|Saint Pope Paul VI and Blessed James Alberione|
Rome, 27 April 2020
17th Anniversary of the beatification of Don G. Alberione
Dear Sisters and Brothers of the Pauline Family,
May our greetings reach every one of you, with the hope of finding you in good health and – despite the difficult times in which we live because of the Covid-19 pandemic – full of courage, in the Risen Christ, to carry on with faith and hope your apostolic commitments.
The reason for this letter is to communicate with joy that, after our request, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, by Decree of 3 February 2020, has granted that the annual Memory of Saint Paul VI, celebrated on 29 May, become mandatory for the Pauline Family. We all know the importance of Pope Paul VI’s magisterium for the Church, especially for his insistent invitation to bring the Gospel to the contemporary world, from the perspective of Vatican Council II. Reading his speeches and observing his pastoral practice it is evident that «the Church must come to dialogue with the world; the Church makes itself an expression, the Church makes itself a message, the Church makes itself a dialogue» (3 December 1970).
The reason why this news makes us rejoice is his particular closeness to Blessed James Alberione, both in friendship and in understanding the mission of the Pauline Family. With regard to friendship, we remember the unforgettable historical moment of his visit made to our Founder on his deathbed, just before leaving for heaven.
With reference to our mission, it is good for us to remember the words that Pope Paul VI addressed to him during the Audience of 28 June 1969, in which he recognizes the importance of the Pauline charism in the Church: «Here he is: humble, silent, tireless, always alert, always collected in his thoughts, which run from prayer to work [...], always intent on scrutinizing the “signs of the times”, that is, the most ingenious ways of reaching souls, our Don Alberione has given the Church new tools to express oneself, new means to give vigour and breadth to the apostolate, new capacity and new awareness of the validity and possibility of its mission in the world and with modern means».
Let us pray that, through the intercession of Saint Paul VI, the Pauline Family, with the vocation to be Saint Paul alive today, can respond to its mission of evangelization in the contemporary world through its various apostolates.
With affection and gratitude,
Father Valdir José De Castro, ssp Sr. Anna Caiazza, fsp
Sr. M. Micaela Monetti, pddm Sr. Aminta Sarmiento Puentes, sjbp Sr. Marina Beretti, ap
Certainly we will hear more from Rome about celebrating our newest patron saint, but as a starter you will find here an excerpt from one of his talks on every Pauline’s favorite topic: evangelization (with obvious hints about the importance of using the media to share the Good News). It is entitled: God’s Great Plan. There is also a short prayer composed by Saint Paul VI entitled: Make Us Worthy, Lord. These two are excerpts from Wisdom from Pope Paul VI recently published by Pauline Books & Media.
God’s Great Plan
Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Brothers and sisters, our stupendous and dramatic lot is that of being involved in a wonderful divine plan, which wishes us not only to be admitted and to be sharers in the kingdom of God, but also to bear witness to it and spread it. The Gospel is not a proclamation that is extinguished or stagnant in the one whom receives it, but a voice that resounds and becomes an echo, a voice in its turn, a cry! Jesus taught us: “What I say to you in the dark, tell in the light; and what you hear whispered, proclaim from the housetops” (Mt 10:27). It is not an episode; it is a program, which spreads through the earth and becomes history. Christ sums up and concludes his preaching to the Apostles as follows: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations” (Mt 28:19). Living faith is a faith that spreads. The believing Church is mother and teacher, and with the doctrine of the Council she strengthens us and warns us that those of us who are her sons must be proud of the Christian name, and witnesses to what this name signifies and teaches us (Lumen Gentium, 33). . . .
To evangelize it is necessary to be courageous, not to be afraid of anything or anyone (see Mt 10:28). This does not mean being irresponsible and rash . . . , but humble and strong, bold and sincere with everyone. And it means remembering that even disasters and difficulties can help the cause of the Gospel, our own and that of those whose welfare we wish to promote. A well-known expression of Saint Paul goes, “We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose” (Rom 8:28). And we must renew our trust in the communion of saints, especially in the protection of the Blessed Virgin. In this way let the inventive and operative genius of human advancement, which springs from the Gospel and from this heavenly assistance, find in Christian trust, not elsewhere, that energetic conviction that makes it effective.
Pope Paul VI, Message to the Pontifical Academy of Science, September 31, 1976
Make Us Worthy, Lord
Make us worthy, Lord,
to serve our fellow men
throughout the world,
who live and die in poverty and hunger.
Give them today, through our hands,
their daily bread,
and through our understanding love,
give peace and joy. Amen.
- Saint Paul VI, Pope
Lastly, I found a novena in his honor composed by Catholic Doors Ministry, a wealth of novenas can be found on their website. This novena can be prayed any time, but you may want to prepare for this wonderful, new Pauline feast by praying it nine days before the celebration on May 29.
SAINT PAUL VI, POPE
Repeat the following Novena prayers every day for 9 consecutive days.
We thank you for the witness of Your Servant,
Saint Paul VI, who served You
and the Church as Universal Pastor in difficult times.
As a pilgrim among pilgrims
he sought to reveal the beauty and joy of the Gospel
to the men and women of his time,
choosing the way of gentleness and forbearance.
As Shepherd of the flock
he sought to proclaim the truth in a time of great confusion
in imitation of his patron the Apostle to the Gentiles.
As Servant he proclaimed the Gospel of Life
and in doing so bore the cross of suffering and isolation
in union with Your Crucified Son
becoming a Prophet in the midst of the growing culture of death.
We thank You for raising Your Servant to be numbered among the Saints.
May his example of faith,
courage and patient endurance
inspire us in our daily living of the Gospel
and in our witness to Jesus Christ.
May we too be Prophets of life,
respecting, protecting and cherishing the gift of life,
most especially in its most vulnerable moments.
May we too be Your missionaries at this time,
seeking to transform the hearts of all men and women
through the joy we find in Christ.
Hear our prayers, most Merciful Father,
and grant us through the intercession of Saint Paul
the graces we now ask of You,
[Mention your need here...].
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Say 1 Our Father...
Say 1 Hail Mary... and
Say 1 Glory Be...
Saint Paul VI,
Pray for us.
Copyright © Catholic Doors Ministry
Many blessings to each of you. Let us continue to pray for one another.
Sister Mary Lea Hill, a member of the Daughters of St. Paul since 1964, has enjoyed communicating the faith through a variety of apostolic assignments. Her skills as a story teller were honed as director of audiovisual productions when Pauline Books & Media first produced animated features in the early 80s. An editor and author for many years, Sister Mary Lea has written several books, including Prayer and You, Blessed are the Stressed, Saints Alive: The Gospel Witnessed, Saints Alive: The Faith Proclaimed, and the best-selling Basic Catechism (co-authored with Sister Susan Helen Wallace).