Fr Hugh’s Homily
I was standing looking at the dead body of a young guy in a glass case, and slightly wondering why. This was in Assisi recently and it was the body of a new saint, Carlo Acutis, (he was being beatified, the stage before full sainthood,) which was being displayed in a church. He died in 2006 at the age of 15 of leukemia. Before I had thought to myself, “Do I want to go and see his body? Why would I do that? Was it goolish?” But in the end I decided to queue up, almost because it was there. (As you can imagine there was not a lot of social-distancing being done in the Italian queue.) Who was in the queue? All sorts of people, but a lot of young people, many people probably like me with all sorts of different motives for doing so. And there his body was, just as if he was still 15. In the evening, the night before his beatification, we had a wander round Assisi, really to see the view of the valley and all its lights below the town. But what we came across was all the churches open, well into the night, and little chapels and rooms everywhere, light slipping out through the doors into the dark street, where people were praying before the Blessed Sacrament. We stopped outside a small church and prayed outside. Being English we did not want to disturb them by going in, but we could stand there praying quite happily. Again there were lots of young people praying too….
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