Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati - WYD2013 Patron of the Week

Last edited 5th November 2012

Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati - WYD2013 Patron of the Week

Pier Giorgio was not to a priest or religious brother. He never founded a religious order or started a new ecclesial movement. He did not lead an army, or stand in public office. He died before he could even complete his university degree. He never had a chance to begin a career; in fact, he hadn't even worked out for sure what his vocation in life would be. So what was so unique and special about Pier Giorgio?

He was simply a young man who loved his family and friends, he loved nature, outdoor sports and adventure, but more importantly, he was in love with God!

Pier Giorgio Frassati was born in Turin, Italy on Holy Saturday on 6th April 1901 to a Catholic Mother, and an agnostic Father. Even as a teenager, Pier Giorgio had a deep spiritual life – and he was not afraid of being ‘too un-cool’ to share his faith with his friends.

In 1918 he joined the St. Vincent de Paul Society and dedicated much of his spare time to serving the sick and the needy. And in 1919, he joined the Catholic Student Federation and the Popular Party, a political organization which promoted the Catholic Church's teachings. He used to say "Charity is not enough: we need social reform” – and so he devoted his time and energy to both charity and activism, in order to make a difference. Pier Giorgio was strongly anti-fascist and did nothing to hide his political views.

As a young man, Pier Giorgio also joined the Dominican Third Order, which consists of lay men and women, both single and married, devoted to living a Christian life with a Dominican spirituality.

In June 1925 Pier Giorgio was afflicted with a sudden illness and died only a few weeks later on the 4th of July 1925, at the age of 24. Then something amazing happened – thousands of poor and needy people, who knew Pier from his time volunteering with St. Vincent de Paul, lined the streets outside his house to pay their respects. It was these poor people, who petitioned the Archbishop of Turin to begin the cause for canonization. He was beatified on 20 May 1990.

Lead me to make choices in life that give preference to serve and love God and my neighbors! Amen.

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