The Millennial Saint

The Millennial Saint

The Millennial Saint
Read time: 6.5 minutes

Shakespeare once wrote: “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.”

In the theater of life, it doesn’t matter what part we have been given. What matters is how well we have played the part. It is not measured by length of days, or how successful we become. What the size of our bank account is or what our accomplishments are. What we will ultimately be measured on is the love we have given, and not on the love that we have received.

Carlo Acutis was born on May 3, 1991, in London, England, to Andrea Acutis and Antonia Salzano Acutis. The family was relatively wealthy and neither parent was religious. They soon moved to Milan where both parents worked in the family business.

When Carlo was 2 years old the family hired a Polish nanny. Beata ended up teaching young Carlo about the faith. As the parents had no interest or desire in doing so. Carlo and Beata often entered churches they ran across when they went out. Carlo wanted to go say hello to Jesus, or to bring flowers that he had picked in the field to the Virgin Mary. Then, at 4 or 5 years of age he began to ask his mother to take him to say hello to Jesus. His path in his short life was already set and he was well on his way.

Antonia stated: “At the beginning I stayed back, and I could not understand the solicitations he made directly and indirectly regarding my faith. There were times when I struggled because I did not know how to answer his questions. I didn’t even know the difference between the Gospel and the Bible.” Antonia ended up taking courses in theology just so she could answer her son’s questions.

Hasn’t it always been the responsibility of the parents to pass the faith down to their children?  In this case we have the reverse. A 5-year-old boy evangelizing his parents.

As Carlo grew up, the poor, the weak and the sick became his closest friends. In the words of his mother, “Everything he did, he did with passion. His enthusiasm was infectious. He was always trying to improve himself and continuously worrying about his neighbours, especially those in need.”

Carlo had a great devotion to the Virgin Mary and to the Eucharist. He would often say: “The Eucharist is the highway to Heaven.” He developed a website about the miracles of the Eucharist and Marian apparitions. At the age of 12 he became a catechist at his parish. He lived a heroic life of virtue in his short life. But even in death he never wavered.

On October 1, 2006 Carlo developed a sore throat. They took him to the doctor, but a few days later, the pain became worse and there was blood in his urine. By October 8, Carlo was too weak to get out of bed and go to Mass. He was diagnosed with acute leukemia. He was transferred to the hospital from the clinic, and he received the anointing of the sick. When a nurse came in to care for him, he asked her not to wake his mother and she was already very tired, and he didn’t want her to worry.

Before Carlo fell into a coma he said: “I offer to the Lord the sufferings that I will have to undergo for the Pope and for the church.” The doctors asked him how he felt, and he answered with a smile, “I am well, there are people that are suffering much more than me.” They looked at each other incredulously. Thet knew the pain that this type of leukemia produced.

His last words to his mother were: “Mom, don’t be afraid. Since the Incarnation of Jesus, death has become the passage towards life, and we don’t need to flee it. Let us prepare ourselves to experience something extraordinary in the eternal life. Carlo died on October 11, 2006, at the age of 15.

Carlo performed his first miracles on the day of his funeral. A woman with breast cancer and had not yet started chemotherapy invoked Carlo and was healed. Another woman who came from Rome and who could not have children prayed to Carlo and soon conceived a child.

At his funeral many people came, the homeless, the poor and the sick. No one knew them. But Carlo knew them, and the people were astonished as to how Carlo was able to touch so many lives.

Carlo Acutis was Beatified by Pope Francis on October 10, 2020.

“Carlo did not ease into comfortable immobilism, but understood the needs of his time, because he saw the face of Christ in the weakest. His witness indicates to today’s young people that true happiness is found by putting God in the first place and serving Him in our brothers and sisters, especially the least.”

Pope Francis Angelus October 11, 2020.

“To be close to Jesus, that’s my life plan.”
“I am happy to die because I have lived my life without wasting a minute on those things that do not please God.”
Blessed Carlo Acutis Pray for us.

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