September 6 - (BLESSED CLAUDIO GRANZOTTO) (1900-1947) (Feast Day: September 6):
Blessed Claudio Granzotto
Born in Santa Lucia del Piave near Venice, Claudio was the youngest of nine children and was accustomed to hard work in the fields. At the age of nine he lost his father. Six years later he was drafted into the Italian army, where he served more than three years.
His artistic abilities, especially in sculpture, led to studies at Veniceís Academy of Fine Arts, which awarded him a diploma with the highest marks in 1929. Even then he was especially interested in religious art. When Claudio entered the Friars Minor four years later, his parish priest wrote, "The Order is receiving not only an artist but a saint." Prayer, charity to the poor and artistic work characterized his life, which was cut short by a brain tumor. He died on the feast of the Assumption and was beatified in 1994.
Claudio developed into such an excellent sculptor that his work still turns people toward God. No stranger to adversity, he met every obstacle courageously, reflecting the generosity, faith and joy that he learned from Francis of Assisi.
In the beatification homily, St. Pope John Paul II said that Claudio made his sculpture "the privileged instrument" of his apostolate and evangelization. "His holiness was especially radiant in his acceptance of suffering and death in union with Christís Cross. Thus by consecrating himself totally to the Lordís love, he became a model for religious, for artists in their search for Godís beauty and for the sick in his loving devotion to the Crucified" (LíOsservatore Romano, Vol. 47, No. 1, 1994).