By Charles Igwe
St. Dominic Parish in Brick, New Jersey, commemorated Blessed Carlo Acutis on October 1, graced by a special guest: Carlo’s mother, Antonia Salzano. After a joyous Mass led by Bishop David O’Connell of the Diocese of Trenton, Salzano received a relic of her son, and together they processed to the narthex, where a new shrine dedicated to Blessed Carlo Acutis was blessed.
Addressing the congregation, Salzano stated, “Sainthood is for everyone. Carlo became a saint by practicing the seven theological and cardinal virtues,” highlighting that these virtues make everyone a saint.
She shared insights into Carlo’s life, noting his daily practices of praying the rosary, reading sacred Scripture, attending weekly confession, and never missing daily Mass since his First Communion at the age of 7. He also spent time in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, believing it to be his “highway to heaven.”
Blessed Carlo Acutis was a “normal” teenager who excelled in computer programming, website development, and enjoyed gaming. He was born in London in 1991 but grew up in Milan, Italy. At 14, he created a website cataloging over 100 approved Eucharistic miracles worldwide. This inspired the Eucharistic Miracle Exhibit, viewed by thousands worldwide.
In 2006, Carlo was diagnosed with leukemia, offering his suffering for sinners. He passed away at the age of 15, and his wish to be buried in Assisi, Italy, was granted due to his love for St. Francis of Assisi and the poor.
His canonization cause began in 2013, and he was declared Venerable in 2019 and Blessed in 2020 by Pope Francis, making him one step away from sainthood.
The Diocese of Trenton’s connection to Blessed Carlo dates back to when Father Marian Kokorzycki brought a relic from Assisi. Bishop O’Connell supported the idea of establishing a shrine at St. Dominic Parish dedicated to Blessed Carlo Acutis.