Carlo Acutis died of fulminant leukaemia when he was only fifteen, leaving a great void and deep admiration in the memory of all those who knew him for what had been a short, but intensely authentic Christian life. He had not missed a daily mass since receiving his first communion at the age of seven. Either before or after the celebration of the Eucharist, he tried to stand in front of the tabernacle to worship the Lord, who was present in the Blessed Sacrament. Our Lady was his great confidante and he never missed an opportunity to honour her by reciting the rosary daily. Carlo’s modernity and relevance combined perfectly with his profoundly Eucharistic life and devotion to the Virgin Mary. This contributed to making him very special boy who was admired and loved by everyone. Carlo was extremely gifted when it came to anything to do with computing. His friends and adults with degrees in computer engineering considered him a genius. Everyone was astonished by his ability to understand the hidden secrets of computing, which are normally only accessible to those who have studied at university. Carlo’s interests ranged from computer programming to film editing, to website creation and the newspapers he wrote and laid out, and his volunteer work with the neediest — children and the elderly. This devoted young man from the Milan diocese , offered his suffering up to the Pope and the Church before he died and was, in short, a mystery.
Live broadcast from the tomb of Carlo Acutis
We are meant to move towards our destination (Heaven) and are not “to die as photocopies.” Carlo used to say that the Word of God must be the compass by which we must constantly orientate ourselves. Extreme means are required to reach such a lofty destination: the sacraments and prayer. Carlo placed the Sacrament of the Eucharist at the heart of his own life, and he called it “my highway to heaven”. After receiving his first communion at the age of seven, Carlo did not miss daily mass or reciting the rosary. He would always try to practice Eucharistic Devotion and was convinced that “by standing before the Eucharistic Christ, we become holy” Carlo would often ask himself why there were mile-long queues of people waiting for hours to go to a rock concert or a film, but never the same queues in front of the Eucharistic Christ. He said people did not realise what they were missing, otherwise churches would be so full that you would not get into them. He would repeat passionately that in the Blessed Sacrament –– Christ was present in the same way he was 2000 years ago during the time of the Apostles. Back then, people had to travel constantly to see him, while we are much luckier today because we can find him in any church close to our homes. In his words, “Jerusalem is right on our doorstep.”
From his days as a good catechist, he would try his best to find new ways to help others to strengthen their own faith. For this reason, he left his exhibitions as a legacy, among which the Miracles of the Eucharist stands out. In 2002, while visiting the Meeting in Rimini exhibition, Carlo decided to stage an exhibition about the Miracles of the Eucharist which had been recognised by the Church. This demanding work also involved his family for almost two and a half years. The spiritual effects brought about by the exhibition could not have been predicted before its opening. The exhibition has now been hosted on all five continents. Many parishes asked for the material be catalogued and this was accompanied by an important preface written by Card. Angelo Comastri, Archpriest of the Papal Basilica of the Vatican and Vicar General to his Holiness for the Vatican City, and by His Excellency Mons. Raffaello Martinelli, then Head of the Catechetical Office of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. From that moment on, given the results, the exhibition “has performed miracles.” In the United States, the exhibition has been hosted in thousands of parishes and more than 100 universities. It has been promoted by several Episcopal Conferences, including those of the Philippines, Argentina and Vietnam, etc. It has travelled to China and Indonesia. Important basilicas and sanctuaries have hosted Carlo’s exhibition, including the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fátima.
Source: Carlo Acutis website and exhibition on Eucharistic miracles http://www.miracolieucaristici.org/en/Liste/list.html