Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, mountain-enthusiast, student, fun-lover and passionate Catholic, was born in Italy in 1901 and died when he was only 24. Born to a wealthy family, he used his privileges position to secretly support the poor. For all intents and purposes, he lead an ordinary life of a young person. He orchestrated pranks and parties, loved the outdoors, struggled with his parents, his studies and the direction of his future, all the while demonstrating his deep love of Christ and the Eucharist. A short paragraph of writing cannot do justice to the extraordinary ordinariness of his short life. He is an ideal role-model and intercessor for young people.
Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati is not yet a saint, and for those of us waiting with hopeful anticipation for that day, it is requiring a bit of patience! But! We can do something! Over at www.piergiorgioletter.org, Fr Michael Niemczak has written a letter asking the Pope to canonize Bl. Pier Giorgio, to show the young people of the world that sainthood is not out of our reach!
An extract of the letter says:
“We ask for this canonization because Bl. Pier Giorgio is in a special way “one of us” – a young person. He did not found any great congregations or rise to any powerful positions; rather, he simply lived his ordinary Christian life with extraordinary love for God and other people.
Bl. Pier Giorgio died at only 24 years old. He did not “have everything figured out”. He was still in the exciting but confusing age of young adulthood, when we are barely getting a glimpse of the arc our lives will take, and yet he lived that age (our age) with heroic virtue. He did not wait for the big decision to be made or the concrete direction his life would take to be clear to begin making the heroic daily decisions to love that characterized his young life. He is thus a model for us of discernment, showing that the bigger vocational questions are often answered gradually through the daily discernment of how to love concretely those before us.
You know well, Holy Father, the story of this remarkable young man, so you know that he is for us also a model of serving the poor, of students, of loving the outdoors, of dealing with difficult family situations, and of the tremendous value of friendship in these increasingly individualistic times. Finally, and most importantly, Bl. Pier Giorgio is a model for us of a young person in love with God. His life of prayer inspired those who knew him and has continued to inspire us a century later, showing us that we too can be filled with the same Spirit that moved Bl. Pier Giorgio to those works of love that led him to Heaven.”
If you have found inspiration in the life of Blessed Pier Giorgio, or if you are just discovering him for the first time, we invite you to make a visit to the website and add your name to the letter. There, you can also find out more about this warm, friendly and joyful candidate for sainthood, and read hundreds of testimonies from other people, young and old alike, who have been helped by his intercession.
As Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI both said: “Young people, do not be afraid to be saints!”. We need Blessed Pier Giorgio’s example to remind us that we are all called to be saints, and that very often that calling applies right in our ordinary daily lives. Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, Pray for us!
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