Meet Your Spiritual Boyfriend:
Blsd. Pierre Giorgio Frassati
"If you have Christ at the center of all your actions, you will reach the goal." -PGF
If you looked at those dates above, you'll see that Pierre Giorgio Frassati lived for only twenty-four years before Christ took him to heaven after a heroic battle of polio. Romans 6:11 tells us through Baptism, we become dead to sin and alive in Christ, and there are very few saints that I've come across who lived as joyful and fulfilled a life as PGF.
Pierre Giorgio Frassati grew up in a broken Catholic household in the early 1900s when Fascism and its wicked ways threatened the Papacy. Conflicts between his father and mother created tension in his family. He became very vocal and active in politics at a young age, marching in parades with his buddies and lionhearting against soldiers. In one Church organized protest in Rome, the banner was knocked to the ground by police, and when his fellow comrade's faith was waning, Pierre rallied their spirits by raising the banner and charging on.
Another night, Fascist soldiers ransacked his home. PGF threw a few good punches in defense before chasing Mussolini's men down the alley. WHAT A MAN.
He embraced his masculinity too. Pierre loved to mountain climb (and as an added sacrifice, would do so on an empty stomach), throw parties with his friends, quote Dante like no other, wasn't the greatest scholar in engineering (though he only did so because his mother protested his studying of the priesthood), worked in Catholic youth programs, and would walk many miles each morning to daily mass. His sister, Luciana, recalled how he would always be running late for breakfast. They would hear him tear up the steps to change his shirt, slide down the banister, and pause outside to catch his breath and say grace to not upset his parents, and then calmly enter the dining room to the beady glares of his disappointed parents.
PGF is a saint for modern times because he stood as the bridge between the Church and his home. His father Alfredo was the founder of the liberal newspaper, La Stampa and later became ambassador to Germany. His mother verbally proclaimed her displeasure and disappointment at his active involvement with the Church.
If the strong won't do it, then who will?
Pierre lived out his days in abundant joy. He knew the Truth and sought
after it with every breath, and though at times, he may at it alone. His charity was born and bred in small
ways, giving away train tickets
to the needy, offering the clothes off
his back to beggars, and tending the sick.
is a little known story about when Pierre fell in love. Laura Hildago
was a close companion of his, but from the lower class. Due to their
conflicting social standings, PGF's mother adamantly opposed the
courtship, and mirroring Christ's obedience for the Blessed Mother and
Solomon's love for Bathsheba, PGF kept his love a secret. He never told
Laura of the beautifully tragic conflict in his heart to protect her heart. So Pierre loved from afar. The following is from a letter he wrote his friend, Isidoro Bonini:
"I am reading the novel by Italo Mario Angeloni, Ho Amato Cosi, in which he writes in the first part about his love for an Andalusian woman, and, believe me, I feel a lot because it is like the story of my love. I too have loved like that, only in the novel it is the Andalusian girl who makes the sacrifice, whereas in my case I am the sacrificed, because that is what God wills."
contracted polio one year later from the poor he tended. He kept this
illness a secret from his family because his grandmother was also
suffering through her last days on earth as well. There is a heart
wrenching entry in Man of the Beatitudes by his sister, Luciana Frassati in which she writes the heroic faith this man had in his last days, in which he hid his own paralysis: Death was vanquished for just a few minutes by his vital strength and the youth that would not give in, and it was just like when he overcame the obstacle of dangerous ravines, of the cliffs, of the snow and difficult passes. It was just like the week before, as if he were going through the streets of Turin or were home studying...but that morning, that terrible morning. God willed that we should live it in its entirety. "Get up," commanded Dr. Alvazzi, and the patient's answer sounded as terrible and pure as the confession of a martyr: "I can't anymore."
his funeral, his mother and father were shocked by the thousands men and women flooding the streets, a testament to his generosity to the poor.
We can all entrust our heart's desires to this man. If anyone will look out for our future husbands until our lives cross, it will be PGF.
"To live without faith, without a
patrimony to defend, without a steady struggle for truth, that is not
living but existing."-PGF
The Blessed Mother
I'm cheating on this one and using an excerpt from my book, SAINTS, which can be purchased here.
†She’s mentioned in the first pages of the Bible when God addresses the devil: “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; she will crush your head, and you will strike her heel” (Genesis 3:15).
†In summary, God declares that since humanity fell by a woman, He will be revenged by a woman.
†In the words of Fulton Sheen, “When God willed to become Man, He had to decide on the time of His coming, the country he would be born in, the city in which He would be raised, the people, the race, the political and economic systems…the language he would speak…and all of these things depended on one thing: who His mother would be.”
†“The closer one gets to the fire, the greater the heat; the closer one is to God, the greater the purity. But since no one was ever closer to God…than no one could have been more pure than she.”
†Our free will is truly the only thing that is our own, and Mary surrendered it within a single moment to the Lord with the word, FIAT.
†Christ spent three years teaching, but before this he spent thirty years obeying his mother. In fact, it was Mary who began his ministry at Cana, when she noticed that her friends were running low on wine. This tells us that she notices what we need before we notice ourselves, and she intercedes for us before we even think about kneeling. At Cana, when Mary mentions this to Christ, he tells her, “My hour has not yet come” (John 2:4). Because of his obedience, he would do anything for her, and did, and in this exchange Mary tells him that she knows once he begins to proclaim his divinity, he won’t have much longer on earth. But he has her permission to start, and it was at Cana that Jesus performed his first miracle. She knew if he turned water into wine, someday wine would be turned to blood. Her words? “Do whatever he tells you” (John 2:5). And with his mother’s ok, Jesus took his first steps toward the Cross.
†From Crib to Cana, she was the mother of Jesus. From Cana to the Cross, she became the mother of Men.
†According to St. Louis de Montfort, if we offer up a sacrifice to God, he may kindly deny it because it may be fraught with the self. I could run a mile and dedicate it to God, but in honesty, that run could have been because my dad told me to get off the couch; however, if we ask Mary for her intercession in everything we do, she purifies it and hands Jesus a spotless sacrifice.
†“St. Gemma Galgani…one day was interceding with Our Lord for the soul of a certain sinner…After the Savior had refused three times, St. Gemma Galgani said: ‘Then I shall ask Your Mother.’ Our Lord answered: ‘In that case, I cannot refuse.’ An hour later the sinner…made his full confession.”
†Whenever we say “Mary, Mary, Mary,” she says, “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus.” She is like a mirror. When we give her praise, she reflects it to her Son. Have you ever heard that Mary is like the moon, and Jesus is the sun?
“On dark nights we are grateful for the moon; when we see it shining, we know there must be a sun. So in this dark night of the world when men turn their backs on Him who is the Light of the World, we look to Mary to guide their feet while we await the sunrise.” Fulton Sheen