Thursday, December 20, 2012

The First Pauline Cooperator

Amalia Vitali Cavazza, First Pauline Cooperator 
Of course the first Pauline Cooperator was Italian! Amalia (seen here with her husband and children) entered the life of the early Paulines during the First World War. The Seminary of Alba had one area requisitioned as a military hospital wing. A lieutenant, Luigi, the son of Amalia, was among the soldiers sleeping here. He went to Fr. Alberione asking if there were a place he could rest away from the soldiers. Without hesitation Alberione gave up his room and slept on the floor in the dining room. Amalia heard about this and send Fr. Alberione a mattress to sleep on. Once again Alberione gave up his mattress to someone else and slept on a blanket. Once again she bought him a mattress with the stipulation that he could not give this one away. This was the beginning of a friendship that lasted until her death in 1921. Throughout her life Amalia assisted the newly formed family. After the war when bread, milk, butter and fruits were scarce she delivered them for the young seminarian in her own carriage. "Keep Fr. Alberione's letters," she reminded everyone, "One day he will be a saint." Amalia's first cooperation was always with prayer. Her son Luigi also became a cooperator. He wrote articles for the Pauline newspaper, Gazette d'Alba.  When Amalia died Fr. Alberione said: "The first cooperator of the good press has left the earth." Read more about Amalia in the 1985 Statutes of the Pauline Cooperators.

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