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Monday, October 23, 2017
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Daily Saint


October 22: Blessed Timothy Giaccardo

Joseph Giaccardo was born on June 13, 1896, in Narzole, Italy. His parents were hard-working farmers. Joseph acquired good habits from them. They loved their Catholic faith, which he learned from them. Joseph prayed to Jesus in the Eucharist and to Mary. He had a little statue of Mary on a ledge in his room.

Joseph became a regular Mass server. That is how he met a young priest who came to help at St. Bernard's church. The priest was about to begin a wonderful new religious order, the Society of St. Paul. His name was Father James Alberione. Joseph liked him very much. Father Alberione was impressed with Joseph, too. He guided Joseph in the spiritual life. The boy entered the seminary in Alba to study for the priesthood. In 1917, though still a seminarian, Joseph asked his bishop for permission to leave the seminary. He wanted to join Father Alberione's new order. The bishop reluctantly permitted Joseph to enter the Society of St. Paul.

Joseph professed his vows in 1920. He chose the name "Timothy" after the best loved disciple of St. Paul. Father Timothy was ordained two years later, the first priest in Father Alberione's new congregation. The order had just been started in 1914.

Father Timothy's particular vocation as a Pauline priest was to be a media apostle. He wrote, edited, printed and distributed the Word of God. He performed many responsible tasks with courage and humility. Some people did not understand the apostolate of the Society of St. Paul and the Daughters of St. Paul. They wondered how priests, brothers and sisters could be publishers. How could they use media as their tools for communicating the Good News? Father Timothy helped people understand the marvelous vocation of the Paulines. He also was a great teacher of the priests and religious who were called to this new apostolate. He served the Lord in northern Italy and in Rome. He became Father Alberione's closest associate. In fact, Father Alberione called Blessed Timothy "most faithful of the faithful." But he was not going to be the successor of the Pauline Founder, as Father Alberione had hoped. Father Timothy became very ill with leukemia. He died on January 24, 1948. He was proclaimed "blessed" by Pope John Paul II on October 22, 1990.

Reflection: Timothy Giaccardo was a member of the Society of St. Paul, a community founded to use the modern means of communication to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ. How do I communicate Gospel values in my life? How often do I think about what kind of values are presented in the media I use (movies, newspapers, websites, etc.)?