The Eucharist: "Highway to Heaven" by Carlo Acutis

The young Carlo Acutis was convinced that if people understood better what the Eucharist really is, they would come much closer to God. So he began to evangelize on the Internet, documenting Eucharistic miracles all over the world.

Jennifer Elizabeth Terranova-July 21, 2023-Reading time: 2 minutes
Carlo Acutis

A boy prays during a Eucharistic adoration in front of the image of Blessed Carlo Acutis (OSV News photo / Gregory A. Shemitz, CNS)

To say that Carlo Acutis was like any typical teenager would be correct: he loved soccer, Pokemon, action movies, and animals, but Carlo's greatest love was the Eucharist.

He was born in London in 1991 to Italian parents, but he and his family moved to Milan, Italy, where he grew up. Carlo was an example of holiness and continues to inspire young people around the world. Throughout his short life, Carlo deeply loved and venerated the Eucharist. He often said: "The Eucharist is my highway to Heaven", and "If we stand before the sun, we become brown, but when we stand before Jesus in the Eucharist, we become saints".

At an early age, young Carlo asked to receive his First Holy Communion. In an Italian convent, the future Blessed Carlo received the Blessed Sacrament for the first time and attended Mass daily for the rest of his life, never missing an opportunity to be with his first love. Family and friends recount that he was deeply attracted to the Eucharist and could not pass by a church without stopping to "greet Jesus." He thought that people would come closer to God if they knew that Jesus was really in the Eucharist.

Carlo Acutis, apostle of the Eucharist

While not yet a teenager, Carlo answered his call to catechize and became an assistant catechist in his parish. "He was a very prepared boy and ahead of his peers," says his mother. And "he made living the ordinary extraordinary." It is no coincidence that this boy of only eleven began visiting Eucharistic miracles around the world with his mother and father and documenting them, which would become his legacy.

He was adept with computers and was fascinated by the potential good they could bring and "saw the internet as a way to evangelize." Eventually he created an exhibition of Eucharistic Miracles that continues to tour the world. This web-based resource allows people to learn about the faith and is now translated into seventeen languages.

No fear

When he was diagnosed with leukemia and knew that his life was going to end, Carlo told his mother: "Mom, don't be afraid because, with the Incarnation of Jesus, death became life. There is no need to run away: in eternal life something extraordinary awaits us."

In 2020, Blessed Carlo Acutis was beatified in Assisi (Italy), his final resting place, as he requested because of his admiration for St. Francis of Assisi. 

The future "Internet Patron" continues to inspire, move and motivate countless people around the world.

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