Celebrating Saint Luigi Orione

Share this article:

by Patricia Mathson

[CLICK HERE] for a fun activity page about St. Luigi Orione.

When earthquakes struck Italy, Luigi Orione came forward to help those who were injured and homeless. That is the type of person he was. He loved other people with all his heart and served others as Jesus tells us to do.

Helping People in Need

Luigi Orione was born in Italy in 1872 and became a Catholic priest in 1895. He helped those who were in difficult circumstances and had no place to go. He cared for people who were sick, people with disabilities, and those living in poverty. He reached out to the elderly and to children without parents. His motto was “Do good to all.”

Living the Gospel

Luigi Orione founded religious orders, including the Sons of Divine Providence, to help in his work of caring for people in need. He also organized missionary trips to other countries to share the Good News of Jesus Christ. He died in 1940 and was canonized in 2004.

Making a Difference

Luigi Orione’s work is carried on by members of his order in 32 countries, including the United States. Thousands of people today follow his example through the Don Orione lay movement.

Jesus calls us to open our hearts to the needs of others as St. Luigi did. We can make a difference, one person at a time.

What Can We Do?

* Let’s look up 1 John 3:11 in the Bible. This verse reminds us that we should love one another. Let’s talk about ways to show love to other people each day. How we can help people in our families, our schools, our community, and around the world?
* Let’s draw pictures of ourselves helping someone who is sick or elderly. Then we can share the pictures with the rest of the group and tell about what we are doing in our pictures. This will help us think of ways to make a difference.
* Let’s talk about Lent. We celebrate the feast of St. Luigi Orione during this holy season. What is the first day of Lent called? How many days does Lent last? What is the last week of Lent called? Who can we pray for during Lent? How can we live Lent?


Lord Jesus, help us to follow you as St. Luigi did. May we see you in people who are sick, elderly, and living in poverty. Help us to make a difference, one person at a time. Amen.

Patricia Mathson has many years experience in faith formation as a DRE and holds a Master of Religious Education degree. She is currently the children’s ministry coordinator at Hope Family Center in Des Moines, IA. She is the author of eleven books with the latest titled Plant the Seed: Sharing the Gospels with Children (Liguori Publications).

Copyright 2011, Bayard, Inc. All rights reserved. This article is protected by United States copyright and other intellectual property laws and may not be reproduced, rewritten, distributed, redisseminated, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast, directly or indirectly, in any medium without the prior written permission of Bayard, Inc.

This article was written by the Catechist Staff and appeared in Catechist magazine, February 2011.

Image Credit: jorisvo/Shutter Stock 544541167

Share this article: