Monday, October 20, 2014

Timothy Giaccardo

Yesterday was the 19th Sunday in Ordinary time. Had it been a weekday, we Paulines would have celebrated the Mass for the Feast of blessed timothy Giaccardo. [The "Gia" is pronounced as the "ja" is pronounced in the word jaw.]Father Timothy was the first young man to be ordained as a member of the society of St. Paul in Alba Italy. In the Acts of the Apostles we read of how St. Paul took the young disciple timothy as his companion on the mission of evangelizing the world of St. Paul's time. Father Giaccardo was baptized Joseph in the parish of St. Bernard in the town of Narzole in the Piedmont area of Northern Italy. When the young Giaccardo made his first vows as a Pauline priest, he chose to change his name to Timothy. As Timothy was a faithful "son of St, Paul in the Faith," so the young Father Joseph Giaccardo desired to learn from Father Alberione and allow his "father in the spiritual lie" lead him to become a Pauline saint. A totally opposite character type fromn the founder, Giaccardo became a faithful confidant and vicar to blessed James Alberione. Giaccardo loved beautiful liturgical celebrations, music and tasteful decor. Alberione was satified with simple vestments, brief songs, and so on. In one sense, the founder was a minimalist. His vicar instead liked to maximize certain aspects of liturgy and celebrations. Giaccardo accepted the reality of their differences. He learned to open himself to Alberione's guidance especially in his spiritual life.
When blessed Alberione founded his second feminine order, The sister Disciples of the Divine Master, Giaccardo was instrumental in grasping the Founder's intuition regarding these Sisters. While sharing in the spirituality of the Fathers of the Society of St. Paul and of the Daughters of St. Paul, this new branch of the Family would need its own particular direction. In addition to the daily Hour of Eucharistic Adoration assigned to the Daughters of St. Paul, these Sisters were given an additional hour of Eucharistic adoration. They were to serve as a prayer "powerhouse" for the brothers and sisters of the first two Pauline Foundations. Later they were to pray too for the new foundations to come in the expanding Pauline Family.
The year 1947--1948 was one of a spiritual desert for the Sister disciples as certain authorities questioned their very existence. Father Giaccardo not only prayed that the fledgling order be approved, but that it would soon grow in numbers. He offered his life for their success. Father Giaccardo died in the clinic of San Fre, near the city of Alba in Italy on November 24th, 1948. Soon after, the Sister Disciples of the Divine Master were recognized by the Church as a truly unique congregation within the Pauline Family. Their work of promoting the sacred liturgy, Eucharistic adoration and help to the priesthood would soon flourish throughout the world. Father Giaccardo had completed his mission on earth as a helper to Blessed Alberione. Timothy giaccardo was recognized as "Blessed" on October 22nd, 1989.

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