17-July-2008 -- Catholic News Agency |

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Thousands of Canadians pray and venerate relics of Pier Giorgio Frassati

Sydney, Jul 16, 2008 / 11:01 pm (CNA) .- A thousand young people from Canada gathered at the Cathedral of Saint Mary in Sydney to venerate the relics of Pier Giorgio Frassati, an Italian blessed who died before reaching the age of 24 and who is one of the 10 patron saints of WYD 2008.

The Canadian youth met to pray vespers and to have Eucharistic adoration. Father Thomas Rosica presided at the event, with Wanda Gawronska, Pier Giorgio’s niece, present as well. According to the L’Osservatore Romano, Father Rosica recounted the life of the Italian Blessed by reflecting on the sermon on the mount in the gospel of Matthew.

“The beatitudes in Christ’s Sermon on the Mount are a recipe for extreme holiness. Each crisis the Church confronts, each crisis the world faces, is a crisis of saints. Ours is a time in which young people need true heroes,” he said.

In speaking about Frassati, Father Rosica said, “Pier Giorgio did not choose to be a priest or a religious, preferring instead to bear witness to the Gospel as a layman. He never founded a religious order or gave life to an ecclesial movement. He never led an army or was elected to public office. Death came for him before he could graduate. He was never able to begin a career. He was not able to discover what his vocation was. In summary, he was simply a young man in love with his family and friends, in love with the mountains and the ocean, but above all in love with God,” Father Rosica explained.

He noted that the two pillars in Pier Giorgio’s life were the Eucharist and love for the Virgin Mary, adding that He “gave what he had to help the poor, even his money for the bus, and instead running to get home in time for lunch. The poor and the suffering were his patrons and he was their servant, which he considered a privilege.”

The L’Osservatore Romano reported as well that an expo on the Italian Blessed would be held July 15-18 at Sydney’s Exhibition Hall.

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