In this episode, Fr David Bellusci, OP speaks about the 2023 World Youth Day held at Lisbon, Portugal, and one of its patrons, in particular, a 20th century Lay Dominican who is on his way to Sainthood – Blessed Pier-Giorgio Frassati, also known as The Man of the Eight Beatitudes.
When a 24-year-old has many worldly opportunities because of a family’s social status, quality of education, excellent health, but instead, is motivated entirely by Christian principles, and resists sin by living a life of virtue, such a person we call a “saint.”
Pier Giorgio Frassati’s upper middle-class family, his father a Senator and founder of an Italian newspaper, his mother a professional artist, along with Pier Giorgio’s success in Mining Engineering, his circle of friends and athletic pursuits, he could have pursued a reckless life of self-focussed pleasure. But he did not.
Pier Giorgio led his friends to deepened awareness of their Catholic faith by ensuring their social activities provided an experience of friendship, joy, and Catholic values. And Mass was always included if social activities occurred on a Sunday or solemnity of obligation. Pier Giorgio was also actively engaged in reaching out to the poor which extended to helping disadvantaged students both in Turin and Berlin. Pier Giorgio wanted his friends along with Catholic youth groups to be properly catechised so they developed a love for the Church inspired by the truth of the Gospel.
Pier Giorgio consistently put others before himself and this also meant his own family. He bid a painful farewell to his closest friend, Marco Beltramo, who left for the Air Force, to his sister who left Turin once she was married, and to a young woman knowing their relationship “was not approved.”
Getting to know Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati with Fr. David Bellusci, OP; author of Pier Giorgio Frassati Truth, Love and Sacrifice. Here is chapter 4 - Studies
Getting to know Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati with Fr. David Bellusci, OP; author of Pier Giorgio Frassati Truth, Love and Sacrifice. Here is chapter 3 - Sacramental Life.
Getting to know Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati with Fr. David Bellusci, OP; author of Pier Giorgio Frassati Truth, Love and Sacrifice. Here is chapter 2 - Luciana and the Extended Family.
Getting to know Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati through his letters with Fr. David Bellusci, OP author of Pier Giorgio Frassati Truth, Love and Sacrifice, here is chapter 1 - Father and Mother.
Pier Giorgio Frassati Memorial Day -- July 4th
In 2011 I went to Venice to present a philosophy paper on spiritual movements in the sixteenth century. I made use of the occasion to take the train across northern Italy to Turin. Then, I bought tickets for the regional train to San Paolo, followed by a short drive to Pollone where I stayed at Pier Giorgio’s summer residence. His gracious niece gave me a copy of Blessed Pier Giorgio’s letters in Italian; and so, began my journey with Pier Giorgio: reading his letters, and translating them into English -- to know him.
After nine years of reading original sources, repeated writing and revising my book, Pier Giorgio Frassati: Truth, Love, and Sacrifice was published. The intention of the book is to discover Blessed Pier Giorgio through his letters. I realised I needed to put together the missing pieces, namely through testimonies on his life. What Pier Giorgio teaches us: as disciples of Christ holiness is built on truth, love, and sacrifice.
Pier Giorgio Frassati was born on Holy Saturday, April 6th in Turin.
We can unite ourselves with Blessed Pier Giorgio and ask for his intercession as we pray the Stations of the Cross.
In his letter, October 22, 1909, Pier Giorgio tells his mother about his grades on his homework and his lessons. Pier Giorgio went to school with his sister, Luciana, and as children they sat at the same desk. Throughout his life, Pier Giorgio worked hard at school, not because he like studying, but because he was an obedient son.
Fr. David Bellusci,
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