He was totally selfless.

At an age when youngsters can become a little selfish, Pier Giorgio was busy caring for the needy. Such was his selfless attitude that despite battling polio, he kept the gravity of his situation from his family who were already caring for his dying grandmother. It was only in his final hours that they realized how sick he really was.

He kept active.

Lots of parents bemoan the fact their kids are in front of screens too much. Take inspiration from Pier Giorgio who, just like Pope John Paul II, loved to go skiing and hiking. While you might not have a mountain or hiking trail nearby, be inspired by the fact that Pier Giorgio would get up early to make the most of the day.

He loved to laugh ... but not at the expense of others.

Pier Giorgio was a known prankster, but never in a way that would hurt others. He loved to have fun with friends, family, and even priests on retreats by short-sheeting their beds! By bringing some joy to the occasion, Pier Giorgio helped deepen friendships and spread a zest for life.

He was passionate.

 

Everything Pier Giorgio did, he did with complete passion, whether it was getting permission to receive daily Communion (which was no easy feat at the time), peacefully demonstrating for social justice, or giving away his shoes to help the poor. He did it all with strength and determination.

He didn't take the easy way out.

It's really tempting to follow the easy path that lies in front of you. Yet Pier Giorgio is the perfect example of opting for a challenging but more fulfilling life. He followed his heart and his faith by eschewing a career in his family's lucrative media business to serve the poor and study to become a miner, believing he could "serve Christ better among the miners."

He respected his parents.

Tempted to berate your child for not listening to you? Call on Pier Giorgio. He was once in love with a girl named Laura but he gave up pursuing a relationship with her when his parents felt they were ill-matched due to their different social backgrounds.

He did things without making a fuss.

When your kids have listed all the chores they did around the house, you might want to point out that Pier Giorgio's family were amazed when they saw the turnout at his funeral. People were spilling into the streets as they mourned this fun-loving, energetic, young man of faith, who devoted his short life to God and helping others.