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November 1st - All Saints Day

What brings you the most joy in life?

There was a man who lived in Turin Italy during the early 20th century. His mother was Catholic, but his father was an agnostic. The man, Pier, would spend much of his time as a boy enjoying the things that boys did, namely, doing things outdoors. In the midst of exploring the outdoors, he would fall in love with Christ through those he would encounter. Pier spent a lot of his time giving away what he did have. He would even give away the clothes he’d be wearing. The people who had been pushed to the slums by the fascist government would become one of his greatest joys in life. For him, life was Christ. He prayed often, and from being energized by that prayer, he would use it to serve others. Unfortunately, he would end up contracting polio from the same people he was serving in the slums, and at the young age of 24, he would go on to life with the Lord. 

When people had heard that Pier had died, word spread like

wildfire. His parents would recount that they remember looking outside of their house and seeing thousands of people gathered outside – mostly the poorest of the poor. They had no idea. St. John Paul II would name him Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassatti in 1990, and at the Mass, he would call him “a man of the beatitudes.”

I think often in life, we can think to ourselves, “how easy would it be just to have a manual on how to live.” For those of you who are older, you might reflect back to the day when you could simply list what was sinful. But Christ wants us to move past this – to not focus so much on sin, but to focus more on Him. He does give us a manual for living a saintly life. And if you look at the lives of the saints, there was always joy in giving of themselves to God. As a Church not only do we have Sacred Scripture to guide us, but we have our Tradition – which we would consider to be the 5th Gospel. That Tradition, or 5th Gospel includes the stories of the Saints like Blessed Pier. But they also include our story as well. A lot might not yet be written in the 5th Gospel about you, but allow the Saints to inspire you to be people of the “beatitudes”.