth and Life. After having organized a collection of precious objects among the cooperators, he melted 10 kg of silver and 3 kg of gold and transformed it into an artistic and monumental monstrance. In agreement with the founder he made the Church of the Mother House, dedicated to Saint Paul, endowable. of an organ of about 3,000 rods designed by Ing. Bartolomeo Gallo (+1970), which was inaugurated on 23.10.1938 in the presence of Prince Umberto di Savoia, and a splendid altar entirely built in marble masses of great value which was consecrated on 20-8-1941 by Mons. Luigi Grassi, bishop of Alba (1887-1948). In the presbytery two beautiful hanging lamps, with their intermittent flame, indicate that this altar is privileged for perpetual adoration, established in the Mother House by the founder and ensured by the Pious Disciples of the Divine Master. In 1942 the Blessed entrusted the "Gloria di San Paolo" to the study and execution of the sculptor Virgilio Audagna: a large marble high-relief, the largest in the world, dedicated to the Apostle, of 450 quintals, which constitutes the altarpiece close to the back wall of the presbytery. Before it was arranged, the church was paved with precious marbles and inlays so that the Eucharistic celebration could not have a more splendid place.

With the Blessed Giaccardo in the Mother House, even the studies acquired a tone of particular seriousness. Giuseppe Zilli (1921-1980), then a student and later director of "Famiglia Cristiana", declared to those who were prefect: "In those years we felt constantly growing". He demanded that the classrooms be in order, that the exams were given with due seriousness, and he had no fear of postponing unprepared pupils and making the year repeat even if they were high school students. Every year he celebrated the festival of the "Masters" with academies, conferences and scholastic disputes, especially when it coincided with that of St. Thomas Aquinas. The Can. Natale Bussi (+1988), professor of dogmatics in the diocesan seminary, when he approached the Blessed for spiritual direction, was struck by prudence with which he knew how to choose his books. In the trials he affirmed: "His gifts were not exceptional, however, with profound application, he had acquired an uncommon and always up-to-date ecclesiastical culture, especially for his Christocentric vision of the history of revelation and his spiritual intelligence of the Bible."

In all the works he undertook, Fr. Alberione obtained excellent results because he knew how to make them self sufficient, mindful of what St. Paul wrote to the Thessalonians; "If one does not want to work, not even eat" (2 Thessalonians 3:10). He entrusted the task of evangelizing the world to the Paulines and the Paulines by making use of the most rapid and effective means of social communication. Don Giaccardo at his school understood its importance. In the time that remained free from other occupations he wrote articles for magazines that were printed in the Mother House as Pastoral Life and Good Press Cooperators Union. He wanted the Publishing Office to be set up for a better selection and revision of the books to be printed; with the collaboration of very competent confreres,
Although he was not capable of great initiatives, he organized propaganda better with cyclic methods of diffusion at home, visits to the canons and seminaries, to schools and Institutes. Casa Madre considers the flagship of the 2,000,000 copies of Messalini Festivi and of the 580,000 copies of Messalini Quotidiani widespread until 1946, despite the years of lead of the Second World War, and the fierce struggles between partisans and troops of the Republic of Salò for the possession of Alba after the signing of the armistice (8-9-1943) Ira Italy and Germany.

The fourth wheel of the "Pauline chariot" is constituted by poverty in the broadest acceptance of the word: detachment from earthly goods for the sake of the kingdom of God; voluntary and ascetic self-sacrifice for the good of the Institute; but above all promptness in putting their managerial abilities at the service of the apostolate of social communication, for a more competitive and fruitful return to the greater glory of God and the good of souls. Don Giaccardo wanted to keep away from the Pauline family "both the abundance and the misery". He said: "When poverty is lacking, the spirit gives in. The more one loves poverty, the more joy develops". In life he certainly needed a lot of money, nevertheless Don Rolfo confessed; "You admired in him an exceptional separation from money, from all material goods, from honors, from charges, so much was in love with superior goods. "It was his maxim:" It is not money that matters, but doing God's will. "He told the brethren:" We have to live a dignified poverty. "Don Giovanni Costa (+1989), the first student of the congregation, testified of him:" Giaccardo was a very frugal man. He was content with what the treasurer procured. He never complained. He took nothing from one meal to another. He did not smoke and did not enter the bars to get some refreshment. "Maestra Ignazia Balla, superior general of the Daughters of St. Paul, stated in the process:" Don Giaccardo was alien to the amusements and the amusements. I think he never went on vacation and never took a pleasure trip. "

When Fr. Alberione assigned Don Giaccardo to direct the community of Alba, his task was to contribute to the particular spiritual, moral and cultural formation of the Pious Disciples in order to prepare them for juridical autonomy, for their specific mission. He began to dictate meditation, to teach them to do the examination of conscience, to confess them, to teach them with schools of Italian and Latin, of liturgy and even of theology. For seven years he himself made school of asceticism to the novices every week. To some confreres, points from envy, it seemed that he devoted too much time to the nuns to the detriment of his community.

The Blessed One, certain of fulfilling the will of God, continued undaunted to carry out with great effort what had been ordered to him. When the founder warned him of the criticisms that certain priests moved him, he wrote to him with extreme sincerity: "I believe that since I had taken care of the Pious Discipleships ... I can seriously prove that I stopped with the nuns a moment longer than necessary. who has made any gesture that is not perfectly modest and decorous ".

Fr Alberione intended to make the Pious Disciples an autonomous congregation for the peculiarity of their apostolate. On 9-7-1945 he asked the Congregation of Religious to be separated from the Daughters of St. Paul already approved by the Holy See on 13-11-1943. On 24-8-1946, Monsignor Pasetto, secretary of the Congregation, announced that he "did not believe it convenient, nor useful to comply with the request", and arranged for the novitiate that the Pious Disciples had opened in Alba to be closed. When Fr. Angelico from Alessandria, Capuchin, as Visitor of the Sisters in question with the mandate to dissolve them from the vows, informed Don Giaccardo of the decision taken by the Congregation of Religious, he turned white, stood for a moment, thoughtful, and then he said to him: "Father,

In 1947, some Pious Disciples and some Daughters of St. Paul accused Don Giaccardo of being exaggerated in spiritual direction, and of having created a great confusion among them, especially for the development of their apostolate. Fra Angelico, in the trial, testified: "Visiting the various houses of the Sisters and questioning them, I realized that a whole frame had been devised against Don Giaccardo, but in the brains of some nuns with nerves and in some other affections of jealousy .. It was not true that his spiritual direction was exaggerated.I found that, in spiritual formation, the Pious Disciples were superior to the Daughters of St. Paul ".

The Holy See was very satisfied with Fr. Angelico's report on the Institute, which was so much targeted, so that the Bishop of Alba, Monsignor Luigi Grassi, from 3-4 to 1947 could establish it in a religious congregation. Before the decree was made public, the nuns who had written or deposed against the Blessed One were confused to ask him for forgiveness. Instead of taking them back, he told them with extreme simplicity: "The fault is not yours, but mine, because I have not been able to make myself understood". At the beginning of 1948 Fr. Angelico went to Alba to deliver the decree. On that occasion the Blessed One, radiant with joy, said: "Now my work is finished, I am ready to keep the offering made to God".

According to Don Robaldo, treasurer of the Mother House, the life of Giaccardo "was a constant heroic submission to the founder, followed by the utmost scrupulousness and loyalty, all the directives, and I think it was this loyalty that life, because it will persevere even when it did not share its methods and thought ". At the beginning of October 1946 Don Giaccardo received from the founder the order to move to Rome as Vicar General. He obeyed with great sacrifice. He was commissioned to write the Directory of the Society of Saint Paul, which ended one month after his death. Don Occelli, who received the task of confessing it, testified that the Blessed "obeyed the founder tanquam Deo praecipienti. I encouraged Fr. Alberione to challenge at some point, but he, while acknowledging the reasons for the suggestion, told me that he was not able before the superior to make opposition. "Indeed, one day he wrote to his spiritual guide, to whom he also appealed two or three times a week: "We all live in the entrails of the Primo Maestro ... I personally believe that I adhere faithfully to him, that he does not contradict him and complain; I am willing to walk under the soles of his shoes and move in every direction ". I personally believe that I adhere faithfully to him, that he does not contradict him and grieve him; I am willing to walk under the soles of his shoes and move in every direction ". I personally believe that I adhere faithfully to him, that he does not contradict him and grieve him; I am willing to walk under the soles of his shoes and move in every direction ".

Also Don Gianolio stated; "I am personally aware that this way of conducting brought him sacrifice and renounces that Giaccardo endured peacefully, convinced that this was the right way". Don Robaldo confirmed: "In the last period he spent in Rome, he found himself very uncomfortable, and sometimes he made me understand that what made him suffer so much was his new position in which he could do little or nothing. he made no criticism and did not accuse any person ". In this regard, Don Luigi Rolfo was more explicit. He declared in the process: "When Don Giaccardo was recalled to Rome as vicar general, I was in Spain, but I know that the government jealously centralized the founder condemned him practically to the inaction and prevented any initiative.

During his last spiritual exercises done in July 1947, the Blessed wrote in his diary: "Thank you, Lord, you made me suffer a little, thank you, that you gave me something to bear with you!" Every morning I renew my "abrenuntio" and my "diligo"; my "offer", "gift", "I translate". And he proposed to "welcome, bring and offer to Jesus Christ indispositions, infirmities, sorrows, obscurities, desolations, that which contrasts, contrasts and contradicts, not only as a purification of the soul, but as a true apostolate that will last. even many years, maybe all of life ".

Don Giaccardo from the last months of 1947 began to experience a weariness that was increasingly accentuated. He himself no longer trusted to travel alone due to frequent fainting and particular difficulties in articulating the legs. Two months before his death, he visited, on behalf of Fr. Alberione, several houses in Italy as "elder brother", but son of the founder. From Alba he wanted to go to his native village to see again the church of his childish ardor, to greet the relatives and acquaintances, especially the old parish priest who asked for his blessing on his knees, and he made an appointment for Paradise. On 12.1.1848 he celebrated his last Mass with extreme difficulty. In the morning Pius XII granted the Decree of Praise to the Pious Disciples of the Divine Master. Jubilant,
Dr. Tommaso Teodoli treated the patient as if he had arthritis and lumbago. On the other hand, the consultation of three doctors resulted in an acute leukemic anemia, which announced a near end. On 18.1.1848 Fr. Alberione believed himself obliged to notify his severest collaborator of the seriousness of the disease and to propose the last sacraments to him. The dying man, who did not expect such a quick end, had a moment of surprise, then exclaimed: "Father, not as I want, but as you want." In the Pauline family, special prayers were immediately made for his recovery. From his death-bed the Blessed man recommended: "Yes, ask for the miracle, but in the will of God".

During the illness Don Giaccardo accepted all the treatments, even the most painful ones, obediently. "Only - he sighed - spare me the bites that can not be done in the arms". Don Occelli confirmed that "he had a great sense of shame in being treated and allowed only me to touch him". He waited for death by continually repeating the Creed and praying in his heart even when, those who went to visit him, thought him asleep. On January 22, Fr. Alberione celebrated the Mass of viaticum in the room adjacent to that of the dying man. At the end of the service, the Blessed one asked the one who assisted him: "Recite the hymn" Jesus, corona virginum. "Then, suddenly, three times he pronounced slowly in Latin:" Come, good and faithful servant, enter joy of your Lord "(Mt 25,23)..

When in Alba the Paulines gave news to Monsignor Grassi, bishop, a patient in bed for a cancer, the latter cried displeasure. He had always considered Giaccardo as "the excellent among the good priests of the San Paolo Society". Even Fr. Francesco Grasso, as soon as he learned the news from the Osservatore Romano, of his ancient seminary companion wrote: "He was a saint of that holiness that does not weigh and does not pose". Cardinal Schuster wrote from Milan on November 25, 1948: "The departure of the Theologian Don Giaccardo is a familiar mourning for me, as I was fraternally close to him in the first difficult years of the foundation in Rome, Oh! rich poverty and heroic abandonment in God. Day by day the raven brought daily bread ".

The funeral of Don Giaccardo took place on 26-1/1948 in the apse of the Basilica of San Paolo as if it were a monk of the abbey. In the homily, Fr. Alberione emphasized piety, docility and humility. Since 1966 his relics are venerated in the crypt of the sanctuary of Maria SS. Queen of the Apostles, of whom on 19-8-1947 Cardinal Carlo Salotti had laid the foundation stone with the assistance of Don Giacomo Alberione and Don Timoteo Giaccardo. The last prayer that, before dying, the latter wrote was: "Lord, I pray you, let my sepulcher be seed of virgins!". 

John Paul II recognized the heroic virtues of Don Giaccardo on 9-4-1985 and beatified him on 22.10.1989.

The date of worship was placed by the Martyrologium Romanum on January 24, while the Pauline Congregations remember it on October 19th.

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