Blessed James Alberione was born on April 4, 1884 in rural San Lorenzo di Fossano, a small Italian hamlet not far from the French border. On August 20, 1914, as a young diocesan priest, Fr. Alberione commenced the Little Worker Printing School in Alba in the north of Italy. Its aim was to use the printed word to spread the teachings of Jesus. The Church at that time was the subject of many attacks and its opponents were using the press to lead people away from the Church. Fr Alberione saw the need to use the very same means to lead people to Christ.
The Little Worker Printing School soon became the Society of Saint Paul, a religious community of priests and brothers. In 1915 Fr. Alberione founded a community of Sisters, the Daughters of Saint Paul, for the same mission. In time Fr. Alberione would found a total of five religious congregations, four institutes of consecrated secular life and a Union of Pauline Cooperators. Together these ten institutes make up the Pauline Family.
Prayer, study, work and poverty were the four wheels that would keep his followers moving towards Christ and make them instruments of salvation. In a papal audience of 1969, Paul VI stated, "Here he is: humble, silent, tireless, always vigilant, ever recollected in his thoughts that run from prayer to work, ever attentive to the ‘signs of the times,’ that is, the most ingenious forms of reaching souls. Our Father Alberione has given the Church new instruments to express herself, new means to add vigor and breadth to her apostolate, a new capability and new awareness of the validity and of the possibilities of her mission in the modern world and with modern means." On November 27, 1971 Fr. James Alberione died. He was beatified by Pope John Paul II on April 27, 2003.