Friday, July 3, 2015

Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati DVD and Book Reviews

These will be quick, spoiler-free reviews on a DVD and a couple of books on Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati. If you want more info on them, feel free to ask me; fangirl is always looking for a reason to talk about one of her favorite (soon-to-be) saints. ;)

Sanctity Within Reach: Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati. The DVD, which is an EWTN production, is broken down into three section: Family Life (26 minutes), Social Life (27 minutes), and Spiritual Life (almost 27 minutes). In those (nearly) 90 minutes, you get a good portrait of who Bl. PGF was. His niece, Wanda Gawronska, gives us details not found in books (such as the origin of his full name -- Pier Giorgio Michaelangelo Frassati -- and how the family life was). For those of you who are visual, there are plenty of photographs not found in books written about him. For someone who isn't a bookworm like yours truly, this would be a great way to introduce to this soon-to-be saint (last miracle currently being investigated) to someone.

Pier Giorgio Frassati: Letters to His Friends and Family did not disappoint one bit. The book is basically a compilation of letters, postcards, and telegrams he wrote from ages 5 until the day before his death. As I wrote a couple of days ago, a lot of what was written sounded very relevant to our times. I felt like I got a really good portrait of who he was; his sense of humor, his humility, his selflessness, and his love for God and his country. The last letter (which was a message) was written with his hand half-paralyzed, to a friend, asking the friend to please deliver some injections to a poor man who needed them. If I do end up becoming a lay Dominican (which I'm currently discerning), I'm going to give credit to this book.

I've already given a mini review of My Brother Pier Giorgio: His Last Days by his sister, Luciana Frassati, earlier this week. This was a really hard book for me, personally, to get through because (as I mentioned in the mini review) a lot of it reminded me of what I went through with my own father. Having seen my father slip away and die (I was in the room when he took his last breath) brought out some PTSD symptoms that made it difficult for me to get through this book. However, I did and it was well worth the read. Yes, I sobbed but it was also inspirational. I highly recommend it to all. Have your tissues ready, especially if you're sensitive.

While I do own (and have owned, for many years) A Man of the Beatitudes: Pier Giorgio Frassati by Luciana Frassati, I haven't actually finished reading it. In fact, I'm going to have to start all over again because I've forgotten what I've read thus far. I lent it to a friend (who then kept it for a very long time) but it is on my list. I'll review it when I eventually finish it. Not sure when that will be since I have a queue from the library but it will be fairly soon if the Los Angeles Public Library keep taking their time trying to get the other books to me. ;)

The only fictional work based on his life, To The Heights by Brian Kennelly, was a good, engrossing read... but there were moments when I questioned whether Bl. PGF would actually act in a certain manner or say certain things. Of course, the dialogue is partly based on his (Bl. PGF's) letters and other facts but the other part of it is based on the author's imagination. After reading the books by his sister, reading part of the letters he wrote to his family and friends, and watching the DVD, I had created a portrait of who Bl. PGF was that image didn't fit with what was written a couple of times. However, I kept reminded myself that this was meant to be "based on" and not "fact based" so I was able to enjoy it nonetheless.

And that's it for now. I'm still hoping to have my Spanish-language blog up and running tomorrow so I need to go work on that as well as tomorrow's blog post for this blog.

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

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