Don Orione's Religious Family Marking Centenary
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ROME, JAN. 27, 2003 (Zenit.org).- Don Orione's spiritual descendents carry out their founder's ideal in 30 countries: an apostolate of charity, especially among the poorest.
This year marks the 100th anniversary of their canonical approval. Don Orione's family comprises the Sons of Divine Providence, the Little Sisters of Charity, the Orione Secular Institute and the Orione Lay Movement.
On March 21, 1903, Bishop Igino Bandi of Tortona signed the decree recognizing the charism and institution that Providence willed to transmit to the Church through Don Luigi Orione (1872-1940).
Don Orione, founder of the Little Work of Divine Providence, was known as a "champion of Christian holiness." John Paul II beatified this priest on Oct. 26, 1980, presenting him to the Church as "a wonderful and brilliant expression of Christian charity."
Realizing that the marginalized had no support from society, Don Orione said: "Christ went out to the people. To alleviate the people, to mitigate their pains, to cure them. The people must be our concern. ... Avoid words; of words we are saturated."
Works of the Sons of Divine Providence include professional schools, homes for the elderly, missions, parishes, hospitals, and homes for troubled minors and youths and for the homeless.