By Cristina Siccardi
In this biography, Cristina Siccardi situates the young Pier Giorgio Frassati in early 20th century Turin, Italy. In the ancient capital of the Kingdom of Italy where the memory of Savoy is still alive there are two contrasting forms of enterprise: one of older stamp, attentive to the values of patriotism and integrity; the other tending toward ever more acquisitive forms of capitalism.
In this environment Pier Giorgio, the young heir of Senator Alfredo Frassati, founder of the newspaper La Stampa, makes his own choice for the social doctrine of the Catholic Church, seeking not so much to solve general problems but to make Christ and the Church more present to those in need. That was the motivation for his assisting in many charitable works of the St. Vincent Society, his support for the Popular Party, and his development of a spirituality of engaged and diligent action. His devotion to friendship and to sports was extraordinary, with a special love for mountain hiking, which was for him both enjoyable exercise and the contemplation of creation, as well as a symbol of his striving for perfection in virtue.
Other important aspects that will engage readers of this book include the story of the famous Frassati family, and the marked contrasts among its members--especially the bond of division/union between father and son. She shows how after the death of his son Alfredo Frassati experienced an spiritual deepening, year after year, which leaves its traces in several letters to Giovanni Battista Montini, the future Pope Paul VI. This book describes an extraordinary itinerary of holiness, but also a key to understanding the history of Italy in the 20th century.