Monday, August 18, 2008

A Birthday Prayer for Luciana Frassati

Do they celebrate birthdays in heaven? If so, there will be a big celebration today. It is the first birthday Luciana Frassati will spend with her big brother Pier Giorgio since his death in 1925. She turns 106!

Two years ago, when I headed over to Pollone, Italy, to begin the work of FrassatiUSA, I arrived at the family villa just in time to celebrate Luciana's 104th birthday. We sang Happy Birthday in Italian ("Tanti Auguri!") and had an ice cream cake in the sun room. (I call it the sun room; it was a great place to sit and enjoy the sun or, more often, the rain!) How surreal it was for me to be spending time with Pier Giorgio's sister. And what a privilege. Over the past two years, I had many such opportunities. I was even at the family villa the last month of Luciana's life and was able to attend her funeral in Turin and Pollone last October. These were special gifts from the Lord that helped me to understand and appreciate the life and spirituality of Pier Giorgio even more. It was his sister, after all, who brought him to us through her many books and labors. Now she enjoys her heavenly reward and, undoubtedly, a birthday hug from Pier Giorgio! But I miss her.

May God grant her eternal memory and blessed repose.

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