A major relic of the Italian-born teenager Blessed Carlo Acutis, the first millennial to be considered for sainthood, has arrived in the Diocese of Malolos.
Bishop Dennis Villarojo led in welcoming the relic, ex corpore et ex capillis (from the body and hair), with a Mass at the Malolos Cathedral yesterday, July 27.
In his homily, the bishop pointed out that “relics of the saints are seen in the faith of the Catholic Church as a reminder and inspiration for people to imitate the virtues of that holy person.”
Unlike other saints who are priests or nuns, he said that Acutis was an ordinary lay person who was known for engaging in social media “but used it to promote devotion to the Holy Eucharist.”
“Blessed Carlo Acutis teaches us to follow in the footsteps of Christ, who knew that his calling was to be a saint,” said Villarojo, who is also the episcopal promoter of the devotion to the young Blessed in the Philippines.
In attendance were priest advisers and lay members of the Diocesan Commission Youth and the Friends of Blessed Carlo Acutis – Philippines, and some local public officials led by Governor Daniel Fernando and Vice-Governor Alex Castro.
Organizers said the pilgrim relic is a gift from the Diocese of Assisi and the Associazione Amici dei Carlo Acutis to further widen the promotion of the devotion to Blessed Carlo.
The Friends of Blessed Carlo Acutis – Philippines was formed in 2020 to promote the devotion to Blessed Acutis especially among the Filipino youth while also fostering a deep love for the Eucharist and for the Virgin Mary.
They were recognized by the international promoters organization of the Blessed in Assisi headed by lay people and Acutis’ mother Antonia Salzano with Fr. Nicola Gori as postulator of the cause for Acutis’ canonization.
The first relic of the Blessed brought to the country during that year was used for the first year of pilgrim visits held within parishes of the Malolos diocese since 2021.
The new pilgrim relic will be temporarily enshrined at St. James the Apostle Parish in Paombong town, which is serving as the headquarters of the national organization.
Born in 1991, Acutis is the first millennial to be beatified by the Catholic Church. The teen is now one step away from canonization.
An English-born Italian Catholic, he used technology to spread devotion to the Eucharist before he died in 2006 at the young age of 15 from leukemia.