Pope Francis will canonise a teenage boy during the Synod of bishops on young people in October. Nunzio Sulprizio will be declared a saint alongside Oscar Romero and Paul VI and four others in a ceremony on October 14.
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. His uncle gave him work in his blacksmith shop but the strenuous work and his uncle’s harsh treatment lead to him developing gangrene in his leg.
A military colonel took care of Sulprizio, who was eventually hospitalised in Naples. The young teen faced tremendous pain with patience and serenity offering up his sufferings to God.
He died in Naples in 1836 aged 19 and was declared Blessed in 1963. The miracle which opened the door to his canonisation concerned a man injured in a motorbike accident who fell into a coma and was believed to be in a vegetative state. A relic of Sulprizio was placed in his hospital room. The man awoke and recovered.
Four others will be canonised along with Sulprizio, Pope Paul VI and Oscar Romero: 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; Mother Catherine Kasper, founder of the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ; and Nazaria Ignacia March Mesa, founder of the Congregation of the Missionary Crusaders of the Church.