Carlo Acutis: Fifteen-year-old computer scientist declared venerable by pope
Sainthood is not reserved for elderly priests, popes or mystics. It's also possible for 21st century teens like Carlo Acutis.
This young Italian died of leukemia in 2006. He lived a short life, but left an impact.
“When he died, the funeral was full of poor people. Everyone wondered what they were doing there. It was because Carlo had secretly been helping them. The family knew because – as he was only 15 – his mother was going with him. He brought them sleeping bags or food, and that's why they felt they needed to attend the funeral.”
Despite the growing pains, Carlo Acutis had an enviable reaction to them. The postulator for his cause explains the key was encountering one person: Christ.
“Carlo wasn't born a saint, but he worked hard at it. Chastity for him was a result of friendship with Christ. He understood, and that's what he told whoever met him, that to be faithful friends of Christ, one must meet certain demands. Naturally, this was difficult for him.”
It was difficult, but he passed the tests with flexibility. His family and friends highlight his simplicity and capacity to pray in a not-so-Christian environment.
“I think he was one of the few people capable of pushing his relatives and friends. In other words, his story is not one of a deeply Christian family in terms of practice. His family was normal... Yes, they went to Mass, but when they didn't, it was not a problem.”
Something else they highlight of Carlo was his passion for computers and the Internet. In fact, he has become an example of a young person who is capable of making new technologies an instrument to talk about God. Carlo designed web pages dedicated to Eucharistic devotion and the Virgin Mary. Now, Pope Francis has declared him venerable, meaning he considers him as a public example to follow.