He sought the mountain and I sought the ocean. But that’s not really all we were looking. I grew up by the ocean, not even a 10 minute drive to the sand. I’d be in the water before school would start or all evening until after I squeezed out the last bit of sunlight. I was in awe. In awe that beauty could be so powerful it pulled me in and took over my life. Beauty is what brought me to start taking photos. To try and capture what I saw and what I was drawn to. It wasn’t long until I realized who I was being drawn to. That serenity in the water, was nothing compared to the peace in an adoration chapel.
I was a freshman in college first hearing his name, Pier Giorgio Frassati. What do you mean this guy is going to be a saint, and he climbed mountains? He spent his free time giving from his excess, until he was the one without a pair of shoes. He prayed his rosary and had true devotion to the most Blessed Sacrament. Seeing holy cards of him, I never would have expected it.
He looks like “the guy” who, born an aristocrat, could have had the world. But he chose heaven.
I ate up any book I could find on this guy – reading his letters and what saints have said about him. It felt like I was getting to know a friend. I see him as that now, a friend who has walked this path before me. Ascended this mountain already, offering his advice to me. It’s easy to feel close to him on the top of a mountain, and think about how he might have seen God there. He recognized the beauty that God had made, and chose not to worship it. He saw God there, but knew those places weren’t gods.
Something about knowing his holiness and knowing how real he was – a young man, devoted to Christ, brings me hope that sainthood is truly attainable, and how far I am from it. But each view that makes me pause in awe of creation, I think of him. And I praise God. How much more elevation there is to go and this climb is just beginning.
Verso L'alto - Go To The Heights
"It is very common to see the expression "Verso l'alto" on information about Blessed Pier Giorgio. The expression took on a life of its own in the years following his death. Very often, the words can be found on the bottom of a very well-known photo of Pier Giorgio climbing a mountain and gazing upward. Literally, the translation is "toward the top." Pier Giorgio actually wrote these words himself on the back of the photo which was taken by a fellow climber on June 7, 1925. Because of Pier Giorgio's sudden death one month later, it turned out to be his last climb. So, although it was never his personal motto, "Verso l'alto" became representative of Pier Giorgio's earthly life -- a constant striving to reach the summit of eternal life. It has become the motto of many people who have a devotion to him." - FrassatiUSA - https://frassatiusa.org/verso-lalto
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