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Pilgrimage in the Steps of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati

Monday, November 27, 2017

In the Steps of the Blessed Br Joseph Bailham OP describes a recent youth pilgrimage to Piedmont, Italy.

In early July of this year four friars and twenty young adults came together from across Britain (and America!) for a Dominican youth pilgrimage to Turin and Oropa. The aim, as I had planned it, was to get to know better the lay Dominican, Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, to whom I have had a personal devotion for the best part of a decade. This young blessed has been proposed by Pope St John Paul II, and subsequent popes, as a role model for young people to imitate.

The pilgrimage lasted five days and four nights. Monday till Wednesday lunch time was spent in the centre of Turin. We stayed at the shrine of Don Bosco which houses his relics, and enjoyed a tour around the city 'In the footsteps of Bl. Pier Giorgio' led by volunteers from the parish of La Crocetta, the parish to which Bl. Pier Giorgio belonged. Fortunate enough to be present for Bl. Pier Giorgio's feast on 4th July, we attended Mass at the cathedral in the presence of his relics.

On Wednesday afternoon the group then headed north to the small village of Pollone, where the Frassati family had their summer home. Here, we were hosted by Wanda Gawronska, the niece of Bl. Pier Giorgio, and were able to view various artefacts that had belonged to him. We were able to celebrate Mass by the bed on which Bl. Pier Giorgio died.

From Wednesday evening until Friday the group journeyed north a little further to the Marian shrine of Oropa, a UNESCO heritage site. This was a favourite place of Bl. Pier Giorgio, and was also where he used to go mountain-climbing on occasions. Inspired by his example, the group hiked to the summit of Mount Mucrone, at the top of which is a large cross, and is a place where Bl. Pier Giorgio used to pray and attend Mass with other young people.

Each morning Brother Albert and I offered short meditations based around the four cardinal virtues, showing how these can be lived drawing on the example of Bl. Pier Giorgio.

In the Steps of the Blessed

As well as daily Mass with Fr Ben Earl OP and Fr Nick Crowe OP there was Lauds and Vespers, the two major hours of the Office of the Church. A great time was had by all. As one pilgrim said, we made Bl. Pier Giorgio 'real' rather than 'remote', and we kept in mind one of his sayings: “You ask me whether I am in good spirits. How could I not be, so long as my trust in God gives me strength.” It is hoped that this trip won't be a one-off, but may be repeated in years to come.

Visit the Dominican Youth Movement on Facebook.

In the Steps of the Blessed Br Joseph Bailham OP is studying Theology at Blackfriars, Oxford, where he assists in running the Aquinas Group for Young Catholic Adults


Alex commented on 08-Dec-2017 03:10 PM
Enjoyed reading your post about Blessed Pier Giorgio Frasatti. I particularly liked the non-pc photo of him with pipe firmly between his teeth! Yes, a wonderful role model for young Catholics men especially.
Jim Fitzsimmons commented on 08-Dec-2017 10:47 PM
"Each morning Brother Albert and I offered short meditations based around the four cardinal virtues, showing how these can be lived drawing on the example of Bl. Pier Giorgio."

Hi Br. Joseph,

I am in my second year of formation as a lay Dominican and chose Bl. Pier Giorgio to accompany me on my journey. Would it be possible to get a copy of these mediation?



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