Blessed Carlo’s Eucharistic Miracles exhibition receives over 2,000 visitors, four Macau schools sign up next

Marco Carvalho

More than two thousand visitors, four dozen guided tours and a genuine fascination for the inexplicable signs of divinity that, over the centuries, showcased themselves in the Holy Eucharist. The “Eucharistic Miracles of the World International Exhibition” bid farewell to the Diocesan Centre on September 30th, almost two months after it was reopened.

Macau became the first diocese in Asia to host the exhibit, from June 17th to July 31st, but not many were able to visit, as the territory was under strict anti-COVID-19 restrictions. Created by Italian teenager Carlo Acutis, the exhibition was extended until last Friday and, in its second stint, it received more than two thousand visitors, willing to develop a better understanding of the Eucharistic Miracles phenomena and exploring the relationship between Catholic doctrine and contemporary science.

The exhibition made use of 17 photographs and historical narratives to portray as many Eucharistic miracles. The phenomena took place in different countries and regions over the centuries and have been recognized by the Catholic Church.

Many of those who visited the exhibition joined one of the nearly four dozen guided tours that the Macau Catholic Culture Association organized since August 10th.

“The exhibition was very well received by people from all walks of life. We had over 2,000 visitors and have organized close to 40 groups of guided tours. We had tours including school students, teachers, youth groups, Sunday school students, religious orders, associations of the faithful – such as the Legion of Mary – and inter-religious groups. The exhibition also received great media coverage, both locally and internationally. We were reported in eight different languages: Chinese, English, Portuguese, Italian, French, German, Spanish and Arabic,” says Joni Cheng, director at the Catholic Culture Association.

“Apart from our usual guided tours that showcased the scientifically-proven examples of Eucharistic Miracles such as Lanciano and Buenos Aires, we also designed a children’s guided tour, especially for younger children. This tour included miracles that were performed through the intercession of saints or revealed themselves through nature, such as Saint Clare of Assisi and the fishes retrieving the Eucharist from the river at Alboraya-Almàssera in Spain,” Cheng adds.

But the exhibition’s farewell to the Diocesan Centre does not mean that the display is bidding goodbye to Macau. The Catholic Culture Association converted the exhibition to a virtual format, and there’s more to the picture. Starting from this month, the exhibit will tour some of Macau’s Catholic schools, Joni told O Clarim. “We will be launching a virtual guided tour in Cantonese in October. So, for those who could not make it to the exhibition due to the pandemic restrictions and for those who would like a recap on the exhibition content, they can also have a chance to visit or revisit the exhibition virtually,” the director reveals.

“For those who are interested in hosting this “Eucharistic Miracles of the World International Exhibition” at their schools, our association can organize the exhibition items to be exhibited at the schools for a ‘school tour exhibition’. Four schools have already booked this exhibition at their premises. Starting from this month of October, the arrangement will be one month of exhibition period per school,” she adds.

The Book of Miracles

But the role of the Macau Catholic Culture Association in promoting a deeper understanding of the importance and uniqueness of Eucharistic miracles is not just about the exhibition. The association was authorized by the family of Blessed Carlo Acutis – who documented and catalogued the miracles before succumbing to acute leukemia in 2006 – to publish a Chinese-language book about the Eucharistic Miracles that were compiled by the Italian teenager: “Our association has received permission from Mrs. Acutis to publish a book in Chinese that showcases all the Eucharistic Miracles of the World that Blessed Carlo has collected. The book is scheduled to be launched around Easter 2023. We also plan to organize book sharing sessions for those who are interested,” the director of the Catholic Culture Association clarifies.

“In order to honour the curator of this exhibition, Blessed Carlo Acutis, we have dedicated a special area in the Diocesan Centre to showcase his life, presenting him as a model in the use of new communications technology to transmit the Gospel, to communicate values and beauty. Many visitors, especially the younger generations, even those who are not Catholics, had the opportunity to get acquainted with Blessed Carlo’s example, particularly on his passion and dedication in the use of technology to transmit something he has always felt in his heart and life, the devotion that the Most Holy Eucharist inspired. Blessed Carlo has certainly made many new friends in Macau through this exhibition,” Cheng concludes.

Carlo Acutis placed the Eucharist at the heart of his plentiful life and called it “the highway to heaven”. Carlo outlined an important characteristic of his existence, which was “living with Christ, by Christ and in Christ”.

The Vatican beatified the Italian teenager on October 10th, 2020 and declared him blessed. Organized across five continents, the “Eucharistic Miracles of the World International Exhibition” is promoted by the Milan-based Association of the Friends of Carlo Acutis.