The World

Carlo Acutis. To live as an original, so as not to die as a photocopy.

Carlo Acutis, the 15-year-old Italian boy who died of fulminant leukemia and was beatified by Pope Francis, considered the Eucharist "my highway to heaven". Today many young people and educators are inspired by his testimony.

Giovanni Tridente-October 8, 2020-Reading time: 7 minutes
Carlo acutis

Published in the Dossier "Next Saints. The most beautiful face of the Church." (Word 676-677. April 2019)

A fully Eucharistic and tenderly Marian adolescent, with a life - albeit brief - lived in a totally Christocentric way. These are the distinctive features of the testimony of faith of the very young Italian Carlo Acutis, who died when he was only 15 years old from fulminant leukemia. An assiduous frequenter of daily Holy Mass since the day of his First Holy Communion - received with special permission at the age of 7, in the monastery of Bernaga, in Perego, near Lecco - he had become accustomed to remain in deep recollection before the tabernacle both before and after the celebration. Moreover, she used to recite the Holy Rosary every day, nourishing towards the Blessed Virgin a filial tenderness: "my heavenly Mother".

Convinced that it is necessary to avoid "dying as a photocopy"and that you have to live as you were born, as a a "original"following the goal that is our homeland, the young Carlo often commented that his young Carlo frequently commented that his life program was "to be always united to Jesus".. His "secret" to achieve this undertaking and this deep desire was precisely the Sacraments and prayer, especially the Sacraments and prayer. and this deep desire were precisely the Sacraments and prayer, in particular the Eucharist, which he Eucharist, which he considered "my highway to Heaven". (an expression that has has become the title of a documentary film and a book about him). figure). Acting as a compass on this earthly road to holiness, the Word of God. Word of God.

An incarnated faith

Born on May 3, 1991 in London, where his parents had moved temporarily for work reasons, and died in Monza (Diocese of Milan) on October 12, 2006, Pope Francis proclaimed him Venerable July 5, 2018.

From a well-off family, he was able to live the faith in all aspects of his life from an early age. of his life from an early age, first attending the elementary and middle schools of the Marcelline Sisters the elementary and middle schools of the Marcelline Sisters (a congregation dedicated to the Christian education of the youth, founded at the beginning of the 19th century) and then the first years of his life. the beginning of the 19th century) and then the first years of high school with the Jesuits of the high school Les website XIII in Milan.

He felt more fortunate than anyone who had lived at the time of Christ, because he said that in order to meet Jesus "It is enough to enter the church. We have Jerusalem under our house".. He also frequently approached the Sacrament of Reconciliationconsidering that he should do "like the hot-air balloon, which, in order to rise to the top, needs to unload the weights."The same way, in fact, "in order to rise to Heaven, the soul needs to remove also the small burdens, which are venial sins.".

First Communion of Carlo Acutis

He attracted a lot of his schoolmates, who felt good with him, even though he was not a person who was fond of fashions; moreover, he used to invite them to go to Mass together and be reconciled with the Lord.

He is remembered for his great talent for computer computer science - he was considered a true genius for his age, with skills that could only be acquired by those who had already skills that could only be acquired by those who had already completed university studies, passion that he cultivated and through which he testified to his faith by creating mainly web pages and films, graphic design and programming, so much so that he is spoken of as a that he is spoken of as a possible patron saint of the Internet, and in general of those who work in the field of communication. those who work in the field of social communication.

The Eucharist at the center

Before the disease that attacked him in 2006 and led to his death in a few days, he had devised and organized a exhibition on the Eucharistic miracles in the world, which demonstrates the cult he nurtured towards the Blessed Sacrament, and which also served as an occasion for him to make people realize "that truly in the host and in the consecrated wine are the body and blood of Christ. That there is nothing symbolic, but that it is the real possibility of finding it."as his mother, Antonia, later recounted. "At that period he was an assistant catechist and this exhibition seemed to him a new way to help him think about the Eucharistic Mystery.". The Dicastery for Communication of the Holy See has also made a documentary film about her, titled Signsin which testimonies of doctors and scientists on the verifiability and certainty of each of the miracles are collected.

The exhibition devised by Venerable Carlo Acutis, which is of course also available onlinehas already the world on all five continents and, in particular, in the United States, where it has been installed in almost 10,000 parishes United States, where it has been installed in nearly 10,000 parishes and more than 100 universities, thanks also to the contribution of the Knights of Columbus. universities, thanks also to the contribution of the Knights of Columbus. Other exhibitions were dedicated to "Marian Apparitions and Shrines in the World in the world", "Angels and Demons" and "Hell, Purgatory and Paradise". "I wanted to shake souls and it has there has been fruit."his mother continues to tell his mother.

Among other things, he was also closely linked to Fatima and in particular to the Apparition of the Angel, which preceded those of Our Lady. Fatima and in particular to the Apparition of the Angel, preceding those of Our Lady, with his call to live a virtuous life and to make reparation for offenses against the Eucharist. Eucharist. "Carlo was also impressed by Our Lady's phrase of August 19, in which she says that many souls go to hell because there is no one to pray and sacrifice for them". hell because there is no one to pray and sacrifice for them".. A phrase that for him became a kind of obsession, so much so that it obsession, so much so that "for being small, he offered small penances". a the Virgin thinking of the souls in Purgatory.

Charity with all

It is important to emphasize, therefore, its great charitable spirit He had a great love for his neighbor, starting with his parents, but also for the poor, the abandoned elderly, the marginalized and the homeless, to whom he donated in various ways the savings from his weekly allowance. In the neighborhood he was known by all and had befriended several doormen, many of whom were immigrants of Muslim or Hindu religion, to whom he was not afraid to talk about himself and his faith. For example, he made a deep friendship with the domestic servant of his house, Rajesh, a Hindu and a Braman, who soon after would convert and ask to receive the sacraments: "He told me that I would be happier if I came closer to Jesus. I was baptized a Christian because it was he who infected me and dazzled me with his deep faith, his charity and his purity.".

The beatification process began on February 15, 2013. February 2013, and almost four years later the diocesan phase was closed in Milan, when his fame of sanctity had exploded his fame of sanctity had already exploded worldwide, in a completely mysterious but understandable way. completely mysterious, but at the same time understandable.

"We can say that, just as he was famous among his classmates for his classmates for his facility with computer programs or editing films and videos, so his life and and videos, so his life and his figure are now familiar to hundreds of thousands of boys and of thousands of boys and girls thanks to the Internet networks. Some associations, parishes and high schools have even chosen him as a role model for young people. young people".said Nicola Gori, postulator the occasion of the Synod the postulator of the cause of beatification, Nicola Gori.

All that, therefore, "thanks to these social networks of which he has been a user and promoter, showing everyone that these means can be used in a lawful and responsible way for the good of the community and personal growth".. Indeed, his secret was to consider that "any means is useful to announce salvation to the world"..

Among others of its "very special secrets to reach quickly". the goal of holiness - in addition to the Holy Mass, the Rosary and the daily visit to the Blessed Sacrament, as we have seen, young Carlo suggested to his friends the need to desire the young Carlo suggested to his friends the necessity of desiring to "wholeheartedly" holiness, "and if you still do not you have to ask the Lord for it with insistence".He also advised to read a passage of Sacred Scripture every day, to go to confession weekly, to go to Scripture each day, to go to confession weekly, and to "also for venial sins".making offerings and resolutions "to the Lord and the Our Lady to help others"., and continually ask for help "to your Guardian Angel who has to become your best friend"..

In a notebook he had written: "Sadness is the look directed at oneself, happiness is the look directed at God. happiness is the look directed towards God. Conversion is nothing more than is nothing more than shifting one's gaze from below to above. A simple movement of the eyes."

A few months before the Lord called him to Himself, while he was on vacation with his parents, he asked his mother, "What did you do? while on vacation with his parents, he asked his mother: "Do you think I should be a priest?"indirectly communicating this desire of yours, probably unconscious. Today, his mother is aware that her son is is playing the role of a priest from heaven. Indeed, Carlo "I didn't understand why the stadiums are so full for concerts, but the churches are so empty. concerts, and yet the churches are so empty".and he repeated that sooner or later his contemporaries would understand would understand that it is truly worthwhile to offer one's life for Christ. Y probably is interceding from on High.

The offering of suffering

At the hospital bed, already aware that his life was coming to an end, he said to his parents: "I'm not going to die, I'm going to die, he said to his parents: "I offer to the Lord the sufferings that I will have to undergo, for the Pope and for the Church, so as not to go to Purgatory and to go straight to Paradise. Purgatory and go straight to Paradise".. Sufferings that came, but which he lived with the thought to those whom he considered would surely be worse off than he was.

His mortal remains rest in Assisi, the small town of the Poor Brother - a Saint whom Carlo venerated very much - where the family had a second home and where he had expressly asked to be buried.

There are numerous publications recounting his brief but intense his brief but intense life of faith and several hundred web pages and blogs that speak of his that speak of him in different languages. Many are also the stories of conversion stories of conversion linked to his testimony and which occurred after his death, from all corners of the world, from Indonesia to China, from Korea to Brazil, from the United from Indonesia to China, from Korea to Brazil, from the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Vietnam, Germany, Holland and the United States, including testimonies of his conversion, the United States, including testimonies of people who have received thanks, with including testimonies from people who have received graces, with the corresponding medical communications. In the intercessory prayer for his beatification and canonization, he is remembered as the one who made the the one who made the Eucharist the "the center of his life and the strength of his daily commitment"..

Pope Francis' decision to elevate him to the altars in such a short time has been received with great enthusiasm and is a source of consolation for all those who refer to his figure as a model for evangelization. It is not by chance that many catechists, schools, colleges, schools and parishes draw on his experience to animate their various activities and there is also a website which bears his name and collects all these experiences. The testimony that this very young Blessed leaves to parents and families is to educate their children to prayer from an early age and to encourage them on the path of faith."Their journey revolved around Jesus, who was at the center. People who allow themselves to be transformed by Jesus and have this strong friendship with God challenge others, they radiate the image of God."his mother will say later. In fact, "all of us unconsciously seek God.". And everyone has sensed it in the young Carlo Acutis.

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