We do not need to travel far back in time to get to know Carlo Acutis. He belongs to our time. He shared our times. So what is so special about him?
One would have to make acquaintance with Carlo on two levels. Assessing him from outward appearances, he was a handsome teenager living an ordinary life like many of his Italian contemporaries. On a deeper level, Carlo was a very special young man with an interior spiritual life that surpassed anything that one would expect from a young man in the 21st century. Carlo Acutis who passed into eternal life at the age of 15 is now on the path to sainthood.
He was declared Servant of God in 2016, as Venerable in 2018, and now on the 10th October, he will be beatified and declared Blessed. The Church approved a miracle by his intercession of a Brazilian child cured from a rare condition of the pancreas.
The shining light in his young life was the Eucharist. The motto he created for himself was “The Eucharist, my highway to heaven.” For him the Eucharist was the main, fast direct road to heaven.
We get to know Carlo directly from an interview with his mother. She states that he was not perfect. He was a young man who “struggled with defects like anyone else.” He loved to play with his PlayStation, he enjoyed eating, he talked a lot, being quite of a class clown, enjoying amusing his friends with his cartoons. He struggled to control these traits when they tended to get out of hand.
He was aware of the need to use time well. In fact his mother believes he would not have been taken up by Facebook or Twitter. He was annoyed by instant messaging. For him technology was a tool for evangelization. He was concerned about the environment. Wearing a mask he would dive to clear the seabed, or walk the dog to clear the park from litter. He was aware of people who needed help, often defending friends with special needs who were being bullied, or offering support to friends with family problems. He made an effort to go to Mass daily, spending time in front of the Tabernacle. He would go to Confession regularly, he prayed the Rosary.
Carlo Acutis will always be remembered for combining his passion for Computers and his great love for the Eucharist. He researched 136 Eucharist miracles and set up a website to provide a ‘virtual museum’ of these miraculous manifestations.
Carlo Acutis was a young man who loved to play with his PlayStation, who enjoyed eating and who talked a lot, being quite of a class clown. He will always be remembered, however, for combining his passion for computers and his great love for the Eucharist.