Monday 13 July 2020

Pier Giorgio Frassati - Glynn MacNiven-Johnston - CTS Biographies

Pier Giorgio Frassati – Inspiration for Students
CTS Biographies
Glynn MacNiven-Johnston
Catholic Truth Society
ISBN 9781860828089

eISBN 9781784692636
CTS Booklet B749

Over the last few years I have read 2 other books about Pier Giorgio, I have one on my wish list, and I have listed to an excellent audio presentation by Fr. Tim Deeter. I was fascinated by this saint from my first encounter. Also, over the last few years I have read over 100 books and booklets from the Catholic Truth Society. I have read many in the CTS Biographies and also Saints of the Isles Series, and the Great Saints Series. I have read a few different volumes by  Glynn MacNiven-Johnston, across a number of series. I decided it was time to give this one a read. And it did not disappoint. Even having read and listened to other resources about this man, reading this little volume was of great benefit. This book was first published in 2012 and the eBook was released in 2017. The description of the book is:

“A young man who spent his short life caring for the sick and infirm. A handsome and active young man from an influential family in Turin who dedicated his short life to the care of the poor and the sick and working for social and political reforms. Pier Giorgio Frassati's generosity was legendary. He often gave the clothes he was wearing to poor people he met who were in need. An open anti-fascist, a keen sportsman and mountaineer, an enthusiast of the theatre and literature, and a young man with a great devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, he stands as a great example of Christianity in action. His life was cut short by polio at the age of 24 and thousands of the Italian industrial city's poor lined the streets at his funeral. He was beatified in 1990 by Blessed Pope John Paul II.”

And the chapters are:
Family Background
Schooldays and Faith
Love of Neighbour
Disdain for Pomp and Possessions
Climbing and other sports
Love and Sacrifice
Politics and Social Justice
Death and Recognition
The Cause of Pier Giorgio Frassati
Beatification Homily of Bl. Pope John Paul II
Further Reading and Information

The beginning of the Introduction states:

“In 2008, World Youth Day was held in Sydney, Australia, and hundreds of thousands of young people came from all over the world to participate. Among them was Pier Giorgio Frassati, an Italian from Turin. Unlike the others, though, he came in a one hundred and fifty kilogram zinc-lined coffin. He had died in 1925 at the age of twenty-four but the Australian Catholic Church held him in such high esteem as a patron of youth that they asked for him to be brought to Australia. The sealed casket remained in St Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney for the time of the meetings (since World Youth Day actually lasts about a week) and many liturgies were built round his life and example.”

This was one of the facts I had not encountered about his life. Before. I was also unaware haw hard his home life was. I knew his father was hard on him, and his parent’s marriage was strained. But this booklet is very clear on his life and circumstances. But Pier rose above them. He lived a life of virtue, a love of service. This volume is a great introduction to this man’s life and ministry. And for those with a devotion to him, there will likely be a few things you were unaware of, or that you will see in a new light. We are told: 

“Pier Giorgio loved the mountains, saying that the higher you went, the more clearly you could hear Christ’s voice. Once the group reached the top they would have a ski race down.”

And Pier in responding to his sister stated:

“Any Catholic can’t help but be happy ... Pain is not sadness which is a disease worse than any other ... so long as faith gives me strength I will always be joyful.”

Anyone who reads the story of this man will be blessed. The two prayers in that chapter are one for his canonisation and the other is a wonderful litany. It is an excellent read.

Another great biography from the Catholic Truth Society. An excellent read, I highly recommend it.

This volume is now available as an audio book from the CTS for free, you can find it here.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2020 Catholic Reading Plan! For other reviews of books from the Catholic Truth Society click here.

For other reviews of CTS Biographies click here.

Books by Glynn MacNiven-Johnston:
Maria Goretti Teenage Martyr
Pier Giorgio Frassati Inspiration for Students
Father Damien Apostle to the Lepers
Martin de Porres

Rita of Cascia 

Prayer Books:
Handbook of Novenas for Feasts and Seasons
Devotions to Our Lady of Perpetual Succour
The Infant of Prague
Handbook of Novenas to the Saints: Short Prayers for Needs & Graces
Handbook of Scriptural Novenas: For Various Needs and Intentions
Devotion to St Jude: Patron of Hopeless Cases

A Book of Novenas

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