Granzotto, Claudio, Bl.

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Baptized Riccardo, Franciscan friar; sculptor; b. Aug. 23, 1900, Santa Lucia di Piave, Treviso, Italy; d. Aug. 15, 1947, Padua, Italy. Riccardo was the youngest of nine children in a family of modest means. After the death of his father (1909), he worked in the field and as a carpenter and bricklayer to help support his family. He developed a passion for art at age 15, but had to set it aside to complete his military service (191822). Upon discharge, he studied at the Academy of Fine Art in Venice, where he earned a diploma in sculpture (1929). He was a moderately successful artist with his own studio when he joined the Franciscans in Venice (Dec. 7, 1933) and received the name Claudio. Thereafter he expressed "the infinite beauty of divine contemplation in sculpture" (John Paul II, beatification homily, Nov. 20, 1994), completing four grottos of Lourdes, one of which in Chiampo is identical in proportion to that in Massabielle, France. The man dedicated to prayer, beauty, and compassion died of a brain tumor in the hospital at Padua and was buried at the foot of the Grotto of Lourdes in Chiampo. Bishop Albino Luciani, the future Pope John Paul I, opened the diocesan process for Claudio's beatification (Dec. 16, 1959).

Feast: Sept. 2 (Franciscans).

Bibliography: c. ciattaglia and e. papinutti, Vinto dal Signore (Chiampo n.d.). Collegio Serafico, Fede e arte di Fra Claudio (Chiampo n.d.). r. fusati, Beato Claudio Granzotto (Chiampo n.d.). e. urbani, Oltre l'arte (Chiampo n.d.).

[k. i. rabenstein]