What is holiness?
It is difficult, today to ask this question. As it is difficult, on the other hand, to obtain an answer that explains fully the most profound and complete meaning of a such particular condition.
If we look at the life of Leonard Murialdo, we are struck by the veil of normality that wraps his whole existence. A chronological succession of works and events that wind without a particular search for visibility or emphasis, without scenes of a physical or mystical heroism that we would expect from those whom the Church declares saints.
Leonard Murialdo was born in Turin on October 26, 1828. His father, a wealthy stockbroker, died in 1833. His mother, a very religious woman, sends her little “Nadino” to boarding school in Savona, at the Piarist Fathers, where he stays from 1836 to 1843. Back in Turin, he attends theology at the University and in 1851 becomes a priest. He chooses immediately to work in the first Turin oratories, among the poor and lowlife boys living in the outskirts: at the oratory of the Guardian Angel, until 1857, and then at the oratory of St. Louis, as director, 1857-1865.
Murialdo narrated by Ferruccio Amendola
In the service of the poorest
Three are the main areas in which saint Leonard did his ministry: oratories, welcoming poor and abandoned youth, the catholic movement.
From the boys of the peripheries of Turin, who spent all day on the street, to the poorest without family or abandoned by parents, till mutual aid and the Christian formation of workers, saint Leonard
Murialdo committed himself untiringly to those who in his time were without any value in the social scale.
The pedagogy of love
The style with which saint Leonard Murialdo lived his educational ministry among poor youth was inspired by values of Christian pedagogy, but also by suggestions of the world in which he lived;
it sinks its roots in the qualities of his heart and mind, but it is also nourished by his deep inner experience.
With this title we refer to the handwritings of the saint excluding his letters and spiritual Testament. They have been published in 13 volumes by the Historical Center of the Josephites of Murialdo.
It deals with conferences, homilies, meditations, interventions to catholic congresses, talks of circumstance, various notes…
It is an indispensable material in order to know the spirituality, pedagogy and charitable and social ministry of the saint.