By the grace of God I heard about Blessed Pier Giorgio a few years ago when I had my reconversion to the Catholic faith. However, the only thing I knew about him was that he was a young man that loved and served the poor and his mantra was Verso l'alto which means "To the Heights". It wasn't till these past few months that I began to learn more about him.
I was helping out with a youth retreat in my diocese when I heard a good friend of mine give the last talk of the retreat that we called "The Challenge." She mentioned Blessed Pier Giorgio's mantra Verso l'alto and how a lot of people thought that the mantra meant to climb the heights of a mountain but it actually meant that the height of the Catholic faith is the most Holy Eucharist! It was then that I felt my heart and eyes had been opened to the beauty of what this mantra pointed to....Jesus Christ body, blood, soul and divinity in the Eucharist.
My second encounter was just recently. I had been blessed to go on a pilgrimage to Rome with a group of people who are involved with FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Stundents) these past few weeks July 5th-25th. Towards the end of our trip we traveled to Turin and Pollone. These places are the centers of Pier Giorgio's life. We were able to have mass at his tomb in Turin and then we traveled to Pollone to see where he lived. We had a tour of the house and mass in the room that had all his things from when he died in Turin. The one thing that stuck out to me that the priest who showed us the house explained was about Giorgio's life, was his family. His father was Agnostic and his mother was a cradle Catholic. His family didn't understand why he did the things he did like going to Mass and serving the poor, but most importantly why he took the Catholic faith so seriously. Never less he always prayed for them and loved them no matter what. I started to relate to him in that way because my family has fallen away from the faith and it's very hard for me to come home and live my faith out. It wasn't till Pier Giorgio's death that his family understood him, his faith and who he was giving his life to. This man has give me the hope in Jesus Christ that one day my family will come back to the faith. I have to continue to witness to the truth of the faith and to give love to my family that Christ has for them. I pray through the intercession of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati for all youth and their families that they may experience the great love and mercy that God has and wants to give to them. Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, pray for us!