Blessed James Alberione
An Italian priest who lived between 1884 and 1971, James Alberione was a man very much ahead of his times. Even at a young age he understood the urgent need of the Church to respond to the challenges brought by the advancement of science and technology in the area of communication. He founded the Pauline Family, comprised of ten religious and secular institutes for the Church, precisely for this purpose.
Fondly called Primo Maestro (First Teacher in Italian) by members of the Pauline Family, James Alberione died on November 26, 1971, at 87. He was proclaimed Blessed by Pope John Paul II on April 2, 2003. The process of his canonization is underway.
Venerable (Mother) Thecla Merlo
A close associate of Fr. James Alberione, Teresa Merlo (Mother Thecla) co-founded the Daughters of St. Paul at age 21. She was called Prima Maestra, meaning “First Teacher”. Mother Thecla was 70 years old when she died in 1964. She was proclaimed Venerable on January 22, 1992 by Pope John Paul II.