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From: Traudel
To: All
Date: 2007-03-30 11:01:48
Subject: March 30th - St. Leonard Murialdo of Turin

From: "Traudel" <hildegard8{at}>

March 30th - St. Leonard Murialdo of Turin

Leonard was born on October 26, 1828 in the city of Turin, in Northwestern
Italy. He was the eighth of nine children (7 girls, 2 boys) of Teresa Rho
Franchino Murialdo, a well to do bank agent. When Leonard, who was called
"Nadino" at home, was five, his father died. Mr. Murialdo left
behind a sizable
patrimony which was well able to take care of the material needs of his large

In 1836, the mother decided to educate her two boys at a boarding school of the
Scolopian Fathers in the city of Savona, in the Italian Riviera. The Murialdo
brothers stayed there until 1843. The last year was a difficult one of
adolescent crisis for Nadino. After his return to Turin and two more years
study, Leonard felt the call to the diocesan priesthood. From 1845 to 1850,
while living at home, he completed his philosophical and theological
studies at
the University of Turin, attending also programs of spiritual and pastoral formation.

Leonard was ordained to the priesthood in 1851 and, as was common in those days
of abundant numbers of clergy, did not receive a regular assignment. Instead he
spent the first fifteen years of priesthood teaching religion in a couple
of Catholic schools, directing a Sunday youth center (Oratorio San Luigi),
preaching, giving retreats, and doing prison and other social ministry.

In 1865 he went to the renowned St. Sulpice seminary in Paris, where he spent a
year of continuing education. On his return to Turin, he was offered the
directorship of a fledging vocational boarding school (called
little artisans) for orphans, poor, marginalized and at risk boys. He remained
the director of Artigianelli until his death on March 30, 1900. It is here that,
in 1873, together with five other coworkers, he began the Congregation of St.
Joseph which, by the time of his death, had spread to some ten youth centers and
schools throughout northern Italy.

At the time of Leonard's birth, the city of Turin was the capital of the Kingdom
of Savoy, a small state that extended across the Alps into France. It was a
turbulent time, following Napoleon's era. While Leonard was growing up, the
Kingdom of Savoy went through a number of wars and became the nucleus of a
united Italy. Soon the capital was moved to Florence (1864) and then to
Rome (1871).

While losing its political importance, Turin became an important center of the
industrial revolution and saw its population triple during Leonard's lifetime
(from 125,000 in 1828 to 350,000 in 1900). The socioeconomic problems connected
with extensive urbanization, immigration, and the formation of an exploited
working class, which included minors, surrounded the life and ministry of
Leonard Murialdo. The Church itself experienced dramatic crises deriving
waves of anticlerical governments and laws, considered punitive by many,
intending to curb its influence. Turin was without a bishop from 1850 to
and the seminary was closed from 1848 to 1863.

Yet the Church of Turin experienced during this time a marvelous blossoming of
activities and saintly figures-from St. John Baptist Cottolengo, to St. Joseph
Caffasso, to St. John Bosco and St. Leonard Murialdo; From numerous new schools
and hospitals to innumerable initiatives, many originated by lay people, at the
service of youth and workers. Actively involved in the life of his city and
Church, St. Leonard wrote: "How grateful I am to God for having called
me to life in a city of so many charitable works, so many pious and saintly
such generous patriots! Oh, how much I love you my Turin."

In the midst of the prolonged conflicts between Church and state which divided
the faithful into opposing camps, Fr. Murialdo maintained an attitude that was
both open and critical, dedicating himself to the education of young people, the
formation of workers, the development of Catholic unions, the establishment of
credit unions and societies of mutual support, the spreading of the good press.

In conclusion here are a few quotations from his writings that reflect his
attitude toward the challenging times in which he lived:

"While the government secularizes the schools and puts Catholic teaching under
surveillance... it is necessary to find new tools... on the level of
reason, science, history, criticism, and culture..." (1863).

"What is necessary is the work of enlightening the minds, spreading
Catholic doctrine, and especially forming youth... To prayer, sacrifice,
and protest it
is necessary to join spreading the truth and active charity in favor of the
humble, the poor, the workers..." (1871).

"As Catholics and Italians we must desire a peaceful composition between Church
and state... As for the when and how, let us leave it to the secret ways of
Divine Providence. For our part, to prayer let us join good works, zeal,
unification of forces... But let us do it soon, without waiting for
heavenly interventions or imaginary triumphs... Many, some in high
positions, dream of a
return to an ancient order of things... I don't know whether it is an
intelligent and good rule of conduct to only see the work of the devil in
change and in the new political and civil order. This new age has both good and
bad, like all ages. But the bad does not change simply by shaking our heads or
retreating to the tent of Achilles..." (1872).

(Adapted by LT from an article by Fr. Aldo Marengo, C.S.J.)

Saint Quote:

"Everyone has opinions of his own, nor is this opposed to virtue. It is only the
love and attachment we have to our own opinions, and the high value we set on
them, which is infinitely contrary to our perfection. This is the last thing to
be abandoned, and the cause why so few are perfect"
 -St. Francis de Sales

This Saint succeeded in abandoning this last thing, so that he was once able to
write to a friend that he had no such attachment to his own opinion as to wish
anyone ill who did not follow it, and that he did not claim that his sentiments
should serve as a rule to anyone.

(Taken from the book "A Year with the Saints".  March - Mortification)

Bible Quote:
16 Jesus answered them, and said: My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.
17 If any man do the will of him; he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be
of God, or whether I speak of myself. 18 He that speaketh of himself, seeketh
his own glory: but he that seeketh the glory of him that sent him, he is true,
and there is no injustice in him. (John 7:16-18)

Three Prayers to Christ in His Passion and Death

Hail, sweet Jesus! Praise, honor, and glory be to Thee, O Christ, who of
Thine own accord didst embrace death, and, recommending Thyself to Thy
heavenly Father, bowing down Thy venerable head, didst yield up Thy spirit.
Truly thus giving up Thy life for Thy sheep, Thou hast shown Thyself to be
a good shepherd.

Thou didst die, O only-begotten Son of God. Thou didst die, O my beloved
Saviour, that I might live forever. O how great hope,
how great confidence have I reposed in Thy death and Thy Blood! I glorify
and praise Thy Holy Name, acknowledging my infinite obligations to Thee.

O good Jesus, by Thy bitter death and Passion, give me grace and pardon.
Give unto the faithful departed rest and life everlasting. Amen.


**Don't forget to pray the Stations of the Cross on Fridays

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