A relic of Blessed Carlo Acutis’ heart is coming to New York in the first week of April.
Archbishop Domenico Sorrentino of Assisi will personally take the first-class relic from Italy to New York City on April 3.
The relic is a fragment of Blessed Carlo’s pericardium, the membrane that surrounds and protects the heart. It will be present for the U.S. Bishops’ National Eucharistic Revival campaign, of which the Italian Blessed is a patron. The National Eucharistic Revival is a specific period of devotion and belief in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, which will begin this June and culminate in a National Eucharistic Congress in the United States in 2024.
In the Catholic Church, relics are physical objects that have a direct association with the saints. Veneration of relics is a Scripture-based tradition practiced in the Church throughout the centuries.
Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the archbishop of New York, will offer a Mass with the relic in the Church of St. Rita in the Bronx on April 7.
Blessed Carlo Acutis was a young Catholic from Italy with a passionate devotion to the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist and an aptitude for computer programming.
He died of leukemia in 2006 at the age of 15, offering his suffering for the pope and the Church.
In October of 2020, he became the first millennial to be beatified by the Catholic Church in October 2020. His tomb is located in the Shrine of the Renunciation, which is part of the Church of St. Mary Major in Assisi.
Pope Francis has said that Blessed Carlo’s “witness shows today’s young people that true happiness is found by putting God in first place and serving Him in our brothers and sisters, especially the least.”
During his visit to the U.S. on April 3-8, Archbishop Sorrentino will offer a Mass with the relic for 2,400 high school students at St. Anthony’s High School in South Huntington in the Diocese of Rockville Center.
The bishop of Assisi will also lead a holy hour for young people and adults at the Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in the Diocese of Brooklyn.
“It is a joy for me to bring this relic from Assisi,” Archbishop Sorrentino said in a March 18 press release from the Diocese of Assisi-Nocera Umbra-Gualdo Tadino.
“My prayer is that the presence of the relic of Blessed Carlo will arouse a desire in our American brothers and sisters, especially young people, not to waste their lives, but to make them a masterpiece, like Carlo chose in our time and St. Francis before him,” he said.
(Relics photo courtesy of Mazur/cbcew.org.uk. Blessed Carlo Acutis photo courtesy of www.carloacutis.com.)
By Courtney Mares, Catholic News Agency