Bl. Carlo Acutis
Updated: Nov 5, 2020
All of us are using the internet more than ever before to stream shows and movies, to video conference call for work and with family, to play games with each other, social media, to stream Mass, to watch live concerts, and more. Did you know that there is a patron of the internet?
Carlo Acutis was made venerable in July of 2018 by Pope Francis, and the Pope has now approved the Beatification of Carlo for later this year. Carlo lived from 1991-2006. He was born in London, but his family eventually moved back to Northern Italy where they were from. He lived a regular life growing up being surrounded by family and being involved in school, sports, friends, and faith just like any other Catholic teen.
The Catholic faith is very prominent in Italy, but Carlo prioritized his faith first, even above himself. Most Italians live their faith, and Carlo was no exception. While being involved in so many things as a teen, Carlo taught himself to code and how to build a website in his free time. This was in the early 2000s, mind you, when creating a blog or a website was left to the professionals because of how complicated it was. Carlo was a very bright person and figured it all out on his own.
“They’ll stand in line for hours to go to a concert, but won’t stay even a moment before the Tabernacle.”
His website was all about Eucharistic miracles. He dedicated his life to the Eucharist, and he wanted to share the power of the Eucharist with others. Carlo said that conversion is just a simple movement of the eyes--he chose to look upward instead of downward. In Italian, “io” means “I.” Just add a “d” in front of it to make “Dio,” which means God. Instead of looking downward at the self, he chose to lift his eyes upward towards Dio, God.
He found beauty of the soul by fixing his gaze on the Eucharist. His website’s purpose was feeding his soul by sharing what had changed his life forever, but also giving others a chance at conversion through the Eucharist.
His family began to travel around to different Eucharistic miracle sights to visit, take pictures, record the stories, and pray, and then Carlo had the opportunity to share it on his website. He created quite the exhibition with his compilation of miracles. Everyone that knew him were floored that he had figured out how to do this so well, and they were also very supportive of him and excited to read about each story that he’d post about the living Eucharist in our world.
It was in the beginning of October of 2006 and he was in the middle of this project, high school, and life, he fell very ill. He was diagnosed with leukemia, and he knew he wasn’t going to leave the hospital. He had the positivity and the humility to always thank those around him and to always say he was doing well because others had it way worse than he did. He even offered up his suffering to the Pope and to the Church.
“All people are born as originals, but many people die as photocopies.”
On October 12, 2006 around 6:45am, Carlo passed away at 15 years young. He certainly died as an original. He lived his life as a pilgrim on a journey to help others. Carlo lived his whole life on how Don Bosco, St. John Bosco of Northern Italy, also lived. “Always be cheerful; do your duty in study and piety; help your friends.”
Carlo was originally buried in Northern Italy where the rest of his family rests, but they decided to move him to central Italy to Assisi, where millions of pilgrims flock every year. This will give people a chance to learn his story, to pray for his beatification and canonization, and for Carlo to pray for us and our intentions. You can see his tomb in Santa Maria Maggiore in Assisi. His story is posted there, there’s little papers where you can write intentions to submit, and there’s plenty of space to pray with Carlo.
You can access his website still and you can learn more about Carlo through the information that has been posted by the Association that has dedicated their work towards his beatification and canonization. They have also put up materials covering a vast amount of faith topics to continue Carlo’s legacy.
“The more we receive the Eucharist, the more similar we become to Jesus, and we already on this earth have a foretaste of heaven.”
How are you using your internet time to dedicate yourself more fully to the faith?
We cannot receive the Eucharist at this time, but if we pray for Spiritual Communion, we receive the graces of the Eucharist in our hearts. What graces have been given to you through Spiritual Communion?
How can you pray to Carlo Acutis for usage of your internet time and internet time of others?