Have a Social with the Saints! Receive encouragement for your daily life as we meet & discuss Bl. Carlo Acutis. He was only 15 years old when he passed in a hospital in Monza, Italy, in 2006, offering all his sufferings for the Church and for the Pope.
Come be encouraged and inspired for your daily life!
Join us at Pilgrim Center of Hope for an in-person gathering, discussion & prayer. We will refrain from our traditional refreshments, and focus on spiritual refreshment. 🙂
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Bl. Carlo Acutis
The First Millennial Blessed
Born: May 3, 1991
Died: October 12, 2006
Memorial: October 12
Beatified: October 10, 2020
Patronage: Computer Programmers and Youth
Carlo was born on May 3, 1991, in London, where his parents had relocated due to work obligations. Four months after his birth, his parents moved to Milan, Italy. Carlo had a nurse who was British. At only three months old Carlo spoke his first word, “Dad.” At five months, he started to speak. He would speak Italian and English. He attended public school kindergarten, but most of his schooling was in schools run by Catholic religious orders; a school run by the Sisters of St. Marcelino and a Jesuit high school. He received his First Communion at the age of 7 and was Confirmed at the age of 12.
Carlo enjoyed several hobbies, he played the saxophone, enjoyed playing soccer with his friends, but he mostly enjoyed technology. He played video games on his PlayStation, watched Pokemon, movies, and making his own videos at home with his dogs and cats. Perhaps a bit more remarkably, Carlo also spent time volunteering at a local soup kitchen run by the Capuchin Friars and Mother Teresa’s Sisters. He took extra care to help the poor in his neighborhood. At the age of 11 years, Carlo also enjoyed helping with and then teaching Catechism Classes to children preparing for their First Communion and Confirmation. He was also known to help other kids who had trouble with their homework, or kids who were bullied, especially those with disabilities. When one of the kids in school had parents who divorced, Carlo made a special effort to involve that classmate in his own family’s life. When Carlo was seven, he wrote, “To always be united to Jesus, this is my life plan.” Ever since his First Communion, he took every opportunity to attend daily Mass. He said, “The more often we receive
the Eucharist, the more we will become like Jesus so that on this earth we will have a foretaste of Heaven.” His daily prayer routine also included the Rosary, which he called, “The shortest ladder to climb to Heaven.” Often, he would enjoy time with Jesus in Eucharistic Adoration. He wrote, “When you face the sun, you get a tan… but when you face the Eucharistic Jesus, you become holy.” He considered the Eucharist his “highway to Heaven.” In fact, his mother, Antonia, was not religious; but Carlo convinced her to attend Mass with him.
In a 2019 interview, Antonia said: “Jesus was the center of his day.” She said that priests and nuns would tell her that they could tell that the Lord had a special plan for her son. “Carlo really had Jesus in his heart, really the pureness… When you are really pure of heart, you really touch people’s hearts,” she said. Carlo also believed in frequent Confession of venial sins and received the Sacrament of Reconciliation on a weekly basis. Hearing about his life, we might wonder, what could he have confessed? But like everyone else, he also had to practice virtue. His mother says that Carlo used to over-indulge in food when he was very young, and over time he had to learn temperance. He also used to write notes in a journal about how he would behave with others, with his parents, and how he was fulfilling his responsibilities. In these types of ways, he always used to try to improve himself by examining his conscience, practicing virtue, and receiving the graces of the sacraments.
Perhaps what Carlo is best known for around the world is a website he created. When he was 9, Carlo began studying computer science textbooks that could be purchased at a local university and taught himself computer programming and graphic design. He created a website that catalogues all the Eucharistic miracles recorded in the world. It is still available today, and an exhibit has been made out of it. Because of his interest in evangelization through media, every day at 3:30pm after the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, we as a Pilgrim Center of Hope staff pray three prayers, one to St. Joseph, one to Mary Star of the Sea, and one to Blessed Carlo Acutis, who is the heavenly patron of our Media Department and media outreach.
Carlo had a close relationship with his guardian angel. His parents would notice how many times he would ask his guardian angel for favors, and how quickly the prayer would be answered surprised them. Carlo spoke about how active our guardian angels are. He used to say that most people don’t speak with their guardian angel, but that we should speak often with our guardian angel about anything. He was very touched by the story of St. Gemma Galgani, who would write daily letters to her spiritual director which would be delivered by her guardian angel who lived a large distance away. Not only can we ask our guardian angel for help ourselves, but Carlo recommended that people should send their guardian angel ahead of them to help prepare a situation or a person with whom we are meeting. Perhaps he got this idea from St. Padre Pio of Pietrelcina to whom he had a great devotion. Carlo used to say that one’s guardian angel was given a mission by God to be with you for all of your life, even to purgatory and heaven. Carlo also had a great devotion to the archangels. He would pray the chaplet of St. Michael the Archangel and visited Monte Sant’Angelo where St. Michael appeared in the South of Italy.
On October 2, 2006, Carlo became sick. At first, it seemed like he had the flu. He said, “I give all the pain that I will suffer for the Lord, for the Pope, and for the Church.” The Pope at that time was Benedict XVI (the 16th). However, his condition began to dramatically deteriorate.
On October 8, he was diagnosed with M3 fulminant Leukemia, an aggressive cancer of the blood and bone marrow. On October 9, he was transferred to St. Gerard Hospital in Monza. He told his mother, “Mama, from here I will not leave alive. But I will send you many signs.” He always had a smile. When the doctors would ask him about the pain, Carlo would respond, “There are people who suffer much more than I am suffering.” He was more so concerned about the people around him, such as the pediatric nurse who struggled to move his fifteen-year-old body. On October 10, Carlo requested to receive the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick and Holy Communion, certain that he would shortly die. Carlo said, “I die happy, because I never wasted a moment of my life on things that do not please God.” Carlo used to say, “time is a creature of God, created for us, and in the Incarnation of Jesus, we were shown how to glorify God with each minute of life.” On October 11, he fell into a coma from a brain hemorrhage brought on by the Leukemia, but it seemed as if he peacefully had fallen asleep with a smile on his face. Doctors declared him dead at 5:00 pm when his brain activity ceased. His parents were unable to donate his organs to a young transplant patient because Carlo’s organs were compromised by the Leukemia. On October 12, 2006 at 6:45 am Carlo’s heart stopped beating. He died in Milan at the age of 15. His tomb was moved to Assisi, which was a wish Bl Carlo expressed, because of his love for St. Francis.
Carlo was named a Servant of God in November 2016 by the Bishop of Milan, Cardinal Angelo Scola. He was declared Venerable in July 2018 by Pope Francis, and Beatified on October 10, 2020, just two days before the 14th anniversary of his death.
5 Steps To Being A Saint
- Frequent Reception of the Eucharist: Carlo strove to participate in Mass every day. He declared, “You go straight to heaven if you participate in Mass every day.”
- Eucharistic Adoration: Carlo’s relationship with Jesus in the Mass was deepened in Eucharistic Adoration – a short time before and after Mass, and for long periods when he could.
- Spiritual Guide and Regular Confession: Carlo’s desire to be a saint perhaps most clearly in his seeking out a spiritual guide to whom he could confess regularly.
- Devotion to Our Blessed Mother and the Saints: Carlo felt Mary was close to him, just as he felt close to Jesus in the Eucharist.
- Charity: From a very young age, Carlo showed himself to be generous in self-giving.
Quotes of Bl. Carlo Acutis:
- To always be united to Jesus, this is my life plan.
- When you face the sun, you get a tan… but when you face the Eucharistic Jesus, you become holy.
- All people are born as originals but many die as photocopies.
- Sadness is looking at ourselves, happiness is looking towards God.
- The Eucharist is the highway to heaven.
- When we face the sun we get a tan… but when we stand before Jesus in the Eucharist we become saints.
- Continuously ask your guardian angel for help. Your guardian angel has to become your best friend.
- Not me, but God.
Pilgrim Center of Hope Prayer to Blessed Carlo Acutis
Oh Father, who has given us the ardent testimony of Bl. Carlo Acutis, who made the Eucharist the core of his life and the strength of his daily commitment; through the intercession of Blessed Carlo Acutis, grant us the grace and guidance we need for our Media Ministry. We trust in you, Heavenly Father, and your Beloved Son Jesus, in the Virgin Mary, our Dearest Mother, and in the intercession of Bl. Carlo Acutis, Amen!
Compiled by Pilgrim Center of Hope. All Rights Reserved. For permission to reprint, please contact us.
Source Includes Blessed Carlo Acutis: 5 Steps to Being A Saint, by Msgr. Anthony Figueiredo, published by Catholic Truth Society