Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Pier Giorgio's last Christmas

I attended a funeral today and found myself wondering about the deceased's last Christmas. In most cases, we never know what our last days will be like. It is highly unlikely that Pier Giorgio would have ever known that Christmas 1924 would be his last.

Among the testimonies gathered following his death is one that I find amusing and inspiring at the same time. It was submitted by a teacher named Gian Pietro Ravera. He states:

"Christmas 1924 was celebrated according to the Club’s tradition, and in fact about fifteen members gathered that night in a private chapel at 9 Via Ormea where Canon Bues celebrated Mass. I was among those who were invited by Pier Giorgio, who went on and on about how beautiful the Mass would be, as well as the gastronomic delights that would follow. Pier Giorgio and Carlo Pol served the Mass, and I remember how it was difficult to move in the chapel because it was standing room only. Pier Giorgio had some cigars in his suit coat pocket, and they started to fall out when he was making a genuflection. He blushed deeply as he stuffed them back into his pocket. Then, turning toward my side of the chapel and seeing that I had seen everything that had happened, he made a face as if to excuse himself and he suppressed a smile, returning to his prayers with greater intensity than before. I continued to watch him, and the longer the Mass went on, and the more intense and spiritually delightful it became, the more I was moved to see that group of university students follow the liturgy of the Mass with such devotion."

This testimonial provides us with such a classic picture of Pier Giorgio: a young man who persuaded his friends to go to Mass, spilled cigars, thought about good food, witnessed his faith merely by his demeanor, accompanied a small group in a priest's private chapel... Looking back on that night, I think we could safely say that he enjoyed his last Christmas celebration.

Wishing you a holy Christmas season and the joys of faith, food, friends and family wherever you will be. Buon Natale e Verso l'alto!

No comments: