AUGUST 23rd – 21st SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
“MORE REFLECTIONS ON BLESSED PIER GIORGIO FRASSATI”
by Fr. Walt Wainwright
For a good number of years now I have been drawn to the life of blessed pier Giorgio Frassati, and maybe for a lot of different reasons. He was truly a most unusual young man and at the same time a very ordinary person. He lived the holiness he believed in and at the same time he lived a life full of all the things that many young people of his day were doing. Many of them were his friends, fellow citizens of Turin and a great many fellow Catholics.
Today I would like to leave you with some of my reflections on his beautiful life that I have found in the biographies I have read about his life. I’ve read three of them each one somewhat different from the other but all of them portraying the holiness of Pier Giorgio, something that filled his life, simply because, to him, this is what he knew his life was to be about.
One of those aspects of his life is seen in many places having to do with Pier Giorgio participating in sports activities with others. One of those was mountain climbing which is not unusual for people who lived in northern Italy, such a mountainous region. Often on a Saturday or during some break from school a group of friends would plan to attempt a climb up one of the mountains. Pier Giorgio would be among them and he would often suggest that they get up a little earlier on the day of the climb and go to Mass before they started out. Perhaps not all would join the others at Mass but more than not they did. Why? Because they knew the suggestion and invitation came from the heart of their dear friend and the example of his own faith and holiness was sincere.
For several years Pier Giorgio was a member of the St. Vincent de Paul Society that took care of caring for the poor. Well, on one occasion, Pier Giorgio went to them looking for clothing and housing for a very poor family and were turned down because of the life style of one of the members of that family. Pier Giorgio quit the St. Vincent de Paul Society immediately saying no society should deny the other poor in a family, especially the children, because of one member’s behavior. It showed how much a man of strong principles he was.
There are numerous examples of the times Pier Giorgio sought out the poor, especially young people. At one time he is known as saying that one day he was going to build a home to take care of poor children. Very sadly, because of his short life he died before he could put this hope into action. It wasn’t too long after his death, however, that some friends began the effort to fulfill his dream and a house was founded, and opened to care for the young homeless and poor children. Even today, it bears the name of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati.
Pier Giorgio also had a great devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and organized a group of young men to participate in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament during the hours of the night. Even if he had been out enjoying an evening with his friends he was never too tired to go and spend his time before the Blessed Sacrament. May did not know he would leave his friends to go to the chapel for prayer. Sometimes he invited others to go with him, but never made any kind of an artificial display of his holiness. Another sign of what make a saint.
Perhaps some more soon.