It’s no secret that I have a devotion to Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati. I even have a web site devoted to him. If you don’t know about him, you should. He is the paradigm of the modern faithful Catholic young adult and he should be the patron for every youth and young adult group.
I just received an email yesterday from his niece in Italy who let me know that his family and his official association are planning a special 102nd birthday for him. He was born on Holy Saturday, April 6, 1901. For his 100th birthday they held a “100 candles” around the world gathering. This year they want to create a Rosary of Marian shrines, youth groups, associations, and Church communities in various parts of the world, all of which will commit themselves to saying the Rosary together with Pier Giorgio. They want one group for each bead of the Rosary. Then, on Sunday, April 6, they will gather to pray the Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary, hopefully between 3 and 8 pm Rome time (I think that’s 9 am to 2 pm Eastern).
We think that we couldnutiful gift! In this very significant year, we can only imagine how enthusiastic Pier Giorgio would be to give to his friends so many Rosaries, made with seeds from his own garden, in order to make come true, a dream which he incessantly asked his friends to make happen—“a pact which knows no earthly boundaries nor limit of time: union in prayer.” (from a letter to Isidoro Bonini, 15 January 1925).
Again, this Year of the Rosary is also the 25th year of the pontificate of John Paul II. When he was a young man he was “impressed by the strength of Pier Giorgiothat if we invaded Iraq to liberate Kuwait, Muslims would be strapping bombs to themselves and diving out of airliners all over America. Didn’t happen.
Let’s give Muslims and Arabs some credit. They’re not bloodthirsty savages (not all of them; cf. al Quaida), and they know an evil tyrant when they see one. Saddam Hussein is no friend to Muslims and no friend to his neighbors. Everybody there knows he’s a power-hungry, land-grabbing madman and they’d be better off without him.
Think about it: if Muslims were so opposed to this war, wouldn’t the street demonstrations in the Middle East dwarf those in Europe and the US? Can you remember a single demonstration in the Middle East that even approached the size of, say, the latest protest in London? I didn’t think so.