Saint Luigi Orione (June 23, 1872 - March 12, 1940) Saint Luigi Orione is the
founder of The Little Work of Divine Providence, a religious family who includes
the Sons of Divine Providence, male congregation formed by Priests, Brothers and
Hermits, and the Little Missionary Sisters of Charity, threefold female congregation
formed by sister of apostolic life, contemplative sisters and blind sisters dedicated
to the adoration of the blessed Sacrament. Two secular institutes and some other
lay movements belong to the family too.
Don Orione died in 1940, but his followers carry on his Spirit in 30 countries with
several hundreds institutions.
Don Orione was born in northern Italy, at Pontecurone, not far from Turin, on 23rd
of October 1872.
The young Luigi felt he wanted to be a priest. As a pupil of Don Bosco for three
years, he learned to love the youth and the poor.
After joining the seminary of Tortona, his diocese, while still a student, he started
his life long work for those he loved most, the poor. He opened a youth centre and
then a small seminary.
Throughout his life he drew people. Some came to him to help him, some to be helped,
and he made his strong point to bring them all to God and to the Church.
His apostolate embraces different types of work, such as schools; hostels for workers;
homes for the handicapped, the aged, the sick, the blind; missions; pastoral apostolate
The ideal of his life was to live and die for the spiritual welfare of people, serving
our Lord Jesus Christ, the mother Church and its head, the Pope. His motto was:
“Establish all things in Christ”.
To start new foundations both in Italy and abroad, and to follow their progress,
he traveled far and wide. He died in Italy on 12th of March 1940, after sending
a loving message to the Pope. His last words were: “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, I go”.
He was canonized in Rome on 16th May 2004, by Pope John Paul II.
Pope Benedict XVI, in his encyclical letter “Deus Caritas est” included his name
in the list of saint who lived Charity in a heroic way.