"The Pauline Family … does not have many particulars, special devotions or excessive formalities. What is sought is life in Christ the Master and in the Church."
(Blessed James Alberione)
In teaching his Pauline Family to pray, Blessed Alberione did not introduce a new form of Christian spirituality. Rather he drew on the spirituality handed down through the centuries filtered through his own insistence on the primacy of the Eucharist:
"All piety is ordained to center our devotion on Jesus Christ, but there are three practices which mainly bring life... At the center: the Mass with Communion and the Visit to the Blessed Sacrament."
This deeply Eucharistic foundation stems from the pivotal spiritual experience of then-sixteen-year-old seminarian James Alberione on December 31, 1900 - the Night Between the Centuries.
The Night Between the Centuries
Blessed James Alberione discerned his call to become a modern-day St. Paul while praying for hours in front of the Tabernacle after Mass on December 31, 1900. This date has become known in Pauline lore as The Night Between the Centuries.
Subsequent to that night, the young seminarian “heard” within his heart three communications from Jesus Master, the Savior:
These three interior communications from Jesus Master are displayed in every Pauline chapel throughout the world.
- “Do not be afraid, I am with you.”
- “From here (the Tabernacle) I want to enlighten.”
- “Have a penitent heart.”
The Way, Truth and Life Method
Father Alberione developed The Way, Truth and Life method from his close study of St. Paul and St. John. He gave it to his Pauline children as an approach to be used in prayer, in meditation, in the celebration of the Eucharistic, in the examination of conscience, in the Holy Hour, and in apostolic activity.
The core of the Way, Truth and Life method is to consider Jesus Master in the self-descriptive trinomial which He gave of Himself in the gospel of St. John: "I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life." (John 14:6) Blessed Alberione came to believe that this understanding of Jesus Master provided an entryway into every aspect of human life -- spiritual, mental, sacramental, emotional, anthropological, cultural, personal, apostolic -- thus allowing every human activity to be truly Christocentric.
The Way-Truth-Life method also derives from Pope Leo XIII's encyclical Tametsi futura, which presents Christ as the Redeemer of humankind in mind, will, and heart. Blessed Alberione related the mind to Jesus as Truth; the will to Jesus as Way; and the heart to Jesus as Life.
Eventually, the Way-Truth-Life method developed a network of relationships between the three aspects of Jesus Master:
Jesus TRUTH helps us ADHERE TO HIS TEACHINGS (dogma) through the use of our MIND.
Jesus LIFE helps us RECEIVE GRACE (worship) through the openness of our HEART.
Jesus WAY helps us PRACTICE THE VIRTUES (morality) through the exercise of our WILL.
The Hour with Jesus Master
The professed members of the Pauline Family pray an Hour of Adoration every day. Cooperators try to do the same. One method of making the Hour with Jesus Master involves using the Way-Truth-Life method in prayer. The hour is divided into three twenty-minute periods, each devoted to one aspect of Jesus Master:
- TRUTH- we read a selection of scripture, thinking about what truth Jesus Master wants to impart to us today
- LIFE - we pray to Jesus Master, asking that our hearts be opened to what we have read, and entering into dialogue with the Lord
- WAY - we decide upon a course of action to take with us from our Hour with the Master, into the world of apostolate.
The Four Wheels
Blessed Alberione taught that the whole “vehicle” of the Pauline family member runs on four “wheels”:
The Way of Humanity
A devotion modeled after the Stations of the Cross but expanded backwards and forwards in time. The Way of Humanity looks not just on the events of Our Lord’s Passion and Death, but presents meditations and prayers on significant events in salvation history, from the Creation to the Parousia.
The Promise of the Pauline Cooperator
Lord my God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, who called me to be a Pauline Cooperator, grant that in imitation of St. Paul the apostle, I may acquire the mind of Christ. I intend to commit my mind, will, heart and strength according to my particular state of life, for the proclamation and diffusion of the Gospel in the forms and spirit of the Pauline Family; for the greater glory of God and for the sanctification of myself and of my brethren. Jesus Christ Teacher, Way, Truth, and Life. Mary Queen of Apostles, St. Paul the Apostle, help me to be faithful. Amen.
The Pauline Saints
The Cooperators have a special interest in the canonization of our forebears in the Pauline Family.
Statute of the Cooperators
Writings of the Founder
Since Blessed Alberione’s death in 1971, his writings have been gathered from every source, and are still being edited, published, and released in translation in a variety of languages. Besides the published books, an extensive collection of documents is available online.