Relics of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati to be present at WYD

Vatican City, Jun 13, 2008 / 09:23 am (CNA) .- Today the Vatican announced that the relics of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, a student and member of the Dominican Third Order, will be taken to Sydney, Australia, for World Youth Day next month.

Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, who was beatified by John Paul II in 1990, will be one of the 10 official patrons of World Youth Day (WYD). A release from the Pontifical Council from the Laity noted that the blessed is widely venerated in Australia and that the presence of his relic will be one of the central features of WYD.

Pier Giorgio Frassati was born in Turin, Italy, on April 6, 1901 and was raised in a very rich Catholic family.  During his adolescence he cultivated a profound spiritual life and became an active member of Catholic Action, the apostolate of prayer, the Eucharistic League and the Association of University Student Adorers.

He lived an austere live and gave a large portion of his money to the poor.  He was an intrepid athlete, skier and mountain climber. 

When he turned 24, he was diagnosed with a terminal illness which claimed his life in only one week.  He died on July 4, 1925 and was buried at the cathedral of Turin.

His relic will be transported to Sydney on June 19 and will be placed in the church of St. Benedict.

From July 11-22, the casket of the blessed will be on display in Sydney cathedral where participants in WYD will be able to come and pay homage. Hanging near his casket will be ten panels illustrating Pier Giorgio Frassati's life and thought.

In addition, an exhibition dedicated to Pier Giorgio Frassati's life will be held in Sydney Exhibition Hall July 15-18.