The beatification of Carlo Acutis, the first “Millennial Blessed,” on Oct. 10 in Assisi, Italy sent ripples of hope to the Catholic faithful across the globe in the time of COVID-19 pandemic.
In the Philippines, sculptor Felman Limlengco Bagalso of Paete, Laguna created the first wooden statue of Acutis, which was blessed recently at the Saint James the Apostle Parish in Paete.
The sculpture of Acutis dons a red shirt with a dark blue collar, and a dark-colored fleece jacket that resemble the clothes the teenager was wearing in his widely shared photos online. A family from Moncada, Tarlac owns the sculpture made by Bagalso, who is known for his customized religious statues and images.
Acutis was born in London to Italian parents and was brought up in Milan. According to the Catholic News Agency, Carlo seemed to have a special love for God from a young age and even managed to drag his relatives to Mass every day and convince others to receive the communion daily.
As a teenager, Acutis loved sports and playing video games. He was also a programmer and dedicated his time building “The Eucharistic Miracles of the World” website where he cataloged and promoted Eucharistic miracles recognized by the Catholic Church. (Today, he is being called the “Cyber Apostle of the Eucharist” and “Patron of the Internet.”)
When he was diagnosed with Leukemia, he reportedly offered his sufferings to Pope Benedict XVI and for the church. He was 15 years old when he died on Oct. 12, 2006 and was buried upon his request in Assisi, where his favorite saint St. Francis of Assisi is from.
Acutis’ beatification took place after the Vatican ruled that his intercession miraculously healed a Brazilian boy named Mattheus from a serious birth defect called an annular pancreas. Now that he is beatified, Acutis is one step away from becoming the first millennial saint.
His remains are encased in a glass tomb at the Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi where pilgrims can venerate Acutis until Oct. 17.