March 12, 1940: The Death of St. Luigi Orione, & A Message from Pope John Paul II at His Canonization
The Papal Artifacts’ Collection is primarily dedicated to artifacts connected to the papacy. Individual popes, their biographies and multiple items belonging to them, including first and second class relics, make up the majority of this Collection. But that isn’t all it is.
Father Kunst has a deep devotion to the saints as can be readily seen in viewing the Saints & Blesseds section of this site. We invite you to visit Papal History/Saints & Blesseds to view the many canonized and beatified men and women who make up this section of the Collection.
St. Luigi Orione is one of them.
The item presented here is a document, partly printed and partly written in the saint’s own hand.
Pope John Paul II canonized him on May 16th, 2004, not long before his own death. At the canonization, the Pope said of him:
Passion for Christ was the soul of his bold life, the interior thrust of an altruism without reservations, the always fresh source of an indestructible hope. This humble son of a man who repaired roads proclaimed that only charity will save the world, and to everyone he would also say that perfect joy can only be found in perfect dedication of oneself to God and man, and to all mankind.
Saint Luigi Orione was born in Piedmont, Northern Italy, at Pontecurone, a village near Tortona on June 23, 1872. The young Luigi felt he wanted to be a priest and joined the Franciscans, but had to leave due to ill health. He was welcomed by St. John Bosco, but left the Salesians after a few years to become a seminarian in his own Diocese of Tortona.
While still a student, he started his lifelong work for those he loved most, namely the poor. He catechised a small group of boys and they followed him very much as children now follow priests, brothers and sisters as they go about their work. Don Orione drew people to himself throughout his life. They came to be with him; some to help him, others to be helped.
Don Orione loved everybody but the poor, the young, the elderly, the sick and people with disabilities were his special friends.
His apostolate embraces different types of work. In the British Isles at the time of his canonization in 2004 the Sons of Divine Providence ran several care homes for the elderly and people with learning disabilities, day centers and independent housing establishments. They have also founded and run missions in Kenya and Jordan for a number of years. In 2002 they founded a mission in India.
Throughout the world the apostolate includes schools, hostels for workers, hospitals, homes for the elderly, the disabled, the sick and the blind, learning centers, parishes and missions.
The ideal of Don Orione’s life was to live and to die for the spiritual welfare of people, serving Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Mother Church and its head, the Pope. His motto was, Do good always, to all, evil to none.
He travelled far and wide, started new foundations at home and abroad and followed their progress. He died in Italy on 12th March 1940 after sending a loving message to the Pope. His last words were, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus.
His body is incorrupt and can be venerated in Tortona.
Many stories of saints and blesseds and notable individuals may be found under those headings on Papal History/Saints & Blesseds.
Papal Artifacts honors the memory and gift to our Church of this beloved saint.