From Turin to the World, on the road with young people
Congregation of Saint Joseph
Josephites of Murialdo
150th year of Foundation
19 March 2022 - 19 March 2023
The "Congregation of Saint Joseph" was born from the heart, rich in faith in God and sensitivity towards the needy, of Saint Leonard Murialdo (1828-1900), and was founded in Turin on 19th March 1873, in the Collegio Artigianelli, of which Murialdo was rector. The aim of this institution was to assist, educate in a Christian way and train poor, orphaned and abandoned boys for professional work.
Murialdo, in this educational context and animated by his previous apostolic experience with the boys of the outskirts of Turin, after a long discernment, founded the Congregation with the precise aim, as the 1st Rule of 1873 says, to devote himself "to the Christian education of poor, orphan or abandoned youngsters or even only unruly ones", that is, in need of being redeemed from a morally disordered life. Although this is the primary aim, the congregation can however " come to the aid of adults belonging to the working classes with instruction and preaching".
In order to achieve this, as the 1st Rule indicated, a number of institutions, such as boarding schools, orphanages, reformatories (juvenile prisons), agricultural camps, oratories, and then "any other work" without any limitation.
Saint Joseph, the humble craftsman of Nazareth and above all the exemplary educator of Jesus, was chosen as the titular, patron and model of the congregation, whose members are clerics and lay brothers. From Him, the congregation must learn that pedagogy that finds its synthesis in evangelical charity and that style of life, made up of personal and community behaviours and attitudes, which are summed up in the characteristic virtues of humility and charity.
After diocesan approval on 24 February 1875, the Congregation began its journey, not without difficulty, in Piemonte, then in Veneto and later in other regions of Italy. Papal approval arrived on 17th June 1897 and on 1st August 1904 the Constitutions were also approved.
After the death of the Founder, on 30th March 1900, the congregation opened up to foreign missions (Libya, 1904-1921) and to the countries of Latin America (Brazil, 1915), thus beginning its expansion in the world.
The Congregation currently includes about 500 members and operates in four continents: in Europe (Italy, Spain, Albania, Romania), in Africa (Sierra Leone, Guinea Bissau, Ghana, Nigeria), in America (Brazil, Ecuador, where the Apostolic Vicariate of Napo is also located, Argentina, Chile, United States, Colombia, Mexico), in Asia (India).
With other ecclesial realities that are inspired by the charism of the congregation (the Murialdine Sisters of Saint Joseph, the Secular Institute of Saint Leonard Murialdo, the Laity of Murialdo...), the "Murialdo Family" was constituted.
The coat of arms of the congregation is formed by the initial letters of Iesus, Maria, Ioseph - IMI - inside an oval surrounded by rays. It recalls the intimate union of the Holy Family of Nazareth.
The acronym of the congregation is "CSI" (Congregatio Sancti Ioseph), to which is added the indication "Giuseppini del Murialdo".