The saintly skier from Torino

The saintly skier from Torino

Just in time for the Winter Olympics, Catholic News Service profiles Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati, a native of Torino, an outdoorsman, and a holy young man. Read more about him on my web page devoted to him.

The Archdiocese of Turin is sponsoring an exhibit about Frassati called “A Saint on skis.”

Wanda Gawronska, Blessed Pier Giorgio’s niece and the head of the Rome-based Pier Giorgio Frassati association, said people are attracted to this young man once they discover he led “a completely normal life.”

“He had all the same problems young people have. He had exams to study for, parents who didn’t get along, and he fell madly in love with a girl,” she told CNS while visiting Turin and the exhibits she helped organize.

He never gave up the fun things in life—he cherished his friends, he loved climbing mountains, skiing slopes, and helping his family, she said. But, at the same time, he lived his life with an intense spirituality and devotion to Christ and the Eucharist, she said.

He was also a man after my own heart:

He kept meticulous records of how he spent his allowance. On a page from a notebook he kept during a brief stay in Berlin, he listed the amounts he spent on others, like the “poor children of Berlin” and of the smaller amounts he spent on himself for coffee, bread and cigars.

He never went without his cigars, Gawronska said: “His expenses were always alms and cigars.”

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Written by
Domenico Bettinelli