The Lord called Fra Pietro Kaswalder and he followed

Saturday, 21 June. Some 100 priests joined Fr. Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Custos of the Holy Land; Fra Massimo Pazzini, Dean of the Studium Biblicum Franciscanum; and Fra Francesco Patton, Franciscan Provincial of San Vigilio in Trentino, in concelebrating the funeral mass of Fra Pietro Kaswalder, suddenly called back to God three days earlier.

The large congregation, joined by many religious brothers and sisters and Fra Pietro’s own brothers, sisters, nieces and nephews, as well as by representatives of the Eastern Churches in Jerusalem.

Fra Massimo, who preached the homily, shared a few of the many messages that were sent to the Studium Biblicum Franciscanum in the last three days, such as the one from the Poor Clares of Jerusalem, who imagined that the Fra Pietro went to meet the Lord with the same spontaneous generosity with which, after hearing a Franciscan mission as a teenager, he left his family home to enter the minor seminary in San Vigilio Province in Trentino. “Once again, the Lord came, called him, and just as he was, he followed.”

All the messages were testimony to the affection that surrounded Fra Pietro, along with the admiration and respect of his fellow instructors in various institutions of the Holy Land and around the world. “Providence has greatly tested the Studium Biblicum Franciscanum in recent years, especially the Department of Archaeology. We pray that He will give you much more than He takes, but He has truly taken a great deal from you.”

Another message summed up the feelings of everyone, that Fra Pietro’s death was “unforeseen, sudden and premature, and so all the more painful.”

Many messages pointed out that he knew how to make others discover the “Promised Land” that he so loved.

“The death of a Christian is not only the end of earthly journey,” continued Fra Massimo. “It is also his passage, his transitus to eternal life. […] With his death, a Franciscan finds the object of his deepest desires. He finds himself face to face with Christ, and this is his definitive choice that he built little by little with all the daily choices of his earthly life. Jesus assures us, ‘The will of my Father is that every person who sees the Son and believes in him will have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day’ (Jn 6:40). I am sure that Fra Pietro, who believed in the Son and his presence, including his presence in the stones of the Holy Land, will live the eternal life promised to the children of God. Amen, amen.”

The body of Fra Pietro Kaswalder was borne, preceded by a long cortege of Franciscans and followed by his family, to the Franciscan cemetery on Mount Zion. The Custody of the Holy Land confidently recommends his soul to God and is grateful for the gift that he was.

Read also
Fr. Pietro KASWALDER has returned to the Father’s house.

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