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Stained-glass window dedicated to Blessed Carlo Acutis creates a stir in English parish

Stained-glass window of Blessed Carlo Acutis at St. Aldhelm’s in Malmesbury, England. / Credit: Courtesy of Father Thomas Kulandaisamy/Catholic Herald

London, England, Jul 14, 2024 / 06:00 am (CNA).

St. Aldhelm’s in Malmesbury is proud to be the first parish in England — to the best of its knowledge — to feature a stained-glass window dedicated to Blessed Carlo Acutis. 

Known as “The Millennial Saint,” Carlo was just 15 when he died, but the young computer programmer has left a powerful legacy that continues to inspire young people around the world.

Blessed Carlo, who died of leukemia, was a devout child with a deep love for the Blessed Sacrament and the rosary. He rarely missed an opportunity to attend daily Mass, and his dedication and faith continue to inspire thousands of young people worldwide.

Although not yet canonized, London-born Carlo can, after being declared “blessed,” be venerated in a church with special permission from the local diocese.

There were two windows in St. Aldhelm’s church that lacked images, so the proposal was made to the pastoral council that an image of Blessed Carlo Acutis be included. As pastor of this parish, it was my hope that it would particularly attract young people who can relate to him as a contemporary figure. 

Permission was obtained, alongside permission being granted to venerate Blessed Carlo Acutis through a stained-glass window, and the stained-glass window was installed at St. Aldhelm’s in 2022.

Stained-glass window of Blessed Carlo Acutis at St. Aldhelm’s in Malmesbury, England. Credit: Courtesy of Father Thomas Kulandaisamy
Stained-glass window of Blessed Carlo Acutis at St. Aldhelm’s in Malmesbury, England. Credit: Courtesy of Father Thomas Kulandaisamy

The window gained significant attention after Pope Francis informally announced that the second miracle attributed to Carlo was going to be approved, clearing the path for his sainthood. This announcement amplified the interest in Carlo’s story, drawing even more visitors to the church.

The window has already inspired many people, both young and old. The congregation and the town is immensely proud of this moment, which has not only put their church on the map but also drawn visitors from across the country.

It has even garnered special attention in media over the past two years.

The window was featured in Famiglia Cristiana (Issue No. 2, Jan. 8, 2023), an Italian weekly magazine published in Alba, Italy: The three-page article noted how people have been attracted to and impressed by the window and often inquire about the story of Carlo as a result. 

St. Aldhelm’s has found itself at the center of national attention thanks to an inspiring piece run by the Daily Telegraph. 

The article, titled “The video game-loving teen who was made a saint — and immortalized in a Wiltshire church window,” highlighted how the window depicts Carlo in a contemporary light, complete with a modern watch and mobile phone, symbolizing his unique blend of modernity and piety. The installation was judged a thoughtful choice to resonate with younger generations.

Since the publication of the Telegraph article, St. Aldhelm’s has seen a surge in visitors. Many are drawn specifically by the story of Carlo’s short but powerful life, eager to see the window that so beautifully captures his spirit. 

This newfound attention has filled the church with an air of excitement and reverence, as parishioners and visitors alike gather to admire the window and reflect on Acutis’ legacy.

The window itself, crafted by stained-glass artist Michael Vincent, has become a focal point for both locals and tourists. Its presence not only enhances the church’s aesthetic but also serves as a powerful reminder of Carlo’s enduring influence.

The artist has even prepared an additional pane to update Carlo’s title from “Blessed” to “Saint” upon his canonization.

Many visitors from Mamesbury came to St. Aldhelm’s for the St. Aldhelm’s Flower Festival on May 25, which coincided with the feature about Blessed Carlo in the Telegraph.

Several visitors mentioned they came after reading the Telegraph article, inspired by the wonderful story about Carlo.

That evening, an 87-year-old lady called to express how much the article had made her day. She has a great devotion to Carlo (as well as 14 grandchildren).

The day before, the parish quickly prepared about 100 booklets with a brief biography, quotes, and photos of Carlo, including the window at St. Aldhelm’s, so people could learn more about him. About 500 copies of the eight-page booklet have been printed for visitors and guests that come to see the window. 

Here is an impression left by visitors after seeing the stained-glass window:

Inspirational note left by visitors after seeing the stained-glass window of Blessed Carlo Acutis at St. Aldhelm’s in Malmesbury, England. Credit: Courtesy of Father Thomas Kulandaisamy
Inspirational note left by visitors after seeing the stained-glass window of Blessed Carlo Acutis at St. Aldhelm’s in Malmesbury, England. Credit: Courtesy of Father Thomas Kulandaisamy

In April this year, a 6-year-old girl was struck down with the rare neurological disorder Guillain-Barré Syndrome, which left her entire body paralyzed. She was put into an induced coma and placed on a ventilator. Now, she has regained full movement in her upper body.

During her illness, parishioners of St. Aldhelm’s earnestly prayed to Blessed Carlo Acutis, asking for his intercession. We truly believe that Carlo’s intercession has greatly contributed to the girl’s speedy and remarkable recovery, and we remain hopeful that she will make a full recovery.

We truly believe that with the window and its appeal to young people and young families, St. Aldhelm’s will become a hub for reflection and spiritual growth. It will be a place where young people can gather, reflect on their own lives, and consider how they can dedicate themselves to God, initiating and making progress on the path to holiness.

We plan to place a kneeler in front of the window, providing a space for prayer alongside a place for people to leave their prayers and petitions, as well as responses to answered prayers.

Over the past three years, our efforts have been focused on the project of constructing a parish hall. This endeavor is crucial because our parish has never had a dedicated space for catechesis, children’s education, and social gatherings. As we strive toward this goal, having already raised nearly half of the required funds, we are filled with hope.

The recent influx of visitors, especially young people and children drawn to Blessed Carlo, who would be one of the youngest saints, highlights the urgent need for such a facility. This hall will serve as more than just a physical structure; it will be a place where our youth can gather, deepen their understanding of Blessed Carlo’s life and teachings, and grow spiritually. 

This will empower them to embody holiness and spread the light of faith wherever they go. We need this among our younger Catholics, now more than ever.

This article was originally published by the Catholic Herald in England on July 9, 2024, and has been adapted and reprinted by CNA with permission.

Catholic leaders react to Trump shooting: ‘Our country needs God’

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump pumps his fist as he is rushed offstage during a rally on July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pennsylvania. / Credit: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

CNA Newsroom, Jul 13, 2024 / 20:57 pm (CNA).

Catholic ecclesial and political leaders across the United States offered their prayers for Donald Trump after an attempted assassination of the former president Saturday evening at a campaign event in Pennsylvania.

Among them was Bishop David Zubik of the Diocese of Pittsburgh, where the shooting took place.

“We are deeply shocked by news reports of the shooting at a political rally for former President Trump right across the street from one of our churches in Butler County,” Zubik said in a statement. 

“We are grateful for the swift actions of the Secret Service and our local first responders,” he added. “Let us join together in prayer for the health and safety of all, for healing and peace, and for an end to this climate of violence in our world. May God guide and protect us all.”

Other U.S. Church leaders echoed concern for the nation as a whole, which already was in the grips of a fever of extraordinary polarization before Saturday’s shocking events.

“Together with my brother bishops, we condemn political violence, and we offer our prayers for President Trump, and those who were killed or injured,” Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio of the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA, and president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) said in a statement Saturday night.

“We also pray for our country and for an end to political violence, which is never a solution to political disagreements,” Broglio added. “We ask all people of goodwill to join us in praying for peace in our country. Mary, Mother of God and Patroness of the Americas, pray for us.”

The archbishop of Newark, Cardinal Joseph Tobin, CSSR, also called on the Mary’s intercession. He invited prayers for the recovery of Trump and all victims of the shooting: “May the family of the deceased and wounded find consolation and hope, and may this outrage lead us, as Americans, to denounce all forms of political and gun violence and the rhetoric that incites it.”

Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller, archbishop of San Antonio and a member of the Missionaries of the Holy Spirit, asked for the intercession of Our Lady of Guadalupe, whose basilica in Mexico City he visited on Saturday afternoon.

“Political conflicts cannot and must not lead to violence,” he said in a statement issued from Mexico City. “May Our Lady of Guadalupe, mother of Jesus Christ and our mother, guide us in these difficult times in our country. May we become peacemakers in our homes, our families, our workplaces, and our nation. We need peace in our world.”

Archbishop Nelson J. Pérez of Philadelphia said in a statement posted to Instagram late Saturday night that he was “deeply saddened and dismayed to learn of the shooting.”

“Americans must join in solidarity to condemn today’s act of political violence and violence in all forms. Working together, we can resolve our differences through peaceful dialogue and conquer the sin of hatred,” he said.

Earlier this summer, the USCCB issued a statement on political violence, urging all Christians and people of goodwill to abstain from political violence and instead “pursue what leads to peace and building up one another” through dialogue and seeking justice.

“Today’s events demonstrate the political tension that exists in our nation,” said Bishop Larry Kulick of Greensburg, Pennsylvania, which neighbors Butler County but does not include it.

“Violence can never be a legitimate part of the democratic process,” he said. “I ask all the faithful of the Diocese of Greensburg to join in me in prayer for those who have died, those who mourn their loss, and those who have been injured.”

Kulick added: “My heartfelt prayers go out to all of those who have been affected by this horrific event.”

Bishop Robert Barron of the Diocese of Winona-Rochester, Minnesota, posted to X, formerly known as Twitter, soon after the news of the shooting broke.

“I would like to offer prayers for President Trump and all those who were injured at the rally in Pennsylvania,” he said. “We must turn from the path of violence. May the Lord bless our troubled nation.”

Bishop Walker Nickless of Sioux City, Iowa, called Saturday’s shooting “a tragic day for our country.”

“There is no place for political violence in the United States. The events today demonstrate the great need for prayer — it is a time to pray for peace and pray for an end to violence,” he said.

“We must also pray for those who may have been killed or injured in the event, and their families, and pray for the quick recovery of former President Trump,” he added. “Moving forward, may we show love and respect for one another in this great country.”

Archbishop Paul Coakley of Oklahoma City also offers his prayers for Trump “and those killed, injured, and traumatized Saturday at the rally in Pennsylvania.”

Coakley added: “Let us remember that violence is never the answer to our differences. And may God bless our nation, at this time marked by division.”

Bishop Michael Olson of Fort Worth, Texas, expressed similar sentiments.

“Please pray for President Trump and his family and for the souls and families of those killed in this terrible incident,” he said. “Please pray for peace in our nation.”

Bishop Donald Hying, bishop of Madison, Wisconsin, also offered prayers for Trump and those injured in the shooting, adding: “Our country needs prayer and conversion. Our country needs God.”

Michael Warsaw, board chairman and CEO of EWTN, CNA’s parent organization, released the following statement: “This is a very very sad day for our country. We need to pray for the former president and all who have been impacted by this incident. We also need to redouble our prayers for our country.”

Kevin Roberts, the Catholic president of The Heritage Foundation, said the shooting was “no surprise” given years of bitterly heated rhetorical attacks against Trump.

“Today’s attempted assassination of Donald Trump is something many of us have been worried about,” Roberts said in a statement. 

“When the Radical Left spends years and millions of dollars calling Trump and every conservative ‘threats to democracy,’ it’s no surprise that today’s tragedy would happen,” he said. “We must pray for our country and all our leaders, and for an end to this inflammatory rhetoric of the Left and their media accomplices.”

This is a developing story.

National Catholic Register staff writers Matthew McDonald and Peter Laffin contributed to this story.

Trump injured at Pennsylvania rally in assassination attempt; shooter, rally attendee dead

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is surrounded by U.S. Secret Service agents at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pennsylvania. / Credit: AP Photo/Evan Vucci

CNA Newsroom, Jul 13, 2024 / 19:34 pm (CNA).

Former President Donald Trump suffered injuries in an assassination attempt at a rally in western Pennsylvania on Saturday evening, with the former president being escorted out of the venue with blood on his face after shots rang out.

The alleged shooter was reportedly killed by law enforcement and one attendee at the rally was also killed, according to media reports.

“The former president is safe,” the U.S. Secret Service said in a written statement on Saturday evening that did not say whether Trump was injured.

The incident took place at about 6:20 p.m. in Butler, Pennsylvania, shortly after the Trump rally began.

Secret Service tend to Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump onstage at a rally on July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pennsylvania. Credit: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images
Secret Service tend to Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump onstage at a rally on July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pennsylvania. Credit: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Secret Service agents shielded Trump as he appeared to lie on the floor of the stage.

Trump stood up and put his fist into the air before being whisked away by law enforcement officers. Blood was visible on the top of his right ear and on his right cheek.

Multiple media outlets reported that the alleged shooter was killed by law enforcement after the shooting took place. An attendee at the rally was also reportedly killed amid the shooting.

In a statement posted to Truth Social, the former president thanked law enforcement “for their rapid response on the shooting that just took place in Butler, Pennsylvania."

“Most importantly, I want to extend my condolences to the family of the person at the rally who was killed, and also to the family of another person that was badly injured,” Trump wrote. “It is incredible that such an act can take place in our country.”

“Nothing is known at this time about the shooter, who is now dead,” Trump said. “I was shot with a bullet that pierced the upper part of my right ear. I knew immediately that something was wrong in that I heard a whizzing sound, shots, and immediately felt the bullet ripping through the skin. Much bleeding took place, so I realized then what was happening. GOD BLESS AMERICA!”

National and church leaders, meanwhile, responded to the news with calls for prayers and with condemnation of the violence.

President Joe Biden on Saturday said he had been “briefed on the shooting at Donald Trump’s rally in Pennsylvania.”

“I’m grateful to hear that he’s safe and doing well. I’m praying for him and his family and for all those who were at the rally as we await further information,” the president said.

“Jill and I are grateful to the Secret Service for getting him to safety,” Biden added. “There’s no place for this kind of violence in America. We must unite as one nation to condemn it.”

Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio of the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA, and president of the U.S. Conference of Bishops, said in a statement that the U.S. bishops "condemn political violence, and we offer our prayers for President Trump, and those who were killed or injured."

"We also pray for our country and for an end to political violence, which is never a solution to political disagreements. We ask all people of goodwill to join us in praying for peace in our country. Mary, Mother of God and Patroness of the Americas, pray for us," Broglio said.

Bishop David Zubik, the bishop of the Diocese of Pittsburgh where the shooting took place, released a statement Saturday night in which he expressed shock at “news reports of the shooting at a political rally for former President Trump right across the street from one of our churches in Butler County.”

“We are grateful for the swift actions of the Secret Service and our local first responders,” the bishop said. “Let us join together in prayer for the health and safety of all, for healing and peace, and for an end to this climate of violence in our world. May God guide and protect us all.”

Kevin Roberts, the president of the conservative Heritage Foundation, said in a statement that the shooting was “something many of us have been worried about.”

“When the Radical Left spends years and millions of dollars calling Trump and every conservative ‘threats to democracy,’ it’s no surprise that today’s tragedy would happen,” he said. “We must pray for our country and all our leaders, and for an end to this inflammatory rhetoric of the Left and their media accomplices.”

Winona-Rochester, Minnesota, Bishop Robert Barron on Saturday said he would “offer prayers for President Trump and all those who were injured at the rally in Pennsylvania.”

“We must turn from the path of violence,” the bishop said. “May the Lord bless our troubled nation.”

Jonah McKeown of CNA and Peter Laffin of the National Catholic Register contributed to this report.

This is a developing story.

Washington judge denies state attorney general’s subpoena against Seattle Archdiocese

“To be very clear: we are not seeking to cover up the sins of the past,” Seattle Archbishop Paul Etienne emphasized. “We acknowledge that sexual abuse occurred; it is tragic and heartbreaking. We want abusers to be held accountable and we wish to dispel the fear that clergy sexual abuse is rampant today." Image of Saint James Cathedral in Seattle. / Credit: DarrylBrooks/Shutterstock

CNA Staff, Jul 13, 2024 / 10:45 am (CNA).

A judge in Washington state on Friday rejected the state attorney general’s request to enforce a subpoena against the Archdiocese of Seattle as part of an ongoing investigation into sex abuse. 

Attorney General Bob Ferguson had said in May that his office had sent subpoenas to the Seattle Archdiocese, the Diocese of Spokane, and the Diocese of Yakima as part of an investigation into whether the bishoprics “used charitable funds to cover up allegations of child sex abuse by clergy.”

The attorney general’s office claimed in May that the Seattle Archdiocese “refused to cooperate” with the subpoena, leading the prosecutor to request that the King County Superior Court enforce the demand under the state’s Charitable Trusts Act, which imposes transparency requirements on large charitable trusts. 

In a press release shared with CNA, the archdiocese said that King County Superior Court Judge Michael Scott on Friday “ruled that the attorney general does not have legal authority to enforce a subpoena against the Archdiocese of Seattle,” with the judge “specifically noting that the religious exemption in the Charitable Trust Act” applies in this case. 

The archdiocese “is committed to transparency and accountability to help those who have been harmed heal and to rebuild trust,” the Friday statement said, adding that the archdiocese “remains steadfast in its offer to collaborate with the attorney general in a lawful manner.”

In a Thursday letter prior to the ruling, Seattle Archbishop Paul Etienne had argued that the state charitable law contains “a very clear religious exemption that our Legislature adopted to limit the attorney general’s authority.”

Bishop Paul D. Etienne. CNA file photo.
Bishop Paul D. Etienne. CNA file photo.

“Because of this clear religious exemption, we simply cannot comply” with the subpoena, the archbishop wrote. “Doing so puts First Amendment rights and the foundational concept of separation of church and state at risk.” 

The prelate further argued that the prosecutor’s request was “too broad” and that complying with the subpoena would involve “many months to produce irrelevant documents” and would “waste millions of dollars for us and for taxpayers.”

“To be very clear: We are not seeking to cover up the sins of the past,” the archbishop added. “We acknowledge that sexual abuse occurred; it is tragic and heartbreaking. We want abusers to be held accountable and we wish to dispel the fear that clergy sexual abuse is rampant today, because it is not.”

In a Friday statement following the ruling, meanwhile, Ferguson’s office reiterated its claim that the prosecutor “has authority under the Charitable Trusts Act to investigate organizations’ use of charitable funds.”

“We plan to immediately appeal this decision because Washingtonians deserve a full public accounting of the Church’s involvement in and responsibility for the child sexual abuse crisis,” Ferguson said. 

The prosecutor told local media that if the ruling “means we have to go all the way up to the state Supreme Court, that’s absolutely what we’re going to do.”

In May the Seattle Archdiocese had said that it “welcome[d] this investigation because we have a shared goal of abuse prevention, healing for victims, and transparency.” 

The archdiocese said it had been “working closely with the attorney general’s team for months” on the investigation prior to the legal dispute.

Confraternity of the Lord of Miracles to celebrate 30 years in U.S.

Image from the 2023 29th anniversary celebration of the Confraternity of the Lord of Miracles in the Diocese of Palm Beach, Florida. / Credit: "EWTN Noticias"/Screenshot

ACI Prensa Staff, Jul 13, 2024 / 09:00 am (CNA).

In October, the Confraternity of the Lord of Miracles of the Diocese of Palm Beach, Florida, will celebrate 30 years of promoting the most important devotion in Peru and evangelizing southern Florida.

The confraternity was formed 1994 as an initiative of a Spanish priest who encouraged Peruvians to begin the apostolate at St. Juliana Church, where the image that is brought out in procession in the month of October is currently kept.

Professor Mario Neyra, president of the Confraternity of the Lord of Miracles, told EWTN Noticias, the Spanish-language broadcast partner of EWTN News, about the activities carried out by the apostolate, which is made up mostly of Peruvians but which faithful of other nationalities can join.

“Our job is basically to promote faith in the Lord of Miracles and maintain a little of our traditions. In the month of October we remember our roots and also honor Our Lord,” Neyra said.

Neyra, who is married and will be ordained a permanent deacon next year, said that currently the Confraternity of the Lord of Miracles of the Diocese of Palm Beach is also present in St. Rita and Holy Name of Jesus parishes.

With novenas, Masses, processions, and providing typical Peruvian dishes, the confraternity continues to carry out its apostolate, something that Neyra considered is a distinctive feature of Hispanic immigrants.

“Here in the United States the Catholic Church has grown thanks to immigrants. The life that exists in the parishes is often because of them,” Neyra highlighted.

“In the activities they do in the parishes, the parish priests definitely count on Latinos. Parish life, joy, all this comes from us,” he commented.

Who is the Lord of Miracles?

The Lord of Miracles, also called the Christ of Pachacamilla, the Purple Christ (in reference to decorations and clothing associated with the devotion) or the Black Christ (referring to the dark complexion of the figure of Christ) is an image of Jesus painted on an adobe wall that is preserved in the Shrine of Las Nazarenas in Lima, Peru. 

The image is considered miraculous because the wall it is painted on has withstood the onslaught of several disastrous earthquakes, which is why veneration of the image has grown increasingly since the 17th century, becoming a characteristic devotion of Peruvians throughout the world.

After one of the earthquakes, an oil painting of the image was commissioned so it could be carried out in procession.

One of the many processions of the Lord of Miracles takes place in Rome and concludes in St. Peter’s Square in the Vatican, where Pope Francis usually greets the participants as he did on Oct. 22, 2023.

This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.

After needing a heart transplant, one woman’s rehabilitation became spiritual

Kathleen Anderson holds a photo of the woman whose heart was donated and transplanted into her. Anderson still keeps in contact with the woman’s family. / Credit: Isabel Cacho/Angelus News

Los Angeles, Calif., Jul 13, 2024 / 08:00 am (CNA).

For 70 years, Kathleen Anderson’s congenital heart disease had eroded her health and brought her to her knees in prayer. 

As she finally prepared to undergo a heart transplant, she paused to pray and hoped to find healing and respite when she emerged from surgery.

Although she awoke with a healthy new heart in her chest, the ordeal triggered a monthslong spiritual battle that caused her to cry out to God.

Today, Anderson says that God has physically — and spiritually — healed her heart and says that her Catholic faith, her commitment to prayer, and the support of others helped her to persevere. 

“My advice to those who are suffering is to never give up hope and to turn to Jesus, because he will give you the peace that you need,” said Anderson, a longtime parishioner of St. Cornelius Church in Long Beach, California. 

Anderson was born into a devout Catholic family and prayed the rosary every night with her parents, asking God to heal her heart. She went on to get married and have three children, even after doctors weren’t sure she could have kids because of her illness. 

With time, Anderson’s condition worsened. She had her first heart surgery at 52 and underwent additional procedures in the following years.

Ultimately, doctors placed her on Cedars-Sinai Medical Center’s heart transplant list but warned her that it could take years for her to get a new heart. Having a heart transplant is also still fairly rare — 4,545 in the U.S. in 2023, according to tracking data — despite it being well known.

“I had faith,” she said. “I prayed. I said, ‘Thy will be done.’”

But that faith was tested with several letdowns. Twice, Anderson was called into the hospital to receive heart transplants but was turned down at the last minute. 

She was later told she was being removed from the transplant list as the COVID-19 pandemic began to unfold. She wasn’t sure when — or if — she’d be put back on the list but again clung to prayer and tried to accept God’s will.

In November 2020, she was called in for a heart transplant for the third time but didn’t think it would actually happen. 

“I was wheeled into the operating room and this time the doctor was all suited up,” she said. “He looked at me and he said, ‘Are you ready for battle?’ And I knew that it was time.” 

When Anderson awoke from surgery, she quickly realized that her battle would be more spiritual than physical — something that she did not expect.

She found that her new heartbeat felt “different.” She feared her body might reject her new heart. And she didn’t feel the “euphoria” that she thought she should feel. 

“I wanted to feel the happiness because I could see that everyone was so happy for me,” she said. “Instead I felt fear, confusion. Almost not knowing how to feel. Almost not feeling at all.”

Anderson returned home to a strong support system and supportive church community but still couldn’t shake her feelings. 

It took several months for her to rebound, but she remained steadfast in prayer and looked to the lives of the saints for inspiration and guidance.

“Little by little, I felt Jesus and I felt God helping me through all the prayers, through all the support,” she said. “And I started to feel that lifting. And I started to feel the joy.”

As the first anniversary of her heart transplant neared, she felt invigorated and grateful. 

She planned a big party at a park near her house to thank her supporters for their support, love, and prayers. COVID restrictions were starting to lift and she wanted to see everyone in person. 

“I didn’t want to just send notes,” she said. “I wanted to feel them, I wanted to touch them. I wanted to really let them know that I was here.”

Today, Anderson is 74 and has been married for 48 years. She is a grandmother of seven and has been active at her parish for more than 20 years.

She’s also struck up a friendship with her heart donor’s husband and two daughters. She visited them a few years ago in San Diego, where they spent several hours telling Anderson about their beloved wife and mother and sharing family photo albums with her. 

“It was a good meeting,” she said. “To this day, we still keep in contact.”

These days, Anderson is focused on teaching her grandchildren how to turn to God in good times and in bad. 

She’s also intent on sharing her story with others as a way to spread hope and healing. 

“My purpose is to reach out and to let people know what God did for me, what Jesus did for me, what people did for me,” she said. 

Those who know Anderson say she’s happy with life and goes the extra mile to help bring others to Christ. 

“It was such a bittersweet moment,” said Anderson’s daughter, Jaclyn Padgett, who also attends St. Cornelius. “Somebody lost their life to give a life and she’s held that very near and dear to her heart.

“She’s just got a sense of wonder and amazement about this gift. I think she truly feels like it’s such a gift for her to be able to continue living and to continue serving.”

Monsignor Jarlath Cunnane — known as “Father Jay” — pastor at St. Cornelius, describes Anderson as a dedicated parishioner who is involved in various groups and often speaks about her transplant and faith journey during parish retreats.

“I think her testimonies are always very impactful because of the depth of her sharing and the faith involved,” he said. 

Looking toward the future, Anderson said she’s trying to live in the moment and not worry about what tomorrow may bring. 

As always, she remains consistent in her willingness to follow God’s plan. 

“I now hold two hearts within me,” she said. “One physical, and one spiritual, sharing in the wonders of God’s glorious works. And I thank God every day.”

This story was originally published by Angelus News on July 8, 2024, and has been adapted and reprinted by CNA with permission.

Relics of Carlo Acutis and 6 saints coming to National Eucharistic Congress

A reliquary containing Blessed Carlo Acutis’ relic at a Mass at St. Dominic Parish in Brick, New Jersey, Oct. 1, 2023. / Credit: Thomas P. Costello II

Rome Newsroom, Jul 13, 2024 / 07:00 am (CNA).

Relics of Blessed Carlo Acutis, St. Juan Diego, and five other saints will be available for veneration each day of the National Eucharistic Congress in Indianapolis next week. 

Catholics attending the congress will have the rare opportunity to pray with the relics of Sts. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Manuel González García, Paschal Baylon, Junípero Serra, Juan Diego, and Blessed Carlo Acutis, as well as part of a relic from Chartres, France, known as “the Veil of Our Lady.”

Organizers announced that the relics will be displayed at a specially designated reliquary chapel within the Indiana Convention Center July 15–20 from noon to 6:30 p.m. each day, allowing the faithful to offer prayers of intercession and reflect on the lives of the saints who exemplified profound devotion to the Eucharist.

“From our Blessed Mother through Blessed Carlo Acutis, the Eucharist has been at the center of the lives of all saints, and these particular patrons can inspire us to share in their closeness to Our Lord, present in the holy Eucharist,” Father Eric Augenstein, the reliquary chapel coordinator for the congress, told CNA.

Relics are physical objects that have a direct association with the saints or with Our Lord. First-class relics are the body or fragments of the body of a saint, such as pieces of bone, and second-class relics are something that a saint personally owned, such as a shirt or book (or fragments of those items).

Catholics venerate relics for the sake of worshipping God, as St. Jerome described in “Ad Riparium” in 404 A.D.: “We venerate the relics of the martyrs in order the better to adore him whose martyrs they are.” 

The Church has documented medical miracles that have occurred when people have prayed with relics, including the miracles that led to the approval of Acutis’ upcoming canonization.

Here are the Eucharistic saints whom people can encounter at the National Eucharistic Congress:

St. Manuel González García

Known as the “Bishop of the Abandoned Tabernacle,” St. Manuel González García (1877–1940) was a bishop amid the Spanish Civil War known for his profound devotion to the Eucharist. After his episcopal ordination in Seville, he said: “I desire that in my life as a bishop, as before in my life as a priest, my soul should not grieve except for one sorrow which is the greatest of all, the abandonment of the tabernacle, and that it should rejoice for one joy, the tabernacle, which does not lack company.”

On his tomb in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel of Palencia Cathedral, it is written: “I ask to be buried next to a tabernacle, so that my bones after my death, like my tongue and my pen in life, may always be repeating to those who pass by, ‘Jesus is here! Jesus is here! Do not leave him abandoned!’”

First-class relics of St. Manuel González García’s bone, blood, and hair are being brought to Indianapolis from Spain by several sisters who are members of the Eucharistic Missionaries of Nazareth, a community he founded.

Blessed Carlo Acutis

A relic of Blessed Carlo Acutis’ heart (pericardium) from Assisi, Italy, will be on display in the congress reliquary. The Italian teenager who died in 2006 is known for his devotion to the Eucharist and his passion for technology. He called the Eucharist “my highway to heaven” and used his computer skills to catalog Eucharistic miracles from around the world. Diagnosed with leukemia at the age of 15, Carlo offered his suffering for the Church and the pope. Pope Francis has put forward Acutis as an example for young people and recently approved his canonization as the first millennial saint, expected during the Catholic Church’s 2025 Jubilee Year.

Acutis’ Eucharistic Miracles Exhibit will also be on display in the Indiana Convention Center each day of the congress. 

St. Paschal Baylon

St. Paschal Baylon was born on the feast of Pentecost in 1540 in Torrehermosa, Spain. A humble shepherd who joined the Franciscan order as a lay brother, he was known for his deep piety and devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. Despite his lack of formal education, he was revered for his wisdom and spirituality. He was canonized in 1690 by Pope Alexander VIII and declared the patron saint of all Eucharistic congresses and associations by Pope Leo XIII.

A relic of Baylón’s mummified finger is provided to the Eucharistic congress from the Shrine of All Saints in Chicago.

St. Junípero Serra

St. Junípero Serra was a Franciscan missionary who played a pivotal role in the establishment of the California mission system. The missionary saint from Mallorca, Spain, arrived in Mexico in 1749 and later moved north to found the first nine of 21 missions in California, starting with San Diego de Alcalá in 1769. His efforts significantly influenced the spread of Christianity in the American West. Pope Francis declared Serra a saint in the first canonization on U.S. soil in 2015. 

St. Juan Diego

St. Juan Diego is best known for his encounters with the Virgin Mary, who appeared to him as Our Lady of Guadalupe in 1531. The Virgin Mary instructed Diego to build a church in her honor, leaving her image miraculously imprinted on his tilma as proof. The Mexico City basilica that now houses the tilma has become one of the world’s most-visited Catholic shrines. Pope John Paul II beatified St. Juan Diego in 1990 and canonized him in 2002.

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton

A pioneer in American Catholic education, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton was the first native-born American to be canonized as a saint. Seton was born into an Episcopalian family in New York City in 1774. After her husband's death, she converted to Catholicism and founded the Sisters of Charity, the first American religious community for women. She established schools and orphanages, laying the foundation for the Catholic parochial school system in the United States. 

The Bishop Simon Bruté College Seminary in Indianapolis provided Seton’s relic for the congress.

The Veil of Mary

A piece of a relic of the Veil of Our Lady from the Chartres Cathedral in France will be displayed for veneration at the National Eucharistic Congress. The veil, also known as the Sancta Camisa, has been preserved and venerated in the Chartres Cathedral since the 10th century. This piece of the veil belongs to Holy Rosary Church in Indianapolis and is on loan for the congress. 

The Shroud of Turin

Visitors to the National Eucharistic Congress will also have the chance to see a replica of the Shroud of Turin, which is part of an educational exhibit on display in the Wabash Ballroom Three of the Indiana Conversion Center each day of the congress. 

Eucharistic adoration

Eucharistic adoration will be available 24 hours a day throughout the congress at St. John the Evangelist Church next to the Indiana Convention Center starting at 9 a.m. on July 15 and concluding at 9 a.m on July 21.

“The Eucharist we receive and adore today is the same Jesus who was received and adored by these great saints, and so many others before us. We are united to the Communion of Saints most intimately through the Holy Eucharist,” Augenstein said.

More than 100 years after Fátima, New Jersey Knights of Columbus promotes similar message

A handful of LOFRON resolution members stand outside of the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption in Trenton, New Jersey. It was here where they recited the Prayer of Consecration of America to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on July 4, 2022. / Credit: LOFRON

Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Jul 13, 2024 / 06:00 am (CNA).

During the apparitions that took place between May and October of 1917 in Fátima, Portugal, Our Lady revealed to three shepherd children the importance of penance, praying the rosary, and devotion to her Immaculate Heart, among other things.

Now, more than 100 years later, a local Knights of Columbus group from New Jersey hopes to spread a similar message across the United States.

The Living Our Faith to Restore Our Nation (LOFRON) resolution was officially approved this past March by the Knights of Columbus Order of the Fourth Degree. Now, the group is looking to expand outside of New Jersey and across the nation.

LOFRON first began in 2020, when members of the Knights of Columbus St. Elizabeth Council No. 2393 in Basking Ridge, New Jersey, held Zoom sessions to discuss the state of the country.

“We were terribly frustrated with what was going on in the country and a growing secular culture,” said Matt Porraro, a Knight and founding member of the resolution.

Citing the inclusion of God throughout the Declaration of Independence and several of the Founding Fathers’ practice of Christianity, Porraro shared the group’s desire to combat secularism by putting “God back into everyday society, everyday language, and everyday messaging. He has been put off to the side in today’s society, and we have to bring him back.”

Calling themselves a nonpolitical “spiritual militia,” members of this resolution aim to “bring our nation closer to God and his holy mother Mary” by pushing for a yearly rosary procession and consecration of the United States to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

In hopes of gaining more momentum beyond a state level, the LOFRON movement — which currently consists of about a dozen members — has partnered with the National Blue Army Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima in Asbury, New Jersey.

Founded in 1947 and decreed as the World Apostolate of Fátima in 2005, this shrine’s mission is to “help people learn, live, and spread the message of Our Lady of Fátima in communion with the Church and in concert with the new evangelization.”

The National  Blue Army Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima, located in Asbury, New Jersey, hosts “Mary-thon” events on the 13th of the months of May through October each year to commemorate the Fatima apparitions. Credit: Megan Pritchard/The National Blue Army Shrine of our Lady of Fatima
The National Blue Army Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima, located in Asbury, New Jersey, hosts “Mary-thon” events on the 13th of the months of May through October each year to commemorate the Fatima apparitions. Credit: Megan Pritchard/The National Blue Army Shrine of our Lady of Fatima

To recognize the anniversaries of each Fátima apparition, the Blue Army Shrine hosts annual “Mary-thon” events on the 13th of the month from May through October. For its July 13 event, the shrine will host Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke and Father Joshua Caswell for a rosary, Mass, and Eucharistic procession, among other things — and LOFRON will play a significant role.

Following the noon rosary procession with a pilgrim Virgin statue of Our Lady of Fátima, Burke will bless the LOFRON resolution as group members place a crucifix, American flag, and U.S. Hopkinson flag into stands around the shrine’s pavilion.

Burke will then recite the Prayer of Consecration of America to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, which dates back to Archbishop John Carroll, the first Catholic bishop in the United States and archbishop of Baltimore.

Carroll, whose cousin was the only Catholic signer of the Declaration of Independence, was also known for his regular correspondence with President George Washington and efforts to further advance the Catholic Church throughout the United States.

“We’re just so tremendously honored to have [Burke] read this prayer,” said David Carollo, a member of the LOFRON resolution and executive director of the World Apostolate of Fátima.

Carollo expressed the significance of this prayer and movement today, telling CNA that “we’re at a point in this country and beyond even in the world, and in our Church, where we’re afraid to live out our faith.”

“Secularism has become more prominent, similar to Our Lady’s warning of the errors of communist Russia,” he said. “The essence of communism is atheism, or taking God out of the equation. So that’s what we’re dealing with today, having put aside a Catholic basis and accepting a secular vision for the country and world.”

Cardinal Raymond Burke says a “Mary-thon” Mass at the Blue Army Shrine in a previous year. He will bless the LOFRON resolution and recite the Prayer of Consecration of America to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on July 13, 2024. Credit: Megan Pritchard/The National Blue Army Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima
Cardinal Raymond Burke says a “Mary-thon” Mass at the Blue Army Shrine in a previous year. He will bless the LOFRON resolution and recite the Prayer of Consecration of America to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on July 13, 2024. Credit: Megan Pritchard/The National Blue Army Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima

Carollo continued: “St. John Paul II said in the 1980s that Fátima ‘is more important now than in 1917.’ Well, I contend that the Fátima message is even more relevant today than it was when he said that 40 years ago.”

“Our resolution and initiative with the Knights of Columbus matches our apostolate. We are here to spread the message of Fátima, which is to live in accord with the Gospel,” Carollo continued. “[The Knights] serve as Our Lady’s Blue Army, as the Church’s soldiers who help to save souls. That’s what the whole Fátima message is. Are you willing to offer your lives, Our Lady told the shepherd children, in prayer and reparation for the conversion of sinners?”

Echoing this sentiment was Sgt. Robert Bartlett, whose family’s military service dates back to the Battle of Valley Forge and who began practicing his Catholic faith following a near-death experience in Iraq in 2005.

As a member of the LOFRON movement, he cited the resolution as being a means to “restore the nation back to the reverence of God.”

“We need to push politics aside. Our message is clear in bringing attention to praying the rosary and consecrating ourselves to the Immaculate Heart of Mary,” Bartlett told CNA. “This can’t be a one-off instance. [LOFRON] would like to see an annual consecration bring about true conversion, with people in this country turning their lives back to Christ. That’s all that matters.”

Crediting their efforts to “God and the Holy Spirit,” members of the LOFRON resolution also expressed hope in turning their New Jersey initiative into a nationwide one.

“We want to make separate chapters and committees in different states,” said Tim Bradshaw, one of the resolution’s founding members. “We’d like to see the Knights, under the Order of the Fourth Degree, go to their states’ organizations and do what we’ve done here in New Jersey.”

Carollo mirrored this desire ahead of the Blue Army Shrine’s “Mary-thon” event: “This needs to be a national movement, something that needs to reach everybody. [LOFRON] wants to save this country by bringing it back to God — we have an obligation to do so.”

Those who wish to view the “Mary-thon” events can either access the Blue Army Shrine’s livestream or tune into EWTN’s television coverage of the Mass on July 13 at 6:30 p.m. ET. 

St. Henry II, the German king who became patron of the Benedictine Oblates

The Regensburger Domspatzen, a choir based at Regensburg Cathedral in Bavaria, Germany. / Credit: Bistum Regensburg

CNA Staff, Jul 13, 2024 / 05:00 am (CNA).

On July 13, the Catholic Church celebrates the feast of St. Henry II, the German king who led and defended Europe’s Roman Empire at the beginning of the first millennium. 

Henry was born in 973 to Henry the Duke of Bavaria and Princess Gisela of Burgundy in the village of Hildesheim, Bavaria. During his youth, he received both an education and spiritual guidance from a bishop who also went on to become a saint — St. Wolfgang of Regensberg. This greatly impacted Henry and influenced his reign. 

Upon the death of his cousin Otto III in 1002, Henry succeeded him as king. Pope Benedict VIII crowned him Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire in 1014. 

During his reign, Henry shared his faith by rebuilding churches that had been destroyed, building monasteries, and supporting them with both money and land. The king also helped the poor by making generous contributions for their relief.

According to historians, many people committed themselves to God and to follow the Rule of St. Benedict by uniting themselves to famous monasteries. Henry was one of them. Tradition states that he wanted to become a Benedictine and lived as an Oblate.

Benedictine Oblates are men and women, both lay and ordained, who seek God by striving to become holy in their everyday lives, in their family, and in their workplace. Oblates offer their lives to God through prayer and service and faithfully participate in the liturgical and sacramental life of the Church. 

Henry showed such love and veneration for the Benedictines that he was declared a patron of the Benedictine Oblates after his canonization by Pope Pius X. 

In 1006 Henry founded the See of Bamberg and built its cathedral. It was consecrated by Pope Benedict VIII in 1020. During this time, Henry also established a monastery at Bamberg and supported the reforms initiated by the monks of Cluny in France.

During the last several years of his life, Henry suffered from a serious illness and another ailment that left his left leg crippled. He found strength in prayer during these challenging times. He died near Gottingen, Germany, on July 13, 1024, at the age of 51 from a chronic urinary infection. He was buried at the Cathedral of Bamberg.

Pope Eugene III canonized Henry in 1146.

Charlie Rodríguez, first contemporary beatified layman in the Americas

Known as “Charlie” — abbreviated to just “Chali” in his most intimate circle — from childhood Carlos Manuel “Charlie” Rodríguez exuded a gift and zeal for communicating the tremendous value and vitality of the Catholic faith. / Credit: "The Church in Puerto Rico"/EWTN Screenshot

Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Jul 13, 2024 / 04:00 am (CNA).

July 13 marks the feast day of a dynamic, enthusiastic Catholic layman from the Caribbean who was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 2001.

Known as “Charlie” — abbreviated to just “Chali” in his most intimate circle — from childhood Carlos Manuel “Charlie” Rodríguez exuded a gift and zeal for communicating the tremendous value and vitality of the Catholic faith.

“He lived according to the maxim ‘the zeal of your house has eaten me up,’” recalled renowned Puerto Rican endocrinologist Dr. Francisco Aguiló, who was among the young people indelibly impacted by Charlie’s apostolate at the University of Puerto Rico’s (UPR) main campus in Río Piedras in the 1950s and early 1960s. 

“That’s the way he always insisted the Christian should feel for his Church, understood as the mystical body of Christ, as well as for the Liturgy, the life of the Church,” added Aguiló in his 1994 book “A Puerto Rican Saint?” (“¿Un santo puertorriqueño?”).

Aguiló, along with his wife, UPR chemistry professor Carmen Delia “Delí” Santana, were both instrumental in spearheading the effort that led to Charlie’s canonization cause. In his book, Aguiló chronicles Charlie’s short but fruitful life, including the “calvary” and “dark night of the soul” he suffered before dying in “odor of sanctity” of cancer in 1963 at age 44.

The chronic colitis that plagued Charlie throughout most of his life and impeded the completion of his studies at UPR did not impede him from either attaining remarkable intellectual heights or, more importantly, sharing his engaging experience and knowledge of the faith with others. 

“Never did we see him so openly happy as when he referred to the psalm: ‘Our mouth was filled with laughter and our tongue with joy,’ — and immediately described the feeling of the Israelite with the heart and lips filled with joy as he approached Zion,” members of the Carlos M. Rodríguez Circle (his former disciples), led by Aguiló, would testify later in the process leading up to his 2001 beatification. “And he would tell us of the greater joy of one who, having sown in tears, was content to reap his harvest in the heavenly Jerusalem.”

He was known to be a voracious reader. By making the most of his innate capacity and extraordinary memory, he became a self-taught Catholic intellectual in his own right. His thought was deeply influenced by the writings of such saints and luminaries as St. Teresa and St. John of the Cross, St. Charles de Foucauld, Cardinal John Henry Newman, G.K. Chesterton, and St. Edith Stein. 

Impact of his teaching

Charlie centered his catechetical labor not on apologetical questions but on communicating to others the personal and collective efficacy of the liturgical life of the Church. His primordial concern was to stimulate laypersons’ full understanding of — and participation in — the holy sacrifice of the Mass and all the events and spirituality that takes place in the life of the Church throughout the liturgical year.

Charlie intensely promoted the Easter Vigil as the defining moment of Christian spiritual life. He emphasized the definitive triumph of Jesus Christ in the redemption of human beings and the world, made manifest by Jesus’ sacrificial death and resurrection from the dead.

In this 2001 poster, artist A. Vonn Hartung features various symbols that project the core joy, serenity, and spirituality of Blessed Carlos Manuel "Charlie" Rodriguez. Credit: Courtesy of A. Vonn Hartung
In this 2001 poster, artist A. Vonn Hartung features various symbols that project the core joy, serenity, and spirituality of Blessed Carlos Manuel "Charlie" Rodriguez. Credit: Courtesy of A. Vonn Hartung

Using well-developed bilingual skills in Spanish and English obtained while attending Catholic schools both in his hometown of Caguas and nearby San Juan, for example, Charlie translated “Of Sacraments and Sacrifice” and “Preparing for Easter by Father Clifford Howell, SJ. 

The liturgy was of great interest to him, but not merely for its externals. “Charlie made us understand that the true meaning of ‘liturgy’ comes from its Greek roots: ‘leiton’ (people) and ‘ergon’ (work). It is the most important work for the people: the redemptive action of Christ and its continuity in the Church,” members of the Carlos M. Rodríguez Circle later testified.

Father Oscar Rivera, the abbot of St. Anthony Monastery in Humacao, Puerto Rico, who served as adviser to the Carlos M. Rodríguez Circle, notes that the Christ and paschal-centered spirituality that characterized Charlie and his students was at the time “unique in a great part of the Church, not only in Puerto Rico, but in the entire world.” 

Rivera also observes that Carlos Manuel was the prototype of a proactive layman. The way in which he advocated innovation within the established doctrine and tradition of the Church, Rivera adds, “constituted a challenge to both laypersons and religious, a challenge which continues to hold validity.”

University apostolate

The most impactful years, in the 1950s and early 1960s, of Charlie’s lay apostolate took place at the University of Puerto Rico, where his brother Pepe and his sister Haydee worked as professors.  

During most of this time, Charlie was working as an office clerk at the UPR’s Agricultural Experiment Station. Together with a handful of professors and students, Charlie met with Father Antonio Quevedo, SJ, to discuss the need to revitalize the campus’ Catholic University Center.

With the full support of Father Quevedo, Charlie took the lead in organizing the Christian Culture Circle at the Catholic University Center. In its statement of purpose, the Circle, which aimed to help its members become genuine, apostolic Catholic intellectuals, affirmed: “We need Catholics who live in the present, who are awake to the current moment and who at the same time know how to use all the good of the present without falling into modernism. Catholics who are nourished from both the past and present, but with their eyes on the future … Catholics who know how to make the most of the time at hand, and who know that the ultimate and most transcendent development has been manifested to them through the sacraments.”

Communication of the Christian life

Through the organization of discussion and study groups, coupled with days of reflection, social activity, and the virtually single-handed publication of materials such as the magazine Christian Culture, during more than a decade’s worth of apostolic work at the UPR’s Catholic University Center Charlie dedicated himself to communicate — to students and professors alike — the vitality, coherence, and relevance of the faith. 

More than half a dozen religious vocations were the fruit of his labor, including those of his brother Pepe and sister Haydee. 

The portrait of Carlos Manuel Rodríguez featured at his beatification by Pope John Paul II at the Vatican on April 29, 2001. Credit: Vatican Media
The portrait of Carlos Manuel Rodríguez featured at his beatification by Pope John Paul II at the Vatican on April 29, 2001. Credit: Vatican Media

Promotion of cause

Although Charlie’s disciples would continue to meet sporadically in the years following his death, it wasn’t until 1987 — the year that Pope John Paul II declared the “Year of the Layman” — that the group decided to organize, with the enthusiastic approval of the late Cardinal Luis Aponte Martínez of the Archdiocese of San Juan, the process leading up to Carlos Manuel’s beatification. 

The Circle’s feelings for Charlie were summed up by professor Santana, who stated: “I hope he will be canonized, not for his benefit but because the Church needs models of contemporary sainthood, especially of laymen who have not done anything extraordinary in this world, but who have done ordinary things with a great love for God and his Church.”

Approval of miracle

Following an intense investigative process both in San Juan and in Rome, in 1997 Pope John Paul II declared Carlos Manuel “Venerable.” This title was the result of having confirmed that he had lived all the theological virtues (faith, hope, and charity) as well as cardinal virtues (prudence, justice, fortitude, and temperance) in a heroic manner.

In November 1999, medical authorities in San Juan and in the Vatican confirmed that in 1981 — seven years before the initiation of Carlos Manuel’s canonization cause — Delí, who had been diagnosed with malignant lymphoma, had been suddenly and completely cured, and that in the absence of a medically-grounded reason for the cure, the only explanation that remained was the pleading for Charlie’s intercession by Aguiló.

His future canonization as a full-fledged saint now awaits the certification of a second miracle.

The example of Charlie’s beatification has helped to subsequently stimulate the sainthood causes of other exemplary lay and religious throughout the world. The beatification of this humble, winsome contemporary lay apostle is, without a doubt, a well-deserved distinction for Puerto Rico and a source of inspiration for Catholics everywhere.