By Dave Jolivet
NEW BEDFORD — Combining a deep passion and respect for the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist with the recent launching of the USCCB’s Eucharistic Revival in this country, Juan and Charlotte Galli, parishioners of St. Anthony of Padua Parish in New Bedford, are hosting a unique, informative and reverent display of Eucharistic Miracles from around the world.
The event, to be held in the church hall, will take place from August 4 through August 7. “This exhibit is a collection of panels each displaying the story of a Eucharistic Miracle that occurred in all parts of the world,” Juan told The Anchor. “The 170-panel exhibit is the creation of Blessed Carlo Acutis, a young man born in London in 1991 who soon after moved to Milan with his parents, who was very tech savvy and had a passion for God and the Catholic faith, especially with regards to the Holy Eucharist.”
The display provides images and information about Eucharistic Miracles from 19 countries. Juan, a permanent adorer of the Blessed Sacrament at Our Lady’s Chapel in New Bedford, found a flyer about the exhibit there and he and Charlotte were moved to bring it to their home parish. “We had witnessed ourselves displays of certain Eucharistic Miracles in Buenos Aires and Lanciano, Italy during various pilgrimages,” said Juan. “All of the miracles in the exhibit have been approved by the Church.”
Blessed Carlo combined his love for God and his computer wizardry to create a website containing all of the Church-approved Eucharistic Miracles from around the world. According to a CNA feature, Blessed Carlo told people on his site, “The more often we receive the Eucharist, the more we will become like Jesus, so that on this earth we will have a foretaste of heaven.”
Not just a talented programmer, the teen, like most his age, was a gamer as well. According to the CNA article, he loved playing video games. “His console of choice was a Playstation, or possibly a PS2, which was released in 2000, when Carlo was nine. We know he only allowed himself to play games for an hour a week, as a penance and a spiritual discipline, but he wanted to play much more.”
In his teens, Blessed Carlo contracted fulminant leukemia and died at the tender age of 15 in 2006, leaving behind a legacy in his short life; one of a great love, respect and reverence for Christ’s presence in the Eucharist, and the lives of the saints.
When he died, per his request, he was buried in Assisi, Italy, “because of his love for St. Francis of Assisi.” Blessed Carlo’s cause for canonization began in 2013; was designated Venerable in 2018; and was named Blessed in October of 2020.
“This is such an important exhibit for people to witness,” Charlotte told The Anchor. “Especially for young people. Today’s young people cannot connect faith and science, but the fact that the Eucharistic Miracles were tested by medical physicians and the blood and flesh were determined to be human can be an important fact for people, young and older, to be open to the scientific evidence of the presence of Christ in the Eucharist.”
“The miracles that were tested by scientists show that the hosts and wine that were transformed into flesh and blood are actually human tissue,” added Juan. “The blood is always type AB-positive, the same that was discovered on the Shroud of Turin. And the DNA was human. They even found living white blood cells in hosts hundreds of years old, and white blood cells die about one year after death.
“There will be a book available at the exhibit by Dr. Franco Serafini, ‘A Cardiologist Examines Jesus: The Stunning Science Behind Eucharistic Miracles.’
On the Sophia Institute website, which published Serafini’s book, it says, “In this astounding book, prominent cardiologist and author Dr. Franco Serafini walks us through the extensive medical and scientific research into five Eucharistic miracles, unveiling the stunning testimonies of hematologists, oncologists, neurologists, geneticists, molecular biologists, and more who all concluded the same thing: the five Eucharistic miracles are undeniably authentic.
“In surprising and fascinating ways, each of these miracles relates to the others: all reveal heart muscle tissue, many reveal a heart that was experiencing extreme suffering, and some reveal a heart still enduring tissue trauma.”
Charlotte and Juan feel a great importance in having the exhibit at their parish, especially at the beginning of the Eucharistic Revival.
“The whole reason we’re doing this is because of the dreadful statistics about Catholics and their belief in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist,” Charlotte told The Anchor. “It is so important that we don’t lose this belief. We all have work to do to bring back Catholics who once believed but no longer do and those who don’t know about the real presence. Especially our young people. There are many who don’t know about the many Eucharistic Miracles approved by the Church. This is a beautiful way for them to learn. God has given us a great gift and we must help people realize it and revere it.”
“The exhibit will be in English and Spanish, there is no fee, and Pastor, Father Mariano O. Varelo, IVE, said that Eucharistic Adoration will take place during each day of the event,” said Juan. The hours are: Thursday, Aug. 4 and Friday, Aug. 5 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.; and Saturday, August 6 and Sunday, August 7 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
There will be Adoration on the normal schedule of the parish.
For more information on Blessed Carlo visit miracolieucaristici.org or carloacutis.com and choose the language you prefer.
The New Bedford exhibit is based our of Boston. The diocese created its own version that it offers free of charge to parishes. Ours will be at Holy Family, East Taunton the week of September 19. Contact 508-658-9088 or www.fallriverfaithformation.org for information or to schedule an exhibit.