By Mel Mantanona
As the school year comes to an end, the anticipation and excitement for the summer ahead is unmistakable and undeniable. A reprieve from the monotonous day-to-day activities of school, work for some, is very much welcomed. Whether your summer plans include traveling off-island, working a job, or catching up on your favorite pastimes, it’s important to stay active. It’s all too easy to succumb to the laziness that allows. Below are two great, holy figures to help guide you this summer.
Bl. Pier Georgio Frassati
Bl. Pier Georgio Frassati, the man of the eight beatitudes, had keen enthusiasm for the outdoors. If he wasn’t at Mass or helping people out, he could be found in the mountains and fields enjoying sports with his friends. He loved to ride horses, climb mountains, ski, and hike. His activeness and adventures came hand in hand with his faith.
Pier would often give his bus fare for those who couldn’t afford it and would run home in order to make it in time for dinner. He’d never miss an evangelization opportunity with his friends and would always read Scriptures and pray the rosary during their escapades. His famous motto “Verso l’alto” literally means “toward the top,” meaning to constantly look up and strive to reach the summit of eternal life.
St. John Paul II
Is there anything cooler than an outdoorsy pope? St. Pope John Paul II’s love for God extended all the way to the mountains and beyond. Nature held an important part in the pope’s life. He accredits the progression of his spiritual life to his time spent in the wilderness. He spent many years engaging in sports, camping, and other outdoor adventures with the many youth in his time, engaging in fellowship and spiritually guiding them.
In 1954, he was awarded the “Bronze Badge for Hiking Tourism” for hiking 166 km (103 miles) on multiple occasions of that year, with most of his hikes taking place during the winter season! His affinity for the outdoors didn’t stop with his ascension to the papacy. He continued his adventures and was even known to have snuck out of the Vatican at least a hundred times to go skiing.
These two holy figures’ lives proclaim the wild truth that you can love God and praise him anywhere. This summer let us ignore the lure to remain idle and answer the call to holiness, glorifying him everywhere we go and with everything we do.
Information and photo from FrassatiUSA and Thinking Faith