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Blessed Carlo Acutis’ lifelong dream was to be a saint, his mother says

Pope Francis recognized second miracle attributed to Carlo Acutis, clearing way for his canonization

Bl. Carlo Acutis
While many Catholics around the world rejoiced upon hearing the news that Pope Francis had approved a second miracle attributed to Blessed Carlo Acutis, none was happier than his mother, Antonia Salzano.

“We were very happy, of course, as you can imagine,” Salzano said May 24. “It was great news because we were waiting for this declaration — especially for all the devotees he has around the world.”

Yet for her, the approval of the miracle “was a big sign of hope because through (Carlo’s) example, he gave witness to values that are for everybody; not just for (believers), but for nonbelievers, like helping the poor, human respect, the love for nature, love for the environment.”

It’s also the fulfillment of the teen’s lifelong dream of becoming a saint, which he had expressed since he was a boy, she said.

“He always said, ‘I want to please God,’” Salzano said. “When he did his first holy Communion — when he was 7 years old — he wrote, ‘To be united with God: this is my life program.’ And he maintained this promise all his life until the end, until his death.”

Before his death from leukemia in 2006, Carlo was an average teen with an above-average knack for computers. He used that knowledge to create an online database of eucharistic miracles around the world.

Although Salzano vividly remembers her son’s devotion to Jesus and the Virgin Mary and his care for the poor, including using his own money to purchase sleeping bags for the homeless, she also remembers him as an average teenager who enjoyed life, including playing sports, making films and playing with friends.

“But at the center of his life was Jesus; he had a daily meeting (with Jesus) through the holy Mass, eucharistic adoration and the holy Rosary. This was characteristic (of Carlo). And when you open the door of your heart to God, your ordinary life becomes extraordinary.”

As part of his sainthood cause, the young teen’s body was exhumed and transferred to a place suitable for public veneration, the Shrine of the Renunciation at the Church of St. Mary Major in Assisi in 2019.

The first miracle attributed to Carlo’s intercession was approved by Pope Francis in February 2020. It involved a young Brazilian boy who was completely healed from a rare congenital disease of the pancreas. In October of that year, the teen was beatified during a Mass at the Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi.

The second miracle, which now paves the way for Carlo’s canonization, was approved by the pope May 23 after a meeting with Cardinal Marcello Semeraro, prefect of the Dicastery for the Causes of Saints.

According to the website of the dicastery, Pope Francis recognized the miraculous healing of Valeria Valverde, a young Costa Rican woman living in Florence who suffered a severe head injury.

The same day her mother visited Carlo’s tomb, Valverde “regained the ability to breathe on her own, and the following day, doctors recorded the recovery of upper limb motility and partial speech,” the dicastery said.

Pope Francis has praised the young teen as a role model for today’s young people, who are often tempted by the traps of “self-absorption, isolation and empty pleasure.”

Salzano recalled one of her son’s now most well-known quotes, “All are born originals, but many die as photocopies” and said that everyone is unique and shares “a special call to holiness.”

In addition to clearing the way for the canonization of Blessed Carlo Acutis, Pope Francis signed decrees in seven other sainthood causes, including that of Blessed Giuseppe Allamano, founder of the Consolata Missionaries, who also is now ready to be declared a saint.

Publishing the decrees May 23, the Vatican also said Pope Francis will soon convoke a consistory of cardinals in Rome to vote on approving the canonizations of Blessed Acutis and Blessed Allamano, as well as eight Franciscan friars and three Maronite laymen who were martyred in Syria in 1860; Canada-born Blessed Marie-Léonie Paradis, founder of the Little Sisters of the Holy Family; and Blessed Elena Guerra, an Italian nun who founded the Oblates of the Holy Spirit.

From the Archive Module

Blessed Carlo Acutis lifelong dream was to be a saint his mother says 9652

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