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The Guiding Light Our Story Behind by Marie Paul Curley, FSP N ew Year’s Eve, 1900. James Alberione hurried on his way—not to a friend’s party, but to midnight Mass at the cathedral. James was not dressed in clerical garb like his classmates because he’d just been accepted back into the seminary on probation. He was eager to follow the advice of the great Pope Leo XIII and “pray in” the New Year. With compassion for the world’s suffering, the Pope had encouraged prayer for the Church, for the Gospel to reach all people, for the new means of the times to be used to uplift and transform society. Continuing to pray after Mass, James opened his heart wide to the grace pouring out from the Eucharistic Master, and his heart was set ablaze. 8 He described what happened: A special light came from the Host, a deeper understanding of Jesus’ invitation, “Come to me, all of you.” He seemed to fathom…the true mis- sion of being apostles today and of using the means exploited by the enemies [of the Church]. In the depths of his being, he felt the need to pre- pare himself to do something for the Lord and for the people of the new century… He had a clear grasp of his own nothingness, and at the same time that he could count on the Host—on Jesus—for light, nourishment, consolation, and victory over evil. The very next morning, James Alberione began sharing the inspiration he’d received with his friends. It took fourteen years of prayer, preparation, and “waiting on God,” but in 1914, young Father Alberione took his first decisive