Fr Lucio Boccacci, in 2022, holding the first five books of the Boy Jesus Series.
My first encounter with the boy Jesus was in High School, when I read St Aelred of Rievaulx’ small treatise, “On Jesus at Twelve Year Old.” I remember underlining some parts that struck me. I had no idea this small seed would germinate into a project and calling!
My next encounter with the boy Jesus happened during my year of humanities, or liberal arts, studies in Cheshire, CT, 2006-07. I volunteered to help translate a chapter of a book in Spanish into English. It was titled, “Five Minutes with the Child Jesus,” by Fr Alvaro Correa, and it was a handful of short, fictional stories about the boy Jesus.
Again, I had no idea that I would continue to write about the boy Jesus.
During my years of youth ministry, particularly 2012-13 in Chicago, I became attracted to the idea of finding out more about the boy Jesus. I was not drawn to (very valid) devotions like the “Infant of Prague” and the “El Niño de Atocha”. I wanted to know what the Scriptures can tell us about Jesus when he was young.
I had read a lot about adolescent psychology and youth ministry to help the teens I was working with. However, in all my reading, I never came across a simple idea. What was Jesus like when he was a teenager? When he was 12? Could he be a model and an inspiration for young people today?
The opportunity to study this theme presented itself during my theology class on the Gospels. I got the chance to study the Finding of the Boy Jesus in the Temple of Luke 2:40-52 and write a short paper commenting on the passage. I found a treasure! I could not believe how much there was to explore!
I decided to write my bachelor’s theology thesis on this theme, narrowing it down to an “Exegetical Commentary on the Christological Aspects of Lk 2:40-52“. I wrote the allotted maximum 30 pages, though there was more to be said.
So I committed myself to writing a book for lay people, the average Christian, on the boy Jesus, focusing on this particular episode in Luke. I weaved together a convincing narrative and explanation based on scholarly Scriptural commentaries and the history, geography, and culture of first century Israel.
That book was too long, and too difficult to read. So, after some prayer, I simplified the language and broke it up into a series of “quickbooks,” smaller books that can be more accessible to everyday Christians. The Boy Jesus Series was born!
I published the first two books in 2016, and the rest have followed suit slowly. There is still more editing work to do. I was blessed in that Pope Francis signed my first two books in the series.
What lies ahead? More books. Prayer books and devotions. Talks and conferences. The Lord wants the Church and the world to know his life as a boy and young man! There is still so much more to explore. So, please order these books and get to know this part of Jesus so far hidden!
I was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. My family immigrated to the United States when I was just six. I’m the oldest of three boys. I grew up in Miami, FL, lived in France for one year for 8th grade, and finished high school at Union in Tulsa, OK, in the year 2000.
I enjoyed playing soccer since my youngest days. But switched to roller hockey in middle school and then ice hockey during high school. I went through a gradual conversion experience during High School, taking my faith seriously, and feeling drawn to the priesthood for the first time.
I attended the University of Oklahoma from 2000 to 2004 and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering. I got involved in university campus ministry and co-directed a Catholic student group and pro-life organization. I discerned God’s calling to the priesthood mostly during the college years.
I discovered the Legion of Christ religious order online. Eventually, I visited their summer candidacy program in 2003. After finishing my last year of studies, I entered finished the summer candidacy and entered the Legion of Christ novitiate in Cheshire, CT, in September 2004. From 2004 to 2007 I completed two years of novitiate and a year of liberal arts studies. Then I completed my philosophy degree in 2009 from a former Legionary seminary in Thornwood, NY.
I was assigned to the Highlands School in Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX, as a formator in 2009. In 2010, I also worked to establish a network of youth clubs, retreats and summer camps known then as “DFW Conquest”. In 2011 I particularly relished a two-week intensive course on youth mentoring at the University of Francisco Vitoria in Madrid. I finished a fourth year assisting the Legion of Christ youth ministry in Chicago directing retreats and four RC Missionaries (lay Regnum Christi young men who dedicate a year of ministry for the Church).
I went to Rome in 2013 to study theology for three years. I obtained my degree in Theology in 2016 from the Regina Apostolorum Pontifical University. During my studies, I placed a lot of emphasis on Scripture studies.
I was ordained a deacon on May 14, 2016. I was ordained a priest on December 10, 2016. I was able to celebrate a Jubilee Year Mass with Pope Francis in June 2016.
The Sign of Peace at a Jubilee Mass in June 2016 between Pope Francis and Fr Lucio.
From June 26, 2016, to September 7, 2023, I served as the Legion of Christ youth ministry director in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati and director of Camp River Ridge, a Catholic campsite in Indiana. During the summertime, I would occasionally help the campers reflect on the Boy Jesus.
From September 19, 2022, to August 31, 2023, I served as an Associate Pastor at the Holy Family Cathedral Parish of the Diocese of Tulsa, OK. It was a great year to explore the diocesan priesthood and be close to my family. It also served as a great year to organize the first ever Bible study based upon the Boy Jesus and presentation to the middle school youth group.
(Photos published with permission and/or obtained from an open, public source.)
As of the writing of this article (May 19, 2023), I am set to return to Regina Apostolorum Pontifical University to study a two year licentiate in spiritual theology in mid-September 2023.
I will continue to explore, define, and promote what Scripture can tell us about the boy Jesus.
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(This article was last updated May 20, 2023.)