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by Nico Rutigliano

What do we mean by spirituality? The set of values ​​that shape a lifestyle. For us Guanellians, who want to embody the values ​​of Don Guanella, spirituality refers to all those forms of prayer, life and behavioral traits, which shape character, human relationships, the way of praying, the practical form of live charity. Spirituality involves both contemplation and action; it concerns prayer and leads to charity; it animates union with God and encourages brotherly love.

Don Guanella's devotion to Mary refers above all to two Marian titles: the Immaculate Virgin and the Mother of Divine Providence. The Immaculate accompanied him throughout his life. In 1887 he dedicated a booklet to her entitled "A greeting to the Immaculate Conception of Lourdes on every day of the Marian month". In 1903 he participated in the national pilgrimage to Lourdes. He wanted the painting of Our Lady of Lourdes in all the Houses he founded. There are many Guanellian houses that have a cave inside them that reproduces that of Massabielle.
But devotion to the Immaculate Conception is not just memory, repetition, nor does it mean copying a place, an image, a simulacrum. It is a form of prayer that also shapes life: it wants to push us to experience the tenderness of the heavenly Mother, who intercedes for us, accompanies us towards the Father's house and, having traveled there before us, shows us the path.
Mary Mother of Divine Providence is, we could say, the Madonna of her maturity, because Don Guanella met this image, as a priest, in the church of San Carlo ai Catinari in Rome. He was immediately struck and attracted by him, due to his great trust in Providence. 
He did not keep his devotion to Our Lady of Divine Providence only for himself, but immediately communicated it to his brothers and the patients in his homes and then passed it on to his spiritual children (priests, nuns, cooperators and benefactors). The sweetness of this heavenly Mother helps in the filial prayer that Don Guanella taught us. The delicacy of her maternal face and the lightness of her arms inspire thoughts of goodness and attitudes of mercy. 
He also invites us to be providence for others ourselves, to know how to take them in our arms to give them warmth, support, protection and help. “We cannot stop as long as there are poor people to help” our Founder repeated. And of Mary he added: "The Blessed Virgin of Divine Providence is our dearest mother, who enjoys being called by this title to be more ready to help us."
 
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