“As long as faith gives me strength, I will always be joyful.”
Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati
Pier Giorgio Michelangelo Frassati was born on April 6, 1901 in Turin, Italy. His father was the director of the newspaper La Stampa, and his mother was a painter. At a very young age, Pier developed a deep religious conviction. When he was only 17, he joined a religious society and regularly volunteered with the sick, needy, orphans, and serviceman returning from World War I. He soon enrolled at the Royal Polytechnic Institute of Turin in pursuit of a degree in mining engineering.
Among his favorite things to do were going to the theater, catching an opera, visiting museums, and reading. He also loved nature and often encouraged his friends to join him on hikes in the mountains. Pier would use the adventure as a chance to teach his friends about scripture. He was also very politically active and took a strong stance against the Fascist parties that began appearing in his native country.
Just before graduating from university, Pier contracted poliomyelitis (most likely from his work with the sick) and died on July 4, 1925. He was only 24 at the time. Even while on his deathbed Pier was still thinking about how to help those around him, and instructed his friend to tend to a poor sick man in his absence. On May 20, 1990, Pope John Paul II beatified Pier Giorgio Frassati. Two miracles have since been attributed to him and are undergoing investigation by the Vatican.