Man of the Beatitudes

Man of the Beatitudes

We’ve probably heard the old saying, “What do you want your gravestone to say?”

Everyone knows that July 4 is Independence Day, but most don’t know that it’s also the feast day of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, who is known as the Man of the Beatitudes. Now that’s something to be remembered for.

Pier Giorgio lived in Italy in the early 1900s. He was a man’s man — a saint for our times. He loved sports, art, music, and poetry. He enjoyed playing jokes on his friends, and he was always laughing, always smiling.

Pier Giorgio was a tremendous athlete, known for hiking and mountain-climbing with friends. Before each trip, he would convince a priest to join them so they could have Mass.

He was also a pool shark. He’d make wagers that if his opponent won, Pier Giorgio would pay them money, but if Pier Giorgio won, the opponent had to come to Mass with him. He’d often show up with droves of people to attend Mass.

His family was wealthy and influential, but that didn’t necessarily support him in his faith. Pier Giorgio would sneak off in the mornings to attend Mass, give his bus money to the poor, and minister to the sick.

At the age of 24, he contracted polio from one of his frequent visits to families in need.

At his funeral, his family was baffled by how many people showed up. They didn’t know he was supporting all of these families in secret. And, the families in need had no idea who Pier Giorgio was until he died. He never told them his real name.

In just 24 years, this young Italian earned the title “Man of the Beatitudes.”

How will we be remembered?
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