ASSISI, Italy — Thousands sang and applauded as Italian teen Carlo Acutis was beatified in a town dear to him and to many Christians around the world: Assisi.
During the Oct. 10 beatification Mass, Italian Cardinal Agostino Vallini, the papal legate for the Basilicas of St. Francis and St. Mary of the Angels in Assisi, read Pope Francis’ apostolic letter proclaiming Acutis’ “blessed,” the step before canonization.
“With our apostolic authority, we grant that the venerable servant of God, Carlo Acutis, layman, who, with the enthusiasm of youth, cultivated a friendship with our Lord Jesus, placing the Eucharist and the witness of charity at the center of his life, henceforth shall be called blessed,” the Pope decreed.
After the reading of the apostolic letter, the newly beatified teen’s parents, Andrea Acutis and Antonia Salzano, processed toward the altar carrying a reliquary containing their son’s heart.
Carlo Acutis was 15-year-old Italian tech whiz before his death from leukemia in 2006.
He put his knowledge of computers to use by creating an online database of eucharistic miracles around the world. For Acutis’ mother, the heartbreak that all parents experience over the loss of a child has been mingled with serenity and joy as she prepared to see her son beatified.
“It’s unusual for parents to (be present at) the beatification of their son or daughter,” Salzano said. “It’s very unusual because normally it takes a long time. But instead, for Carlo it took 14 years to have the beatification.”
Acutis’ beatification, she said, is “an important step for us because we have so many devotees of Carlo all around the world. I think it’s a big sign for them, a great consolation. It’s very, very important that we have this recognition from the Church.”