The cover of our Encountering the Saints book on Pier Giorgio Frassati really stands out. My first reaction was, “This guy looks soooo cool! I want to be his friend!” I’m sure this was the cover artist’s intention. So often, saints and blesseds look, well…saintly! (No offense, Saint Francis of Assisi.) What they’ve done seems like so far of a reach for us. But Pier Giorgio looks like a cool guy!
The coolest people in school when I was growing up, were not always the nicest people. In fact, the cool kids often made jokes at the expense of others and purposefully excluded people from their games or conversations. Why do some people think they need to put others down to bring themselves up? Does making others feel bad really make them feel good? Surely not! We are all here on this earth together, and life would be so much better for all of us if we’d understand that cool and kind are not mutually exclusive.
Pier Giorgio Frassati can show kids that cool and kind can go together! Pier was the life of every party. He was an adventurous young man who spent his leisure time playing soccer, hiking, and skiing. But in addition to those “cool” qualities, he showed overwhelming kindness to the poor and sick.
As we go through our day, let us not forget to have fun with our friends AND to be kind to potential friends (and everyone is a potential friend). The children in our lives will see our examples and follow suit. Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, pray for us!
Below you will find reflection questions to go with our Encounter the Saints book,along with history and service project connections.
- Pier Giorgio had a hard time learning Latin, but his sister excelled in school. Is there something that your siblings can do better than you? How does that make you feel?
- Pier Giorgio gets mixed messages from his family about fighting. What are those messages? In your opinion, is fighting always good or bad?
- Pier Giorgio was very open about his faith. He never hesitated to bring his friends to church or to pray with them. Have you ever thought about sharing your faith with someone and then felt nervous about it? Why do you think that you felt nervous? What little steps can you take that will make sharing your faith easier?
- Pier Giorgio and his father often had differing opinions on certain issues. What did they agree on? What did they disagree on? Do you disagree with your parents about anything?
Research World War I, the events that led to the war, Italy’s involvement, and Fascism. Discuss how growing up in this environment probably influenced Pier Giorgio’s life.
As a class, brainstorm some small actions that could be done to help the poor in your community. Each student could choose one small idea and execute it on his or her own (with a parent’s help). The charitable actions of the class could be measured using a miniature Pier Giorgio cut-out. When a student has accomplished a service action item, they can move Pier Giorgio up a notch. If the idea is a hit, Pier Giorgio can climb all over the classroom.
To print this book guide click here or the file listed below this post.