July 4th is the day we celebrate Independence Day in the United States. However, it is also the day, the Church recognizes Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati. Although he died at the age of 24, he lived an extraordinary life, proving to us sanctity is possible at any age. Here are some fun facts about him.
He was a daily communicant
When he was quite young, he received permission to receive Communion daily, which was rare at the time.
He used his bus fare to help the poor
He donated the money his family gave him for bus fare to the poor. He would run home to avoid being late for family meals.
He was an outspoken opponent of fascism
Pier Giorgio, aside from being active in the Faith, was also active politically. He was outspoken in his anti-fascist views.
He once punched a fascist
According to @FrassatiUSA on Twitter, a fascist broke into Pier Giorgio’s home on June 23, 1924, and Pier Giorgio punched him.
He loved mountain climbing
He would organize trips to the mountains with his friends to go climbing. It is on one of these trips that a famous photograph of him was taken. He was captured mid-climb, and on the resulting photograph, he wrote the words “verso l’alto,” meaning “toward the top.”
He studied mining engineering
He studied engineering at the Royal Polytechnic University of Turin. It was his goal to “serve Christ better among the miners.”
He contracted poliomyelitis while serving the poor
The last days of Pier Giorgio Frassati were days of suffering. His grandmother was ill and dying, so his family did not notice the severity of Pier Giorgio’s own illness until it was too late.
On his deathbed, he took care of the poor
One of his last acts was to give his sister a letter to give to a friend. He wanted someone to bring medicine to a poor person who needed it.
His parents’ marriage was saved because of his saintly life
Around the time of Pier Giorgio’s sudden death at age 24, his parents were planning to divorce. However, their plans changed after seeing the large number of mourners who had come to say goodbye to the young man who had served them so devotedly. They were able to reconcile and stayed together.
He is an incorruptable
In 1981, his body was exhumed as part of the canonization process and to transfer his remains to the cathedral in Turin.
These are just SOME of the awesome facts about his life!
Featured image: Wikimedia commons.