"We too have lost the best and most beautiful gift which God has given to all men - liberty- without which life becomes (unbearable) difficult."
(to W.Leitgebel 28.I.1923)


Pier Giorgio believed that charity is not enough for the creation of a better world, for the elevation of the proletarian classes; in opposition to his father's political ideas, he became a very active and enthusiastic member of the newly founded Italian Popular Party which promoted the Catholic Church's teaching based on the principles of the Encyclical "Rerum Novarum". Physically strong and courageous, he hated violence but was always first in line to defend human dignity.

1919

Immediately after the 1914-1918 war, Italy was plunged into serious social disorder. Anti-clerical Reds attacked priests and religious processions. Pier Giorgio often took part in these, acting also as a body guard. When it was necessary to demonstrate one's Catholicism, Pier Giorgio never hid his banner either in university circles strongly influenced by secular ideas or when attending worker's meetings in order to find out more about their problems.
"One ought to go, and one goes. It is not those who suffer violence who should fear but those who practice it. When God is with us we do not need to be afraid"

"Let's hope that our country can have a government capable of making itself respected, that finally puts an end to the great scandal which is the Fascist movement".(to A.Villani, 18.VII.1922)

"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 which motivates our people? But when it is a matter of turning out for worldly honours, people trample on their own consciences.

Today, reluctantly, more than ever, we should recognise that the Christian poet Dante was right and still is when he exclaims: 'o house of grief! o bond-slave Italy! Ship without pilot in a raging gale! No mistress-province, but a stews and sty!" (to A. Villani, Berlin 19.IX.1922)

In June 1924 fascists made the Frassati home the object of a punitive expedition. Pier Giorgio's courageous defence has been described in the London Times. Here 's part of his own description: "We were sitting quietly when we heard Marischa's screams. At first I thought it was thieves, but on reaching the hall and seeing one of them about to cut the telephone wires, I immediately realised that they were the Fascists. My blood let in my veins. I threw myself at them shouting: 'Blackguards, cowards, assassins!' and I went for the guy at the telephone with my fists. Full of courage, as you might expect, the whole five of them hurriedly ran off down the street at the sound of one man's voice! A car was waiting for them and they made off. All they have managed to do was to break two mirrors(windows)". (to A. Villani, 23.VI.1924)

Farewell Dear Villani, Long live Liberty, long live, the Opposition, long live the Christian Democracy, in J.C. Pier Giorgio (end of a letter)

"I am so happy that you want to become part of the big family of St.Dominic, where, as Dante says, 'you grow fat if you do not rave'. It would please me very much if you would take the name of brother Girolamo, not because it is the name that I have as a son of St. Dominic, but because it reminds me of someone who is dear to me, and certainly to you too, as you share my feelings against corrupt morals: the figure of Girolamo Savonarola, whose name I most unworthily bear. I'm a fervent admirer of this friar who died like a saint at the stake" (to A.Villani, 17. VIII.1923). I remember Pier Giorgio at St. Dominic and his figure is engraved on my memory as he certainly represented something important, something extraordinary. Having known a spirit such as his, having had the practical example of a Saint with a cigar in his mouth, having noted the human possibility of not camouflaging one's own spirituality in forced ritual aspects but rather( saving and demonstrating it) storing it and exalting it in the most lively attitudes, certainly influenced the formation of many. (G.Camerana)

HE WAS ALSO CONSCIOUS OF HIS RESPONSIBILITY IN SOCIETY, RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE LIFE OF THE NATION TO WHICH HE BELONGED. ALL THIS EMERGES CLEARLY FROM THE PHOTOGRAPHS AND TESTIMONIES IN THIS EXHIBITION.
Card. K. Wojtyla (John Paul II), Cracow 27.III.1977.