Youth Role Models

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  1. Saint Charles Lwanga, Patron Saint of Ignatian Seminarians
  2. Saint Aloysius Gonzaga, Patron Saint of Ignatian Seminarians
  3. Saint Maria Goretti, Patron Saint of Ignatian Seminarians
  4. Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati

Pier Giorgio was born into the wealthy Italian family that owned La Stampa newspaper in Turin. Early in life he decided to work politically for the reform of Italian society by joining the Catholic Student Federation,  dedicating time to help establish the Catholic newspaper Momento and at eighteen years of age becoming one of the first members of the Partito Popolare, the political party founded by Father Luigi Sturzo. The times were turbulent  as the Fascists were on the march. Anti-Fascist, Pier-Giorgio was not one to shy away from ruggedly defending the truth and on one occasion during a demonstration in Rome he stood up to police violence  and rallied the rest of the guys present by holding high the group’s banner, using the  banner’s pole to ward off the police blows. In a letter to A. Villani on the 19 September 1922, Pier Giorgio showed his passionate Christian spirit:  “I glanced at Mussolini‘s speech and my blood boiled.. I am disappointed by the really shameful behaviour of the Popular Party. Where is the fine program, where is the faith that  motivates our people? But when it is a matter of turning out for worldly honours, people trample on their own consciences.”

At the heart of  this young hurricane’s existence was daily Mass when he would often act as the server and prolong his thanksgiving after Holy Communion. “To live without faith”, he said, “without a heritage to defend, without battling constantly for truth, is not to live, but to ‘get along’ – we must never just ‘get along.’”. And on another occasion he stated: “ In this trying time that our country is going through, we Catholics and especially we students, have a serious duty to fulfill: our self-formation. […]  We, who by the grace of God are Catholics… must steel ourselves for the battle we shall certainly have to fight to fulfill our program and give our country, in the not too distant future, happier days and a morally healthy society, but to achieve this we need constant prayer to obtain from God that grace without which all our efforts are useless; organization and discipline to be ready for action at the right time; and finally, the sacrifice of our passion and of ourselves, because without that we cannot achieve our goal.”