Also known as the Man of the Eight Beatitudes, Pier was born
to a rich and politically influential family; his mother was the
painter Adelaide Ametis; his father was an agnostic, the founder
and editor of the liberal newspaper "La Stampa", and
became the Italian ambassador to Germany.
A pious youth, average student, outstanding athlete and mountain
climber, he was extremely popular with his peers, known by the
nickname "Terror" due to his practical jokes. He was
tutored at home for years with his younger sister Luciana. He
studied minerology in an engineering program after graduating
high school. He worked often with Catholic groups like Apostleship
of Prayer and the Company of the Most Blessed Sacrament that ministered
to the poor and promoted Eucharistic adoration, Marian devotion,
and personal chastity.
He became involved in political groups like the Young Catholic
Workers Congress, the Popular Party, the Catholic Student Federation,
Catholic Action and Milites Mariae that supported the poor, opposed
Fascism and worked for the Church's social teachings. Dominican
tertiary in 1922, taking the name Girolamo. He spent his fortune
on the needy and visited the sick; during this ministry he contracted
the disease that killed him.