18th January, 1905.
Feast of the Chair of St. Peter, Apostle, in Rome.
My most venerable Father in Our Lord Jesus Christ Crucified (Mgr. Band )
For more than ten years, that is right from its beginnings, the humble Congregation the ‘Work of Divine Providence’ which the goodness of God caused to be born at your feet and in this city of San Marziano, took, we believe through the provision of the Lord, as its motto and programme the ‘Instaurare omnia in Christo’ of the Apostle (Eph. ch. I, v.10).
This motto has become our stamp, and is printed at the head of our documents and written most brightly in purple letters on the flags and on the white banners which adorn and flutter above the houses of Divine Providence on great feast days.
The ‘Instaurare omnia in Christo’ placed at the foundation, I would say, of the Rule which your most Reverend Excellency was kind enough to approve, is, by the grace of God, in the hearts of the many Sons of Divine Providence: it is repeated every day, in this and in other houses of the Work, by members of the Congregation, by the young students in our Institutes of Christian Education and in the Agricultural Training Schools, before and after work, as well as in the pious exercises themselves. So, the ‘Instaurare omnia in Christo’ was always almost an invocation, the idea that combines the whole mission of the Work and its sacrifices; the pass-word, the light that vivifies, lifts up and marks the whole purpose of our living and working in common, and the sigh of our life and of our death; it is especially intended as a vow addressed to God, an aspiration, a prayer, a fervent desire that the whole man, as well as all humanity, should be renewed in Jesus Our Lord.
The day on which I was permitted to profess the holy, religious vows at the venerable hands of Your Excellency (April, 1903), I begged You, my dearest Father in the Lord, to make this ‘Instaurare omnia in Christo’ more effective and meritorious for us and for souls, by granting an indulgence to this saying of St. Paul which had become ours, as an aspiration, already written by the Apostle, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. And Your Excellency then appeared to be very well disposed to it; but I had to leave almost immediately, and nothing more was done about it.
Excellency, kneeling at Your feet, allow me in my own name and in the name of all my brothers in religion, in the name of our young people and in that of so many friends and benefactors of the Work, to humbly repeat the ancient prayer. Immediately and warmly I beseech you, for love of Our Lord Jesus Christ Crucified and for our most merciful Mother, Our Blessed Lady, from all the spiritual treasures at your disposal, to deign to enrich the words of the Apostle Paul ‘Instaurare omnia in Christo’. Whether they are pronounced by one person or several people as one phrase, or whether pronounced separately and by many individuals, as is the custom in the houses of the Congregation where ‘Instaurare omnia’ is said, with the reply ‘In Christo!’. These words are like an aspiration and a wish of our souls that Christ should be resurrected in all hearts, and should renew the whole man and all men in Himself.
I thank you, my most venerable Father, for this act of paternal affection towards the Work of Divine Providence, and for the remarkable comfort it will bring to our friends and benefactors, and to many pious souls of the diocese, and not just this diocese!
Rather, I should say, my good Father, that the inspired expression of the Apostle, by becoming an aspiration of Faith and religious hope, rich in spiritual treasures - while displaying the greatest need of the world - , I am confident it will become an echo in the hearts of the sons to the desires of the Holy Father, Pius X, and will unite them more to Him, which is exactly in the intentions of our Congregation.
Instaurare omnia in Christo! will express our whole Faith, hope and love: it will be the good-will greeting of the dawn of God over us, the dawn of better days in which Christ lives, reigns and triumphs in all and through all!
In filial reverence and affection in Jesus Christ, I kiss Your Sacred Ring.