saints

From skateboard to sainthood (1 November)

The newest declared saint in the Church helped a skateboarder to recover from serious injuries.  His name is St Luigi Guanella,  a priest from Italy who died in 1915.  During his life as a priest, he looked after the poor and needy.  

So how did he become a saint?  Nine years ago, William Glisson Jnr (then aged 21) had a skateboard accident.  He hurt his head while skating backward without a helmet, rollerblading down a street in his neighbourhood in Pennsylvania.  He needed two separate skull surgeries and was in a coma for nine days with a grave prognosis. However, a doctor gave Glisson's mother two relics of the future saint.  Glisson was released from the hospital less than a month after the accident and returned to work just seven months later.

St Luigi Guanella was canonised by Pope Benedict XVI on Sunday 24 October 2011.  William Glisson and his family were present in Rome for the ceremony.

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