It is so glorious that we have the cloud of witnesses, the saints, to befriend on our journeys of faith. What’s even cooler is that new saints are being canonized all the time! The universal call to holiness is real and saints show us that we are all meant to be holy.
Each year at EpicPew.com, I look for some not-yet-canonized holy people to keep our eyes on (find older editions here, here, and here). But before I do that for this year, some updates on holy people mentioned in older editions. Bl. Oscar Romero is now Saint Oscar Romero! Venerable Solanus Casey has been beatified! And Chiara Corbella Petrillo has been declared a Servant of God (read more about her here). With my track record running pretty well and without further ado, here are 4 future saints to watch out for.
1. Ven. Carlo Acutis
May 3, 1991- October 12, 2006
Why he’s cool: He took the initiative of Bl. James Alberione to use the media to evangelize seriously and made a website catalogue of all the Eucharistic miracles reported throughout the world. Carlo also loved film and comic editing and has been called a “computer geek”. He was especially devoted to the Mother of God and Eucharist. Carlo would console and support friends whose parents were going through divorces and advocated for the rights of the disabled, often defending peers with disabilities from bullies at school. He developed leukemia and died when he was 15 years old and is buried in Assisi, Italy, according to his wishes.
Notable Quote: “The more Eucharist we receive, the more we will become like Jesus, so that on this earth we will have a foretaste of heaven.”
2. Servant of God Thea Bowman
December 29, 1937- March 30, 1990
Why she’s cool: She was raised Methodist but, with the permission of her parents, converted to Catholicism at age nine and then later joined the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration. Sister Thea earned her Ph.D. in English and was later awarded an honorary doctorate from Boston College and posthumously awarded the Laetare Medal by The University of Notre Dame in 1990. She was instrumental in publishing a new hymnal for Catholic African-Americans titled Lead Me, Guide Me: The African American Catholic Hymnal which was the first of its kind. Sister Thea developed breast cancer and had gone bald due to chemotherapy, but she still addressed the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops shorty before her death and from her wheelchair!
Notable Quote: “I think the difference between me and some people is that I’m content to do my little bit. Sometimes people think they have to do big things in order to make change. But if each one would light a candle we’d have a tremendous light.”
3. Bl. Alberto Marvelli
March 21, 1918- October 5, 1946; feast day October 5
Why he’s cool: From the time he was 12, Bl. Alberto was involved with his parish’s Catholic Action group and when he was 18, he was elected as the president of the Italian branch of the Catholic Action movement. He loved sports, especially biking, and had been childhood friends with filmmaker Federico Fellini. He graduated college with a degree in engineering. During World War II, his family had to move from their home in Rimini to Vergiano, which was seven kilometers away, due to devastating air raids. But after each raid, Alberto would go back to Rimini to help the wounded and homeless, bringing food, clothes, mattresses and blankets, and was even known to give his own shoes and bike to those in need. During the German occupation, he also freed people from the sealed carriages of trains that were to deport them to concentration camps. After the war, he decided to run in the elections as a Christian Democrat, but was killed by an armored van while riding his bike on the way to a polling station for an election meeting before elections could take place. However, people still voted for him! So his mother took over for him and was elected in his place. Pope Saint John Paul II beatified Alberto on September 5, 2004.
Notable Quote: “My programme of life is summed up in one word: holy”.
4. Bl. Margaret of Castello
1287- April 12, 1320; feast day April 13
Why she’s cool: Margaret was born blind, a dwarf, and with a severe curve in her spine; her parents were so disgusted with her that they abandoned her. However, a kind maid found her, gave her the name Margaret, and cared for her. When she was discovered at age 6, her parents locked her in a cell so no one would see her but from which she could receive communion and religious instruction. She stayed that way for 10 years until the family moved to another castle where they again locked her away. Margaret’s parents then took her to a church known for its healing miracles, but when no such miracle could be attained for Margaret’s birth defects, her parents left her at that church in Castello. She helped the poor and imprisoned in Castello and was taken in by the poor as one of their own, before being granted safe haven in a convent. She taught the Faith to the children of Castello and would look after them for their parents while they went to work. Margaret eventually joined the Third Order of St. Dominic. When she died, the parish priest was not going to bury her inside the church but the crowds gathered for her funeral demanded it. After a disabled girl was cured at her funeral, though, the parish priest did allow it. She lies incorrupt.
Notable Quote: “Oh, if you only knew what I carried in my heart, you would marvel!”