Carlo Acutis:
a young "anti-conformist"

student of the Institute "Lion XIII" in Milan

Sonia Andreoli

Translated by Carla Mariza Ruiz

In the Institute Lion XIII, of Milan, was among his students the young Carlo Acutis (1991-2006)," holder of a life extraordinary with in the ordinary", which left an indelible memory of all those who knew him - why was initiated the process of beatification.

The Diocese of Milan has begun the collection of testimonies from people who say they have received through by Carlo various types of grace (1). The Jesuits who direct the Lion XIII improved its already strong spiritual temperament, noting how the Holy Spirit works miracles and graces, even in the current social context, where we see so many young people exposed to profligacy and false idolatry. We give these pages a summary profile of Carlo Acutis invitation to a deeper understanding (2) that has led many to consider it a providential "friend in the Lord," using a favorite expression of S. Ignatius of Loyola.

Broad interests and a strong spiritual quest

In a society where everything seems to be chasing the "pleasure", submitted to an unbridled hedonism, where even "hidden messages" are symbols of explicit reference to "wish" that has nothing to do with spirit .To walk "upstream" - especially for a teenager - it means moving away, physically and spiritually, this popular form of life.

The decision to put God's values and Christian values in the center of life usually happens to people who have reached at least the so called "majority" phase in which they can more easily be "silent." But what would we think of a person to pray the Rosary, which causes people to believe in other values, which is on the computer not to talk in chat rooms, but to search for topics of spiritual life, angiographic, cards or holy images, was a teenager? And if this person were not summarily what is said of a "fanatic" or "mentally disturbed", isolated from everything and everyone but a young man full of life, happy, smiling, always ready to give aid or just one word comfort?

Maybe it's hard to believe in a fact that these, as we are accustomed to hearing in "bulletin on saturday night" black chronicles the crimes that the media propagates, as the death of so many young lives, not to mention those who have suffered an" overdose "the tragic path of drug dependence...

But there is another reality, less known and more positively, of which Acute Carlo (1991-2006) was a witness in his brief and intense life.

He was a young man full of interests, particularly information technology, those who knew him, also define it as a true "genius" of the computer (the site he created is a clear testimony) could see that he was still involved in volunteering in film editing, directing and editing of various scholarly journals and groups involved in socially useful initiatives.

But this activity - witnessed by those who knew him - was added in a context of strong spiritual life and consciousness. This led to participation in daily Mass, to remain in adoration before the Eucharist, to acquire the taste of authentic prayer, for that itself had an important role in the recitation of the Holy Rosary. All this was clearly stated on its website, which is still online, now edited by those who knew and appreciated (3). Many pages were left as Carlo had created.

Carlo Acutis in a photo where we see the near Assis. A symbolic image of your generous response to the Lord who called him to see broader horizons...

Among these pages, we may mention that one, particularly, demonstrates his bravery and great aesthetic sense: a real "show ondine" about Eucharistic miracles on the world.
Another indication of his notable interest in the lives of the Saints is a long page of writing he called "My Friends of Heaven", which contains dozens of "guides" on the life of Saints, Blesseds and Servants of God who had particularly interested him and they left behind, greatly, a mark in their spiritual lives.

Just based on those interests say "alternative" in respect to those that are grown in adolescence and through a "boost" a strong faith, Carlo tried all ways to bring souls to God, suggesting to people who knew God's way and who had a truly Christian life, "feeding" the Body and Blood of Christ - never missing elements in his day. The key phrase for your site, written in large letters, he says, so even the original: The Eucharist is my way to heaven.

Significant events in the life of Carlo Acutis

Carlo Acutis was born in London (England) on the 3rd of the May, 1991, where lived because of professional demands of their parents, Andre and Antonia. He received a few days after birth (May 18) Baptism in the Church of Our Lady of Sorrows, also in that city. This time, his mother deeply Catholic has prepared a cake in the shape of a lamb to thank the Lord by Carlo entry into the Christian community. In this church, there was a statue of Our Lady of Fatima, which Carlo would be very dedicated, pondering and meditating often on messages sent to the pastors.

About the fundamental importance of the sacrament of Baptism, often reduced to a banal celebration of consumerism. Carlo thus expressed himself: "Baptism is important because it allows the souls to be saved thanks to the return to divine life. People do not realize how much this gift means infinity and beyond the confetti, gifts and clothes white, absolutely do not bother to understand the meaning of this great gift that God gives to mankind"..

A photo of Carlo of the background the city
of Toledo in Spain.

Childhood Carlo develops under the care and affection not only of parents and close relatives, but also some nannies. The child was shown to be cheerful, lively but gentle at the same time "rare in this age." If any classmate you did anything wrong, Carlo did not react instinctively and cited the reason: "The Lord would not be happy if I would react violently".

Already twelve years old, attended Mass daily, also in his vacation period, carrying the Eucharist the strength to live a holy and so different form his contemporaries...

On one occasion, he preferred to go on pilgrimage to Assis (Italy), instead of choosing other places of entertainment - a behavior that arouses much curiosity of those who were around him, as some of his relatives, who called him "a victim of parents" thinking that they were imposing such behavior.

But the reality was different, as the Carlo confided to his spiritual father before leaving this earthly dimension, "Assis is the place where I feel happiest". He admired St. Francisco, especially his great humility.

After high school, he was enrolled at the Classic Liceo Leone XIII, run by Jesuit priests, opportunity in which was spiritually guided by Father Roberto Gazzaniga. Carlo was not the first class, but he obtained very good results, provided it is always with joy and generosity to help friends and everyone around his, especially when using the PC, which was convinced of the importance of constructive use of computers and internet concept expressed by Pontiff John Paul II and reaffirmed today by Pontiff Benedict XVI. Repeatedly, put your knowledge to the service of creating multimedia presentations and other initiatives undertaken by the Institute.

Carlo showed special interest to those colleagues less considered, for those who feel "excluded." So said a friend as a witness: "Carlo was a very willing to make friends with everyone, and followed with colleagues who had some trouble to socialize. This happened to some young people in our class Carlo was always interested in trying to involve them and cause them to be integrated into the class. Carlo went to Mass several times a week, he had faith, believed in an intimate dialogue with the Lord and prayed the Rosary every day. Following the death of Carlo and I went back to church this can be credited with an intercession Carlo.".

Carlo Acutis (1991-2006), a photograph taken in Naples, on the hill of Posilipo.

These are some maxims presented by Carlo on the site. Thus said, "decided to help them by sharing some of my most special secrets for those who wish to quickly achieve the goal of holiness:

1) You must want it with all your heart, and if this desire has not arisen in his heart, must ask with insistence to the Lord.
2) Go to Mass every day and take Holy Communion.
3) Remember to pray the Rosary every day.
4) Read every day a passage of Holy Scripture.
5) If you can make a moment of Eucharistic adoration before the altar where Jesus is truly present, you see how wonderfully you can increase your level of holiness.
7) Go to confession every week, even the sins that are frivolous.
8) Make requests and offer flowers to the Lord and Our Lady, to help others.
9) Ask your guardian angel to help you continually, so that it becomes your best friend"

Religion for Carlo was not "bigotry" or superficiality. In fact, their culture in terms of faith - considering his young age - was very broad as to his religion teacher at school when he could not remember exactly some quotes from the Gospel, asking him for help - and never was disappointed with his answers!

In the church was exemplary behavior, characteristic of those who not only attended the scene as "habit" acted with due respect and occasionally drew the attention of those who did not behave properly in the sacred space.

His trust in God was total and expressed his love for life that shone in his bright smile and calm demeanor to deal with the small daily problems. Despite belonging to a rich family, not flaunted this fact with the clothes of "brand" or other objects that could attract attention, preferring the interest of the people was directed to other goods, such as love and thank the Lord...

Having in your site included many figures of saints, highlighted the fact that these creatures were not "extraordinary" in nature or predestination, but that the saints were people like us: we can only follow his example, living in accordance with the teachings the Gospel.

Carlo, to offer the angiographic, and blessed the lives of the servants of God "withdrew" from our website some photos and articles, specifically the pages dedicated to the Venerable Maria Teresa Gonzalez-Quevedo (text and photographs) and two images of the Servant of God , Santa Scorese. Given the "subject" in question, "forgive" willingly,behold, indeed, we are satisfied with the hope that, from above, they pray for the success of our ministries.

The Institute Lion XIII, of Milan, the Jesuit Priests, where Carlo Acutis attended the College.

Love the Lord also joined with love of neighbor, love too much: Carlo did not fail to give their support to the people "highly placed" as those deprived of luck. Charity, taken in its original sense of love, was abundant in the life of Carlo, a charity silent and hidden instituition as Jesus advised us in the Gospel: "Do not know what gives your left hand, right hand, so that your alms may be in secret and thy Father which seeth in secret will reward" (Matthew 6:1-6). This is a feature of many saints, as well as made explicit in our journal dedicated to St Giuseppe Moscati. In fact, a witness, for example, reported that she watched as Professor Moscati, a closed church, inserted into the box offers luxurious offerings to the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Pompeii, believing that he was alone.

In addition, the center of the existence of Carlo Acutis was the Eucharist, as was the life of S. Giuseppe Moscati and the resulting fruits of this love may have been the same, although complete in some places, ways and at different times.

An example of how Carlo had at heart the welfare of those who were far less than he. Account the maternal grandmother, called Luana, speaking of a beggar who was sleeping on the floor in a public garden of Assis: "Carlo reminded me every night to prepare food to take to the poor man, always placing near your pocket some money, so when I woke up, had the money close to you. " Example of love that requires nothing in return, I felt the joy of giving without expecting anything in return...

The example given to us by Carlo leads us to reflect on how the wealth is not an evil in itself, but the value you give to material goods, not the egoism that often ensues. The desire to "keep everything to himself," without which the next participate in this blessing is the real evil.

Nobody could imagine that the Lord would soon call for you the young man full of strength, and that was in good health: the illness that hit him, a type of leukemia type M3 (already in the acute phase), was initially confused with a simple "mumps." The hidden evil has spread rapidly, despite many treatments, until the departure of Carlo, all in the space of a month. The Lord called him to heaven at 6:45 pm of October 12, 2006. He was only 15 years old.

During the course of the disease, the parents heard him say: "I offer all the sufferings of my departure to the Lord, the Pontiff and the Church, not to do Purgatory and go straight to Paradise."

Here are some words from the message of a young man so "different" from others, even in suffering, never left to trust the Lord and offer everything for the enjoyment of heaven, and for the good of others.

Death is not the end of anything but a true beginning - 12 October 2006 the real life Carlo begins ...


1. For received requests, for intercession or to request images and material about Carlo Acutis sent free of charge, please contact:
Dott.ssa Francesca Consolini - Ufficio delle Cause dei Santi - Diocesi di Milano - Piazza Duomo 16, 20122 Milano.


Notes
2. Nicola Gori, Eucaristia: la mia autostrada per il Cielo. Biografia di Carlo Acutis, Edizioni San Paolo, 2007.
3. The website address is: www.carloacutis.com.


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