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Blessed Giaccardo

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A Pauline Brother

Born to Stephen and Maria Giaccardo on the 13th of June 1896 in Narzole, north Italy, Joseph Giaccardo was baptized on the same day. He grew up under the loving care of his parents who were farmers. At the age of four, he was sent to the nursery school. From his parents he inherited a love for the Church and a filial love towards the Heavenly Mother Mary and a special devotion to the Holy Eucharist. "I want to be a priest to go and preach", he said when he was only seven years old. While studying in the school he was also an Altar-server.

At the age of 12, Joseph got acquainted with Fr James Alberione who was then temporarily assigned to be the assistant to the ailing Parish Priest of Narzole. Joseph told Fr Alberione his desire to become a priest but expressed that it would be impossible for him to join the seminary as his poor parents would not be able to meet the expenses involved. Seeing Joseph sincere, pious and of very good character, Fr Alberione promised him all the needed help. Joseph was overjoyed, sought the blessings of his parents, and joined the seminary of Alba in October 1908.

Under the guidance of Fr Alberione, Joseph advanced his seminary studies and steadily progressed in spiritual life. Realising that the Press is an effective means of spreading the message of the Gospel, he besought Fr Alberione for permission to join the already established "Printing School" which would later become the Society of St Paul. However, Fr Alberione did not admit him to the Printing School immediately, but advised him to pray with profound humility. While Joseph was praying for light, Fr Alberione faced a new situation. He was called to minister to the soldiers in war and had to leave immediately with no one to look after the boys of his Printing School. He, therefore, with the consent of the seminary authorities, called in cleric Joseph to take care of the boys during his absence. On the 4th of June 1917 Joseph left the seminary and joined the group of Fr Alberione.

On the 8th of September 1917 Joseph Giaccardo and four young men of the Printing School, renamed as "Society of St Paul", made their first Religious Profession. Immediately Fr Alberione appointed Joseph Giaccardo as the Master in-charge of formation of his boys.

On the 19th of October 1919 Joseph

Giaccardo was ordained and became the first priest of the Society of St Paul. At the renewal of his Religious Profession he was given a new name, "Timothy"by Fr Alberione. Fr Timothy Giaccardo was always the right-hand of Fr Alberione. He shared with the founder the joys and sorrows, hopes and anxieties that marked the birth and growth of the congregation.

As the first House of the SSP in Alba was progressing fast, the Founder was inspired to start a new House in Rome. So he sent Fr Giaccardo to Rome in 1926. By 1929 the House of Rome, not far away from the tomb of St Paul, was well established. He was then called back to Alba and back again in Rome in 1932 where he remained till 1936. From 1936 to 1946 he was the Superior of the Mother House in Alba. In 1946 he was back in Rome and was appointed to be the first Vicar General of the Society. His health started declining in 1947 and he was diagnosed as having acute leukaemia. On the 24th of January 1948 at 1.30 p.m., he was called Home to eternal bliss after receiving the general absolution from the Founder. On the 22nd of October 1989 Fr Timothy Giaccardo was proclaimed "Blessed" by Pope John Paul II.

A Pauline Brother