He is known as athletic and courageous. His early death (age 24) from poliomyelitis was thought to be contracted from the sick who he lovingly ministered to.
One of the hobbies he enjoyed most was mountain-climbing and he used this as a time to share his faith with friends on the mountainside with him.
He was beatified in 1990 by Saint Pope John Paul II and named "The Man of the Eight Beatitudes," He was known to teach that holiness is attainable for all of us. Saint Pope John Paul II mentioned that Bl. Pier Giorgio was an influence in his life.
He is an inspirational saint on many levels, but what I find so interesting about him is that his athleticism aided his apostolate. In fact, it allowed him to reach individuals who might not have been openly seeking to understand their faith and grow in holiness.
We know that God is always working in our daily activities and sometimes the most surprising opportunities present themselves for us to share how Jesus is working in our own lives.
I envision Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati and his young friends climbing and talking about life, religion, dreams, and laughing and sharing their joys and struggles.
Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati is an example of keeping a healthy (moderate) perspective on the role of athletics in our lives; he was also involved in music, theater, but his main focus of his life was ministering to the sick.
Today it can seem like our entire culture centers around athletics, sporting events, competition and winning. Bl. Frassati reminds us that sport is meant to enjoyed, shared and can play an important, but limited, role in a healthy and balanced life.
Lent is a wonderful time to pray about being overly attached to an activity to the point where something healthy, can become unhealthy.
Athletics are wonderful, and challenge us to develop self-discipline, motivation, courage and other attributes that can serve us well in other areas of our lives. We learn so much about ourselves and others through athletic endeavors.
I will write more this topic in future blog posts relying on the wisdom from Saint Pope John Paul II who wrote and spoke extensively about the influence of athletics in our lives.
Praying for His Strength,