Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Fr. James Farfaglia

8/26/2013 (3 years ago)

Catholic Online (

The same Jesus that Pier Giorgio Frassati loved with so much passion is calling you to live that same authentic Christian life that he lived.


By Fr. James Farfaglia

Catholic Online (

8/26/2013 (3 years ago)

Published in Year of Faith

Keywords: Turin, Italy, young saints, blessed pope john paul II, year of faith, sunday homily, homilies, father james farfaglia, blessed pier giorgio frassati

CORPUS CHRISTI, TX (Catholic Online) - In this Sunday's gospel narrative from the Gospel of Luke, Jesus is asked a very important question: "Lord, will only a few people be saved?"  In other words, is everyone going to go to Heaven?

I would like to begin our reflection this weekend by telling you about a young man who really wanted to get to heaven.  He took his eternal salvation and the eternal salvation of others very seriously.  He lived such a profound Catholic life that he is on the way to becoming a canonized saint.  He is already a blessed.  He was beatified by Blessed Pope John Paul II on May 20, 1990.

I am speaking to you about Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, an outstanding young Catholic who is an extraordinary example for young Catholics.

Pier Giorgio Frassati was born in Turin, Italy on April 6, 1901.

He was joyfully dedicated to helping the poor.  He was active in numerous Catholic organizations, among them was the Saint Vincent de Paul Society.

"Charity is not enough: we need social reform," and he worked for both. Among his many endeavors, he gave his time to help establish a Catholic daily newspaper Momento which was based on the principles of Pope Leo XIII's encyclical on social and economic matters, Rerum Novarum.

When Pier Giorgio was a child a poor mother with her little boy came begging to the Frassati home. Pier Giorgio answered the door, and seeing that the little boy did not have any shoes, he gave him his own shoes.

His father was wealthy and prominent. At his graduation, when he was given the choice by his father of money or a car, he chose the money and gave it to the poor.

With the money, he obtained a room for a poor old woman evicted from her apartment, provided a bed for an invalid and supported three children of a sick and grieving widow.

Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati loved to spend time in the countryside with his friends. Mountain climbing in the Alps was one of his favorite sports.

During the long hikes, they did not hesitate to share their religious inspiration and spiritual lives.  Frassati organized arduous mountain-climbing expeditions for his friends, leading them in the Rosary as they ascended.  He urged them upward with the cry: "Higher and higher-there you can hear the voice of Christ!"

Beneath the smiling face of the restless university student was concealed the amazing life of a great saint.  Love for Jesus motivated all of his actions. He attended Mass every day and was known for his devotion to the Eucharist.

When friends asked how he could put up with the stench of Turin´s slums, Pier Giorgio would say: "It´s to Jesus I go. Jesus comes to me every morning in Holy Communion and I repay him in a very small way by visiting the poor.  All around the sick and all around the poor I see a special light which we do not have."

Frassati grew up in a wealthy family.  Rather than being attached to the comfort of his surroundings, he lived a simple life and gave away food, money and his personal clothing; anything that anyone asked of him.

It is believed that he contracted from the very people to whom he was serving in the slums the polio that would kill him when he was only twenty-four years old.

His wealthy and non-practicing Catholic parents never knew of his service to the poor.  At his funeral, they thought that only their family and friends would attend.  Instead, they were amazed when thousands of people lined up the streets as his body was being carried to the cemetery for burial.

The poor, the lonely and all those who had been touched by Frassati's love and self-donation had come to honor this shining model of Christian living.

Pier Giorgio's body was found to be incorrupt in 1981 and was transferred from the family tomb where he was buried in the Cathedral of Turin.

So, let us return to the question that someone asked Jesus: "Lord, will only a few people be saved?"

Let's face it, Satan has most people fooled.

He has a lot of people thinking that he does not exist.

Moreover, as the father of lies, he has a lot of people believing that sodomy is Gay, the murder of an innocent unborn child is a choice and that fornication is cohabitation.

This same Satan has a lot of people, among them a lot of Catholics, believing that everyone is going to heaven.

So, if everyone is going to heaven automatically, why pray, why go to Confession, and why go to Church on Sunday?

This same Satan also has a lot of people down in the dumps thinking that their sins are so terrible that God can't forgive them for the awful things that they have done.

My dear friends, let us not listen to these lies.

Rather, let us take to heart the words from this Sunday's second reading: "So strengthen your drooping hands and your weak knees.  Make straight paths for your feet, that what is lame may not be disjointed but healed" (Hebrews 12: 13).

The same Jesus that Pier Giorgio Frassati loved with so much passion is calling you to live that same authentic Christian life that he lived.

Jesus is calling you to live, like Pier Giorgio Frassati, the real Christianity that is translated into concrete deeds of service to the poor and to all those who are in need.

Like Pier Giorgio Frassati we need to have a serious spiritual life rooted in the Eucharist and the Rosary.  Like Pier Giorgio Frassati we need to be glowing Christians who radiate joy to a troubled world.

Like Pier Giorgio Frassati we need to climb the mountains of our lives, never giving in to discouragement or despair.  Rather, filled with motivation and idealism, we need to climb "Higher and higher-there you can hear the voice of Christ!"

Father James Farfaglia is a contributing writer for Catholic Online.  Visit him on the web at


'Help give every student and teacher Free resources for a world-class moral Catholic education'

Copyright 2017 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for DECEMBER 2016
End to Child-Soldiers: That the scandal of child-soldiers may be eliminated the world over.
Evangelization: Europe: That the peoples of Europe may rediscover the beauty, goodness, and truth of the Gospel which gives joy and hope to life.


More Year of Faith

The Happy Priest on the Baptism of the Lord and our own Baptism Watch

Image of

By Fr. James Farfaglia

The consideration of Jesus' baptism, gives us an opportunity to remember our own baptism.  If you do not know the date of your own baptism, it is a good idea to go through your personal files and find out when it occurred.  CORPUS CHRISTI, TX (Catholic ... continue reading

Regret of Judas or Repentance of Peter?

Image of

By Fr Samuel Medley, SOLT

I gave my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who plucked my beard; My face I did not shield from buffets and spitting. HYTHE, KENT, UK (Catholic Online) - I didn't steal any cookies mommy! says a little boy whose mother asked him if he was hungry, wiping the ... continue reading

Pentecost: St Cyril of Jerusalem on The Living Water of the Holy Spirit Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online

The Spirit makes one man a teacher of divine truth, inspires another to prophesy, gives another the power of casting out devils, enables another to interpret holy Scripture. The Spirit strengthens one man's self-control, shows another how to help the poor, teaches ... continue reading

The Wedding Invitation of Jesus: We are Called to Live the Nuptial Mystery Watch

Image of There will be no giving or taking in marriage in the kingdom to come because the very purpose and meaning of marriage itself will be fulfilled. (See, e.g. Mk. 12:18-27) We will be living in the fullness of the Communion of Love with the Trinity. The symbol will give way to the eternal reality, the Sacrament will be fulfilled in the fullness of communion. All of human love will be completed in the Love which lasts forever.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

It is not accidental that the Bible, from beginning to the end, uses marriage as a metaphor and a symbol to reveal the plan of God for the whole human race.  Marriage was God's plan from the beginning as we see in the first book of Genesis. Throughout the Old ... continue reading

The Sower. The Seed. The Field. Understanding the Christian Mission Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith Fournier

"A sower went out to sow. And, as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky ground, where it had little soil. It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep, and when the sun rose it was scorched, and it withered for ... continue reading

Reflection on the Catholic Catechism: Understanding the Bible Watch

Image of

By Michael Terheyden

How we interpret the Bible is of immense importance! It directly affects what we believe about Christ, the Church, and our faith, but it is also related to many of the grave problems in our society and the world. Yet, despite the gravity of this situation, we have good ... continue reading

Christ the King, the Year of Faith and the Catholic Counterculture Watch

Image of On this Solemnity of the Feast of Christ the King, the Year of Faith inaugurated by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI comes to a ceremonial end. However, in reality, it cannot and will not end, because Jesus Christ is King! The Year of Faith was only the beginning for those who choose to live the Life of Faith.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

We celebrate the Feast of Christ the King. It is one of many opportunities the Catholic Church year offers to each one of us to consider the creature called time, receive it as a gift, and begin to really live our lives differently.  This is one of ... continue reading

The Bones of Peter, the Successor of Peter: Close of the Year of Faith Watch

Image of The bones of St. Peter the Apostle

By Deacon Keith Fournier

On the Solemnity of the Feast of Christ the King, the Sunday which marks both the end of the Church Year and the end of the Year of Faith, inaugurated by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, Pope Francis greeted thousands of the faithful and presided over Holy Mass and the ... continue reading

Fr Randy Sly on Becoming a House of Prayer Watch

Image of Jesus drives the money changers from the temple. 

With hearts clear and focused on our Lord, we can follow the advice of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Everything starts with prayer. Love to pray--feel the need to pray often during the day and take the trouble to pray. If you want to pray better, you must pray more. The more you pray, the easier it becomes. Perfect prayer does not consist of many words but in the fervor of the desire which raises the heart to Jesus. (Fr. Randy Sly)

By Father Randy Sly

Becoming a House of Prayer is the best discipline we can take on. St. Ephraem of Syria states that Virtues are formed by prayer. Prayer preserves temperance. Prayer suppresses anger. Prayer prevents emotions of pride and envy. Prayer draws into the soul the Holy ... continue reading

Jesus Weeps and Offers the Path to Peace Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith Fournier

If this day you only knew what makes for peace- but now it is hidden from your eyes. For the days are coming upon you when your enemies will raise a palisade against you; they will encircle you and hem you in on all sides. They will smash you to the ground and your ... continue reading

All Year of Faith News


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Isaiah 8:23--9:3
23 For is not everything dark as night for a country in distress? As the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 27:1, 4, 13-14
1 [Of David] Yahweh is my light and my salvation, whom should I fear? ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 4:12-23
12 Hearing that John had been arrested he withdrew to ... Read More

Reading 2, First Corinthians 1:10-13, 17
10 Brothers, I urge you, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, not to ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for January 22nd, 2017 Image

St. Vincent Pallotti
January 22: St. Vincent Pallotti, Priest (Feast - January 22) ... Read More