The Beatification of Blessed Carlo Acutis
It has been 3 days since the Church declared a 15 year old Italian boy who was born in London a “Blessed”. The first millennial to be beatified – a future saint who wore trainers, jeans and a tracksuit top – Blessed Carlo Acutis used his deep faith and his computer skills to communicate Christ in the 21st century. For those of us who watched the ceremony, the entire Mass was a moving experience to witness. You could not help but be moved by the image of his parents following the reliquary containing his heart in procession, nor as they sat with his two siblings he never met; there wasn’t a dry eye to be found in the immediate area. If you missed the Beatification Mass you can watch the recording by pressing the button to the right.
Following the ceremony the Italian media interviewed Blessed Carlo’s mother Antonia. Bishop Arthur Roche of Congregation of Divine Worship and Discipline in the Sacraments translated the transcript, which follows below.
Antonia Salzano, the mother of the new blessed, tells about the great emotion lived on Saturday, October 10 in Assisi, for the beatification of her son, and how her life, first, has changed thanks to the enormous faith of Carlo.
One of the most moving moments of the rite of beatification, which took place Saturday, October 10 in Assisi, in the Basilica of St. Francis, was when the relic was brought to the altar, the embrace to the parents by Card. Agostino Vallini, who presided over the celebration.
Saturday 10th was a special day…?
The beatification was a great emotion. We are happy because it is a confirmation from the Church. Card. Vallini said to my husband: “Carlo will do great things in the Church”. And to me: “He made the miracle”, I think he was referring to Carlo. That my son was a saint, my husband and I have always known, but we could be biased. The beatification was important not only for us as parents, but also for Carlo’ devotees all over the world. Then, in a gloomy period for Covid, that beautiful weather, the beautiful sunsets that Assisi gave us, it was also a grace that everything took place safely, without hindrances or problems. A huge job was done, all those people to manage, there were maxi screens in various places, the faithful were very disciplined. I must also say a word about Bishop Domenico Sorrentino and his staff who organized the ceremony: both the bishop and the authorities were very good.. We have given to the Church and to him, in particular, the body of our son through a notarial deed because when a person is publicly venerated it is right that the Church can decide where the body should be. I know that Carlo is now in good hands.
What did you think about seeing this extraordinary son?
Carlo had an ordinary life that became extraordinary thanks to this living with the real presence of Christ in his life. Since he turned 7 years old, he went to Mass every day, did Eucharistic adoration before and after Mass, recited the rosary, dedicated himself to reading the Word of God. Christ was always present to him: for example, if Carlo played football, he did it with and for Jesus. He did not separate his life of faith from his active life. He was able to combine his life as a student with his life of faith, it was one.
Many times we live our faith in a way that is detached from everyday life. If, instead, faith enters the fabric of the life of each one of us, that life becomes credible, one is an authentic witness, it becomes a habit that characterizes the person. It was something that Carlo was able to do masterfully. This is a beautiful thing.
Did your son have the example of faith from the family?
In all sincerely, no. My husband and I were quite lacking. But in Carlo, it was a propensity born spontaneously within him.
He wanted to enter the churches and greet Jesus in the Eucharist or Jesus on the Cross, he wanted to pick or buy with his savings flowers to bring to Our Lady. I did not hinder this faith of his: he began to read the word of God and the lives of the saints. This made him mature early from a religious point of view. He ardently wanted to make his First Communion, and was allowed to do so at the age of 7 and since then he never missed the daily appointment with Eucharistic Adoration and Holy Mass.
Love for Christ has been translated into love for the poor…?
Carlo had a great love for everyone, especially the most disadvantaged people. To those who slept in the street he brought hot drinks and something to eat in the evening, with his savings he bought sleeping bags and blankets, so I helped him financially.
He was close to them, he greeted everyone, he had interest for everyone, in people he saw the face of Jesus, he loved and had a good word for everyone.
We live in the centre of Milan, where there are many buildings with door-sleepers of other nationalities, from other continents, often alone. Carlo spoke with them, understanding their difficulties to leave their country and live in a foreign land. This great sensitivity led him to be nice even at home. We had a lady who ironed for us, recently abandoned by her husband, who had a 12-year-old girl living in a neighbourhood far from us, in San Donato. She used to come to us in the evening: Carlo to help her leave early so that she could go home to her daughter Carlo would help her fold clothes and even iron. There, in the small things he was close. He was an open and sunny boy.
His ten-year-old twins received an important “inheritance” from his older brother…?
They live it with naturalness. Carlo is part of their life: from the moment they were born they talked about their brother, they grew up with his presence. They pray to Carlo, they ask him things. They too are very religious children: they go to Mass every day, they made their First Communion even before Carlo, at the age of five and a half, they say the rosary every day.
You carried and brought Carlo to life, now your son is Blessed. Somehow you have become a disciple of your son…?
For me Carlo was a small saviour, because I was a person who lived secularly. I had gone to Mass three times: on the day of my First Communion, Confirmation and marriage. Carlo’s interest in faith and love for Jesus embarrassed me, because I was ignorant about all this. A friend of mine suggested that I turn to a priest in Bologna. I went and he advised me to do some theological studies in spare time. I accepted: from there began my path of sanctification. Carlo was the intermediary. In a certain sense, Carlo “regenerated” me, then I started walking on my own. Certainly, already living with him meant having a source of grace near me. He was a special boy, very pious. When he prayed for a situation, it changed drastically, already in life he got many graces, his prayer was powerful. He was a boy of great faith, spirituality, obedient, generous, smiling, selfless, always thinking about his neighbour. When he greeted people, many said that his smiles looked like arrows of charity. Even as he smiled and spoke, he warmed people’s hearts. People felt in Carlo the living and real presence of Christ, which he fed on every day.
Carlo was a bearer of Jesus, so people naturally felt attracted to him?
My son was loved by everyone for this and he did not arouse envy even though he had great talents. At home one of our Hindu servants, a Brahmin, was converted thanks to him. Carlo did not leave anyone indifferent.
From mother to witness of this extraordinary life…?
Yes, compatible with my commitments as a mother of two children and a wife and my work. Now even with Covid, it’s not so easy to speak, but we do meetings online. Carlo himself showed how we can use these means for good, as we can see with his exhibition on Eucharistic miracles that has come so far all over the world; then he made sites for parishes and voluntary associations. He showed the positive side of the internet that should prevail over the dark side, that of pornography and other things that ruin consciences and young people.
Carlo is a great example for young people…
Carlo always said that the path of holiness is for everyone, we are all born original, but many die because they do not follow the unique plan of salvation that God has for each one. But it is difficult to put this project into practice, we risk being photocopies of something or someone, losing sight of our goal. In this invitation to everyone to holiness we have the example of Carlo which is important, because it shows a simple path.
The Beatification of Carlo Acutis, a 15 year old Italian who died in 2006 offering all his sufferings for the Church and for the Pope, took place in Assisi on Saturday 10 October, 2020. The Beatification Mass can be replayed using the button below. Also included is an article from a contemporary of Blessed Carlo.
Blessed Carlo Acutis …. pray for us