(from “Un silenzioso che ha qualcosa da dire”, by G. P. Mina, MC, pp. 119-124)


Fr. Joseph Allamano was not a composer-singer. However, there was a song that was resounding in his mind and heart, and he felt he had to teach it to his missionaries, so that their life would become a song of joy and faith along the roads of the world.

The song was composed of several verses and a refrain.

The verses consisted of his teachings, and the refrain was somehow concluding the previous verse and introducing he next one.


I want you to be…


First saints and then missionaries”: not because holiness and missionary vocation are antithetical, but because – he used to say – “This is God’s will: your sanctification. As missionaries, you must not only be saints, but be such to the highest degree, to be put on altars…” And for this reason, “I want you to become prayerful people from morning to night. Direct all your actions to God and make them become prayer…”

He used to exhort all of them to have a “great spirit of faith. Without this, what will you do in the missions? If we have such a spirit, we will never feel lonely, abandoned; God will come to us, perhaps even in a lion’s den, as he did for Daniel. All people may abandon us, but not God… With him, we are all-powerful… What is needed is a very strong faith, a practical and simple faith… always a pinch of faith to govern everything…”


I want you to be…

Extraordinary in the ordinary: “People used to say about Jesus that he was doing everything well: not only miracles, but everything… Therefore, it is not enough to do the good; the good must be done well. This is the kind of holiness I want of you: that people may be able to say about each one of you, ‘He has done everything well’. This is the miracle I want of you: that you may do everything well, from morning to night: most fervent missionaries, most faithful, most accurate, yes, superlative in everything. Extraordinary in the ordinary, without blare, without clamour…”



I want you to be…

Enthusiastic about your missionary vocation:

“Is there anything greater than this vocation that makes you share in the very vocation Jesus received from the Father and transmitted to the Twelve, ‘Go and preach the Gospel to all creatures’? Oh, yes, in regard to vocation, the Lord has somehow exhausted his infinite love for you! ...”

He liked to stimulate them to look on high, together with him: “In heaven, every missionary will shine like a star, surrounded by the people to whom he/she proclaimed the Good News… If people understood the deep meaning of being missionaries, everybody would want to become one. In fact, all saints, if they could, would have become missionaries: also Fr. Joseph Cafasso…”


I want you to be…


With the Church and the Pope always… Institutions last as long as they are strongly attached to this rock, which is unfailing. You should be with the Pope not only in matters of faith, but in everything… If anyone here feels differently, he is not for us. We want to be Pope’s people in the full sense of the word.”


I want you to be…


Sacramentini, Eucharistic missionaries: I want you to be truly in love with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, a love that endures not only when you are in church, but always and everywhere… I would like you to be interpenetrated with Him. People who are in love are never bored, never feel lonely. In the missions, especially, I want that Jesus in the Eucharist be your counsellor, your comfort, your help…”


I want you to be…


Consolatini, Consolata Missionaries: this name of yours must stimulate you to become what you are supposed to be. Our Lady Consolata is ours in a special way. She is the real foundress of this Institute… I made her the Protector of this House and she acts as such… There is no doubt that everything that has been accomplished here and in the missions is her doing… Don’t be afraid of having too great a devotion to Mary, of doing too much in order to honour her. Whoever is not devoted to Mary does not have a priestly or religious vocation… Whoever wants to become a saint without her is wrong. You cannot fly without wings…” The Mother of Jesus, the Consolata, is our wing.


I want you to be…

In love with the Liturgy, careful when performing sacred ceremonies: “Accuracy in the sacred ceremonies should be one of your characteristics. I intend to leave you this recommendation as a last will… I wish I could always see in you a real commitment… I wish that from heaven I could always recognize you as my dear children in this regard…”


I want you to be…

Full of apostolic zeal: “Zeal is a characteristic proper to missionaries… Nobody goes on mission moved by a whim, or for amusement, but moved uniquely by love for God, which is inseparable from love for neighbour. We, missionaries, have vowed to give our life for the salvation of souls. To love our neighbour more than ourselves is the missionaries’ plan of life… If there is no love for God, there is no zeal as well. Whoever is not aflame with divine fire will never be a missionary. ‘I do everything for the Gospel’! Everything! Everything! ‘I will spend and sacrifice myself…’: yes, up to the point of dying in Africa because of the strenuous works undertaken for God’s love. We should have a vow to serve mission”.


I want you to be…

Always busy: “Whoever does not work willingly has something missing in his vocation. Let’s not fear to dirty our hands… Your missionary life is not a life of ecstasy, but a life of work: work according to God’s will. 

I want you to be energetic. Half-will people, who want and don’t want, are not suitable for us… If energy is needed everywhere, here it is needed even more. Energy is needed since the beginning, total energy, persevering energy. The atmosphere of this House is such: whoever is not energetic cannot put up with it. I expect a steel energy in striving for holiness.

… Woe to lukewarm, inconstant, half-will people! They are not for us. I do not want weak, sullen, and lazy people. I want cheerful and active ones. You cannot bargain with the Lord: it is either all or nothing; either we become saints as He wills, or we will never be such.

God alone! Aim only at Him!

Everything for his glory… I expect that everything we will accomplish here and in the missions will be always and only for God’s glory…”

In this regard, he is drastic: he would rather see his work destroyed than attribute its success to himself.


Also in regard to fraternal charity he is extreme. “I want to be able to say that in this House and among yourselves there is charity, even if other virtues may be lacking…I want that there be fraternal love: to be ready to give your life for one another… The sufferings of one should be the sufferings of all; the concerns of one the concerns of all. We have to make sure that there is unity at all costs… Woe to whoever does not forgive his/her brothers/sisters...! Woe to those who break fraternal charity and unity…! From heaven I will send thunderbolts if I see that you are lacking in charity… I want that among you there be blooming charity…”


I want, I want, I want…


These are the talks he was giving his missionary sons and daughters during the Sunday meetings, for which he was always punctual, loving, concerned with their growth in Christ, forming them for mission, giving them the elements of a robust and sure spirituality, according to the charism he felt he had been entrusted with and which he vindicated with strength: “In here, I am the one who gives you the spirit, and nobody else…”

The spirit, the style, the characteristics: however, he was not assuming the attitude of the teacher of a new spirituality; in his humility he would never have dared so much… “In the Gospel there is already everything…”, he used to say. For this reason, his teaching was always and only permeated by the Gospel, Holy Scriptures, and anchored to the Church’s Magisterium and the guidelines of those great masters of spirituality and life who had been the Doctors and Fathers of the Church and the Saints of God.

He used to talk with his familiar and plain tone; however, the contents – the verses of his song – were always rich, lively, often provoking. The chosen simplicity of language was giving his words the taste of home-baked bread, suitable for all, because it was all substance.


At the same time, his words, at the rhythm of those “I want you to be”, that were blaring like trumpets and incisive like chisel strokes, outlined an identity, a style, and characteristics that remain for ever clear and unmistakable for all Consolata Missionaries. The Founder impressed those characteristics on a photographic plate once and for all, from the inside. And that plate is always good and valid, even after a long time. It resists the acid of contesting. It just needs to be immersed and filtered in a bath of love, faithfulness, and serious

missionary commitment.





(from “Un Silenzioso che ha qualcosa da dire”, by G.P. Mina, MC, pp. 132-136)


Bd. Joseph Allamano’s message, complex in its uniqueness, is simple in its constituent elements encapsulated in his constant programmatic statement: “God alone!”


The first element is doubtlessly faith: a faith that propels high, towards holiness; a faith that is not illusion, something exotic, or an outdated value, but a goal  for all God’s children of all times and places, provided they want it not only some times, but always, every day.

By this call, which may seem anachronistic but is very relevant, Bd. Allamano shakes up the secularized people of today who, having lost the sense of the sacred, fumble around in the emptiness of artificial heavens. He wants to raise our heads high, above the smoky curtain of a consumerist and polluted environment, in order to dilate our hearts in a breath of infinity and a song of liberation: the breath and song of the freedom of the Saints, who became such walking along our sidewalks, shopping in our stores, and eating the fruits of our land.

This is so, because holiness is not something built by angels in heaven; it is built by people of our planet in any time: time that becomes holy – even our own – if many of us search in faith for the Countenance of the Only One who is Holy and is outside time: God.

The above are fundamental ideas that may be found in almost every one of the two thousands and more pages, where Bd. Allamano’s conferences and writings are collected. Those pages give us his thoughts, open up the book of his soul, transmitting to us the first part of his message, which would already be excellent in its essential contents.

However, it would be incomplete, lacking.

In order to grasp it entirely, we must also look at the pages where the testimonies of people who knew him well are collected, thus reassembling the history and vicissitudes of his life. It is from this that Bd. Allamano emerges completely, not only his spirit, but also the dynamics of his interventions, of his many works, of the style of his presence in the local Church and among the people of his time. He emerges with the ardour of his concrete charity, with acts of humility, fidelity, mediation, peace and love. He emerges also with his own limitations, doubts and uncertainties, but always vigilant and alert to God’s signs and people’s voices.

In this way we can capture completely also the other part of the message that he addresses to us by all the power of his witness.


We must love the Church, build up the Church. It is not by remaining silent, lazily inert and passive within its structures, or angry at them, that we build up the Church.

We must accept the Church, Bd. Allamano tells us, as it is, poor and weak in its human wrapping and yet depository of Salvation and of Christ’s certainties.

We must animate it from within, with humble and patient love, leavening it by works of charity and service.

We must see that everybody feels at home within it, as he did at the Consolata Shrine, where all people felt welcome and at ease, noble and humble, consecrated and sinners, because there was the Eucharist, Bread of Unity; there was the Mother of Jesus, gift of consolation; the vivifying breath of the Spirit; and there was somebody waiting and welcoming, and telling any hesitating brother or sister, “Welcome; I have been waiting for you”.


A Church such as this, becomes alive, warm, automatically open to people who are near and, at the same time, reaching out to those who are far: it becomes a missionary Church.

Precisely as Bd. Allamano had envisioned the local Church, the universal Church, and the whole People of God; precisely as the Church itself is striving to become in this laborious time after Vatican II.

“If in Torino there remained even only fifty priests, but full of God, they will be enough for everything” (and the others could spread across the world). This is one of the paradoxical axioms by which Fr. Allamano intended to say that the majority of the workers should be posted to the places where people’s needs are more urgent, where evangelization has still completely to take place, because even today there are still billions of people who continue to live and die without having met a proclaimer of Christ. Of these we ignore even their names; while very many others, who constitute the other part of the world’s people, give the impression of having forgotten Christ.

For this reason, missionary work is still needed today; it is not outdated or to be substituted. We must still proclaim Christ with apostolic daring, both on the known roads of our towns, as well as on the unknown roads abroad.

The people who depart will manifest the missionary spirit and the active liveliness of the sending community. Those who remain, through their attitude of listening to the distant Churches and peoples, will broaden the boundaries of their hearts and souls.

In this way bridges will be built, and exchanges among Churches will be formed

- in order to respond to the peoples’ waiting and inculturate the Gospel among them;

- in order to thus give back to the Church its most vivid and beautiful dimension: the missionary one;

- in order to raise from lethargy the conventional Christians because, if all of us do not become more missionary, we will inevitably become less Christians.


Fr. Allamano tried to express through words and works according to his charism all the above, with the rather obsolete vocabulary of the end of the XIX and beginning of XX century. If he came back today to the Consolata Shrine, he would repeat the same things, using the new terminology introduced by Vatican II; he would be happy to relay them by gladly making use of the new P.A. system of his dear Shrine, which will enable also his weak voice to be heard by everybody.

But, the best P.A. system of this Blessed priest today is the little chapel on Corso Ferrucci, in Torino, where his mortal remains are resting: from there, through the invisible and powerful waves of the Mystery, he diffuses his message of holiness, of love for the Church, of missionary dimension of all Christians.

And we are rather shocked by the fact that this silent Blessed priest, unknown perhaps even in his Torino and never sufficiently known by his people, may send out such an up-to-date, lively and prophetic message.

For this reason, as we pause thoughtfully in front of his figure of priest, missionary and father, we spontaneously feel like praying as follows:


Lord Jesus,

who enriched your Church

through the examples of Bd. Joseph Allamano,

by making him a witness to your holiness,

a builder of peace,

and a missionary animator of your people,

enable us to imitate his virtues

and welcome his message.

And, through the intercession of your Mother,

whom he loved and venerated with the name of “Consolata”,

and through his own mediation,

increase missionary vocations in your Church,

so that all peoples

may soon be reached by the Proclamation of your Salvation.