Remembering a great visionary
THE TEENAGER TODAY, Inspirational Quote, Better Yourself Books and numerous similar other media initiatives around the world owe its original inspiration to James Alberione, a young Italian priest born on April 4, 1884. Alberione was hardly 30, and communication media was still in its infancy, when he dreamt of building a worldwide media network, and single-handedly saw to it that his dream was realised while he was still alive. He also founded 10 media-oriented International Organisations, collectively known today as Pauline Family.
Alberione believed that “small is big!” He initiated his media work by opening a small printing press in August 1914, with a handful of young boys. Since then, he never looked back. Instead, he went on to start a number of periodicals, opened radio stations, produced short films and television documentaries besides publishing numerous inspirational and motivational books.
He strongly believed in the power of the mass media (particularly the print medium) to transform the world when it is used constructively. Moreover, he anticipated the role women would play in reconstructing the world, in the years to come, and brought them to the mainstream of his media activities across the world. Not restricting himself to native Italy he sent the members of the organisations he founded for men and women to other countries to initiate the media work he had begun in Italy.
It was Alberione who sent Guisseppe Mauro (J. Maurus, for us) to India. Coincidently Maurus too was born in April: April 14, 1924. Maurus loved India and considered her people as his own. He had a special love for our Vedic literature, which had a great impact on him and his thinking. As we know, he founded Better Yourself Books, then a few years later THE TEENAGER (TODAY) and Inspirational Quote: expressions of his love for India, especially for her young people.
Both Alberione and J. Maurus loved young people dearly, wherever they were, and in turn the youth loved the ideals and challenges the great visionaries placed before them. As we recall their birthdays, this month, this is our challenge today: to free the media from the clutches of the vested interests and those who use the media to promote baser instincts for their advantage, and transform them into powerful instruments for bringing about a new world order where love, peace and justice prevail!
Alfonso Elengikal, SSP, has the unique distinction of being the longest-serving editor of The Teenager Today, an office he held for over 17 years. He is the bestselling author of You Can Make A Difference, You Are Destined For The Skies, Let The Real You Stand Up! and Discover The Hero Within You published by Better Yourself Books.