Pier Giorgio Frassati is on his way to sainthood. Here’s what he taught me about failure and friendship

By J.D. Long García, 14 May 2024
Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati. Image: Luciana Frassati/Wikimedia Commons


I had been trying to keep our young lay Dominican group going, but it wasn’t working. I was the only member.

Our group was named after Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, who may be canonized in 2025, according to recent reports. None of us had heard of him, but as we read about his life, he captured our imaginations.

Our Frassati chapter did a lot of things together, from going to Mass to watching movies. We would have no doubt gone to bars as well, but some of us weren’t yet 21. Frassati had many friends. He shared his faith with them and through his numerous apostolates. He loved sports, played pranks and loved to laugh. For us, he was a young Catholic we could at once identify with and also aspire to be like. He set a high standard but did so joyfully.

I wanted so desperately to establish a vibrant group, one that would continue after I graduated. That way others could walk a similar path, into a deeper relationship with God and neighbor through community. But there was no community anymore.

I felt like I had failed. I didn’t have the charisma Frassiti did. I kept asking myself: How could the Spirit not want this? I prayed so much for the group, but it was over.

I looked over to see Father Nathan had his eyes closed. “I can feel Pier Giorgio Frassati with us,” he said. “He has felt what you are feeling right now.”

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J.D. Long García is a senior editor at America.

With thanks to America and J.D. Long García, where this article originally appeared.


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