Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Letters of Pier Giorgio

So many of you have contacted me to ask about the letters of Pier Giorgio. WHEN IS THE BOOK COMING OUT?! It seems like I have been promising it for nearly a year and I am just as anxious as all of you. Good news! We now have an American publisher on board and the project is moving full-speed ahead.

One of the greatest privileges I have had throughout my work on behalf of Pier Giorgio was to be able to edit his letters with his niece Wanda Gawronska. We did a good bit of it in Rome and then worked on it again in Pollone. As we read each letter, I had the opportunity to ask questions and listen to Wanda's many stories and really understand the context and mindset and culture at the time the letters were written. With each page, I grew to love Pier Giorgio more and more. It's not that his letters are some great theological or spiritual work. It's that his letters are a reflection of the normality of his life and how his faith was a part of everything he did. He was not a compartmentalized Catholic! He loved his faith, his family, his friends. He had a sense of humor, a sense of duty, a spirit of humility, a spirit of adventure. In short, he is who we think he is.

When we finished the editing last March, I was very excited that for the first time it would be printed in English and all of you would have the opportunity to read about Pier Giorgio in his own words. However, I soon discovered that it is not so easy to get something like this published. Last year, a Canadian company agreed to do it. Not long afterward, that company was bought out by a French company that decided not to do it! It has been such a rollercoaster.

Earlier this month, we received the good news that the book will be published here in the U.S. I will provide more details as they become available. In the meantime, please keep the success of this project in your prayers. Verso l'alto!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Pier Giorgio trivia

Today is the feast of St. Fabian and St. Sebastian -- two great early martyrs for the Faith. These saints play a small role in Pier Giorgio's life story. One of the churches in the town of Pollone, Italy -- where the Frassati summer villa is located -- is named for these two saints. However, the locals refer to the church as the "Cangio church" because of its location. This church was the site of the completion of Pier Giorgio's baptism. Inside, a large reproduction of the baptismal certificate hangs on the wall. You can check out pictures of this church on the FrassatiUSA website by clicking here.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Pier Giorgio answers prayers

Here is another great story of a situation where Pier Giorgio has answered prayers. Although it is not the type of cure that will satisfy the Vatican for a canonization miracle, it is uplifting to read. Keep praying!

"My husband had a brain aneurism that leaked then resealed on Sept. 6th, 2008. He needed a drain tube in the top of his of his head, a trac tube, a peg tube in his stomach for feeding. He also needed a procedure that filled his aneurism with platinum wire that coiled inside to prevent it from bursting again. My husband was in intensive care for almost the whole month of September, he then spent almost 3 weeks in a rehab hospital. I had purchased one of the small blue Pier Giorgio Frassati Prayer Books, that I kept in my purse. I started praying the novena to Pier Giorgio Frassati every day when I was visiting my husband in the hospital and in rehab, after I finished it I would start again and again. We had recently lost a close friend and another was in the process of dying and I would pray for them and then that my husband would make a complete recovery. He is back working full-time. He still suffers from some short term memory loss at times, but the doctor who fixed his aneurism said he should come back 95% after around 6 months. The doctor also gives lectures and uses my husband as an example of a good outcome. We both feel we have been given another chance at life and we have become closer than ever (we will celebrate our 43rd anniversary on March 5th). I will always continue to pray to Pier Giorgio Frassati because in my mind he did give me a miracle, he gave me my husband back."

Monday, January 5, 2009

Happy New Year

"The year has begun well, after toasting it in with my family I went to Holy Martyrs Church; there in the Church, crowded with people, we prayed that there would be peace in Italy and Peace among us.
And this Peace, which is the burning Desire of us all, we hope will come in this year in which the Graces of the Lord are multiplied."

So wrote Pier Giorgio to his friend Franz Massetti on January 4, 1925. It would be the last new year he would mark on earth. It also happened to be the start of a Jubilee Year in the Church (which explains Pier Giorgio's reference to graces being multiplied.) Many of his letters express a desire for peace. Considering Pier Giorgio lived through World War I and the rise of fascism in Italy, it is no wonder that he was constantly wishing for peace in the world. This longing for peace is universal and no different for us in our current world situation. As we pray for peace today, it seems fitting to ask for Pier Giorgio's special intercession. May the Graces of the Lord abound in 2009!