The best gift you can give your child this New Year is to introduce them to Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati.
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As parents, our love and hard work goes a long way, but other role models can be powerful influences in our children’s lives. In fact, sometimes children pay more attention to adults they admire who are not mom and dad.
One role model every Catholic young person should be introduced to is Pier Giorgio Frassati. Pier Giorgio was a handsome, active young adult from Italy who lived in the early 1900s and came from a successful family. He was passionate about sports — especially mountain climbing — and he also loved theater, art, music, and literature. But few knew at the time that he also had a very deep spiritual life and a great love for the poor — so much so that when he died unexpectedly at the age of 24 from a disease he caught from a poor person, it was discovered that he had been secretly serving many poor people in his city. In fact, throngs lined the streets for his funeral.
Referred to as the “Man of the Eight Beatitudes” by Pope John Paul II when Pier Giorgio was beatified in St. Peter’s Square on May 20, 1990, this young man is a perfect role model for today’s teens and young adults. Sure, he was devoted to God, but if you look into his life, you will find someone who was was fun-loving, athletic, dynamic, dutiful, friendly, interested in others, and loving towards his friends and family. Throughout his life he was able to stay true to himself while staying true to God. And isn’t that exactly what we want for our own children?
So take a look at what the short life of Pier Giorgio can teach our teens — and us, too! — about how to live a truly fulfilling life …