The young "computer geek," who used his tech skills to catalog all of the Eucharist miracles in the world, died in 2012 and was beatified in 2020.
The tomb of Blessed Carlo Acutis has reopened as Italy begins to relax pandemic restrictions. Originally scheduled to reopen in 2021, the tomb, found within Assisi’s Church of St. Mary Major, was forced to remain closed to visitors due to a surge in COVID-19 cases. Now, the site is once again open to the faithful to venerate and ask intercession from the beatified millennial.
The move to reopen comes as much of Italy has relaxed pandemic restrictions. The Vatican too has loosened some of its restrictions. Crux reports that, as of June 2, entry to Vatican-operated sites no longer requires a “green pass,” which shows proof of vaccination. Masks have also been made optional, although they are still “strongly recommended.”
The tomb was briefly opened in October 2020, ahead of Bl. Carlo Acutis’ beatification. According to Catholic News Agency, it is estimated that the tomb received over 41,000 visitors during the 19-day celebration. On October 19, 2020, the tomb officially closed in a ceremony that covered the viewing glass with a shutter.
The viewing glass remained obscured until June 1, 2022, in a ceremony presided over by Archbishop Domenico Sorrentino, prelate of Assisi-Nocera Umbra-Gualdo Tadino. The archbishop invited all pilgrims to visit the shrine, with the hope that the experience might allow them to “open themselves to the light of the Gospel and have a profound experience of faith.”
Bl. Carlo Acutis
For many international pilgrims, this will be the first opportunity to venerate the beatified young man’s remains. Bl. Carlo Acutis died of leukemia in 2006 and was only beatified in 2020. His devotion to the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist and his modern interest in computer science have spurred deep devotions in the faithful.
Pope Francis spoke of Bl. Carlo Acutis and his influence on young Catholics in an Angelus address in 2020:
“His witness shows today’s young people that true happiness is found by putting God in first place and serving Him in our brothers and sisters, especially the least,” said the pope.
Located in the heart of Italy, in the Umbria region, Blessed Carlo Acutis’ tomb is just the tip of a massively Catholic iceberg that is Assisi. Even at Bl. Carlo’s tomb, there’s more than one could possibly see in a single afternoon. The Church of St. Mary Major boasts architecture from the 11th and 12th centuries, with a history that dates back to 1032.
While the tomb is a draw, pilgrims will appreciate the many frescoes and paintings from as far back as the 14th century that adorn their walls. The Church of St. Mary Major bears an early rose window that was designed by one of the architects of Assisi Cathedral, Johannes. This church also contains a shrine dedicated to St. Francis’ renunciation of his worldly possessions, called the Room of Renunciation.
Outside of St. Mary Major, Assisi offers a wealth of historic Catholic sites and monuments. The 13th-century Basilica of San Francisco d’Assisi is one of the greatest attractions, with both an upper and lower church open to visitors. The upper church is particularly prized for a series of frescoes depicting moments of St. Francis’ life. Also built in the 13th century is the Basilica of St. Chiara, which houses the remains of St. Clare.