Last Saturday in Assisi, Carlo Acutis was beatified. On Monday, the Church celebrated his feast for the first time, on the 14th anniversary of Blessed Carlo’s 2006 death of acute leukemia.
The time between Carlo’s birth into eternal life and his being raised to the altars was almost as brief as his 15 years of life on earth. In that short span, however, Carlo not only experienced the “life to the full” (John 10:10) that Christ came into the world to bring, but became a teacher to his parents, peers, the poor and now the whole Church.
He may already be the most famous 15-year-old to die. While the beatifications of the Padre Pio, Mother Teresa, John Paul II and John Henry Newman were bigger than the pandemic-reduced crowds in Assisi, none had 15 days of preparation and veneration, or a vigil of prayer the night before, like he did. The others were all quite famous during their life, while few outside of Milan and Assisi would have known Carlo.
But now, just 29 years after his birth, Blessed Carlo is perhaps touching far more people than any of those great saints did when they were 29. And he’s just getting started. Pope Francis penned three paragraphs about him in his 2019 exhortation to young people Christus Vivitand now thousands of articles and hundreds of websites tell his story.
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