On the feast of Blessed Carlo Acutis, the bishop of Assisi invited pilgrims gathered at the Italian teen’s tomb to seek his intercession for a greater love for Christ’s Real Presence in the Eucharist.
“Making Jesus our all. This is the ideal of the Christian life. The Eucharist, well celebrated and adored, allows us to live in Jesus,” Archbishop Domenico Sorrentino said on Oct. 12.
“It is to the Eucharist, not to himself, that Carlo calls us … Let us ask Carlo, on this liturgical memorial, to instill in us his love for the Eucharist, as we prepare to receive it under his smiling and joyful gaze,” the bishop of Assisi-Nocera Umbra-Gualdo Tadino said in his homily.
Sorrentino offered Mass in Assisi’s Sanctuary of the Spoliation, part of the parish Church of Santa Maria Maggiore, where the blessed’s tomb is located. Concelebrants included Bishop Robert Baker of Birmingham, Alabama. Carlo Acutis’ mother, Antonia, attended the Mass.
The tomb has drawn more than 117,000 visitors since Bl. Carlo became the first millennial to be beatified in the Catholic Church last year, according to the Diocese of Assisi.
“In this year that has passed since his beatification, Carlo’s ‘work’ has certainly increased, so to speak, and we can see the fruits,” the archbishop said.
“By now there are many, in every part of the world, who entrust themselves to him. They call on him for help, like a generous intercessor. And they experience that it is not in vain … which makes one imagine that the miracle that will serve for his inclusion in the register of the saints is not far away,” he said.
He died on Oct. 12, 2006, of leukemia at the age of 15 after offering his sufferings for Pope Benedict XVI and for the Church.
“Carlo speaks to the hearts of many young people,” Sorrentino said.
“The reason for this is to be found in the fact that, beneath all the banalities of life, there always remains within us a spark of good that God knows how to rekindle with a new flame. Carlo is God’s lighter.”
Liturgical celebrations of Bl. Carlo Acutis’ feast day took place across Italy. In Rome, three relics of the blessed were enthroned in the parish of Sant’Angela Merici, followed by a party for children in the parish garden.
Santa Maria Segreta, the parish in Milan where Carlo attended daily Mass, also offered a Mass in honor of their former parishioner on the evening of Oct. 12.
Assisi celebrated the local feast over the course of four days, offering additional hours of Eucharistic adoration and a prayer vigil for young people in the days ahead of the Mass offered by Sorrentino.
A wooden statue of Bl. Carlo was installed beside his closed tomb before the Mass.
“The Sacred Host, the bread with which Jesus in every Holy Mass presents himself with his sacrifice to become the nourishment for our life, literally enraptured Carlo’s heart,” Sorrentino said.
“His love for the Eucharist had the ardor of that of St. Francis. His daily attendance at Mass and his apostolate with the exhibition of Eucharistic miracles are the expression of a fervor that made his entire existence Eucharistic.”
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Courtney Mares is a Rome Correspondent for Catholic News Agency. A graduate of Harvard University, she has reported from news bureaus on three continents and was awarded the Gardner Fellowship for her work with North Korean refugees.
The beatification of Carlo Acutis took place Oct. 10, 2020 after a miracle attributed to his prayers and the grace of God. In Brazil, a boy named Mattheus was healed from a serious birth defect called an annular pancreas. His mother, Luciana Vianna, had spent years praying for his healing.