The first on the altars to have had “ a cell phone and an email address »: Underlined by Father Will Conquer, priest of the Foreign Missions of Paris (MEP), author of the only book devoted to him in French (1), the detail is indicative of the technical skills of Blessed Carlo Acutis, as much as of its anchoring in the XXIe century. The young man (1991-2006) will be beatified on Sunday October 10 in Assisi.
Born on May 3, 1991 in a believing Italian family and more or less practicing, the young Carlo grew up in Milan. He quickly showed a great appetite for visiting churches, praying the rosary, the lives of the saints and the Eucharist. To the point that he asks to make his first communion before he is old enough.
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It was the former private secretary of Pope Paul VI, Bishop Pasquale Macchi, who authorized him at 7 years old after having, at the request of his parents, verified his spiritual maturity. From then on, young Carlo went to mass every day, to adoration, easily testifying to his faith without ever trying to put pressure on anyone. For him, the Eucharist is “ a highway to Heaven “. He believes and feels that Christ is present in the Eucharist exactly as he was in Galilee two thousand years ago, and is astonished to see more queues for rock concerts than to enter the concerts. churches. He will affirm: ” while standing in front of JJesus Eucharistie, we become saints “.
A gifted computer scientist
In everyday life, Carlo remains almost a child like the others. He loves soccer and animals. He becomes friends with a domestic worker of Hindu origin; by the answers he gives to his questions, he helps him to become a Christian. With his friends, he is cheerful, warm. It was thanks to one of them that he discovered computer science, for which he quickly showed extraordinary skills: as a teenager, he edited films, created a website for his parish, another for his high school. He is active in the chaplaincy.
He was only 12 years old when he began to put his computer skills at the service of his still alive passion for the Eucharist. He then decided to create an Internet site (now available in French) listing, illustrating and explaining one hundred and thirty-six Eucharistic miracles confirmed by the Church. With the help of his parents, whom he attracts more and more towards the faith, he documents himself, travels to photograph the places. Two and a half years of work that soon after his death led to a traveling exhibition, presented in many parishes (more than 10,000 in the United States, according to the website of the Carlo Acutis association) and shrines on five continents. In the coming months, it is expected in France at Versailles (Yvelines), Pau (Pyrénées-Atlantiques), Cholet (Maine-et-Loire).
“I lived my life without wasting a single minute”
A devastating leukemia will kill him in a few days. He, who until then had enjoyed perfect health, rebelled neither in the face of the diagnosis, nor in the face of pain, and took care to console his relatives.
He himself sets the tone for his rare maturity and piety by proclaiming: “I am happy to die because I have lived my life without wasting a single minute, and without my actions displeasing God. “ He died on October 12, 2006 and was buried, according to his wishes, in Assisi, out of devotion to Saint Francis. On April 6, 2019, Carlo’s body was moved from the municipal cemetery to the Sanctuary of the Translation, in Assisi. Opened on this occasion, the coffin reveals a body said ” integrated “, little decomposed.
Pioneer of a new generation of saints
From Cambodia where he is a missionary, Father Will Conquer is enthusiastic about this beatification: “Carlo is a pioneer. He threw himself into the lion cage that was the Internet at that time, when there was no ethical filter. Framed in his schedules by his parents, he never lost his way on the Web, because he had a pure relationship with God and with others, including with adults and with girls. Real friendships, which, for example, protected him from pornography. ”
For the missionary, Carlo Acutis is an example for the youth : “I know that it is expected among the young to open in the same way the way to a new generation of saints, those of the XXIe century, who will live their ordinary life while staying the course towards Christ. “