Bishop holds up first millennial saint as inspiration for young Catholics

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Bishop Nicholas Hudson has celebrated the news that Blessed Carlo Acutis, the London-born 15-year-old who died of leukaemia in 2006, will be declared the Church’s first millennial saint.

“It is a real answer to prayer that Blessed Carlo Acutis will be the first millennial saint – a saint our young people can really look up to,” said Bishop Hudson, an Auxiliary Bishop of Westminster who heads up the Diocesan Youth Ministry team. “So many young Catholics have told me that they feel as though Carlo has mysteriously ‘found’ them.”

Pope Francis has cleared the path for the canonisation of Blessed Carlo by officially recognising a second miracle attributed to him. The miracle relates to a woman from Costa Rica, Liliana, who prayed at the beatified teenager’s tomb in Assisi after her daughter Valeria suffered severe head trauma from a bike accident and was given little chance of survival.

Having prayed for the intercession of Blessed Carlo, on the same day, the hospital informed her that Valeria had started to breath spontaneously. The next day, she began to move and partially regained her speech. In just a few months she had made a miraculous recovery.

Bishop Hudson, who in October 2022 unveiled and blessed the Shrine of Blessed Carlo Acutis at Corpus Christi Catholic Church in Covent Garden, can see why so many people – particularly young Catholics – are inspired by and pray to Blessed Carlo.

“Last year I invited his mother, Antonia, to come to London to talk to the young people of Westminster Diocese about her experience of raising Carlo and seeing the love of Christ take root in him,” he said. “The church was packed and they were captivated by this young saint for our times who read Scripture every day, had a heart for social action, collecting containers full of clothes for the poor, stood up for anyone being bullied at school and visited Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament every day to share with him everything that was most important to him… we thank God for this wonderful news.”