The greatest preoccupation in the heart of Blessed James Alberione at the beginning of the last century was how to get the Gospel into the hands of people, of families, and of hearts. When we look at the world today, this is the same question in every Pauline's heart. The world so needs Jesus and his mercy. How can we reach everyone with his love.
Here are Blessed James Alberione's words:
"Be conscious of your responsibility! Don't keep counting the number of readers, but the fruit that is born among them, even if perhaps to only five people or to one person. If you have saved one soul, you have saved yourself! If the circulation (of the publication) reaches 5,000 or 50,000 or 500,000 or a million copies or more, and readers are not brought closer to eternal life...then the undertaking does nothing more than delude us. We must be sensitive to the spirit. We must give the supernatural.
"The apostolate of those engaged in distribution is like a dispensary which takes the treasures of the Church and distributes them to others. 'Consider yourselves as the servants of Christ and dispensers of the mysteries of God.'
"It is a dispensary which does not limit its action to a few poor people, but extends itself to all...The treasures which the Church possesses are for all. A single glance at the world is enough to understand how necessary this distribution is."
This is what kept Father Alberione up at night!
In the city of Alba (Cuneo), Father James Alberione founded the Society of St. Paul with the specific purpose “of consecrating to the spread of the kingdom of God and the salvation of all people, all the means which, by the will of God, human progress discovers in the field of science and technology and which the conditions of the time require.”
Fifty years before the Decree on the Means of Social Communication, which was promulgated at the end of the first session of the Second Vatican Council, the Church, as a wise Mother, not only recognized but, in the person of Bishop Francis Re, bishop of Alba, encouraged and blessed the beginning of the new Institute. Together with the general purpose of the sanctification of the members, the apostolate of the editions constitutes the raison d’être, the reason for the existence of the Society of St. Paul.
On December 4, 1963, on the conclusive day of the second session of the Second Vatican Council, Pope Paul VI “approved, decreed and established: with the Decree on the Means of Social Communication, that the use of the instruments of social communication is a true apostolate: and therefore a mission of the Church.”
One year later, on December 10, 1964, Pope Paul VI himself signed the Decree for the opening of the Apostolic Process of sainthood for Father Timothy Giaccardo, the first priest who, as his vocation, consecrated his whole life to the apostolate of the means of social communication. These means “of their nature can reach and influence not merely single individuals but the very masses and even the whole of human society” (Decree on the Means of Social Communication).
From the Foreword to the Life of Blessed Timothy Giaccardo, who was one of the first followers of James Alberione and a priest professed member of the newly founded Society of St. Paul, part of the Pauline Family.