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‘Eucharistic Miracles of the World’ exhibition starts May 13

First slide

Catholics around the diocese will have a few chances over the next several weeks to see an exhibit associated with Blessed Carlo Acutis and the Eucharist, which the popular young man energetically touted during his lifetime. 

The "Eucharistic Miracles of the World" exhibition is a collaboration of the Arlington division of the World Apostolate of Fatima (Our Lady’s Blue Army) and a western Pennsylvania couple who own the exhibit, Dr. Bill and Mary Ryckman.

It consists of approximately 175 large poster boards, spread out over 18 tables, and chronicles all the miracles related to the Eucharist. Beatified Oct. 10, 2020, Acutis was an Italian teenager who was dedicated to the Blessed Sacrament and spread devotion to it by creating an online database of Eucharistic miracles. The exhibit also will feature a first-class relic of Acutis, who died of leukemia in 2006. 

The exhibit will be on display at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church, 12807 Valleywood Dr., Lake Ridge, May 13-16, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. and 4-7 p.m. daily; St. Mary of Sorrows Church, parish center, 5222 Sideburn Road, Fairfax, May 21-26, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. daily, including a talk after each Mass on Pentecost Sunday, May 23, as well as the Saturday vigil; and St. Veronica, 3460 Centreville Rd., Chantilly, June 3-6,  June 3-4, 3-9 p.m., June 5, 9 a.m.-9 p.m. and June 6, 8:30 a.m.-7 p.m.

The Ryckmans have owned the exhibit since 2008 and obtained the relic last year.

"We’re trying to promote the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist," said Bill Ryckman, lamenting public opinion polling about doubting Catholics. "We’re trying to bring this out and sort of prove to them that Jesus is present in the Eucharist, body and soul."

"Especially now since (COVID-19), people are going to Mass on television and they are missing out on the most important part, which is the Eucharist," he added. 

The Ryckmans hope the exhibit also boosts participation in Eucharistic adoration.

"The more adoration that is done, the more likely it is that we’re going to find vocations, whether it be to the priesthood or the consecrated life. In this busy world, you can’t hear the voice of God with everything else that’s going on and all that clamor. When you’re in adoration, then you certainly have a much greater chance of hearing the voice of God calling you to whatever it is that he’s calling us to." 

Annette Gibson, president of Our Lady’s Blue Army of Arlington, invited the Ryckmans to bring their exhibit and contacted area parishes to schedule it. According to Gibson, Acutis’ family indicated that this is the first time the exhibit has toured the United States with a first-class relic of his. She invites other parishes interested in hosting the exhibit to contact her at bluearmy.com/virginia/.

"From what I’ve been reading, the greatest crisis that exists is the lack of belief in the presence of Christ in the Eucharist," Gibson said. "I hope the exhibit will reach as many parishes and church groups as possible and set us afire with zeal for the real presence of Christ in Eucharistic adoration."

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2021