When I was clothed in the Habit of the Discalced Carmelite Friars, I was given the name “Pier Giorgio” after Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati.
Who is Blessed Pier Giorgio? He was a young Italian who died at the age of 24 in 1925. I’ve kept Bl. Pier Giorgio as a patron saint and heavenly friend for several years. I grew up in the Adirondack mountains and spent most of my childhood and young adulthood climbing up mountains and skiing down them.
Someone introduced me to Bl. Pier Giorgio because he also was an avid skier and an expert climber. Over the years I have grown to be devoted to him in other ways, namely the simplicity of his spirituality and the heroic love he had for his friends, family, the sick and the poor.
While I’m still the same person I was before my name was changed, being called “Brother Pier Giorgio” is a daily and ordinary reminder that I am called also to be a saint. Discalced Carmelites are also given devotional subtitles like mine, which is “of Christ the King”. This is a tradition which denies any preference that might have come from being born in a wealthy or prestigious family. Our Holy Mother Teresa of Jesus herself came from a wealthy family and saw the preferential treatment she was given as a stumbling block for true poverty and humility.
While I still remain the son and brother of my family members, my subtitle serves as a sign of the purpose of my life in religion, that is, to faithfully serve in the Kingdom of Our Lord and King Jesus Christ. If one observes the lives of the Discalced Carmelite saints, it quickly becomes apparent of the ways in which they closely resembled or fulfilled their titles in their actions and life of prayer.