Schools For The Destitute
On March 13 there died at the age of 68 in San Remo, Don Luigi Orione, founder of the " Little Cottolengo." The news of his death was immediately comtnunicated to 1 he Holy Father, to the Sovereign. and to Signor Alussolini, and to the authorities of Tortona and Turin, as well as to all the churches of the " Little Work of the Divine Providence," which he founded in Europe and in North and South America, Don Luigi Orione, a humble priest of Tortona, who wanted to follow the traces of Saint Joseph Cottolengo, was born on June 23, 1872, at Pontecurone, near Tortona. His father was a roadmender, and Luigi used to help him.
When as a boy he attended the village school he went to Voghera, asking to be allowed to enter the Convent of the Franciscans; but his health was rather delicate, and he could not endure the privations of that kind of life. Then he went to Turin to ask Don Bosco to accept him, and in Valdocco he began his studies which were to prepare him for his entrance into the Seminary of Tortona. Don Luigi Orione studied with great eagerness, and on April 10, 1895, he was ordained a priest.
" A Grace to Ask "
The way in which Don Orione began his task is interesting. The institution arose in a little house where Don Orione, while still a student, had started without funds a college for poor boys. He rented a small house for 400 lira a year, which an old lady of his acquaintance advanced him as payment of fees for her nephew, who was to remain at the college during the entire period of his studies.
Once his work had been initiated, Don Orione developed it day after day, at the cost of great sacrifices, extending it in many centres of Italy and Europe a.nd also in North and South America.
The Popes always had special consideration for Don Orione, and especially Pius X, who saw with satisfaction his work for the many poor and destitute.
One day Don Orione was received in private audience by Pope Pius X, during which the priest somewhat tremblingly said, " Holy Father, I have a great grace to ask."
" What is this important grace?" asked the Pope.
Don Orione begged the Holy Father that having yet to pronounce his peta petual religious vows, the Pope might deign to receive them.
The Holy Father agreed willingly, and the audience continued. At the end of it Don Orione asked Pius X when did he think convenient that he should return for his vows.
" Even now," answered the Pope. Don Orione remembered then that according to Canon Law two witnesses are necessary, which were not there present, and he humbly remarked it to the Holy Father, who quickly answered : " The