Queens Students Visit Blessed Carlo Acutis Statue During Lesson on Soon-To-Be Saint

Tags: Currents Brooklyn, NY, Faith, Family, Inspiration, Media, Pope Francis, Queens, NY

By Katie Vasquez

The lesson of the day in Mrs. Mickey Grieco’s 5th grade class was about a young man not much older than her students, Blessed Carlo Acutis.

“It has proven to be a great inspiration to the children because they really relate to a child of this new millennium,” said Mickey Grieco, a teacher at St. Joseph Catholic Academy.

Students created drawings and some facts they learned about the 15-year-old soon-to-be-saint.

“Every time he passes a church, he would go in to say hello to Jesus,” said Anthony Primiani, a 5th grader at St. Joseph Catholic Academy. “He would say, ‘The Eucharist is my highway to heaven.’ He would never miss Mass. Carlo only gave himself one hour of screen time and spent the rest of the day doing good deeds.”

It involved a quick field trip to St. Joseph Church next door where Pastor Father Vincent Chirichella offered some insight into the life of the soon-to-be saint.

The Queens church has a statue dedicated to Blessed Carlo where he’s holding a cell phone, a key part of his life.

“Technology can be used to evangelize, and he did that through his Eucharistic exhibition of all the Eucharistic miracles and how Jesus is truly present in the Eucharist,” said Father Vincent Chirichella, pastor of St. Joseph Church. “He wants the young people to really step away from their video games for a while and draw closer to Christ, go to Mass, go to church, be present to their faith.”

Teaching these young minds more about the boy that could become the first millennial saint.

“The most interesting thing I learned was when he was little, he predicted that he would die young,” said Nola Lafield, a 5th grader at St. Joseph’s. “He predicted what he would die from, and even what his weight at the time would be. I think that’s the most remarkable thing.”

Blessed Carlo died of leukemia in 2006, seven years before most of the students in Mrs. Grieco’s class were born. But they believe it is uplifting to have a young Catholic poised for sainthood.

“I think he’s a role model to everyone, especially younger children, that if you work hard to be devoted to your faith, you can really do something.” Hunter Hodes, a 5th grader said. “I think that, like people at a young age, if they work hard, they can achieve their goals.”

And they will pray for his intercession.

A few weeks ago, Pope Francis recognized a miracle attributed to the intercession of Blessed Carlo Acutis, clearing the last hurdle for his canonization.

He is set to get final approval for his sainthood cause over the summer.