Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati was an early twentieth century Italian young man whose joyful life of faith and courageous practice of it influenced the lives of many people.
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Who Was Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati?
Pier Giorgio Michelangelo Frassati was born on April 6th, 1901 in Turin, Italy.
His mother was a painter, and his father was a politician and the founder of the popular liberal newspaper, La Stampa.
Pier Giorgio grew deeply in faith from early on in his life, being especially devoted to the Eucharist and to Our Lady, and he became a member of the Marian Sodality and the Apostleship of Prayer.
At 17 years of age, he volunteered with the St. Vincent de Paul Society, dedicating himself to the service of the needy and poor.
He attended the Royal Polytechnic University of Turin to become a mining engineer, and while there he became active in Catholic Action and in seeking to realize the Church’s social teaching from Pope Leo XIII’s encyclical Rerum Novarum.
Pier Giorgio received the Eucharist frequently, and he gave of his money and of his time to the poor in substantial ways.
An active young man, Pier also enjoyed mountain climbing and incorporated his faith into the adventures whenever he could.
He courageously battled against both the Fascists and the Communists of his day.
Prior to graduating, he fell ill with a sharp pain in his back, diagnosed as poliomyelitis, and within one week he died on July 4th, 1925.
He was 24 years old.
His parents were shocked when, at his funeral, massive numbers of people came out, including those he had quietly served in his life.
Pope John Paul II was particularly moved by Pier Giorgio’s life, and on May 20th, 1990, he beatified him as “the Man of the Eight Beatitudes.”