James Alberione was born in San Lorenzo di Fossano (Cuneo), a small northern Italy on Friday, April 4, 1884, and baptized the following day.
He was a part of a profoundly Christian and hard-working Alberione family of farmers. His parents Michael and Teresa Allocco had six children, even though poor with some outside assistance they managed to educate him.
He was anointed on June 29, 1907, for the Diocese of Alba, he seemed destined for a churchly career which would run on foreseen lines.
On the night of December 31, 1900, praying with other seminarians before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, he had felt an urge of such power from the Host that it had totally changed his life, leaving him with a burning urge to do something for God and his people in the new century. He worked as a Diocese but prayed that God would enlighten him about his actual purpose in life.
On August 20, 1914, he finally perceived God's will, and modestly began by putting two teenagers, who were attracted by his holy life, to work in a small pressroom under the guidance of his printer friend. This marked the beginning of the religious congregation known today as The Society of St. Paul whose mission is to communicate the Gospel message through different media.
The Society proved to be merely the first in an impressive series of religious Foundations. As soon as he started his first pressroom in Alba like his Diocese, a number of local young women were moved through his ideals and came together under his direction. They became The Daughters of St. Paul, a feminine counterpart of the Society. A second congregation for women, The Sister Disciples of the Divine Master dedicated to Eucharistic adoration was formed in 1920. In 1936 a third group was formed, The Pastoral Sisters who along with spiritual duties also ran kindergarten schools.
In the mid-1950s he founded the Queen of the Apostles Sisters to work for vocations to the religious state and to the priesthood.
He also started four religious institutes, groups of people who took religious vows but also continued to live a regular life. The Holy Family Institute is one of these Institutes.
When he died in 1971, his spiritual children numbered almost 7,000 and were working in some 30 countries.
On June 25, 1996, His Holiness Pope John Paul II signed the Decree by which the noble attributes of our Founder, Fr. James Alberione, were acknowledged and he was titled Venerable. This step immediately preceded the Beatification.