Two New Saints, Summer Reading, ***and: Beaconnj.org

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BLESSED PIER GIORGIO FRASSATI

BLESSED CARLO ACUTIS

“Even a quick glance at his life, consumed in just twenty-four years is all you need to understand Pier Giorgio’s answer to Jesus Christ: it was a response of a modern youth, open to the problems of his culture, to sports — he was a terrific mountaineer — to social matters, to the authentic values of life; yet he was also a man of deep faith, which was nurtured by the message of the Gospel, a man with a solid character, passionate about serving others, and consumed by a deep sense of charity which led him to approach … the poor and the sick. He was a young man whose joy was overflowing, a joy that helped him to overcome the many challenges of his life, challenges all young people face at that time of life.”

Pope John Paul II on a visit to Turin in April 1980 from Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati by Maria Di Lorenzo

BISHOP
KEVIN J.
SWEENEY

There are times when writing, like life, can feel like a journey. I would like to invite you to join me in recalling the brief, but informative journey that started with my hope to write a column on recent developments in the cause of canonization of two “Blesseds” who, God willing, will soon be officially named (canonized) as saints.

In recent weeks and months, I had heard some news that Pope Francis had “approved” a miracle attributed to Blessed Carlo Acutis. In the course of preparing to write this column, I asked the help of Father Cesar Jaramillo, who directed me to the website dedicated to his cause for canonization, where I learned that, on May 23, 2024, Pope Francis had approved that promulgation of a decree concerning the miracle. [See “Statement of the Postulation” at the end of this column.] Now, it is just a matter of choosing the date for Carlo Acutis to be named a Saint and become the first millennial saint.

In April of 2021, I had written an article about Carlo Acutis, after I had read a book, Blessed Carlo Acutis — 5 Steps to being a saint. You can find the article here. With the idea of “Summer Reading” on my mind, I planned to write about the recent developments in these two “causes” and recommend two books, one on each of the new saints.

The other “Blessed,” who, like Carlo, seems very likely to be canonized during the coming Jubilee Year of 2025 is Pier Giorgio Frassati. I had read a biography of Blessed Pier Giorgio a little over a year ago. I highly recommend it for many reasons. One of those reasons is that it has a wonderful subtitle. The title is Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati and the subtitle: Daredevil Athlete, Roguish Prankster, Unrelenting Activist, Unexpected Mystic. I hope that hearing this description of Pier Giorgio will spark your interest, as it did for me. Even more importantly, I hope that you may be able to purchase this book and get to know this amazing young man of faith, who lived for only 24 years, but who truly had a full life of faith. You can purchase the book here. As St. Pope John Paul II so beautifully described in the quote above, Pier Giorgio Frassati is a wonderful example, especially for young people today.

When I asked Father Jaramillo for some assistance in preparing to write this column, I asked him to provide some details, updating me on recent developments in these two causes. Father Jaramillo promptly provided the information I was seeking. As I reviewed that information, I recalled that Father Jaramillo had recently written a column for the Beacon, published in Spanish and in English. If you have not read Father Jaramillo’s column, I highly recommend that you find it in our online Beacon archive

I wanted to go back to Father Jaramillo’s column, to be sure that I would not be repeating any of what he had already written. This was a significant moment on the journey — I then went to our Diocesan website, and clicked on the top right corner for the link to the Beacon, as I have done hundreds of times before. It was a very pleasant surprise when I realized that clicking on that link now leads one to this website.

There will be more good and exciting news to share in the coming weeks and months, but I can let you know that “beaconnj.org” is an online version of The Beacon that Jai Agnish, our Communications director and editor of The Beacon and his team have been working on for many months. For those of you who like to get news online, I encourage you to begin clicking on and following beaconnj.org as it continues to be developed.

As I continued my journey to catch up on the recent news on Carlo Acutis and Pier Giorgio Frassati, I learned that:

Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati could be declared a saint during the Catholic Church’s 2025 Jubilee Year, according to the head of the Vatican’s office for saints’ causes.

Cardinal Marcello Semeraro, the prefect of the Dicastery for the Causes of Saints, announced on 26 April during Catholic Action’s national assembly that Frassati’s canonization is “on the horizon,” reports the Catholic News Agency (CNA), citing an article in Avvenire, the official newspaper of the Italian bishops’ conference.

“I would like to tell you that the canonization of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati is now clearly on the horizon and is in sight for the coming Jubilee Year,” the cardinal said at the assembly held in Sacrofano, Italy.”

Catholic Herald article on the canonization of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati

There were some additional steps and stops on my journey to catch up on the news, so that I could make sure that our readers were aware of these very exciting developments and, for those who may be looking for some good “Summer Reading,” be able to recommend the two books. The additional steps and stops were part of an online journey. So, for those who may like to do some of their reading online, I would recommend two articles from the Catholic News Agency:

CNA article on Blessed Carlo Acutis

CNA article on Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati

There is also an interesting article entitled, “Pope lets slip that Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati will be a saint soon.”

Speaking of journeys, have you heard about the four Eucharistic processions that are currently taking place in our country? From the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, the Northern and Southern borders of our country, four Eucharistic processions have been making their way, over the past five weeks, towards Indianapolis, where they will meet for the National Eucharistic Congress from July 16-21. I am looking forward to the journey (by plane) with 60 pilgrims from our diocese to participate in the Eucharistic Congress. If you can take the time to get to know and learn about these two “new saints,” who both had deep devotion to the Eucharist, you will see that their canonizations will come at the perfect time, as we continue on the journey towards a National Eucharistic Revival.

Carlo Acutis website

STATEMENT OF THE POSTULATION

23/05/2024

Let us praise the Lord for this great news!

Today, Thursday 23 May, Pope Francis, receiving in audience Cardinal Marcello Semeraro, Prefect of the Dicastery for the Causes of Saints, authorised the same Dicastery to promulgate the decree concerning the miracle attributed to Blessed Carlo Acutis.

With this decision by the Pontiff, the Cause has been successfully concluded, opening the way to canonisation.

The Pope will soon convene an ordinary public Consistory in which he will set the date for the canonisation ceremony.

We thank the Lord that in His Providence He has disposed that Carlo Acutis be inscribed in the Catalogue of Saints.

Our gratitude also goes to Pope Francis who approved this final step in the canonisation process.

We extend our gratitude to the faithful all over the world who have prayed to Carlo Acutis and continue to do so.

Dr. Nicola Gori, Postulator of the Cause

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