Frassati was a friend to the poor, in whom he saw Christ. And today’s laity, especially young people, who are looking for a role model, find someone to identify with in this strapping young outdoorsman who combined political activism and work for social justice, who lived his short life “to the full”.
Pier Giorgio was born in Turin, Italy on April 6, 1901. His mother, Adelaide Ametis, was a painter. His father Alfredo, an agnostic, was the founder and editor-in-chief of the liberal newspaper “La Stampa”, and was influential in Italian politics as a Senator and as well as Ambassador to Germany.
Pier Giorgio developed a deep spiritual life which he never hesitated to share with his friends. The Holy Eucharist and the Blessed Virgin were the two poles of his world and spiritual life. At the age of 17, in 1918, he joined the St. Vincent de Paul Society and dedicated much of his spare time to serving the sick and the needy, caring for orphans and demobilized servicemen returning from World War I. He decided to become a mining engineer studying at the Royal Polytechnic University of Turin, so he could “serve Christ better among the miners”, as he told a friend.
What little he did have, Pier Giorgio gave to help the poor; even using his bus fare for charity and often running home to be on time for meals. The poor who were without God and those who were suffering were his masters; he was literally their servant, and he considered this a privilege. This charity did not involve just giving something to others but giving of himself completely, a self-giving that was nourished by daily Communion with Christ in the Holy Eucharist and by frequent nocturnal adoration, by recitation of the Rosary, by meditation on St. Paul’s “Hymn on Charity” (I Cor 13). He often sacrificed vacations at the Frassati summer home in Pollone because “If everybody leaves Turin, who will take care of the poor?”
The next StreetReach days helping the homeless living on our very own American streets are coming the last weekend of January. Please partner with us to sponsor water ($20), van insurance ($50), Bibles ($75), and there is an urgent need for van upkeep - $100. Donate at: http://www.servantsofthefather.org/donation_homeless or post checks to - Servants of the Father of Mercy, Inc., P.O. Box 42001, Los Angeles, CA 90042.