Today’s Saint

Daily Journey with the Saints

July 7 | Wholeheartedly

Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati

A.D. 1901–1925

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.” (Matthew 22:37)

This is the Shema Prayer. It is the most repeated prayer in the Jewish tradition, because they believe if you spent your entire lifetime trying to live this one prayer, you would live a deep meaningful life that was exceedingly pleasing to God. 

Let me ask you: Have you ever done anything wholeheartedly? Have you ever made a wholehearted attempt to live the teachings of Jesus? What do you have to lose? What’s the worst that could happen? 

Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati loved God with all his heart, soul, and mind. And his short life reflected that love brilliantly.

Frassati was born in Turin, Italy in 1901. From a young age he loved the outdoors, and as he grew older he developed a passion for mountain climbing. He would bring his Catholic youth groups with him on these mountain climbing adventures and turn them into spiritual retreats. His famous quote, “Verso l'alto" (To the heights)” was written on the back of a photograph a friend took of him while climbing. It doesn’t just refer to the heights of the mountain, but to soaring toward the heights of spiritual life by devoting ourselves wholeheartedly to God.

His passionate leadership of youth groups are why many Catholic youth groups today are still called “Frassati groups.” He encouraged other young people to attend daily Mass with him, to develop unshakeable prayer habits, and to wholeheartedly devote themselves to the Eucharist and the Virgin Mary. 

Frassati’s wholehearted love for Jesus in the poor was profound and personal. He spent much of his time through the St. Vincent de Paul Society visiting the sick, providing for their needs, and offering companionship and spiritual support. 

In the end, Frassati did give his whole heart and body to Jesus in the poor. He contracted polio while tending to the sick and died at the age of 24. Over ten thousand people, many of which he had personally cared for, attended Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati’s funeral.

The best things in life require wholehearted commitment. Deep relationships, personal development, mastering a craft or career, and spiritual growth all require commitment. Commitment costs in the short term, but in the long term it bears amazing fruit. 

Great joy is often the result of great effort. Throw yourself into this wholeheartedly and miracles will happen. Somewhere deep inside, we are all yearning to throw ourselves into something wholeheartedly. This is the right thing. A difficult thing, but the right thing. 

Verso l'alto!


I will wholeheartedly live the Christian life.

This reflection is brought to you from book title.

Feast Day: July 7

Patron Saint of: Students, Young Catholics, Mountaineers, and Youth Groups

Also Known As: Man of the Eight Beatitudes

Symbols: Mountains

Beatified: May 20, 1990

Beatified By: Pope John Paul II

Image of mountain and man reflecting in the water below.

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