June 8, 2024 Column Father De Celles

EUCHARIST MIRACLES & BLESSED CARLO ACUTIS. Two weeks ago, on May 23, Pope Francis formally recognized a miracle attributed to the intercession of Blessed Carlo Acutis, a 15-year-old Italian teenager, and on July 1 will formally announce that Bd. Carlo will be canonized a saint. He will be the first “millennial” to become a saint.

Blessed Carlo was born in London to Italian parents in 1991, but the family moved back to Milan, Italy, while he was still an infant.

After he started high school, he began to create websites, and to create an online database of Eucharistic miracles around the world.

He was devoted to the Eucharist and to Our Lady, praying a daily rosary. He also volunteered at a church-run soup kitchen, helped the poor in his neighborhood, and assisted children struggling with their homework. He also did a lot of things more typical of teens: he played an instrument (saxophone), soccer and videogames.

“To always be close to Jesus, that’s my life plan,” he wrote when he was 7 years old. Later he would write: “The more Eucharist we receive, the more we will become like Jesus so that on this earth we will have a foretaste of Heaven.” He would also write: “The Eucharist is the highway to heaven…[When people sit in the sun, they become tan] but when they sit before Eucharistic Jesus, they become saints.”

When he was only 15, he was diagnosed with an aggressive form of leukemia and died Oct. 12, 2006. He said, “I’m happy to die because I’ve lived my life without wasting even a minute of it doing things that wouldn’t have pleased God.” He was beatified in October 2020. His feast day is Oct. 12.

Blessed Carlo’s efforts to catalogue Eucharistic Miracles around the world began when he was just 11 years old and at his request his parents took him to all the places of the Eucharistic miracles. Two and half years later the project was completed.

[A ”Eucharistic miracle” is a private revelation (worthy of belief, but not requiring belief), consisting of unexplainable phenomena such as the consecrated Host visibly transforming into heart tissue, being preserved for extremely long stretches of time, bleeding, or even sustaining people as food for years.]

Blessed Carlo researched over 136 Eucharistic miracles that occurred over the centuries and have been acknowledged by the Church and collected them into a virtual museum. Besides creating a website to house this virtual museum, he helped create panel presentations that have traveled around the world.

I am pleased to invite you to experience this panel presentation, EUCHARISTIC MIRACLES OF THE WORLD, which will be on display, here at St. Raymond’s this coming week, June 14-16 in our Parish Hall. Viewing hours are: Friday 2pm to 7pm, Saturday 9am to 7pm, and Sunday 9am to 4pm. The display will also include a First Class Relic of Blessed (soon to be Saint) Carlo Acutis.

Please join us and learn about the Eucharistic Miracles.

MONTH OF THE SACRED HEART. Sadly, many in our post-Christian/neo-pagan society are observing the Month of June as “Pride Month,” celebrating the perversities of the LGBTQ+ movement.

But for almost 200 years Catholics have celebrated June as the Month of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. And what does Jesus say about His Heart? “I am meek and humble of heart.”

The Sacred Heart is a humble heart, not a prideful heart. And so St. Paul tells us, “Christ Jesus, who, though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant….He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross.”

 It is in His humility that He was able to love the Father as a Son so much that Jesus would obey His Father unto death, and able to love us so much He would die in service to us.

Let June be a month of humility for you. And in your humility, reject the pride of Adam and Eve, and imitate Christ, making the words of St. Peter your own: “we must obey God rather than man.”

Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. This last Friday, June 7, was the Feast of the Sacred Heart. This feast was established by Pope Pius IX in 1856, reflecting the request Our Lord made in an apparition to Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, when showed her His heart and told her,

“Behold the Heart which has so loved men that it has spared nothing, even to exhausting and consuming Itself, in order to testify Its love; and in return, I receive from the greater part only ingratitude, by their irreverence and sacrilege, and by the coldness and contempt they have for Me in this Sacrament of Love. …Therefore, I ask of you that the Friday after the Octave of Corpus Christi be set apart for a special Feast to honor My Heart…”

Sacred Heart Flags. This month we’ll be seeing the rainbow-colored flag of Pride all over the place. I encourage you to display the Flag of the Sacred Heart. Small versions of these are available by the doors of the Church and in the Narthex—take one home with you. You can put it in your window, on your desk at work, or even in the privacy of your home. Let it remind you and anyone who sees it, that the Sacred Heart of Jesus conquers “pride” with grace, humility and true charity.

The Parish will fly a larger version of this flag in the church and in front of the rectory throughout June. (You can also get a larger version from many places online, e.g., tradflags.com).

OTHER IMPORTANT STUFF. Congratulations to our recent graduates, especially from College and High School. God bless you as you begin the adventures ahead. Remember: stay close to Jesus, he is the ultimate success and happiness in life.

Parish Staff Changes. Tomorrow, Monday, brings some changes to our staff. Last week we said  goodbye to Mary Salmon, our outstanding long-time Director of Religious Education (DRE). This week we play a little musical chairs: Virginia Osella moves from being Parish Secretary to take over as DRE, and Mary Butler moves from Secretary/Special-Projects-Coordinator to be the Parish Secretary. The following week we will welcome Elizabeth Frazee to join our staff to take over Mary Butler’s former responsibilities. I thank them all for accepting these responsibilities and ask that you keep them in your prayers.

Oremus pro invicem. Fr. De Celles