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Catholic Review of: Man Of The Beatitudes

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Author:  Luciana Frassati

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This item received 5 stars overall. (07/08/2011)

Orthodoxy: Completely orthodox.
Reading Level: Intermediate

 Brandon VogtBy Brandon Vogt (FL) - See all my reviews


Best biography I've read of Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati

Evaluator Comments

As far as I know, Luciana is the only relative to write a book on Pier Giorgio. In this book, Luciana, Pier Giorgio's sister and best friend, offers an intimate portrait of his life and death. She also reveals how misunderstood Pier Giorgio was by his parents.

Their father was an atheist, and their mother was nominally Christian, but both were uncomfortable with Pier Giorgio's piety. They were extremely worried that their son might become a priest, and they were also troubled by his mingling with the poor.

This discomfort regularly boiled over into frustration. Pier Giorgio's mother often scolded him for showing up late to dinner after serving the poor (he usually had to run home after giving away his bus-fare money.) His father chastised him for coming home without a coat, a regular occurrence since Pier Giorgio gave away his own clothes to anyone in need.

Besides revealing the tension with his parents, the book also frames Pier Giorgio's life in light of the eight beatitudes, which I found both interesting and appropriate. At Pier Giorgio's beatification, Pope John Paul II deemed him a "man of the beatitudes" and it's clear why. Pier Giorgio was meek, he was a peacemaker, he was poor in spirit, he hungered and thirsted for righteousness, and he embodied all the rest of the beatitudes. The core of Jesus's most famous sermon was the core of Pier Giorgio's entire life. That's why he's a saint. And that's why his life is so attractive.

I spent the past year reading books and article about Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati, and out of the all the things I read throughout the year, A Man of the Beatitudes was definitely my favorite.

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