The tomb of Venerable Carlos Acutis, who died on October 12, 2006, at the age of 15, was revealed to the public on September 30. The teenager’s “mortal body,” as described by Archbishop Domenico Sorrentino of Assisi on October 1, according to the Catholic News Agency, “is destined for resurrection.”
Starting on Thursday, Acutis’ tomb was opened for public veneration, which precedes the young computer programer’s beatification. According to Walks of Italy, “‘beatification’ is the step right before sainthood. By beautifying someone, the Church proclaims that that person in question is a) definitely in Heaven, and b) definitely able to plead to God on your behalf if you pray for him.”
While theoretically these two steps are believed for any other Christians in Heaven, but beatification is a process taken “in order to prove this is the case,” Walks of Italy notes.
Acutis, born on May 3, 1991, in London. But his parents, Andrea Acutis and Antonia Salzano moved the family to Milan, Italy, a few months after his birth. Andrea Acutis said that her son’s devotion to God started at a very young age, despite neither his parents being particularly religious.
The devout teen is remembered for his love of soccer, video games, standing up against bullies at school, and his deep passion for religion. Acutis rarely missed Mass, went to confession every week, and used his computer skills to create an online database of eucharistic miracles. He was particularly drawn to the teachings of St. Francis Assisi, which is why he requested to be buried in Assisi, as reported by the Catholic News Agency.
Assis announced on Thursday, “Today, we see him again in his mortal body. A body that has passed, in the years of burial in Assisi, through the normal process of decay, which is the legacy of the human condition after sin has removed it from God, the source of life. But this mortal body is destined for resurrection.”
After Suffering a Brain Hemorrhage, Acutis’ Body Was Found to Be Incorrupt
Acutis’ cause of death stemmed from his leukemia diagnosis. He suffered brain hemorrhaging on the day he died.
“His body was discovered to be fully integral, not intact, but integral, having all its organs. Work was done on his face,” Fr. Carlos Acácio Gonçalves Ferreira said, according to Catholic News Agency.
“In some way, his earthly face will be seen again. But that face — let us not forget — by now does not point to itself, but to God,” Archbishop Sorrentino said.
Acutis’ body, which is casually clothed in jeans and Nike sneakers, will be on display in a glass tomb until October 17. His beatification mass is scheduled for October 10 in the Basilica of St. Francis, according to the Catholic Review.
The Vatican also praised the young computer programmer. Pope Francis wrote of Acutis in his exhortation of young people, “Christus Vivit, (Christ Lives),” that this inspiring boy “was well aware that the whole apparatus of communications, advertising, and social networking can be used to lull us, to make us addicted to consumerism and buying the latest thing on the market, obsessed with our free time, caught up in negativity.”
“Yet, he knew how to use the new communications technology to transmit the Gospel, to communicate values and beauty,” Pope Francis added.
Because of Acutis’ Leukemia, He Was Unable to Donate his Organs
Andrea Acutis said that the family originally wanted to donate her son’s organs, but because of his leukemia diagnosis, that was no longer an option. However, Acutis’ mother is “overjoyed that Carlo’s tomb has finally been opened,” as reported by the Catholic News Agency. She’s thrilled that all those who loved her son “will be able to see him and venerate him in a stronger and more engaging way.”
“We hope that through the exposition of Carlo’s body, the faithful will be able to raise with more fervor and faith their prayers to God who, through Carlo, invites us all to have more faith, hope and love for him and for our brothers and sisters just as Carlo did in his earthly life,” Andrea Acutis said.
Acutis’ heart, will now be considered a relic, and will “be displayed in a reliquary in the Basilica of St. Francis,” the Catholic News Agency stated.
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