Blessed Carlo Acutis

Speaking Out: We all can be holy and good

By  Paula Ducepec, Youth Speak News
  • October 21, 2020

A friend of mine shared a Facebook post from a Catholic youth group. He commented: “Finally a saint with a picture with his tongue out and wearing jeans, t-shirt and a sweater. We could possibly have been Facebook friends too.”

The boy in the picture was Blessed Carlo Acutis (1991-2006), beatified Oct. 10 and increasingly becoming known as the first millennial saint (though he has yet to be recognized as a saint, beatification is a step closer to canonization).

At 15 years old, Acutis was no different from us: he played video games, played soccer with his friends and attended school. He did everything familiar, but according to an interview with his mother, Antonia Salzano, on Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN), he knew ordinary aspects of the world could be transformed into something extraordinary.

Widely known as a computer geek, Acutis loved information technology, especially its potential as an engine to do good. Months before passing away due to leukemia, he created a website that catalogued eucharistic miracles throughout history. His website provided believers in Christ a forum to learn more about their faith. Today, miracolieucaristici.org is an apostolate of his family and friends to carry on and is available in 17 languages.

Even Pope Francis in Christus Vivit — the closing document for the synod for young people signed on March 25, 2019 — dedicated an entire chapter to Acutis. The Pope heralded Acutis as a model for young people on how to use the media to evangelize the faith. 

Fr. Carlos Acacio Goncalves Ferreira for EWTN and Fr. Will Conquer, the author of the book Carlos Acutis, a geek in Heaven, have both said that one of the fascinating elements of Acutis and his beatification is his proximity to normalcy — we can identify him as one of us and can see that holiness is an attainable pursuit.

In addition to showing us that sainthood and holiness are possible, Acutis exemplified we can be holy in the tiny things that we do if we offer everything that we have to God. We have to own and embrace the faith given to us and do it whole-heartedly. 

His devotion and dedication to the Holy Eucharist set an example we can easily follow. As he often said, the Eucharist is the highway to Heaven. 

As youth, we are in our transitional stage: we try out new things, always experimenting and figuring out our place in the world, trying to look fearless amidst all our fears of the world. Bl. Carlo Acutis expressed that we must dwell in the presence of the Lord to find where we belong. In Him, we are home. 

He gives us hope that the holiness is not just a thing of the past as we look at the colourized, aged photos of saints from the 1800s or the icons standing at the back of the church. Here we have a blessed and holy young person dressed in jeans and sneakers proclaiming the Kingdom of God in the simplest way possible: through the Internet.

Coined the patron saint of the Internet, Acutis showed the worldwide web is not always a place of immorality and uselessness — good can come out of it. We have all been given the assets to be holy and do good, and we have to utilize these resources. We can do good things and become righteous. 

In what lifetime could I say that a saint propagated our faith through the Internet? 

(Ducepec, 22, is a recent Bachelor of Science graduate from the University of Toronto. Her area of study was anthropology.)

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