Saint of the Year
Blessed Carlo Acutis (1991-2006)
Feast Day: October 12
Born in London and raised in Milan, Carlo’s wealthy parents were not particularly religious. Upon receiving his first communion at age seven, Carlo became a frequent communicant, making a point of praying before the tabernacle before or after every Mass. In addition to Francis of Assisi, Carlo took several of the younger saints as his models, including Bernadette Soubirous, Jacinta and Francisco Marto, and Dominic Savio.
At school, Carlo tried to comfort friends whose parents were undergoing a divorce, as well as stepping in to defend disabled students from bullies. After school hours, he volunteered his time with the city's homeless and destitute. Considered a computer geek by some, Carlo spent four years creating a website dedicated to cataloging every reported Eucharistic miracle around the world. He also enjoyed films, comics, soccer, and playing popular video games.
Diagnosed with leukemia, Carlo offered his sufferings to God for the intentions of the sitting pope—Benedict XVI—and the entire Church. His longtime desire to visit as many sites of Eucharistic miracles as possible was cut short by his illness. Carlo died in 2006 and was beatified in 2020.
As he had wished, Carlo was buried in Assisi at St. Mary Major’s “Chapel of the Stripping,” where Francis had returned his clothes to his father and began a more radical following of the Gospel.
Many of his childhood friends were among the thousands present for Carlo’s beatification at Assisi’s Basilica of St. Francis. Presiding at the beatification service, Cardinal Agostino Vallini praised Carlo as an example of how young people can use technology to spread the Gospel “to reach as many people as possible and help them know the beauty of friendship with the Lord.” His liturgical feast is celebrated on October 12.
Patronage: Youth; Computer programmers
Attributes: Rosary; Lily flower