By: Raymond Guarini
Earlier today, in Italy, a mass was held for the beatification of Carlo Acutis, who is on his way to becoming a Catholic saint. A few years ago, when I began writing blog posts about Italian enclaves in the United States and their churches, I stumbled upon an incredible story about a boy named Carlo Acutis. I found out about Carlo or maybe he found me when I had entered “catalog of Italian churches” into the Google search engine. I can not recall if information about Carlo came up on the first page of the query results or if it was in latter pages, but nevertheless, I stumbled upon an article written about his work of cataloging the Eucharistic miracles from around the world. Carlo was a young computer programmer living in Milan, Italy who had a very strong bond with Jesus Christ from his earliest of years on earth. Young Carlo would receive the eucharist each and every day of his life from the moment he received the Sacrament of Holy Communion. Carlo was much like any ordinary child but he had a profound love of God and the Catholic church and would often spend time in the first pew of church praying with his rosary in hand. His desire to be close to the altar of God and the tabernacle was unordinary and very much inspiring. Sadly, at the age of 15, Carlo passed away from Leukemia. He prepared and completed his website catalog of every Eucharistic miracle that has been deemed “worthy of belief” in the months leading to his passing.
In a world where our young are corrupted in so many ways, the story of Carlo Acutis provides calm and reassurance. Carlo’s exemplary character and purity serve as a modern day reminder of the Christ our Lord. In times where computers are very often conduits of illicit content, it is uplifting to hear about a young man who dedicated his knowledge of computers to building a website from scratch that served as a genuine resource to catalog events on earth where miracles have happened, thus strengthening our faith.
In sharing the cause of Carlo Acutis when I first wrote about him on the Italian enclaves blog, my hope was to spread positivity and faith amongst friends, family and strangers. By getting involved in that cause, I was blessed to receive one of his relics from Italy.
Today, at his Beatification mass, a reliquary containing his relics was presented for veneration.
For one to be beatified, a miracle must occur that is directly attributable to the venerable person. In 2013, a priest in Brazil, Fr. Marcelo Tenorio, held a mass service in his parish for the beatification of Carlo Acutis and to also have parishioners pray for Carlo’s intercession for whatever healing they might need. A child in that same town was suffering from a rare birth defect called an annular pancreas. The defect caused the boy, named Mattheus, serious abdominal pain and made eating extremely difficult for him. Mattheus was unable to keep food down and vomited constantly. He was a mere 20 pounds at 4 years old.
Mattheus’ mother had heard about the healing mass being held by Fr. Tenorio, so she decided to bring her children, especially Mattheus. Days before the mass, Mattheus’ mother made a novena for Acutis. Fr. Nicola Gori, who was the Italian priest responsible for promoting Acutis’ cause, explained to Italian media what happened on the day of the mass that was held for Acutis in Brazil: “On October 12, 2013, seven years after Carlo’s death, a child, affected by a congenital malformation, when it was his turn to touch the picture of the future blessed, expressed a singular wish, like a prayer: ‘I wish I could stop vomiting so much.’ Healing began immediately, to the point that the physiology of the organ in question changed.”
It has been said that when Mattheus was on his way home with his mother, he told her that he had already been cured and when they arrived home he was able to enjoy a large meal and did not vomit at all. The boy was able to eat just the same each day from that point onward to the utter awe of his doctors.
Please share this story of Carlo Acutis and remember his work in utilizing technology for good things. Pray for his intercession. Below is his novena and a link to the website that he created:
Prayer to the Servant of God Carlo Acutis
Dear Father, Who has given us the ardent testimony of the young Servant of God, Carlo Acutis, who made the Eucharist the core of his life and strength of his daily commitments so that everybody may love You above all else, let him soon be counted among the Blesseds and Saints in Your Church. Confirm my Faith nurture my Hope, strengthen my Charity in the image of young Carlo, who, growing in these virtues, now lives with You. Grant me the grace I really need…. I trust in you, Father, and your Beloved Son Jesus, in the Virgin Mary, our Dearest Mother, and in the intervention of Your Servant, Carlo Acutis.
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be
The website created by Carlo showcasing the Eucharistic miracles: http://www.miracolieucaristici.org/en/liste/list.html