"DO YOU BELIEVE IN MIRACLES? YES!"
Many young fans of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati may not remember the famous 1980 hockey miracle on ice, the exciting game-ending cry of the announcer Al Michaels and the explosive applause of the fans in attendance. The video link is above, if you want to relive it or experience it for the first time. (I'm not much of a technological guru, so if that video clip isn't working, here's another way to get to it: Miracle on Ice.)
I was in high school in the Pittsburgh area when the hockey miracle took place. (Yes, I'm that old!) It was before Mario Lemieux made the Pittsburgh Penguins great. And so I think I only paid attention to it because some of the guys in my class had started a hockey team and were very enthusiastic about the sport. It was a great Olympic moment for the United States at a time in our country when we really needed an emotional boost.
I'm 34 years older now and interested in miracles of a different kind; specifically, the canonization miracle for Pier Giorgio Frassati. As in 1980, our world is at a point when we really need a spiritual boost. Perfect timing for a new saint!
Last month, I had the opportunity to spend four hours with a young woman who had a miraculous healing through the intercession of Blessed Pier Giorgio. The miracle took place almost five years ago. Her miracle story has been slowly but surely working its way through the canonization process. Some very good news was received in April and there is just one major hurdle to clear.
In my role as Executive Director of FrassatiUSA, I have received many, many reports of favors granted through the intercession of Blessed Pier Giorgio. And while each case is significant for the recipient of the favor, not all rise to the caliber of what is necessary to get Pier Giorgio from "blessed" to "saint." This particular case from the U.S., however, is definitely that kind of miracle. What's exciting for me is that it is not the only one of its kind. Earlier this month, I spent time with a young man who also received a miraculous healing through the intercession of Blessed Pier Giorgio. His took place four years ago. Both are incredibly powerful stories that you will love to hear.
Tomorrow, I will begin to share some miracle details. But today we begin the international novena in honor of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati's upcoming feast day. And so I hope you will put at the top of your list of intentions the approval of this miracle by the Vatican.
If you haven't submitted your intentions directly to Italy yet, you can still do so. Visit the Novena page on the FrassatiUSA website for instructions and the novena prayers. Here's the link again: http://www.frassatiusa.org/index.cfm?load=page&page=441.
At the end of the hockey miracle, the crowd goes wild. Really wild. I enjoyed reliving that moment when I posted the video above. I couldn't help but be swept up by the roar of the crowd, the uncontainable enthusiasm, the thrill each person must have felt from witnessing history in the making. All of that will pale in comparison to the joy I think we all will feel when we hear Pope Francis pronounce for the first time "Saint Pier Giorgio Frassti." Sure, he'll do it in Latin, but it will sound incredible in every language.
As the novena begins, know that all of your intentions are in my prayers. May Blessed Pier Giorgio intercede in great and small ways as we approach his feast day.
Do you believe in miracles? Yes!