Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati was always a fearless witness for Christ: one time he took part in a demonstration which was organized by the Church. When the police knocked a banner out of the hands of one of the protestors, Pier Giorgio picked it up, held it higher, and used the staff to deflect their blows. He was ultimately arrested for participating in the demonstration, but refused to let his father’s status and political position help free him. He was never afraid to stand up for what he believed and is quoted as saying: “One ought to go and one goes. It is not those who suffer violence that should fear, but those who practice it. When God is with us, we do not need to be afraid.”
Pier Giorgio was a true man of action as well as contemplation. He was that rare mix where one facet of his personality did not outshine the other, but complemented it perfectly. It was his many long nights in front of the Blessed Sacrament which gave him the strength to be the man who stood up to Fascists without fear. His time alone with God fed him to be a powerful witness to the Gospel. In Sacred Space, the on-line devotional by the Irish Jesuits, we read: “Witness means living in such a way that our lives would not make sense if God did not exist.” How true! That’s the total commitment which was lived by Pier Giorgio Frassati.
What of our own witness? How can we show the world we believe? Would our lives make sense if God did not exist? Today, like Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati, we can make one small change toward that direction, whether it is more time spent in prayer, more time for spiritual formation, more time for charitable pursuits, more dying to ourselves to live for Him!
Bl. Pier Giorgio, pray for us!