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Don Orione - The Founder



DON ORIONE
Saint Luigi Orione (June 23, 1872 - March 12, 1940)


Saint Luigi Orione is the founder of The Little Work of Divine Providence, a religious family who includes the Sons of Divine Providence, male congregation formed by Priests, Brothers and Hermits, and the Little Missionary Sisters of Charity, threefold female congregation formed by sister of apostolic life, contemplative sisters and blind sisters dedicated to the adoration of the blessed Sacrament. Two secular institutes and some other lay movements belong to the family too.

Don Orione died in 1940, but his followers carry on his Spirit in 30 countries with several hundreds institutions.
Don Orione was born in northern Italy, at Pontecurone, not far from Turin, on 23rd of October 1872.
The young Luigi felt he wanted to be a priest. As a pupil of Don Bosco for three years, he learned to love the youth and the poor.
After joining the seminary of Tortona, his diocese, while still a student, he started his life long work for those he loved most, the poor. He opened a youth centre and then a small seminary.
Throughout his life he drew people. Some came to him to help him, some to be helped, and he made his strong point to bring them all to God and to the Church.
His apostolate embraces different types of work, such as schools; hostels for workers; homes for the handicapped, the aged, the sick, the blind; missions; pastoral apostolate in parishes.
The ideal of his life was to live and die for the spiritual welfare of people, serving our Lord Jesus Christ, the mother Church and its head, the Pope. His motto was: “Establish all things in Christ”.
To start new foundations both in Italy and abroad, and to follow their progress, he traveled far and wide. He died in Italy on 12th of March 1940, after sending a loving message to the Pope.  His last words were: “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, I go”.
He was canonized in Rome on 16th May 2004, by Pope John Paul II.
Pope Benedict XVI, in his encyclical letter “Deus Caritas est” included his name in the list of saint who lived Charity in a heroic way.
 

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