Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati is a significant patron for World Youth Day. Man of the beatitudes and patron of young adults, Frassati was extraordinary in his "ordinariness." Get to know more about Frassati!
Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, the
patron for young adult Catholics and one of the patrons of World Youth Day, saw
many parallels between Catholic life and his favorite pastime,
mountain-climbing. He would regularly organize trips into the mountains with
his close friends with occasions for prayer, liturgies, and conversations about
faith on the way up to or down from the summit. After what would become his
final climb he wrote a simple note on a photograph: "Verso L'Alto", which means
"to the heights." This phrase has since come to encapsulate his philosophy of
mountaineering and his Catholic outlook on life and adventure. You can learn more about Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati at Frassati USA.
In naming Frassati as one of the
primary patrons for World Youth Day, Pope Saint John Paul II gave young people
an excellent role model for the journey. Year after year, just like Frassati,
pilgrims set out on a voyage "to the heights" to encounter Christ and the
universal Church at the mountaintop.
In his lifetime, Frassati wrote many letters to friends and family. He also gave speeches to his friends and peers. On July 29, 1923, Frassati spoke to the members of "Catholic Youth"
of Pollone, Italy. He gave this speech on the occasion of the blessing
of the flag for the organization. He was the godfather of this flag. Read his speech below or download it for further reflection.
the Members of "Catholic Youth" of Pollone
Sunday, July 29, 1923
Young people of Pollone,
God's minister has blessed your prayer, and he has invoked upon you the
blessings of heaven, so that every one of you may be worthy of this flag and
may defend it against every attack.
this flag, young people, represents in a symbolic way a divine doctrine, given
by Jesus Christ for our redemption.
people, I see on your flag the motto "Prayer, Action and Sacrifice." These are
three words which summarize a very vast program whose implementation requires our energies and
those of generations to come.
is the noble supplication which we lift up to the throne of God. It is the most efficient means to obtain
from God the graces which we need, and especially the strength of persevering
in these times, in which the hatred of the sons of the devil is breaking out
violently against the sheep who are faithful to the fold.
recommending heartfelt prayer to you, I am including all the practices of
piety, first of all the most Holy Eucharist.
remembering that apostle of the Holy Eucharist, the Holy Father Pius X2
of venerable memory, I urge you with all the strength of my soul to approach
the Eucharistic Table as often as possible.
Feed on this Bread of the Angels from which you will draw the strength
to fight inner struggles, the struggles against passions and against all
adversities, because Jesus Christ has promised to those who feed themselves
with the most Holy Eucharist, eternal life and the necessary graces to obtain
when you become totally consumed by this Eucharistic Fire, then you will be
able to thank with greater awareness the Lord God who has called you to be part
of his flock and you will enjoy that peace which those who are happy according
to the world have never tasted. Because
true happiness, young people, does not consist in the pleasures of the world
and in earthly things, but in peace of conscience which we can have only if we
are pure in heart and in mind.
having fortified our spirit by applying ourselves with great diligence to works
of mercy, and after having intensely studied the questions which are troubling
us, then we can throw ourselves into the apostolate. And there are three distinct apostolates.
of all there is the apostolate of good example.
We Catholics must strive to have our whole life guided by Christian
moral law. Then there is the apostolate
of charity by going among those who suffer and comforting them, among the
unfortunate and saying a comforting word to them, because the Catholic religion
is based on charity which is nothing other than the most perfect Love.
Apostle St. Paul says, "The charity of Christ needs us," and without this fire,
which little by little must destroy our personality so that our heart beats
only for the sorrows of others, we would not be Christians, much less
there is the apostolate of persuasion.
This is one of the most beautiful and necessary. Young people, approach your colleagues at
work who live their lives away from the Church and spend their free time not in
healthy pastimes, but in vices. Persuade
those unfortunate people to follow the ways of God, strewn with many thorns,
but also many roses.
if every one of you were to possess these gifts to the highest degree, and did
not have the spirit of sacrifice in abundance, you would not be a good
Catholic. We must sacrifice everything
for everything: our ambitions, indeed
our entire selves, for the cause of the Faith.
order for our life to be Christian, it must be a continual renunciation, a
continual sacrifice which however is not burdensome when only we think about
what these few years passed in sorrow are, compared with a happy eternity,
where joy will have no measure nor end, and where we will enjoy a peace beyond
anything we could imagine. And so, young
people, learn how to sacrifice from our Lord Jesus Christ. In order to atone for our horrible sins, He
sacrificed Himself as an Innocent Victim on Calvary, and He renews this
wonderful Sacrifice every day in every part of the world during Holy Mass.
this day forward you have become part of the great family of the "Italian
Catholic Youth." Hold high the place
that the Lord in His Goodness has wanted to award you.
times which we are going through are difficult, because persecution against the
Church rages as cruelly as ever. But
you fearless and good young people, do not be afraid because of this small
problem. Bear in mind the fact that the
Church is a divine institution that cannot end and will endure until the end of
the world, and "the gates of hell will not prevail against her." Therefore keep this beautiful white flag
immaculate, and if the occasion should present itself tomorrow, defend it, because from now on it is
sacred: it not only represents your
club, it also represents the most beautiful patrimony of our Italy and of the
in order to bring these poor words of mine to an end, let me cry out with
you: Long live Jesus Christ! Long live the Pope!
Pier Giorgio Frassati
From: "Pier Giorgio Frassati, Letters to his Friends and
ST PAULS/Alba House,