Biographical Note

Joseph De Piro was born in Malta on November 2, 1877 into a wealthy and influential family. As a young man he thought about becoming a lawyer but then felt that God was calling him to the priesthood. In 1903, after the completion of his studies, he was ordained in Rome.

He was involved in different ministries within the Church, but his main concerns were the missions and work amongst the poor. As a young priest, he began to work towards bringing to fruition his long cherished dream of establishing a Society of priests and brothers committed to the spreading of the Good News. June 30 1910 was the foundation day of the Missionary Society of St. Paul. To its first members he passed on his missionary zeal and his love for those in need.

In 1927 he sent his first missionary, Br. Joseph Caruana, to Ethiopia. Six years later he himself was going there to help consolidate this new mission, but on September 17 1933 he died leaving a small group of priests and brothers without his valuable leadership. The Society went through difficult times till the 1950’s, its members holding on to De Piro’s prophetic words spoken not long before he died, “The Society will grow only after my death.”

Today Paulist Missionaries seek to live out their founding charism in a world of change. We are witnessing to God’s love through our missionary commitment: in parishes, in schools, in youth centres, in migrant centres, among the poor and the needy, and in far away lands. Our missionary presence is in Australia, Peru, Pakistan, Philippines, Canada, Cuba, Italy and Malta.