Pope Francis has added an Italian teenager to the list of people he will formally recognise as saints on October 14th during the month-long meeting of the world synod of bishops on young people.
During an ordinary public consistory on July 19th, Pope Francis announced that he would declare Blessed Nunzio Sulprizio a saint the same day he will canonise Blessed Oscar Romero, Paul VI and four others.
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.”
Oscar Romero, Paul VI and Sulprizio are great examples of faith, courage and peace that young people can look to for inspiration.
Keep up to date with all that’s going on with the Synod in October by visiting our dedicated Synod page.