Blessed Carlo Acutis: From Cyber-Apostle to Future Saint

Blessed Carlo Acutis: From Cyber-Apostle to Future Saint
Oscar Whitfield May, 24 2024

Blessed Carlo Acutis: The Journey to Sainthood

Blessed Carlo Acutis, often referred to as 'God's influencer,' is inching closer to sainthood after Pope Francis recognized a miracle credited to his intercession. Carlo Acutis, who died at the tender age of 15, has left an indelible mark on both the digital and spiritual landscape. He is fondly remembered for his deep commitment to the Catholic faith and his innovative use of technology to spread the Church's teachings. Born in London in 1991 and raised in Italy, Carlo's life was strikingly brief yet profoundly impactful. He succumbed to leukemia in 2006, but not before creating a vast online repository of Eucharistic miracles known as 'The Eucharistic Miracles of the World.' This monumental work underscores his moniker, 'the cyber-apostle of the Eucharist,' a title he earned by melding faith with digital ingenuity.

An Early Devotion

From a young age, Carlo exhibited an extraordinary devotion to his faith. At the tender age of 7, he began attending daily Mass, a practice he continued until his illness. Both his family and friends recount his remarkable spiritual maturity, which far exceeded his years. Carlo had a special affection for the Eucharist, referring to it as his 'highway to heaven.' Carlo would often use his tech skills to highlight the true presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, creating a series of websites to educate people about Eucharistic miracles worldwide. His work has since been translated into multiple languages and is widely accessible, a true testament to his dedication.

Service in Secret

While Carlo's technological achievements are well-documented, his acts of charity were more discreet. He was known to use his pocket money to buy sleeping bags for the homeless and would often volunteer at soup kitchens, all while maintaining a humble demeanor. Nobody knew the extent of his charitable works until his funeral, which saw the attendance of numerous poor people he had quietly aided. This silent charity sets Carlo apart as a beacon of selflessness, embodying the Christian values of humility and service.

The Road to Beatification

Carlo's potential for sainthood was recognized early following his death, and his beatification took place in Assisi in 2018. The event was attended by thousands, including a significant number of young people drawn by his example. Pope Francis himself has been vocal about his admiration for Carlo, calling him a role model who teaches the young faithful to put God above all else. To be beatified is a significant step towards sainthood, and for Carlo, it was an acknowledgment of his short but deeply impactful life. His beatification was celebrated with a mass that highlighted Carlo's uniqueness: a fervent spirituality juxtaposed with a modern toolset, thus appealing to both the devout and the digital generations.

A Modern Patron

In another significant gesture, Carlo Acutis was selected as one of the 13 patrons for World Youth Day in Lisbon. This choice underscores his burgeoning influence on young Catholics globally. Every year, thousands visit his tomb in Assisi, seeking his intercession and inspiration. The online repository he created continues to receive millions of visits, a testament to the ongoing relevance of his work. Through these initiatives, Carlo has effectively become a modern patron for both the youth and digital evangelists. To consider him a 'patron saint of the Internet' is not far-fetched; it is a reflection of his understanding that the Church's message can, and should, transcend traditional boundaries and embrace new media.

Awaiting Sainthood

Though the date of his canonization has not been set, it is evident that Carlo Acutis is on a fast track to becoming the first millennial saint. His life serves as a potent reminder that age and modernity are not barriers to holiness. Carlo's story is deeply inspiring for young people, offering a model of sanctity that is both relatable and aspirational. It underscores that modern technology, when used ethically and purposefully, can indeed be a powerful vehicle for spreading faith. His forthcoming canonization will likely stir global interest, reaffirming Carlo's standing as a singular figure in contemporary Catholicism.

A Legacy of Faith and Innovation

Carlo Acutis's canonization will be a significant event not just for Catholics but for anyone interested in the intersection of faith and technology. His life demonstrates how digital tools can be harnessed for profound spiritual purposes, melding ancient religious practices with modern communication methods. Carlo's legacy, therefore, serves as a blueprint for future generations on how to live a life of faith in an increasingly digital world. In celebrating him, the Church acknowledges the importance of evolving methods of evangelization to remain relevant in a rapidly changing world. Blessed Carlo Acutis, the cyber-apostle of the Eucharist, is poised to become an icon for future generations, illustrating that sanctity is accessible to all, even in the digital age.