Giaccardo, Timoteo, Bl.

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Baptized Giuseppe Domenico Vicenzo Antonio (Joseph Dominic Vincent Anthony) Giaccardo; publisher, Pauline priest, founder of the Pious Disciples of the Divine Master; b. June 13, 1896, Narzole (diocese of Alba), Cuneo, Italy; d. Jan. 24, 1948, at Rome.

His parents were peasant farmers who began instilling in their son a strong spirit of prayer from infancy. Giaccardo met Fr. James Alberione, founder of the Society of St. Paul, while serving Mass at St. Bernard's Church in Narzole in 1908. Giaccardo entered the diocesan seminary in Alba (1917), but he received his bishop's permission to join the Paulines, despite the bishop's initial caution about the new society. Giaccardo was ordained in 1919 as the first priest of the new order, taking the name Timothy upon his profession in 1920.

Giaccardo's ministry consisted of writing, editing, and distributing religious material. In addition, he helped in the formation of younger members of the order as a teacher of theology, and served as vocation director. In 1926, he was entrusted with founding the society's first house in Rome. There he edited the weekly The Voice of Rome and managed the pressroom. He was recalled to Alba to direct the motherhouse, but sent back to Rome in 1946 as provincial superior of the Society of St. Paul and vicar general of the congregation. Recognizing the importance of prayer to support the active ministries of the Pauline Family, he established the nucleus of the contemplative branch, the Sister Disciples of the Divine Master. When the Holy See opposed the division of the Daughters of St. Paul, Giaccardo was given the delicate task of persuading Vatican authorities to approve the community, which happened in 1948.

Although Giaccardo was Alberione's chosen successor, he died shortly after the approbation of the new contemplative order. His body was laid to rest in the lower crypt of the Basilica of Mary, Queen of Apostles, next to the house he founded. He was beatified by Pope John Paul II on Oct. 22, 1989. He is the patron of publishers.

Bibliography: e. fornasari, Bl. Timothy Giaccardo: An Obedient Prophet, tr. k. d. whitehead (New York 1991). g. papÀsogli, Il beato Timoteo Giaccardo della Società San Paolo (Turin 1989).

[k. i. rabenstein]