The Archdiocese of New York is pleased to host the relics of Blessed Carlo Acutis and Saint Manuel Gonzalez Garcia from June 19 – 30. The relics will be available for veneration at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. This is a part of the ongoing Eucharistic Revival in the Archdiocese of New York. Learn more about the Eucharistic Revival here.
The term relic refers to physical objects that have a direct association with the saints of the Catholic Church. Our Church divides relics into three classes or categories which convey the closeness of the object to the saint. A first-class relic is the physical remains of the saint which are housed in an ornate box called a reliquary. A second-class relic is an item that saint frequently used, such as clothing. A third-class relic is any item that touches a first or second-class relic.
The relics of Blessed Carlos Acutis and St. Manuel Gonzalez Garcia are considered first-class relics.
The veneration of relics in the Catholic Church is a tradition that can be seen in Scripture. For example, the woman who touched Jesus’ cloak and was healed (MK 5:28-29). When we venerate a relic, we raise our heart and mind to God and invoke the intercession of the saint. You can kiss or touch the glass of the case that holds the relic, or simply stand next to it and offer a prayer. It is not proper to genuflect before a relic since that type of posture is reserved for Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. It is integral to remember that our actions of veneration must not be done out of superstition, but out of love for the saint and for God.
Blessed Carlos Acutis and St. Manuel Gonzalez Garcia devoted their lives to the real presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist, a key tenet of the Catholic faith.
Blessed Carlo Acutis
Carlos Acutis was born on May 3, 1991 and enjoyed many pastimes of a child during that time – sports, computer and video games, learning about and using the internet, movies, etc. His parents were not particularly religious, but he received communion at age seven and soon began attending Mass and praying before the Blessed Sacrament as often as possible.
Carlo built a website cataloguing Eucharistic Miracles and visited many of the sites with his family. On the website he wrote, “the more often we receive the Eucharist, the more we will become like Jesus”.
Carlo died of leukemia in 2006 at 15 years old. He offered his suffering to the pope and the Church. Carlo is the first millennial to be considered Blessed.
Saint Manuel Gonzalez Garcia
Manuel Gonzalez Garcia was born in Spain in 1877 and always knew he wanted to be a priest. He said, “If I would be born a thousand times; a thousand times I would be a priest”. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1901. As his first assignment, he was assigned a parish which lacked a community. During that assignment, he knelt before the tabernacle and decided to dedicate himself to the Eucharistic works in praise of Jesus Christ. This dedication led to the establishment of the Disciples of Saint John, Eucharistic Missionaries of Nazareth, and the Children of the Reparation.
Garcia was consecrated as a bishop in 1916. He died in 1940 and is buried in the Cathedral of Palencia close to the tabernacle. He said, “I ask to be buried next to a tabernacle, so that my bones, after death, as my tongue and my pen in life, are saying to those who pass: there is Jesus! There it is! Do not leave him abandoned!”