Religion

The Future Patron Saint of the Internet?

Myles Cesario ’21
Religion Editor

“Our aim has to be the infinite and not the finite. The Infinite our homeland. We have always been expected in Heaven.” On October 10, 2020, Carlo Acutis was beatified a Blessed in the Catholic Church in Assisi, Italy. This is his story.

Born on May 3, 1991, in London, Carlo moved to Milan a few months after his birth. At the age of 15, Carlo died of leukemia but in the short span of his life he affected many people’s lives. From his love of the Rosary, to the Eucharist, Carlo loved Jesus from the bottom of his heart all while being a witness to a world first learning of the influence of technology.

Carlo was a religious young man who received Jesus in the form of Holy Communion every time he could. He would attend Eucharistic Adoration and weekly confession; he asked his parents to take him on pilgrimages to saints’ burial places and sites of Eucharistic miracles.

It was this devotion that led to his mother’s conversion back to the faith. He would drag his family to Mass every day. His parish priest even said, “it was not his parents bringing the little boy to Mass, but it was he who managed to get himself to Mass and to convince others to receive Communion daily.” Carlo Acutis was mature for his age in many ways, but he never lost his sense of childhood exploration.

As a child, Carlo enjoyed modern technology and games. He played on his PS2, albeit only “one hour a week, as a penance and a spiritual discipline.” Using that knowledge in technology, he created and updated websites for Catholic organizations.

This helped others to proclaim the faith far beyond what he could do by himself. In truth, his love of the Internet makes him unique in the Catholic Church. He is even dubbed “the patron saint of the Internet.”

Carlo Acutis’s body, fully intact, at Assisi

After Carlo’s death, his cause for sainthood was brought before the Church, and in 2020 he was declared a blessed, one step away from being declared a saint. When Carlo’s body was exhumed, his body was deemed ‘incorrupt’, meaning that the body did not decompose. His body remains in Assisi in a glass coffin where it is venerated.

“God places His saints where they will bring the most glory to Him, and we are totally incapable of judging where that may be.” We may never know where a “living saint” could be, but we do know that in this life we are not called to be extraordinary, not ordinary.

Fight the good fight. There is no indication that this will be easy, but we must try. Despite living with cancer, Carlo Acutis placed others—and most importantly God—before himself. Blessed Carlo Acutis, ora pro nobis!

Photo Credits: CNS photo/courtesy Diocese of Assisi-Nocera Umbra-Gualdo Tadino (Acutis in tomb), @NoTrueScotis on Twitter (Acutis with camera).