Maggiorino Vigolungo..." I must progress a little every day! "
Today within the Pauline Family, to which I belong, we celebrate the return to Heaven of a little saint called Maggiorino Vigolungo. He was born in Benevello (Cuneo, North Italy) on May 6, 1904 into a family of humble farm workers but rich in the faith. A youth of sharp intelligence and lively temperament, he always sought to be the first in everything: in study, work, play and goodness.
While still a little child, he met Fr. Alberione, Founder of the Pauline Family, and entrusted himself to his spiritual direction. He was enthusiastic for three things which were to become his ideal: to sanctify himself quickly; to become a priest; to become an apostle of the good press. He entered the Society of St Paul on October 15, 1916 at the age of twelve. Happy with his vocation and desirous to preach the Gospel by means of the press and the diffusion of good books and newspapers, he was to undergo many trials. But he knew how to respond firmly to those who opposed his decision. He wrote to his family: "Pray that I may never betray my vocation because it is the most beautiful gift of all. The vocation is of utmost importance and I must follow it in every respect."
In his great love for the Eucharist, Maggiorino would sustain even great sacrifices to receive Holy Communion. Winter in northern Italy is freezing cold. On such a day in winter, after having travelled 14 kilometres, most part on foot, he arrived in Alba from his village at about 9.00 a.m in the morning. He was hungry, tired and numb with cold, but he refused a cup of hot milk offered to him and said: "I must first receive Holy Communion". As a young boy, he proposed "progress a little everyday" (un tantino ogni giorno!) as the programme of his life. He was faithful to this resolution until death, progressing visibly in virtue and in the mission.
At fourteen, stricken with a serious illness, he gave this response to Fr Alberione when asked whether he preferred to recover or to go to Paradise: "my desire is to do the will of God". While his companions concluded a triduum of prayer offered for him, Maggiorino left this earth on Saturday, July 27th, 1918. His last words were; "Salute all of my companions for me that they may pray for me and that we might be united in Paradise" and then, "with the grace of God and the assistance of the Blessed Mother, I want to become a saint, a great saint, quickly." These were the words spoken and written by an aspiring Maggiorino, convinced that sanctity is possible even for the young. The process of his beatification is going on in Rome. Our Founder presented Maggiorino to the Pauline Aspirants as their model and patron. (Thanks to Br. Arockiam. ssp, for this short bio of Maggiorino!)