What if Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, a great patron of young people, could be canonized before the next World Youth Day, which will be held in Panama in January 2019?
In fact, wouldn’t the upcoming Synod on Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment in October 2018 be just the time for a canonization?
A group of young Catholics think so, and are asking Pope Francis to make it happen.
On the website piergiorgioletter.org — created for this purpose — the request is posted: “We humbly ask you to use the occasion of this upcoming synod to give us a clear sign that sainthood is possible, even today, even for young people.”
Launched in May, an online petition has already collected 1,540 signatures from young people from 50 countries. Each signature is coupled with the testimony of a young person who has benefited from the intercession of Frassati.
Among them, a young Frenchman, Grégoire, says Pier Giorgio is the “greatest model” of holiness for young people today. “He truly illustrates,” he says, “Pope Francis’ leitmotif when he addresses youth: ‘Do not be content to live a mediocre Christian life: Walk with determination along the path of holiness.'”
Pier Giorgio Frassati “shows me that to be young,” says Louise, “to spread the peace of Jesus, to be humble, to live our faith in friendship, to be filled with the perfect joy of God and to climb our mountains of Faith, is possible today!”
A young American woman, Melanie, tells how she decided to return to the Church, enthused by the personality of Blessed Pier Giorgio. “Here was this guy who was … funny! And liked beer! And played pranks on people, and climbed mountains, and was in love with a beautiful girl!”
Jufre, a young Filipino, tells how Pier Giorgio’s example motivated him to join the Franciscans of Our Lady of the Poor: “Blessed Pier is one of those who helped me to discern what kind of life God is really calling me to.“
Beatified in 1990
Pier Giorgio Frassati, a student, mountaineer and member of the Dominican Third Order, was born in 1901 into a well-known family. Although luxury and worldliness were within reach, Pier chose a life of serving the poor in the suburbs of Turin, in the north of Italy.
Faced with the misunderstanding of his close relatives, he showed great willpower, disarming humility, gaiety and limitless energy. He died suddenly on his birthday after contracting polio. He was 24 years old.
Frassati was beatified in 1990 by Pope John Paul II. The Polish pope wanted to spread devotion to this model of holiness for young people and the patron of World Youth Day.
Learn more about Pier Giorgio Frassati here at Aleteia: