Giustino Russolillo

The Remarkable Life and Virtue of Giustino Russolillo

"Once upon a time in the humble village of Pianura, Italy, there was a blessed soul named Giustino Russolillo. Like a mustard seed that would grow into a great tree, his initial humble life would later bloom into an example of holy devotion."

A Beacon in the Making: Early Life of Giustino Russolillo

Giustino Russolillo was born on January 18, 1891, to a pious and hardworking family. Even at a young age, his faith showed a depth that was rarely found in people his age. He wasn't a remarkable boy in terms of worldliness, but in his simplicity and love for Christ, he certainly was exalted.

Answering His Divine Call

"Lord, what do you want me to do?" - Acts 9:6

This verse from the scriptures might as well have been the prayer of young Giustino. He felt a strong desire to follow Christ, which eventually led him to the priesthood. After studying in Benevento and Capua, he was ordained a priest on Sept. 20, 1913. Nearly four years later, Father Russolillo founded the Society of Divine Vocations (also known as Vocationist Fathers), which aimed to promote and cultivate holy vocations. This society stands as a testament to his tireless labor and undying love for his divine call.

The Legacy of Giustino Russolillo in Nurturing Vocations

Giustino Russolillo devoted himself to spreading the Gospel and nurturing vocations. He considered every Christian's primary vocation to be perfect sanctity, and he held the firm belief that everyone is called to holiness. His life’s work reflected this philosophy, emphasising the need for all believers to live a transformed and consecrated life.

Servant to All, Master of None

"The greatest among you shall be your servant." - Matthew 23:11

As a humble servant of God, Giustino Russolillo wore many hats throughout his life. He was a spiritual director, a professor, a novice master, a parish priest, and much more. Irrespective of his role, however, his ultimate goal always remained the same: to lead others towards their divine calling.

The Fruit of His Labor: The Vocationist Fathers and Sisters

Thanks to the tireless efforts of Giustino Russolillo, the Society of Divine Vocations and the Congregation of Sisters of Divine Vocations continue to flourish worldwide, promoting the universal call to holiness and nurturing religious vocations. These societies serve as a living testament to Russolillo’s virtue and commitment.

Gone But Not Forgotten

Giustino Russolillo departed from this world on August 2, 1955, but his legacy lives on. The Church, recognizing his holy life, declared him "Venerable" on April 2, 2011. His cause for beatification and canonization continues, inspiring Catholics worldwide to live a consecrated life and respond to their divine vocation.

"Remember your leaders who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith." - Hebrews 13:7

Invitation to Prayer

In the spirit of our blessed brother Giustino Russolillo, let us offer this prayer:

Dear Lord, you called Giustino Russolillo to be a faithful servant and shepherd of your flock. May we, inspired by his example, strive to live our own callings with faith and zeal. If it is in your divine will, we humbly ask that you raise your servant Giustino to the altars of the Church, so all may know and imitate his tireless love for vocations. We ask this through Christ our Lord, Amen.

May the life and virtue of Giustino Russolillo inspire us all to respond to our own divine vocation, follow Christ faithfully, and nurture the seeds of holy vocations wherever they may be found.

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Who was Giustino Russolillo in the context of Catholic saints?

Giustino Russolillo was an Italian Catholic priest and the founder of the Society of Divine Vocations, also known as the Vocationist Fathers and Brothers, as well as the Sisters of Divine Vocations. He is not officially a canonized saint in the Catholic Church but he has been declared a "Servant of God," which is a preliminary stage in the process of canonization.

See also  Józef Bilczewski

Born on January 18, 1891, in Pianura, Italy, Russolillo, from his early life, showed a deep religious commitment. He was ordained a priest on September 20, 1913. Russolillo's primary mission and vision were to promote vocations to the priesthood and religious life. To this end, he founded the Society of Divine Vocations in 1920 and the Sisters of Divine Vocations in 1921.

Russolillo's legacy continues in these religious communities that focus on prayer for vocations, vocation promotion and formation, and service to the poor and marginalized. Particularly notable is their ethos of cultivating an intimate, familial relationship with the Holy Trinity.

Giustino Russolillo died on August 2, 1955. His cause for beatification and canonization was opened by the Vatican in 1988, and he was declared a "Servant of God" by Pope John Paul II. The current stage of his process towards sainthood is that of "Venerable," a title given to him on April 3, 2021 by Pope Francis after recognizing his heroic virtues. This means that the Church officially acknowledges that he lived a life of heroic virtue and is worthy of public veneration. However, miracles attributed to his intercession must be verified before he can be beatified and then canonized.

What significant contributions did Giustino Russolillo make to the Catholic Church?

Giustino Russolillo, also known as the Apostle of Vocations, was a significant figure in the Catholic Church, especially in terms of his contributions to promoting and fostering religious vocations. He was best known as the founder of the Society of Divine Vocations, more commonly referred to as the Vocationist Fathers and Brothers, and the Sisters of Divine Vocations.

Russolillo's primary mission was to recognize, nurture, and promote spiritual and priestly vocations. His establishment of the Vocationist Fathers and Brothers aimed to not only discern but to directly cultivate these callings. The community he founded focused on aiding clergy, lower-income individuals, or those without means to pursue a religious vocation - essentially, anyone who felt a calling towards priesthood or religious life but lacked the resources to follow it.

Another significant contribution was his dedication to fostering intimate relationships with the Holy Trinity. He proposed the Universalization of Sanctity, which is the conviction that every person is called to be a saint, a perfect Christian, a divine person, and an instrument of sanctification for others.

Throughout his life, Father Russolillo displayed a deep devotion to prayer and to the Eucharist, emphasizing their importance in sustaining and nurturing one's faith and vocation. His teachings have left a lasting impact on the Catholic Church, particularly regarding the development of spiritual leadership. It's worth noting that his cause for canonization is currently under consideration, further testament to his significant contributions to the Church.

Can you explain the process and significance of Giustino Russolillo’s beatification?

Father Giustino Russolillo's beatification process was a significant event in the Catholic Church, highlighting his life and contributions to faith. Beatification is the third of four steps in the canonization process, during which a person is declared "blessed" and can be venerated by a specific region or group of people, which in this case, include those who align with Russolillo's teachings and philosophy.

The **process of Russolillo's beatification** began in 1988, more than three decades after his death. At the diocesan level, an investigation was conducted to gather evidence of his life, virtues, writings, and potential miracles. Witnesses were called and documents were accumulated in what is called the "Acta", which was then sent to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints at the Vatican.

At the Vatican, a relator was assigned to prepare a "Positio" – essentially a biography that details his life and virtues, as well as any attributed miracles. After a theological examination and subsequent approval, the Positio was presented to Pope Francis, who on 19 June 2019, recognized Russolillo's heroic virtues, officially declaring him Venerable.

The next step towards beatification is the recognition of a miracle attributed to the intercession of Venerable Russolillo after his death. For Russolillo, the recognized miracle was the healing of a woman in Brazil suffering from a serious blood disorder. The medical council, theologians, and cardinals of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints studied and validated this miracle, leading Pope Francis to approve Russolillo's beatification on 27 February 2021.

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The **significance of Giustino Russolillo's beatification** cannot be understated. Russolillo was a priest dedicated to promoting vocations and founded the Society of Divine Vocations (also known as Vocationist Fathers) and the Sisters of Divine Vocations. His beatification validates his life's work, devotion to the Church, and his spiritual teachings. It encourages Catholics worldwide, especially those within the Vocationist community, to seek inspiration from his life and virtues. To these faithful, Russolillo is seen as a powerful intercessor in Heaven and a model of a sanctified life.

While beatification does not make Russolillo a universally recognized saint in the Catholic Church, it is a significant step forward in the process and increases his chances of future canonization. His beatification brings joy and affirmation to those who follow his teachings and helps keep his spiritual legacy alive, making his role as a spiritual guide in the Church even stronger.

How did Giustino Russolillo embody the virtues and ideals of a Catholic saint?

Giustino Russolillo, a guiding light of the 20thcentury, embodied the virtues and ideals of a Catholic saint through his deep faith, compassionate service, and commitment to evangelization.

Born in Italy in 1891, Russolillo devoted his life to God at a young age. He was ordained a priest in 1915 and quickly became renowned for his dedication to living out Christ’s teachings.

One of Russolillo's most profound displays of virtue was his devotion to the Eucharist, which reflected his unwavering faith. The Eucharist is the celebration of the Last Supper, where Catholics believe Christ is truly present. For Russolillo, the Eucharist was an important source of spiritual strength, inspiring him to live a life of sacrifice and devotion. He emphasized the value of prayer and meditation, a common characteristic of many Catholic saints.

Russolillo also demonstrated the virtue of service, a cornerstone of Catholic social teaching. He founded the Society of Divine Vocations, known as the Vocationists, in 1920 which aimed to foster vocations to the priesthood and religious life. This act of service highlights his commitment to the Church and the Christian community.

Additionally, Russolillo embodies the Catholic ideal of evangelization. He held a strong belief in the universal call to holiness, which prompted him to dedicate his life to encouraging vocations and helping others draw closer to God. Beyond just speaking about the faith, Russolillo lived it, making him an authentic witness to the Gospel. This commitment to spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ is a defining characteristic of a Catholic saint.

Finally, Russolillo demonstrated the ideal of humility. Despite his significant contributions to the Church, Russolillo never sought recognition or praise. Instead, he directed all glory towards God, demonstrating a deep and abiding humility, another hallmark of sainthood.

In summary, Giustino Russolillo embodied the virtues and ideals of a Catholic saint through his deep faith, humility, commitment to service, and evangelization. His life remains a testament to living the Gospel message in daily life.

What impact did Giustino Russolillo’s teachings and works have on contemporary Catholic thought and practice?

Father Giustino Russolillo was not merely a priest, but also a visionary and founder of the Society of Divine Vocations, most commonly referred to as the Vocationist Fathers and Sisters. His teachings and works have left a profound impact on contemporary Catholic thought and practice.

Emphasis on Vocations: Perhaps the most obvious impact of Russolillo's teachings is his stress on the concept of 'vocations.' He propounded that all individuals have a divine vocation, and the ultimate call from God is to follow Christ's footsteps. This influenced the way that many Catholics conceive of their life's purpose, moving it from a emphasis on subservience to a focus on active engagement with the divine plan.

Importance of Prayer: Russolillo considered prayer as the pathway to discern one's vocation. He held up an ideal of constant dialogue with God, which he termed 'incessant prayer.' His promotion of prayer, especially for the discernment of vocation, has reinforced its centrality in Catholic life.

Value of Community Life: Russolillo established the Vocationists, which encouraged communal living and working. His teachings emphasized the importance of community in discerning and living out one’s vocation. This is clearly reflected in modern Catholic commitment to community service and social justice.

Becoming a Saint: Russolillo’s fundamental goal was for everyone to become a saint, imbuing sanctity in every aspect of life. His philosophy encouraged Catholics to strive for holiness in their everyday lives, whichever vocation they are in. This message has significantly influenced contemporary Catholic spirituality.

Educational Initiatives: Russolillo believed in the power of education and established several seminaries, schools, and orphanages. His renewed focus on education and formation has had enduring impact on the Catholic Church, inspiring ongoing dedication to educational work globally.

In conclusion, the teachings and works of Father Giustino Russolillo continue to resonate within modern Catholic thought and practices. His philosophy of divine vocations, the value of prayer and community, the ideal of achieving sanctity in daily life, and his contribution to education all have significantly shaped contemporary Catholicism.