This Oct. 10, Carlo Acutis will be beatified. His friends remember him as a young dreamer, service-oriented and full of charisma. He died in 2006, at only 15 years old, after a battle with leukemia. His life may have been short, but it made a huge impact.
Recently, in the middle of the process for the teenager's beatification, his tomb has become a pilgrimage site. Thanks to technology, a mask recreating his face allows pilgrims to see the bright face of this new Blessed, dressed in jeans, sneakers and a sweater. His mother, who was present at the exhumation of his remains, said she sees no reason to be sad.
Carlo Acutis' Mother
“A person with faith knows that even the death of a son isn't the end of everything—that for that son, it's the beginning of life. That's why I'm facing my son's death as I should, as a Christian, knowing that Carlo is very happy with the Lord. It's not that I spend all my time crying and saying, 'Oh God, my son.' I know Carlo led a wonderful life, that he's waiting for all of us. I hope I don't end up in purgatory, but if I do, my son will come and free me. I'm confident that his intercession will be powerful.”
He was a pioneer in using new technology as an instrument to talk about God. Many call him “God's influencer” or a “cyberapostle of the Eucharist.” He designed websites to document Eucharistic miracles. The compilation has spread around the world.
The key, or focal point, of his life was his encounter with Jesus in the Eucharist, which led him to completely dedicate himself to others.
Postulator of the Cause for Beatification
“When he died, at the funeral, the church was full of poor people. Everyone else wondered what they were doing there. Well, Carlo used to help them in secret. The family knew it because his mom would go with him, since he was only 15 years old. He would give them sleeping bags and food, which is why they wanted to attend the funeral.”
His example of service and joy, on top of his battle with leukemia, have made him a role model for new generations.
Daniel Díaz Vizzi