Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Why I Adopted Bl. Pier Giorgio as My Spiritual Brother

Before I properly begin this post, I just wanted a wish all my fellow Americans a happy and safe 4th of July. Be safe and make smart choices. ;)

Happy feast of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati. I hope some of you made it through the entire novena. Novenas are hard because it's easy to miss a day or two so props to whomever made it through the entire thing. And, also, thank you to those who would retweet the link on Twitter. :D

I was originally going to write a review on a book about the life of Bl. Pier Giorgio but I had lent it a friend and I just got it back yesterday so no review yet. :) However, since it is his feast day and I am grateful for everything he's taught me, I will tell you all why I chose to "adopt" him as my "spiritual brother."

Many of you refer to your patron saints as your heavenly buddies and I've always found that lovely. I also refer to my own patron saints (and especially St. Therese of Lisieux) as my heavenly buddies. With Bl. Pier Giorgio, it's different. I've known about him for the past four years (I was introduced to him when he was named one of the patron saints of World Youth Day 2008) and I immediately felt a sort of pull towards learning as much as I could about him. I was pleasantly surprised, after doing some research, that he was exactly the kind of person I needed in my life as a role model.

As I wrote a couple of years ago, when I was a little girl, I would get ridiculed for wanting to help others. The story that still sticks out in my mind is the one of when we were in Mexico and a lady was sitting on the side of the road, asking for money for her and her son. My dad (may God rest his soul) made fun of me when I gave the little boy the bag of peanuts I had just gotten. I was a kid and didn't have money and seeing the little boy with dirt on his little face and clothing made me want to cry. The only thing I could offer him were the peanuts I had in my hand. My mother raised me to give to the less fortunate (having been adopted herself, I can understand why she would teach me to be this way) so I didn't even think twice about my actions. When I was fun of, it made me feel bad about myself, as if there was something wrong with me, but not about my actions. When I read about how Bl. Pier Giorgio, as a little boy, had given his shoes and socks (right off of his feet) and had done it quickly so his own father wouldn't get on his case about it, I knew I'd found a kindred spirit.

While I have many saints I look up to, Bl. Pier Giorgio has been the one that has stuck with me the most. When I learned that he had died only two exams short of his university degree, I asked for his intercession in helping me find a way to pay for the tuition to the CINO college (before I knew it was a CINO college). I was set to start my junior year at the CINO college in 2009 but when my father died that summer, I pushed it back to 2010. Somehow (which I'm crediting to Bl. Pier Giorgio's intercession) the $20,000 per year loan I would've needed to ask for (if I had started in 2009) ended up being a tiny $2,000 loan my senior year. I didn't ask for scholarships and grants (I remember my saying that a job would be fine if I could do it with my anxiety) but that is what I got. After the financial blow of my father's death, I felt like this was Bl. Pier Giorgio's gift to me. He couldn't finish his degree but he was going to help me finish mine.

One more story before this gets too long: on this day, three years ago, I went to the 7 a.m. Mass since I had asked my old parish to celebrate the Mass in honor of Bl. Pier Giorgio's feast day. This was at the time when my father had been in the hospital for a couple of weeks. That morning I prayed with all my heart that Bl. Pier Giorgio intercede for us; that he pray for my dad so that he would no longer suffer. I still remember the ride to where my dad was -- the song that was playing and the thoughts that ran through my mind, as well as the tears that were shed. I had hoped that his intercession would help my dad and that it would be the one he needed to be declared a saint. Exactly one week later, my father died. In a strange way, I feel like my prayers were answered. I had asked for my father to stop suffering and that is what happened. From what the doctors told us in the IC, they gave my dad all the meds necessary so that his death was pain-free. I also remember that my dad died a pretty peaceful death. He just breathed in his last breath and looked as if he'd just fallen asleep, a peaceful look on his face. Though it still hurts that he's gone, I'm grateful that he didn't suffer as much as he had the last couple of months of his life.

Because of all of these (and more) things, I've felt as close to Bl. Pier Giorgio as I do to my own brother. A few weeks ago I was thinking about it (about he felt like a brother to me) so I decided to "adopt" him as a spiritual brother. I feel like I can talk to him (while in prayer) like I would a big brother. A few weeks ago, I was in line to receive the Eucharist when I felt like I would faint and I thought to myself "Help hold me up, at least until I can make it back to my seat"and pictured him physically helping hold me up in line and I almost immediately stronger. Of course, this was all a visualization technique I learned in cognitive behavioral therapy for when I have anxiety, but it made me feel stronger and as if I really had him there with me... and for me. I feel like, just as he did with his own sister, Luciana, he is going to be there for me and to help God guide me down the right path and to do God's will without fear.

Okay, wow, I haven't written this much in a while. Sorry, it just sort of spilled out of me. I've actually ignored my fresh cup of tea, that is how into this I got. lol. I should probably go do chores now, especially since I am trying to not waste my time. While I don't have a job yet, I still have a duty to keep my home clean. :)

I hope you all are having a great week thus far. Oh, and, before I forget, don't forget that you can always email me, tweet/DM me, or post a prayer request on the FB page. Please, take advantage of it. I've found that nothing makes me happier during my day (aside from attending Mass) than praying the Rosary for the intentions of others. Believe it or not, it helps with the anxiety. :D

As always, thanks for reading and God bless! :D


Alicia Therese said...

Awesome stories! Frassati is a pretty awesome spiritual brother to have. :)

Alicia Therese said...

Awesome stories! Frassatti is a pretty great spiritual brother to have. :)