The young Italian Carlo Acutis will be canonized

During an audience with Cardinal Semeraro, the Pope approved Thursday, May 23, the decrees leading to the canonization of the young Carlo Acutis buried in Assisi, and of Father Joseph Allamano. A group of Franciscans martyred in Damascus in 1860 will also be canonized, while a missionary of the Precious Blood and two martyrs of communism will be beatified.

Alessandro De Carolis – Vatican City

A consistory will determine the canonization of Blessed Carlo Acutis and Giuseppe Allamano, as well as Marie-Léonie Paradis and Elena Guerra. This was established by Pope Francis who received on the morning of Thursday, May 23, Cardinal Marcello Semeraro, prefect of the Dicastery for the Causes of Saints, signing the decrees concerning the young man buried in Assisi and the founder of the Missionaries of the Consolata. The note published by the Holy See Press Room also specifies that Francis “approved the favorable votes of the regular session» cardinals and bishops «for the canonization of Blessed Emanuele Ruiz and seven companions, of the Order of Friars Minor, as well as Blessed François, Abdel Mooti and Raphaël Massabki, lay faithful, killed in hatred of the faith in Damascus (Syria) between the 9th and July 10, 1860“.

Carlo Acutis

The story of the young Carlo Acutis buried in Assisi is known to many. A talent from the first era of the Internet, he was a big heart for everyone, even as a child, and especially for his peers, whom he helped as much as he could. Carlo was a precocious teenager with remarkable intelligence. In 2006, at the age of 15, Carlo Acutis had already blazed the trail of what it means to have faith, to love the Church and the poor, and to circulate his creativity on the web to leave a message, with his exhibition on Eucharistic miracles. In October, a devastating leukemia took him away, but not what he had built. The Pope beatified him in 2020 in Assisi, where he now rests in the Sanctuary of the Counting, the destination of countless pilgrimages.

The story of the miracle recognized for Carlo Acutis

It is from there that the extraordinary story of the miracle which will lead to the canonization of Carlo Acutis begins. Among the many pilgrims who visited his grave on July 8, 2022, a Friday, was a woman, Liliana, originally from Costa Rica. Kneeling, she prayed, and left a letter, words of hope that envelope a mother’s worst anguish. Six days earlier, on July 2, her daughter fell from a bicycle in the night while returning home in central Florence, where she had been pursuing her fashion studies since 2018. The news from the The Careggi hospital are shocking: very serious head trauma, craniotomy operation, removal of the right occipital bone to relieve pressure, almost zero hope of survival.

On July 2, Liliana’s secretary began to pray to Blessed Carlo Acutis and on the 8th, Liliana herself went to Assisi. The same day, the hospital informs that Valeria began to breathe spontaneously again, and the next day, to move and partially speak. Then on July 18, the scan showed that the hemorrhage had disappeared, and on August 11, the girl was transferred for rehabilitation therapy, but after only a week, complete recovery was just one step away. On September 2, mother and daughter returned to Assisi, to the tomb of Carlo Acutis, to say thank you.

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The future Saint Joseph Allamano

Miracle recognized for Giuseppe Allamano

It is a somewhat similar story that will lead to the canonization of the Piedmontese Blessed Giuseppe Allamano, who lived between 1851 and 1926. Giuseppe grew up among the Salesians. At 22 he was a priest and dreamed of going on a mission, but his health was fragile and he had to take care of other things. At the age of 29, he was chosen to direct the largest Marian shrine in Turin, dedicated to Our Lady of the Consolata. He restored it to its former splendor, and the dream of the missions was transformed into a great work, the Institute of the Missionaries of the Consolata which he founded in 1901 and, at the request of Pius female branch with the Missionary Sisters of the Consolata. John Paul II beatified him in 1990.

On February 7, 1996, a female jaguar pounced on Sorino Yanomami, an Indian from the Amazon rainforest. Part of the skull was torn off, and for eight hours the man remained without adequate care, until a plane took him to the Boa Vista hospital. The scene for the doctors is terrible, the Indian is operated on and then admitted to intensive care. At his side, in addition to his wife, were six nuns from the Consolata, a priest and a missionary brother, also from the Consolata. Everyone invoked Blessed Allamano and placed one of his relics at Sorino’s bedside. That day, the novena of the blessed began, and the religious recited it to ask their founder for the healing of man. Sorino wakes up ten days after the operation without any neurological problems. On March 4, he was transferred to a rest home and on May 8, he returned to his village completely cured, resuming his life as a forest dweller.

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An image of the martyrs of Damascus


An image of the martyrs of Damascus

Persecuted in Damascus

It is a drama of anti-Christian hatred dating back more than a century and a half which will lead to the canonization of Blessed Emanuele Ruiz and seven companions, of the Order of Friars Minor, and of François, Abdel Mooti and Raphaël Massabki and other lay people. The event took place in Syria, in Damascus, between July 9 and 10, 1860. During the night, a group of Druze militiamen coming from Lebanon and heading towards Syria, set Damascus ablaze. Their main target is the Christian community living in the city, and in particular the convent and Franciscan church of Saint Paul. It was there that eight minor brothers, seven Spaniards and one Austrian, were massacred as well as three brothers, Maronite Christians, present in the convent at that time.

The prayer that heals

In the decrees signed by the Pope we find another story of miraculous healing, which led to the beatification of Venerable Giovanni Merlini, an Umbrian priest originally from Spoleto, where he was born in 1795. He died in Rome in 1873.

In 1820, he entered the Congregation of the Missionaries of the Most Precious Blood, which he served with energy until his death, becoming its general moderator in 1847. He was highly esteemed by Pius IX, who wanted him as a spiritual advisor.

The story of the miracle concerns Cefalo, originally from Benevento, and hospitalized between September and October 2013 for angiodysplasia, a vascular malformation of the intestine. The clinical picture worsens, hospitalizations and blood transfusions remain without effect. On January 10, 2015, he was hospitalized again in critical and semi-conscious condition. A niece who attends the parish of Sainte-Anne de Bénévent, managed by the Missionaries of the Precious Blood, begins to ask with her family for the intercession of the venerable Giovanni Merlini. A small image of him with a relic was placed in the patient’s bed and, from January 16, there was a sudden and inexplicable change in the clinical course, which resulted in a rapid, complete and lasting recovery, without scientific explanation.

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Stanislas Kostka


Stanislas Kostka

Without fear

Among the blessed mentioned in the decrees of May 23, there is no shortage of stories of martyrs. The first concerns a Polish priest, Stanislas Kostka Streich, born in 1902, and who, after his ordination, exercised the ministry of parish priest. He distinguished himself by the dedication he demonstrated by creating catechism and prayer groups for children, young people and adults, helping workers, the unemployed and families in difficulty. His pastoral action disturbs the communist fringe which has settled in Luboń and which considers the proximity of Father Stanislas with the workers, as a means for the Church to enslave the poor classes. The priest received anonymous letters full of insults and death threats, unknown persons desecrated the tabernacle and threw away the liturgical vestments, but Father Stanislas stood his ground with courage, until, on February 27, 1938, during mass , as he approached the ambo for the homily, Wawrzyniec Nowak, an avowed communist, killed him by firing four shots. The priest most likely noticed Nowak and guessed his intentions, because moments before his death he moved the children away from the pulpit. Captured by the crowd, the murderer is tried and sentenced to death.

A Hungarian laywoman

The other martyrdom story concerns a Hungarian laywoman, Maria Magdalena Bódi. Born in 1921 in Szgliget, she was the daughter of agricultural workers, but considered illegitimate because her father was undocumented. He is also a rough man, an alcoholic and an atheist. However, under the influence of her mother, Mary Magdalene grew in faith, received the sacraments, and put herself at the service of children, the poor, neglected or abandoned elderly people. She wants to devote herself, but no religious institute can welcome her due to the irregular situation of her parents. She then consecrated herself to Christ the King, making a private vow of perpetual chastity. In 1939, she began working in the factory and provided moral and spiritual support to the Working Girls’ Association. Solidarity multiplied at the start of the Second World War, Maria Magdalena helped the elderly, mothers with young children and assisted the wounded at the nearby hospital. When Soviet troops reached her village on March 23, 1945, a Russian soldier noticed her and other women outside a shelter and ordered them to follow him to a hidden area. The young woman, who knows what will happen to him, follows him and first manages to wound him with a pistol shot. She breaks free and leaves the shelter to tell the other women to run away, but the soldier climbs onto the roof and shoots her in the back, killing her.

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