"Secret of Success"
This year, our Congregation is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the composition of the prayer called "The Secret of Success," or "The Pact," that is often prayed in the Pauline Family. Facing various challenges in our country and in the world, I would like to introduce this secret of spiritual success.
In 1914, the Society of St. Paul (SSP) was founded, and the Congregation of the Daughters of St. Paul (FSP) was founded in 1915 in Alba, Italy. Due to the First World War, the situation was miserable, poor, humble and desperate.
With the strong sense of mission to do something good for society by means of publishing, our Founder James Alberione (1884-1971) organized the Good Publishing School, but the members were small, weak, poor and incapable.
In the beginning of the Daughters of St. Paul, he started the Female Workshop where children and young people sewed military garments. However, two faithful members from SSP and FSP, passed away all of a sudden due to the Spanish flu.
Furthermore, surrounding people talked about these activities in a negative and critical way. Some of them criticized the Female Workshop as inappropriate for young people. As a result, many of them left the community and only two members remained.
In 1918, those who remained moved to the northern city of Susa to work for the Diocese bulletin. But, one day, a fire broke out and they lost everything.
Then, in January 1919, Fr. Alberione introduced the prayer of "The Secret of Success." It was first made in a form of a "cambiale" (a promissory note or contract) between Fr. James Alberione and Fr. Timothy Giaccardo in front of the Holy Trinity, firmly believing in Mt. 6:33, "Seek first the kingdom of God and his holiness, and all else will be given you besides."
Based on the faithful trust in providence, they asked the Lord to multiply the results of their study, prayers, apostolates (mission), materials, etc. Fr. Alberione sincerely asked the members to pray "The Pact" to increase every fruit. For example, if they studied for one hour, let it be effective to be studying for four hours; If they prayed once, let it bring the effects of praying ten times.
This resolute form of "The Pact" went through various revisions, and the present prayer is read as follows:
"Jesus Master, accept the pact that we present to you through the hands of Mary, Queen of the Apostles, and of our Father, St. Paul. We must correspond to your sublime will, arrive at the degree of perfection and heavenly glory to which you have destined us, and perform the apostolate of social communication in a holy manner…According to your immense goodness and the needs of our special vocation, multiply the fruits of our spiritual work, of our study, of our apostolate, and of our poverty. We do not doubt you, but we fear our inconstancy and weakness…"
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