Thought for the Day – 4 July – The Memorial of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati T.O.S.D. (1901-1925) “Man of the Eight Beatitudes”
Once after visiting a badly disfigured leper he explained to a friend his rationale for his selfless giving:
“How rich we are to be in good health. The deformation of that young man will disappear in a few years when he enters Paradise. But we have the duty of putting our health at the service of those who haven’t it. To act otherwise would be to betray the gift of God.
No human being should ever be left abandoned. But the best of all charities is that consecrated to the sick. That is an exceptional work: few have the courage to face its difficulties and dangers, to take on themselves the sufferings of others, in addition to their own needs and their own precautions and cares.”
Pier Giorgio was famous in Turin but his family regarded him as a problem . His father, Alfredo Frassati, editor of the daily La Stampa, seems to have resented his largesse. And his mother was inconvenienced by his frequent absences and his lateness to meals. Only after his death did they come to appreciate their son.
A virulent form of poliomyelitis attacked Pier Giorgio in July 1925 and he died within a week. He was twenty-four years old.
Once a friend observed that when Pier Giorgio finished praying in church, he waved a little farewell towards the tabernacle. I like to imagine the scene when this jovial saint said hello to Christ in heaven.
My thought is this, on the Memorial of his beautiful saint, Bl Pier Giorgio, that the greatest gift and the only glory of my life is being a Catholic and striving each day, to grow in those greatest of all commandments, to love God above all and to love my neighbour as myself. St Edmund Campion (1540-1581), put it so well, “to be a Catholic is my greatest glory.”
Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, pray for us!
LET US PRAY:
PRAYER FOR THE CANONISATION
OF BLESSED PIER GIORGIO FRASSATI
O merciful God,
Who through the perils of the world
deigned to preserve by Your grace
Your servant the blessed 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,
in union with the Holy Spirit,
one God forever and ever.