Thursday, August 28, 2008

"I was an instrument of Divine Providence."

Today the Church celebrates the feast of Saint Augustine, the son of Saint Monica, who converted from a decadent lifestyle to become one of the greatest saints and doctors of the Church. His conversion is often attributed to the many years of prayers his mother offered on his behalf. Saint Monica's faith was rewarded by living to see her son's conversion.

Pier Giorgio likewise experienced the joy of seeing a loved one return to Christ and the Sacraments. In 1923, his uncle Pietro, had a deathbed conversion because of the encouraging words and prayers of Pier Giorgio. Pietro Frassati was the brother of Pier Giorgio's father Alfredo. The brothers, although cradle Catholics who respected religion, did not practice the faith. It was a cause of great joy for Pier Giorgio to know that his uncle, in his final moments, received the Sacraments. He wrote about it in a letter to his friend Antonio Severi on August 20, 1923. An excerpt follows:

"Dearest Tonino,

I should have climbed Mont Blanc with Delpiano last Saturday, but we didn’t understand each other very well on the telephone and so Delpiano left on his own. At first I was very displeased, but today I saw that this misunderstanding was a plan of Divine Providence, because the other day my uncle, already sick for a long time, got worse and so I would have been infinitely more upset to have been away.


My uncle, who loves me so much was so moved to see me, that today I couldn’t approach his bed for fear of upsetting him too much, but now my task has been accomplished. Although unworthy I was an instrument of Divine Providence, along with my good mother and the nun who lovingly cared for him, because I was able to get him to perform all his religious practices. Believe me that when he received the Sacred Host tears of joy mixed with those of sorrow streamed down my face. As soon as he received the Host, our merciful God soothed his pain and afterward my uncle made us call the parish priest of the village to tell him about his satisfaction in having received the Blessed Sacrament.

In His Infinite Mercy, God has surely not kept my innumerable sins in mind, but He has heard my prayers and the prayers of my family, and has given my uncle the great grace of receiving the last Sacraments while fully conscious.

I believe that life should be a continual preparation for the next life, because one doesn’t know the day nor the hour of our passing.


Affectionate greetings in J.C.
Pier Giorgio

Pax Domini sit tecum."

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