Today is the feast day of my favorite soon-to-be saint, Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati. I was actually kind of sad that I ended the novena yesterday because I noticed the difference in my outlook on life during the novena. While the personal intention is private, I will say that it definitely helped me reevaluate certain things that had been on my mind (including a big decision I've had to make). So, in honor of the saint I've adopted as my "spiritual big brother", here's 7 ways Bl. PGF has helped me throughout 20s.
-- 1 --I first became acquainted with Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati during the 2008 World Youth Day celebrations in Sydney. I didn't personally go to Sydney but I did follow it via the XT3 (when it was still a brand new website; yes, I'm still on it though I don't actively participate as much these days). While it took me a couple of months to actually look up his story, I was immediately impressed with it; so much courage, faith, and love for Christ in such a short time on this earth. It was two years after my reversion and I didn't know how he would help shape the rest of my 20s.
-- 2 --This was the first year (in years) that I didn't do the Bl. PGF novena on this blog because I knew I wouldn't have the time. I didn't forget to do the novena (I finished it last night) but I also knew that I didn't have the time to either post it every day or even schedule it ahead of time because of how crunched for time I've been with school lately. I'm barely getting time to study for exams (though I do have an hour today... hence this blog post) but I hope to resume the tradition next year. If you've never done the novena, I highly recommend it. I've personally seen the difference in the way I think and act (in a good way) while I do the novena and the effects stay with me for a good, long while. Do it! You'll love it.
-- 3 --I believe that Bl. PGF helped me during my father's death. As I wrote last year, there was some similarities between Bl. PGF's death and my father's death. One thing that I just realized (while writing this post) is that Bl. PGF died at the age of 24, while I had my father on this earth for the first 24 years of my life. Anyway, I prayed for Bl. PGF's intercession when my father was in the hospital (I even placed a picture of Bl. PGF in front of my dad's bed). On his feast day, 5 years ago today, I asked him for a miracle. We didn't quite get the miracle we wanted but I do feel like Bl. PGF intercede in another way. I believe that through his intercession (as well as the prayers from everyone else), I was able to keep it together. I didn't fall apart, which is what most people probably expect. If you've read the blog post I wrote after my father's funeral, you can see what I mean. This hasn't been the only time Bl. PGF has intercede for me.
-- 4 --Readers of this blog who've stuck around since either before or while I was at my dreadful alma mater (and I say dreadful because of their CINO ways) know that I was pretty miserable at the school because of the things that were "taught" there. Bl. PGF and St. Therese of Lisieux both helped me during my two years there. St. Therese helped remind me to counter some of the dirty looks I received with love. Bl. PGF helped remind me that I had to fight so that the Truth would be heard by my classmates. While I wasn't unable to speak up during the majority of the lectures (my professors quickly knew where I stood in my beliefs), I was still able to do little things to counter the unorthodox liberation theology we were exposed to.
-- 5 --Who is responsible for my daily Mass addiction? Take one guess. lol. Over the years I've become a big fan of attending daily Mass. Reading about how much Bl. PGF loved to attend daily Mass and receiving the Eucharist has inspired me to do the same. When my anxiety was worse (years before it was officially diagnosed as PTSD) and I wanted to receive the Eucharist, I would try to imagine him standing next to me, holding me up (with Mama Mary or St. Therese at my other side) when I would feel as if my knees would buckle under me. While it's been a while since I've attended daily Mass (the fatigue I've felt over the last 2-3 months has been intense at times), I've been wanting to renew my daily trips. I hope to do so starting tomorrow. :)
-- 6 --If you want to learn more about Bl. PGF, I'd recommend reading A Man of the Beatitudes: Pier Giorgio Frassati by his sister Luciana, My Brother Pier Giorgio: His Final Days also by Luciana, and/or Pier Giorgio Frassati: Letters to His Friends and Family edited by Fr. Timothy E. Deeter and Christine M. Wohar. I've read (but not finished all; oops) all three and I highly recommend them. I still have to finish the book on his Letters but it's been so beautiful and encouraging thus far. Oh! Brandon Vogt is giving away the Man of the Beatitudes book AND a DVD on the EWTN special they did on Bl. PGF (which I also own). I thought I'd pass it along if y'all wanted a chance to win. Go. Do it!
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And that is all the fangirling I have a chance to do at this time. lol. I have lunch to take care of, a mother to pick up from work, and two exams/quizzes to study for. Did I mention that we COMD students don't get holidays off? Working straight until (at least) the end of this month. ;)
I hope y'all are doing well. If you have any prayer requests, send them my way. :D
As always, thanks for reading and God bless! :D