Tuesday, July 04, 2017

A saint for July 4th.

July 4 is the feast day of Bl. Pier Giorgio, shown above partying with his friends.
[Pier Giorgio is the one wearing the paper hat.]

“To live without faith, without a patrimony to defend, without a steady struggle for truth, that is not living, but existing.” - Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati.  April 6, 1901 - July 4, 1925

Strive for peace with everyone, and for that holiness without which no one will see the Lord. 
See to it that no one be deprived of the grace of God,
that no bitter root spring up and cause trouble, 
through which many may become defiled,  
that no one be an immoral or profane person like Esau, 
who sold his birthright for a single meal.  
For you know that later, when he wanted to inherit his father’s blessing, 
he was rejected because he found no opportunity to change his mind, 
even though he sought the blessing with tears. - Hebrews 12

"He who praises you deceives you." -John of the Cross quoting Isaiah.


  1. I love Blessed PGF and I feel certain he will be canonized during Pope Francis' papacy. What a fine example of joyful obedience! He didn't always get what he wanted, even though he was born to a wealthy family, but he maintained good cheer and faith even in his disappointments. He was the friend everyone invited to their parties and picnics. When he and a group of his friends would go mountain climbing or go on some other outing, PGF would suggest stopping for Confession or a brief prayer when they passed a church - and he did it in such a natural way that no one thought he was a pain in the neck or tiresome.

    He was able to be devout without being gloomy and judgmental of others' faults. When his parents disapproved of his choice of fiancé, he reluctantly listened to them and redoubled his efforts to serve Jesus. He gently freed his beloved from their commitment to one another, and carried on without cursing his luck or resenting his family.

    I think PGF was a 3rd Order Dominican, but I suspect he was really a Franciscan at heart. Like my good St. Francis, he delighted in assisting the poor materially and spiritually. He maintained a joyful love of Jesus and an infectious zest for life. When he entered a room, the sunshine came out - just as I imagine it did for Our Lady and my good St. Francis.

    In the end, he died far too young because he exposed himself to disease while visiting the poor on behalf of the St. Vincent de Paul Society. One of his last wishes was that his sister fill a prescription for a poor person who could not afford it. When he died a couple of days later, his family, who only vaguely knew about his activities, were shocked when thousands of PGF's beloved poor lined the streets and participated in his funeral procession. It shook up his parents so much, they mended their troubled marriage and became faithful Catholics.

    Thank you, dear Terry, for reminding me of my friend, Blessed PGF! And every blessing to you and all here this Independence Day! - Susan, ofs

    1. Thanks Susan - and thanks for filling in the details - he's a wonderful patron.

    2. "He was able to be devout without being gloomy and judgmental of others' faults."

      I want to live like he did with a lively faith loving the Lord and my neighbor, then myself too.

    3. I especially love the picture you put at the right of this page, Terry, of PGF winking at the camera with a cigarette in his hand! Doesn't he look awfully fun? PGF certainly did not take himself too seriously and see the worst in everyone, as I am often guilty of. No wonder everyone wanted to have him around. He was able to bring Jesus to everyone he met without being a drudge or preachy, with a big smile and a word of encouragement. I think he really lived the spirit of St. Francis, and I am trying to be more like both of them, as Yaya said above. PGF was only in his early 20s when he died, not even 100 years ago, but he packed a lot of joyful service to Jesus in just a few years. Blessed PGF, pray for us, and help us joyfully bring Jesus to everyone we meet. Susan, ofs


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