Italy: Istituto San Leone Magno, Rome
Joseph Carlo Vaser, Brother Alfano, 1873-1943, is an Italian Marist Brother, rather, the first Italian Marist Brother. He has been the first one in the chronological meaning of the word but above all he has been the top one in a spiritual sense. He climbed to the summit of holiness with a greater eagerness and zeal than when as a child, he enjoyed reaching for the heights of his beautiful and rugged native land: the Valley of Aosta.’’
This life, devoid of extraordinary events is however one of interior adventure. This life can also be compared with a mountain range: only those who are courageous enough to climb to its summit can enjoy its beauty.
Here are the main stages of Brother Alfano’s life:
In 1886, the young Vaser enters St Paul-trois-Châteaux..
In 1891 he professes the vow of obedience.
From 1891 to 1903, he teaches at San Leone Magno’s. He falls in love with the city of Rome because of its art, culture and faith.
From 1903 to 1941 he is a formator. First, he is the Master of novices for fifteen years from 1907 to1922. Then, he becomes the Director of the student Brothers from 1925 to 1941.
* Note that he was a provincial councillor during thirty-two years…
He died on 1 March 1943, right during the world war II.
A simple life like the one of so many Brothers, maybe like ours when we remember all those years behind us… Yet, a life all spent at God’s service; God’s great gift to us and to the world. (A short song praising God.)