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 9, 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 Venice’s 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 tumour. He died on the feast of the Assumption, August 15, 1947, and was beatified in 1994. His Liturgical Feast Day is March 23.
Today’s Gospel touches on one of the seven spiritual works of mercy: admonishing sinners. For some this has a negative connotation, as it brings to mind the judgmental hypocrisy of which Christians have all too often been guilty. Few things sour people’s view of the Church more than this. Therefore, let us take the time to understand Jesus’ words today. On one hand, Our Lord is very clear that we must not judge others. Yet today he provides guidelines on how to correct one another. How can we correct our brothers and sisters without being judgmental? There is a tremendous difference between Christian correction and rash judgment. Being judgmental seeks and takes pleasure in the faults of others. Although Christians can and do slip into this, it is a very unchristian thing. The Christian admonishment of sinners comes from a place of love. Love motivates us to desire the sanctification of others. Therefore, when people behave inappropriately or sinfully, charity may call on us to address it with them in a compassionate way. The goal is not to put them down, but
to help them grow. May the Holy Spirit rid our hearts of all forms of rash judgment. When necessary, may God also give us the compassion and fortitude to mercifully admonish sinners.