Beatification of Carlo Acutis (1991-2006) coming soon
Rome, 24 September 2020 — The beatification of 15-year-old Italian youngster Carlo Acutis on 10 October 2020 in Assisi is fast approaching. Born in London on 3 May 1991 he died of leukemia on 12 October 2006. He spent all his school life in Milan. Carlo was best known for documenting Eucharistic miracles around the world and cataloguing them all on a website that he himself created in the months before his death from leukemia, but he started the ‘collection’ of the Eucharistic miracles site when he was 11. The Eucharistic website is available today in 18 languages, including Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese and Tagalog.
His simple, deeply convinced Christian life is characterized by his sayings: “Non io ma Dio” (Not me, but God), “Tutti nasciamo originali, molti moriamo fotocopie” (All of us are born as original, but many die as photocopies) and “L’Eucaristia è la mia autostrada per il cielo” (The Eucharist is my highway to heaven). He was good at football, but especially passionate as a digital native and a fervent but delicate apostle of his peers.
Acutis was worried about those friends of his whose parents were divorcing and so he would invite these friends to his home to support them. He defended the rights of the disabled and defended disabled peers at school when bullies mocked them. He loved travelling but loved to visit Assisi more than any other place.
Pope Francis presents the figure of the future Blessed in his Apostolic Exhortation about ‘Youth – Faith and Vocation Discernment”:
“I remind you of the good news we received as a gift on the morning of the resurrection: that in all the dark or painful situations that we mentioned, there is a way out. For example, it is true that the digital world can expose you to the risk of self-absorption, isolation and empty pleasure. But don’t forget that there are young people even there who show creativity and even genius.
That was the case with the Venerable Carlo Acutis. Carlo was well aware that the whole apparatus of communications, advertising and social networking can be used to lull us, to make us addicted to consumerism and buying the latest thing on the market, obsessed with our free time, caught up in negativity. Yet he knew how to use the new communications technology to transmit the Gospel, to communicate values and beauty. Carlo didn’t fall into the trap. He saw that many young people, wanting to be different, really end up being like everyone else, running after whatever the powerful set before them with the mechanisms of consumerism and distraction. In this way they do not bring forth the gifts the Lord has given them; they do not offer the world those unique personal talents that God has given to each of them. As a result, Carlo said, “everyone is born as an original, but many people end up dying as photocopies”. Don’t let that happen to you! Don’t let them rob you of hope and joy…!” (Christus Vivit, 104-107)