Saint Leonard Murialdo was not a writer, but a priest and an educator. He therefore, did not write books and publish treatises.
He left nevertheless to us many handwritings, very precious to know his life, his thoughts, his educational and social initiatives, his holiness.
The Spiritual Testament (written from 1891 to1899) is a document of fundamental importance to know the richness of the inner world of saint Leonard Murialdo.
He writes about the adolescent crisis, lived during his staying in the boarding school at Savona, and the progressive discovery of the merciful love of a God, who had continued to love him while he, Leonard, had decided to abandon him.
He describes his journey of conversion and faith and relates his “history of salvation” made of sin and forgiveness, of ingratitude and reparation, of repentance and desire of holiness.
It is a profession of faith in God “for the greatness and immensity” of his mercy; a song of gratitude to a God for “his goodness and generosity;” a hymn of trust and hope in God “so good, so patient, so generous;” a serene and sorrowful prayer, that wants to bear witness to “all bitterness and sincerity of his repentance;” a cry of love to a God from a heart that wants to love God in “infinite” way but that feels incapable.
It is “the history of his soul” in which every Christian finds something of his history of sin, pardon and love.
The letters of saint Leonard Murialdo so far discovered and published are 2379. They are precious sources in order to know his activity among poor and abandoned youth of Turin in the eighteen century, the care for boys of the Artigianelli Boarding School and for those of other institutions, the daily worry for the financial preoccupations (debts), but also his trust in divine Providence, that does never abandon its children.
The letters allow us also to approach the spirituality of saint Leonard Murialdo in his daily life, document his contacts with some Italian and foreign personalities (priests, educators, lay people committed to Catholic movement, to press…) and are full of interesting news about the Congregation founded by him, on the communities and first Josephan confreres.
They are the handwritings of the saint excluding letters and the Spiritual Testament.
They have been published in 13 volumes by the Historical Center of the Josephites of Murialdo. They deal with conferences, sermons, meditations, interventions to Catholic congresses, occasion talks, various notes…
It is an indispensable material in order to know the spirituality, pedagogy and charitable and social action of the saint.
Collana scritti autografi di san Leonardo Murialdo
La Congregazione di san Giuseppe ha raccolto in edizioni a stampa il tesoro prezioso dei manoscritti di san Leonardo.
Essi testimoniano, a tutti noi che lo seguiamo nel tempo, la sua avventura spirituale. Ci aiutano a capire che il cammino della santità è per persone “normali”, come lo è ciascuno di noi.