St Wilfrid and Bl Carlo Acutis Celebrated on October 12th

St Wilfrid

Bishop. Wilfrid was born in Northumbria in 633, the son of a noble family. He was educated at Lindisfarne, and later studied at Canterbury and then Rome. He returned to become Abbot of Ripon and introduced the Rule of St Benedict and the Western, or Roman, method of calculating Easter. This had been introduced by Kentish missionaries like Paulinus but rejected by monks of Lindisfarne who stuck to the old Celtic system.

At the Synod of Whitby, held in the monastery of monks and nuns presided over by St Hilda, in 663-4, his arguments for the calendar won. King Oswy, who opened the Synod, said that all who served one God should observe one rule of life.

Wilfrid built many churches and monasteries around the country and fell in and out of favour with the royal families of the day. He died in 709, aged 76, at his monastery near Oundle, in Northamptonshire.

The cult of Wilfrid centres on Ripon, where he was buried, and on Hexham, where his disciple Acca succeeded him as bishop and abbot. Forty-eight ancient churches were dedicated to him. The crypts of his churches at Hexham and Ripon survive.

St Wilfrid is considered one of the most important saints of the Old English church.


Blessed Carlo Acutis

Carlo was born in London on 3rd May 1991 to Italian parents and was baptised at Our Lady of Dolours church in Fulham, west London, on 18th May that year by Fr Nicholas Martin OSM, Parish Priest at the time. The family moved to Italy shortly afterwards where Carlo was raised as a Catholic. After making his First Holy Communion at the age of seven, he decided to attend Mass and pray the Rosary daily. He said: 'By standing before the Eucharistic Christ, we become holy.' He also had a routine of weekly confession. By the age of 11, he became a catechist.

"He was a remarkable young man, who had a great understanding of the sacraments and scripture," explains Fr Patrick Ryall OSM, current Parish Priest of Our Lady of Dolours.

Carlo learned about the known sites of Eucharistic miracles around the world and expressed a keen desire to go on pilgrimage to see these sites. To help others learn to grow in devotion to the Eucharist, he used his digital media skills to develop a website to catalogue each of these miracles. One of the Eucharistic Miracles that Carlo highlights is that connected with St Juliana, Foundress of the Servite Sisters on her death bed.

When Carlo developed a very aggressive form of leukaemia he offered his suffering for the Pope and the Universal Church. He asked his parents to take him to the pilgrimage sites of the Eucharistic miracles but his declining health made this impossible.

Carlo died on 12 October 2006 at the age of 15. His cause was opened in 2013 and he was declared a Servant of God. On 5th July 2018, Pope Francis declared him to be venerable. In February 2020, the Pope approved a miracle attributed to him. A young Brazilian completely recovered from a serious pancreatic disease after seeking his intercession.

Carlo Acutis was beatified by Pope Francis on 10th October 2020 at the Basilica in Assisi.

Speaking before his beatification, Fr Patrick: "We're grateful that Carlo and his family had that time with our parish. We are sure he will be a source of blessing for us."

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