Teenager to be canonised during youth synod

Pope Francis has added an Italian teenager to the list of people he will formally recognise as saints on October 14 during the month-long meeting of the world synod of bishops on young people.

During an ordinary public consistory on July 19, Pope Francis announced that he would declare Blessed Nunzio Sulprizio a saint the same day he will canonise Blesseds Oscar Romero, Paul VI and four others. An ordinary public consistory is a meeting of the pope, cardinals and promoters of sainthood causes that formally ends the sainthood process.

Sulprizio was born on April 13, 1817, in the Abruzzo region near Pescara. Both of his parents died when he was an infant and his maternal grandmother, who raised him, died when he was nine.

An uncle took him under his guardianship and had the young boy work for him in his blacksmith shop. However, the work was too strenuous for a boy his age and he developed a problem in his leg, which became gangrenous.

A military colonel took care of Sulprizio, who was eventually hospitalised in Naples. The young teen faced tremendous pain with patience and serenity and offered up his sufferings to God.

He died in Naples in 1836 aged 19. He was declared blessed in 1963 by Blessed Paul VI, who will be canonised together with the teenager.

During the ceremony, Blessed Paul had said: “Nunzio Sulprizio will tell you that the period of youth should not be considered the age of free passions, of inevitable falls, of invincible crises, of decadent pessimism, of harmful selfishness. Rather, he will rather tell you how being young is a grace.”

Together with Blesseds Paul VI and Oscar Romero, Sulprizio will be canonised along with Fr Francesco Spinelli of Italy, founder of the Sisters Adorers of the Blessed Sacrament; Fr Vincenzo Romano, who worked with the poor of Naples, Italy, until his death in 1831; Mother Catherine Kasper, the German founder of the religious congregation, the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ; and Nazaria Ignacia March Mesa, the Spanish founder of the Congregation of the Missionary Crusaders of the Church.

The October 14 date for the canonisations had already been announced during an ordinary public consistory in mid-May.

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