Every now and then there is an exceptional and unique soul, a Gospel artist whose sancity officially gets acknowledged by the Church because of his or her intimate and intense love for the Holy Trinity and our Blessed Mother, and one soul in particular is Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, a young lay Catholic man who took to heart the message of picking up the cross and following Jesus Christ. Pier Giorgio was born into a life that had all the trappings that could make one's head spin and outsiders green with envy: a moneyed and priviledged background combined with athletic prowess, good looks and popularity. These are the ingredients that a majority of guys strive for, and why not, for in their own right, they are all good things. However, they become bad when they are not shelved in their proper places of priority in the short life that we have. All through his life, Pier Giorgio's parents tried to cram an unhealthy life philosophy into their son's head, that his various religious involvements were a waste of time and that he was with people who tried to indoctrinate and mold him into a larger religious collective whereby he was not the fully independent man that they thought he should be. But independence has different interpretations for different people, and his family could not see nor comprehend that. Or maybe they did; they saw it as scary and unsettling, and it was understandable. Yet, there was also a kind of awe that they had for their son, because Pier's love for the Gospel emanated forth so palpably that there was almost an aura that sprang forward and cut through the numerous criticisms and cruel remarks that he received, and there were many.
To be a co-carrier of the cross is quite unpleasant, not fun or pleasurable at all. And by all rights, it should be that way. But fortunately, Grace through the Holy Eucharist is the sustenance that helps to combat and deal with the daily toils and ills of life, and Jesus Christ in the Eucharist was Pier Giorgio's religious and emotional muscle; he suffered in quite privacy, especially in respects to Laura Hidalgo, a young woman whom he developed a private love for. But atop that, he could not follow through with his own will of being a missionary for miners, as his father had him already pre-situated as a paper pusher for La Stamper, the liberal newspaper that he founded. Pier Giorgio humbly submitted to almost all that befell him. The memoir written by his sister Luciana is quite different from the other book-An Ordinary Christian-on Pier Giorgio, as it is written in chapters that offers fragments of memories of who Pier Giorgio was and what he wanted to be and how he viewed things. Yet, it is a lot more penetrating in respects to insight, all the more so because the jottings and remembrances come from a direct family member who bore witness to the Beatitudes actually being lived out. And it makes the Gospel message truly come to life for all of us laity and non-Catholics. As we are all children of God, whatever our religious affiliations and denominations may be, Pier Giorgio Frassati's actions illustrate that in a time of strife, upheaval, turmoil and all the things that make us question the how and why but especially the why of human existance, one just has to try to live out the Beatitudes to the best of their ability, as Pier Giorgio did, in order to fully comprehend that not so complex question, for if God lives out the Beatitudes for our benefit, should we not do it for each other?