Feast Day: 12 October
Carlo Acutis was a young adult who was born in London on 3 May 1991, to Italian parents Andrea Acutis and Antonia Salzano, and died in Milan on 12 October 2006, at the age of 15.
A good friend and son
Carlo was very polite and generous boy, who was obedient to his parents. Andrea and Antonia gave him the freedom to live his faith and provided some good moral rules.
Deeply aware of others’ struggles, Carlo would worry about his friends whose parents were getting divorced, and would invite them to his home to support them. He also defended the rights of the disabled and came to the defence of disabled schoolmates who were bullied.
Carlo Acutis was a grounded individual, who knew what was truly important in life. Although he enjoyed recreational activities like playing on his PlayStation, he knew that these distractions could claim a sort of ‘tyranny’ over the soul. Carlo knew that a person could become addicted, a slave to such things, and he always had a sense that he couldn’t waste time. So he imposed on himself a time limit of playing one hour per week on his PlayStation.
Carlo would also write in his journal about how to improve himself: “How am I with my parents? How well do I obey my teachers and get along with my classmates?” He knew very well the struggles and worked hard on himself, always trying to improve, to be the best possible person he could be. Carlo would say, “What does it matter if you can win a thousand battles if you cannot win against your own corrupt passions? It doesn’t matter. The real battle is with ourselves.”
Carlo also liked to make things around him more beautiful. He would often take the family dogs for walks in the park and would pick up rubbish that was there. Little acts to make his corner of the world better.
Carlo was devoted to Mary and often prayed the rosary as a sign of devotion to her.
He received the Eucharist every day, attending Mass daily, and would pause in adoration before the Blessed Sacrament either before or after Mass. Carlo placed the Sacrament of the Eucharist at the centre of his life and he called it “my highway to Heaven”.
His mother said that was a leader when he spoke, because when he spoke, he was filled with God. He would always say he tried to live in the presence of God. He also knew when to evangelise. He was asked to help in catechism classes – and he did, but he never forced this on others.
He also went to Confession once a week.
After contracting leukemia, Carlo offered his pain for Pope Benedict XVI and the Church, saying, “I offer all the suffering I will have to suffer for the Lord, for the Pope, and the Church.”
The doctor treating Carlo asked him if he was suffering much pain and he responded, “There are people who suffer much more than me.”
Developing a website of Eucharistic miracles
Carlo had asked his parents to take him on pilgrimages to all the sites known to have had Eucharistic miracles, but his health problems prevented this from happening.
However, with a passion for computers and born as the Internet was growing, Carlo created a website that catalogued Eucharistic miracles around the world in the months before his death from leukemia.
It was on the website that he said “the more Eucharist we receive, the more we will become like Jesus, so that on this earth we will have a foretaste of heaven”.
He appreciated Blessed Giacomo Alberione’s initiatives to use the media to evangelise and proclaim the Gospel, and aimed to do this with the website that he had created.
As well as computer programming, Carlo Acutis also liked film editing, website creation, and editing and laying out small publications.
Carlo Acutis died on 12 October 2006 and was buried in Assisi.
Before his death, Carlo said, “I am happy to die because I lived my life without wasting even a minute of it on anything unpleasing to God”.
This is what he asks of us, that we may not waste our lives on pointless things that don’t please God. By doing so, we will not fear death, because we will be secure in the knowledge that we lived a good life and will be united with our Creator in Heaven.
Journey to sainthood
A petition was approved for the cause of canonisation in 2013, and the formal introduction to the cause came later the same year when he was titled as a ‘Servant of God’, which is the first stage on the path towards sainthood.
Then, in 2018, Pope Francis confirmed his life of heroic virtue and declared him ‘Venerable’.
A miracle was then attributed to him from 2013, which involved a young boy from Brazil who suffered from a rare pancreatic disease. Pope Francis confirmed this miracle in early 2020, and Carlo was beatified on 10 October the same year, in Assisi.
Role models and patronage
But more than that, Carlo is a role model and inspiration for teenagers who aren’t sure whether they can be both holy and “normal” in today’s society. May more young people learn about Carlo and be inspired by his witness to authentic living.
Carlo Acutis Quotes
“I am happy to die because I lived my life without wasting even a minute of it on anything unpleasing to God.”
“All people are born as originals but many die as photocopies.”
“Sadness is looking at ourselves, happiness is looking towards God.”
“Our goal must be the infinite and not the finite. The Infinity is our homeland. We are always expected in Heaven.”
“To be always united with Jesus, this is my plan of life.”
“Do not be afraid because with the Incarnation of Jesus, death becomes life, and there’s no need to escape: in eternal life, something extraordinary awaits us.”
“The more Eucharist we receive, the more we will become like Jesus, so that on earth we will have a foretaste of heaven.”
“Our soul is like a hot air balloon. If by chance there is a mortal sin, the soul falls to the ground. Confession is like the fire underneath the balloon, enabling the soul to rise again… It is important to go to confession often.”
“What does it matter if you can win a thousand battles if you cannot win against your own corrupt passions? It doesn’t matter. The real battle is with ourselves.”
“The only thing we have to ask God for, in prayer, is the desire to be holy.”
“The Eucharist is the highway to heaven.”