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Blessed Carlo Acutis public veneration extended until Oct. 19

By JUSTINE RUTH PUNZALAN Published Oct 15, 2020 4:54 am

There is no doubt that people throughout the world were moved by the simple yet purposeful life of Blessed Carlo Acutis. So much so that thousands of Catholics gathered online to witness his beatification on Oct. 10 in the Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi, Italy.

Today, Acutis continues to bring thousands of people together, not only in spirit but also to the basilica where his tomb lies for public veneration. 

On Wednesday, Oct. 14, the Diocese of Assisi announced that Acutis' public veneration is extended until Oct. 19 due to the increasing number of people who want to pray before his tomb.

It was initially scheduled to end with a mass on the morning of Oct. 17. The extension, according to Bishop Domenico Sorrentino of Assisi, will allow more groups and pilgrims to visit the Blessed over the weekend.

Acutis was beatified as the first "Millennial Blessed" and "Patron of the Internet." He rests in his tomb dressed in sweatshirt, jeans, and a pair of Nike shoes—the same outfit that he would wear every day during his lifetime. Much of the people that traveled to Assisi are young people. 

In an interview with the Catholic News Agency (CNA), Fr. Boniface Lopez of Assisi said that many of those who visited Acutis' tomb took the opportunity to go to confession, which the church offers in many languages during the teen's public veneration.

"Many people are coming to see Carlo to ask for his blessing … also many young people; they come for confessions. They come because they want to change their lives and they want to come near God and really experience God," Fr. Lopez said.

Acutis passed away on Oct. 12, 2006 due to leukemia. Like any 15-year-old boy, he played video games and football and spent leisure time with his friends. He taught himself to code and used the skill to put up the website "The Eucharistic Miracles of the World" where he cataloged Eucharistic and Marian Miracles. Often times, he would bike around Milan to give alms to the needy.

His beatification was approved by Pope Francis on Feb. 22, 2020, after his intercession healed a Brazilian boy named Mattheus from his annular pancreas disorder. Acutis' beatification brings him one step closer to becoming the first millennial saint.