Today the Church continues to lift up before our eyes men and women who lived lives of outstanding holiness and model for us what being a disciple of Christ is all about. On October 10, 2020, Carlo Acutis was beatified and given the title “Blessed” by the Church. The beatification ceremony took place in the Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi.
Carlo Acutis was born in London to Italian parents on May 3, 1991. His parents moved to Milan in September 1991 and as Carlos aged he grew in love with the town of Assisi. Carlo died at the age of 15, from leukemia at 6:45 a.m. on October 12, 2006. At his request, his body was entombed in the Basilica of St. Mary Major in Assisi. As part of the process for beatification the body was exhumed and examined, finding it mostly incorrupt, it was put on display for public veneration from October 1-17.
The miracle that was accepted for his beatification involved the healing of a Brazilian child suffering from a rare congenital anomaly of the pancreas in 2013. The Medical Council of the Congregation for Saint’s Causes gave a positive opinion of the miracle on November 14, 2019. Pope Francis approved the miracle on February 21, 2020.
Carlo had a deep love of and devotion to the Eucharist. From the time he received his First Holy Communion at the age of 7, he attended daily Mass, often begging his parents to take him. It should be noted that his parents were not regular church-goers. Carlo also had a deep devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary and the praying of the Rosary each day. Weekly confession and time spent in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament in Eucharistic Adoration were part of Carlo’s spiritual regimen.
Carlo had a passion for computers. He often said that the Eucharist is “My highway to Heaven,” and he used his computer skills to develop a website devoted to carefully cataloging Eucharistic Miracles. Carlo’s mother said that “Jesus was the center of his day. Carlo really had Jesus in his heart, really the pureness. When you are really pure of heart, you really touch people’s hearts.”
Carlo was noted for his sensitivity and was particularly worried about his friends whose parents were divorcing. He would invite them to his home to support them. He defended the rights of the disabled and defended disabled peers at school when bullies mocked them. He also had a special love for the poor and reached out to those in need. When he was diagnosed with leukemia, Carlo said, “I offer all the suffering I will have to suffer for the Lord, for the Pope, and the Church.”
Bishop Domenico Sorrentino of Assisi said of Carlo, “Now more than ever we believe that the example of Carlo, a brilliant internet user who loved to help the least, the poor and the misfits, can unleash a driving force for a new evangelizing momentum.”
Blessed Carlo Acutis is patron of youth, students, internet, and computer programmers. He certainly is someone we should hold up to our young people so that they can see in him a wonderful model for living the Faith.
Blessed Carlo Acutis, pray for us!
– Father Dennis,October 18, 2020