Exhumation of the body is a normal part of the canonization process, and often takes place before a beatification. The Church requires that postulators of causes seek permission of civil authorities and of any living family that might have rights to remains before exhuming them.
Archbishop Paul Coakley, who oversaw the exhumation of Blessed Stanley Rother’s body in 2017, told CNA at the time that the Vatican also requires a team of witnesses and medical experts be present for the exhumation, which is done in order to assess the condition of a body, and to gather possible relics that will be venerated once a person has been beatified.
“They had expertise that would be helpful in describing what would be found when his tomb was opened, because we didn’t know what we could find,” Archbishop Coakley said at the time. A report on the exhumed body was then prepared and sent to the Vatican.
Both the exhumation and examination are done “with great dignity and reverence, and there is a process by which we exhumed his body from the family plot at the parish cemetery in Okarche,” the archbishop added.
Incorruption, even partially so, is thought to be a sign of holiness, but the Church also recognizes that there may be natural causes of partial or whole bodily preservation that are not yet understood.
As a result, incorruptibility is not enough, on its own, to have the person in question declared a saint by the Pope, according to relic researcher Heather Pringle.
Moreover, the Vatican looks for virtue of person’s life and works before officially declaring them a saint.
According to the publishers of a biography on Acutis, he “was a teen of our times, like many others. He tried hard in school, with his friends, [and] he loved computers. At the same time he was a great friend of Jesus Christ, he was a daily communicant and he trusted in the Virgin Mary. Succumbing to leukemia at the age of 15, he offered his life for the Pope and for the Church. Those who have read about his life are moved to profound admiration.”
One of the quotes Acutis is best remembered for is: “To always be close to Jesus, that’s my life plan. I'm happy to die because I've lived my life without wasting even a minute of it doing things that wouldn't have pleased God.”
He also said that “our aim has to be the infinite and not the finite. The Infinite is our homeland. We have always been expected in Heaven,” and he called the Eucharist “my highway to heaven.”