Pier Giorgio Frassati, born in Turin, Italy in 1901, is hailed as a saint for the contemporary world, particularly for today’s youth. Despite a tragically brief lifespan of 24 years, his fervent dedication to holy living left an enduring impact. He became an embodiment of virtue, aptly referred to as a “man of the beatitudes” by Pope John Paul II during his beatification in Rome on May 20, 1990. Friends fondly remembered him as an “explosion of joy,” while his sister, Luciana, characterized him as the epitome of Christian youth—pure, exuberant, and devoted to all that embodies beauty and goodness.

Frassati’s life offers a stark, inspiring contrast to a modern world often plagued by cynicism and unease. His existence, brimming with purpose, meaning, and peace, sprang from his unwavering faith in God. From an early age, Frassati prioritized Christ, a choice which provoked misunderstanding and disapproval from his nonreligious parents. Yet, he bore this familial friction patiently, silently, and lovingly, even until his abrupt demise from polio.

His devotion was evident in his daily routine. Frassati was a man of prayer, often found by his agnostic father, asleep on his knees by his bedside, after a heartfelt recitation of the rosary. As Luciana Frassati notes, “He gave his whole self, both in prayer and in action, in service to Christ.” His education at a Jesuit school further cemented his commitment, leading to the rare privilege of daily communion. Nights often passed in Eucharistic adoration. For Frassati, every action started and ended with Christ.

In 1922, at the age of 21, this balance of contemplation and action drew Frassati to the Fraternities of St. Dominic. As a tertiary, he adopted the name “Girolamo” (Jerome), after his idol, Girolamo Savonarola, a renowned Dominican preacher and reformer of the Renaissance period in Florence.

Frassati was a charismatic figure, attracting many with his vibrant personality and good looks. He was also an enthusiast of various sports, enjoying hiking, horse riding, skiing, and mountain climbing. Known for his love for humor, he was never shy of a practical joke.

Frassati’s faith was not confined to theory, but was an integral part of his daily life. He embraced spirited political activism during the Fascist period in World War I Italy, juggled his challenging academic responsibilities despite being a poor student, and silently served the destitute in Turin. His affluent background never affected his modest demeanor, and he was always willing to help those in need, often suspected of contracting polio from those he aided in the slums.

As he lay on his deathbed, his final week marked by rapid physical deterioration, Frassati continued to display remarkable virtue. His concern remained with others’ welfare, his focus outward, never highlighting his own suffering. Even as he lay dying, his last note, written with a paralyzed hand, was a reminder to a friend about the injections needed for a needy man he had been helping.

Frassati’s death on July 4, 1925, brought thousands of people to the Frassati mansion. The throngs of poor and lonely individuals who had been touched by his compassionate actions and inspiring life stood testament to his selfless service. The Frassati family, unaware of their son’s benevolence, were taken aback by the overwhelming public display of affection.

In 1981, Frassati’s body, found incorrupt, was moved from the family tomb in the cemetery of Pollone to the Cathedral of Turin.

Photo credit: Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons
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  1. Dear Father in heaven, thank you for the gift of this human being who is in loved with you THE DIVINE. I pray that many other young people may be touched by his example of courage against the passing splendor of this passing world. Pier Giorgio I read about you before and now I ask you to intercede for me to our COMMON FATHER.

  2. Blessed Frassati, please pray for the conversion of my son Sean who is 26 and has left the faith. Thank you through Christ our Lord-Amen.

  3. Pray my daughter finds a job soon. Pray that the world finds peace and lives getting along with each other. Pray for diseases be cured and the huge chemical companies stop making chemicals detrimental to the health of the population. Amen

  4. Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, Please pray for my children especially for my daughter who is struggling with ill health and facing a lot of challenges in her professional life. Pray for them to have the self confidence , courage and will power to face he adversities. Pray for them to keep them close our Lord always.

  5. Blessed Pier Giorgio, please pray for the sick of my family and all the world…the sick in body, heart, mind, and soul. Please, pray for peace in the world and for true help for those in need of it.
    Please, blessed Pier Giorgio, pray for the well-being of the children of the world, that they may not be turned away from God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit…and that they always seek the help and comfort of the Blessed Mother.
    Thank you, dear Pier Giorgio for your life, your prayers and goodness, and inspiration.
    With love,

  6. Bring the joy of Faith/Hope/Charity to all children and youth, Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, and let them gain courage to live a life in fervent but humble service of Christ Jesus, as seen in every face he encountered. Amen.

  7. Dear Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati,

    Please pray for us at this time of coronavirus. So far 11 million have died, with many more suffering. Please intercede for us to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, asking them to put an end to this terrible scourge. We will pray along with you. Thank you. Amen.


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