An Inspiring Young Witness: Bl Pier Giorgio Frassati


“To live without faith, without a patrimony to defend, without a steady struggle for truth, that is not living, but merely existing.”  – Bl Pier Giorgio Frassati

In this edition of Minute with Mary, Paul shares about one of his favourite people, the youthful practical joker Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati.

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The young Italian, Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, who died in 1925 at just 24, is a great model and inspiration for all people. Pier Giorgio was a practical joker; he loved people and was a natural leader. He was very athletic and he especially loved to climb the mountains. But he was also a great evangeliser, continually witnessing his faith through love of God and love of neighbour. He had a deep and active prayer life that was a springboard for his joy-filled life.

When asked regarding certain slum houses of the poor he visited, ‘how do you overcome your revulsion at the nauseating smell?’ Pier Giorgio replied,

‘Don’t ever forget that even though the house is sordid, you are approaching Christ. Remember what the Lord said; the good you do to the poor is good done to me’. He went on to say, ‘All around the sick, the poor, the unfortunate, I see a particular light, a light that we do not have.’

Pier Giorgio’s best friend Marco said:

I would not hesitate to say that the secret of Pier Giorgio’s spiritual perfection is to be found in his devotion to Mary. …A day never passed that did not find him at the feet of his heavenly Mother with his rosary, his favourite prayer, entwined in his fingers.

My personal favourite quote of Pier Giorgio is this:

To live without faith, without a patrimony to defend, without a steady struggle for truth, that is not living, but merely existing.

Pier Giorgio’s incorrupt body now lies in the cathedral of Turin, Italy.

About Author

Paul Elarde is passionate about responding to Blessed John Paul II’s call to the New Evangelisation. He has presented faith talks to young adult groups and parishes around Sydney for the past nine years and led groups on pilgrimage to many Marian Shrines in Europe. Paul has worked for the Sydney Archdiocese as coordinator for the pastoral aspects of the visit of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati’s incorrupt body for WYD08, and on the leadership team for the Sydney Archdiocesan Youth Leaders Formation Courses. He has studied theology and is a graduate from The University of Notre Dame in Sydney.