Throughout history, people emerge who give luster to their birthplaces. At the end of July, the small town of Benevello, not far from Alba, celebrated the centenary of the death of Venerable Maggiorino Vigolungo, one of the first boys welcomed by Blessed James Alberione into the group that would become the Society of St. Paul. He joined the group in 1916 at the age of twelve but returned home in 1918 due to illness and died on 27 July of that year.
Four significant initiatives were held to commemorate that event:
1. A memorial service dedicated to Maggiorino and several other illustrious citizens of Benevello: a missionary to China who died in that country and was buried there; Brother Spirito Maggiorino Caldellara, Venerable Maggiorino’s cousin, who was an SSP missionary in France for 50 years; Sr. Nazarena Morando, an unforgettable formation mistress of the Daughters of St. Paul; Sr. M. Clelia Bianco, a member of the tiny group of FSPs sent by Fr. Alberione to Susa to print the Valsusa, and her sister, Sr. Immacolatina Bianco, also an FSP.
2. Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament according to the Pauline method, enriched with readings pertinent to the occasion.
3. A get-together with the youth and altar servers of the diocese of Alba (who chose Maggiorino as their protector), each of whom received a photo of Maggiorino, with his signature reprinted on the back of the picture.
4. A Eucharistic Celebration presided over by the pastor of Benevello parish to conclude the day.
Fr. Guido Colombo, ssp, and two of his young collaborators joined several Daughters of St. Paul (including Sr. Biancarosa Magliano, another relative of Venerable Maggiorino) in coordinating this rich “Memorial Day” with wisdom, warmth and conviction.
The pastor Benevello parish asked that the event be repeated next year in memory of this “small” but at the same time great witness to the Pauline charism.