Oct 10, 2020

A saint for the millenials: Carlo Acutis beatified today in Assisi.


A saint for the millenials: the young Italian teen, Carlo Acutis, who died in 2006 of galloping Leukemia, will be beatified today in Assisi by Pope Francis (last step before being officially declared a saint). I was Carlo's English teach for a year and his passing was a great shock to me. Carlo came from a luke warm Catholic family, but at the age of 7, when he received his first 'Holy Communion', he displayed an astonishing devotion to the Eucharist and remained a daily communicant until the end of his short life. He was cheerful, generous, fun to be with, devoted to the poor, but also a typical teen who loved computer games and ice cream and was a computer wiz as well.  At the age of 11, he started reading college textbooks on computer programming and began designing a beautiful website  displaying all of the 'Eucharistic miracles' in the history of the Catholic Church. He is already been touted as the Patron Saint of the Internet. 

This is the short version of his life. At a later date, I'll post my reflections about the impact and implications of this event for gay people of Spirit. For the moment, I'll just say that these kinds of phenomena in the Church, whether it be Eucharistic miracles, Marian apparitions, saintly teens who die young, tend to attract the most conservative and reactionary elements in the Church, who then view. these phenomena as somehow God's holy stamp upon all of their convictions and prejudices, including their antipathy towards gay relationships and marriage. Nonetheless, I consider this event, Carlo's beatification, to be a really significant spiritual event and the young man himself an extraordinary witness to the life of holiness. Amen

Here is a link to the official website

And Carlo's website devoted to Eucharistic Miracles

And his website devoted to Marian apparitions

Carlo in his tomb in the Church of Saint Mary Major in Assisi

I will end this brief posting with a traditional 'holy card' depicting Carlo with a  Eucharistic monstrance over his heart, rosary beads in his hand and a statue of Our Lady of Fatima behind him and a traditional picture of the Sacred Heart. All symbols dear to that element in the Church that most disapproves of gay people choosing whom they may love and how they may seal that love. Its a paradox and a conundrum, but there it is. Somehow a bridge needs to be buiilt between these conservative factions and those of us living on the fringes - some of whom, myself included, feel a genuine devotion to this holy teen, dressed in his coffin in Nike trainers, an Adidas track suit and a hoody.