Feast Day: 4 July
Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati was dedicated to works of social action, charity, prayer and community. He was involved with Catholic youth and student groups, the Apostleship of Prayer, Catholic Action and was a third order Dominican. He would often say, “Charity is not enough; we need social reform.” He donated most or all of his money to people he saw as more “needy” than him, and as a result he became accustomed to giving his train-fare to the poor and running back home or riding in third class.
Participating in a Church-organised demonstration in Rome, he withstood police violence and rallied the other young people by grabbing the banner which the police had knocked out of someone else’s hands. He held it even higher while using the pole to ward off their blows. When the demonstrators were arrested by the police, he refused special treatment that he might have received because of his father’s political position, preferring to stay with his friends.
One night, a group of fascists broke into his family’s home to attack him and his father, but Pier beat them off, single-handedly chasing them down the street. He died young, at the age of 24, from polio but so loved by all was he that thousands filled the street to pay their respects to him at his funeral.
Why Pier Giorgio Frassati is important
A reflection from someone in our young Catholic community
Blessed Pier is to me a very relatable and inspiring saint. He lived from the year 1901-1925, dying at the young age of 24, so all his activities he did were as a teen and young adult. Despite being young, he did so much to help people and simply loved everyone. This inspires me because rather than having some amazing story of greatness, he simply did the small acts well, with deep care and with Christ at the centre, something which I feel I can try emulate and live as well.
O merciful God, who through the perils of the world deigned to preserve by Your grace Your servant Pier Giorgio Frassati, pure of heart and ardent of charity; listen, we ask You, to our prayers and, if it is in Your designs that he be glorified by the Church, show us Your will, granting us the graces we ask of You, through his intercession, by the merits of Jesus Christ, Our Lord, Amen.