There is a great story about Pier Giorgio that demonstrates the simplicity and strength of his faith. He was leaving a church one day and still had his rosary in his hand. Outside of the church, he ran into someone who, noticing the rosary, said, "So, Pier Giorgio, you've become a religious fanatic?" Without missing a beat, Pier Giorgio matter-of-factly replied, "No, I have remained a Christian." And away he went.
Wouldn't it be wonderful if we were equally at ease with our faith in the face of contradiction and persecution?
There are so many opportunities to show that we have "remained a Christian." For example, while you are on vacation, do you go to Mass or do you instead take a vacation from the Lord? When you are at a restaurant, do you make the Sign of the Cross and pray before eating your meal or are you too self-conscious? When an important issue is being debated in Congress, do you speak up and inform your family and friends or do you keep silent?
Persecution is a part of being faithful to the Lord. Look at how His disciples fared. But the reward in heaven is great and Pier Giorgio is certainly rejoicing now. And so on this final day of the novena, we ask for his intercession as we attempt to be better witnesses for the Truth and endure the consequences that follow.
Blessed Pier Giorgio, show us how to bear all wrongs patiently. Help us to accept the sufferings which others inflict on us because of our desire to be faithful to Jesus.