Giuseppe Giaccardo was born on 13th June 1896 in the Province of Cuneo, Italy. He comes from a poor but a religious family as the first born of Stefano and Maria. His mother was a devotee of Mother Mary and from her the little child learned the first lesson to be devoted to Mary.

Giaccardo frequented school regularly and studied everything with love. In the school, he won the appreciation and affection of his teachers who never found any occasion to admonishand punish little Giaccardo.

When Fr. Alberione was the Assistant parish priest in Narzole, he noticed the little boy who revealed a piety that was superior to the boys of his age. In him was the visible innocence of an angel. After knowing the mind of the young Giaccardo, Fr. Alberione sent himto the seminary of Alba in October 1908. In the seminary, Giaccardo was faithful to his duties of study, disciple and piety. His ideal was to do the ordinary things in an extraordinary way. He wanted to grow in virtues with extraordinary commitment and constancy.He succeeded in practicing this ideal all through his life. Hence it is in vain to look for exceptional episodes in his life. 

Giaccardo was a devotee of Mary from his childhood. Meeting Alberione has given a boost to this devotion. Formation in the seminary helped him to cultivate this devotion with more profound reason, especially from the viewpoint of the doctrines of the Church.He also cultivated the Eucharistic devotion and he nourished it with the daily Visit to the Blessed Sacrament. A few years after the foundation of the Society of St Paul, on 4th September 1917, Giaccardo, with a painful heart, left the Seminary of Alba to enter the new community of Alberione. In the new community, besides continuing his seminary studies, he was responsible for the “school” of Alberione; he was in-charge (master) of the boys and had to correct the manuscripts for publication. 

Giaccardo was ordained as the first priest of the Society of St Paul on 19th October 1919. The prayer of Giaccardo was: “Lord, I want to be detached from every preference, from every sentiment of envy. I ask you but one name which will respond well my life and my spiritual fight; I think “Timothy”, the beloved disciple of St Paul”. It was the name that Fr. Alberione gave him at the time when he received the religious vows on 30th June 1920. With this new name, Giaccardo (Timothy) did not have any more doubt about his mission. He tried to become “one heart and one soul” with Fr. Alberione as in the case with Timothy and St Paul.

Fr. Timothy Giaccardo

Fr. Timothy Giaccardo lived as faithful disciple of Fr. Alberione and collaborated with him in his every initiative. He knew well the cost of collaborating with a man who had received a specific charism from the Lord. Giaccardo tried to know profoundly the person of Alberione. This has helped him to intervene at the right time to resolve delicate issues, both from within and from outside. His constant motto was: “Lord, I don’t want to please myself, I don’t look for my advantages, I want only that you triumph and that the house (casa) go on well”.

Fr. Timothy Giaccardo was a priest of humility and spirit of prayer. When there were huge payments to be made, he was spending most of the night in prayer before the Tabernacle. He trusted in Divine Providence. He believed firmly that God was with him and was guiding his every step. His faithfulness to the practice of Examination of conscience was something admirable. He was a lover of liturgy and made sure that the liturgical services were conducted beautifully, orderly and devotedly.He promoted the learning and use of Gregorian chant. He was faithful to his duties even to the extent of sacrificing his own self. What is more meritorious from the part of Timothy Giaccardo is the mission to take care of the Pauline Family during its start and the growth. As first Vicar General of the Society of St. Paul and as faithful collaborator of the Founder, Fr. Giaccardo tirelessly worked on behalf of the Pauline congregations, assisting in their birth and spiritual/apostolic development.

After having given his entire life for the Pauline Family, on Saturday 24 January 1948, Fr. Timothy Giaccardo breathed his last. He was proclaimed “Blessed” by Pope John Paul II on 22October 1989.

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