There are those whose lives shine with an extraordinary light, guiding us through the complexities of our modern world. One such beacon is Blessed Carlo Acutis, a young man who, in his brief 15 years on this Earth, demonstrated a profound commitment to the values of the Catholic faith and serves as an exemplary model of stewardship.
Born on May 3, 1991, in London to wealthy Italian parents, Carlo Acutis moved to Milan at a young age. While his parents were not what most would call “religious” and did not attend Mass, it was in Milan that Carlo began to develop a deep and abiding love for the Catholic faith. Diagnosed with leukemia, Carlo offered his sufferings to God for the intentions of the sitting pope — 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, and he died in 2006.
Beatified by Pope Francis in 2020, Blessed Carlo is slated to be the first millennial tech-savvy saint, who used the Internet to accelerate awareness of Jesus’ real presence to a weary world of little faith. His creation of a virtual museum chronicles 164 Eucharistic miracles from all over the world and has traveled to over 10,000 parishes worldwide. This digital apostolate serves as a reminder that stewardship involves not only monetary contributions but also the sharing of our talents and resources to promote the faith. His liturgical feast day is Oct. 12, and he is popularly honored as a heavenly patron of youth and computer programmers.
In the face of his own suffering, Carlo continued to reach out to those in need. He volunteered at a local soup kitchen, practicing the Corporal Works of Mercy. Carlo’s selflessness demonstrates that stewardship isn’t limited to material wealth, but extends to our time and talent, which we must generously share with those who require our assistance.
Carlo’s witness of faith led to a deep conversion in his mother, because, according to the priest promoting his cause for sainthood, he “managed to drag his relatives, his parents to Mass every day. It was not the other way around; 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.”
His mother, Antonia Salzano Acutis, wrote a book that is very revealing and helpful in getting to know Carlo and what was most important to him. The book is titled, My Son Carlo: Carlo Acutis Through the Eyes of His Mother.
Carlo’s mother is often asked what it is like to be the mother of someone declared “blessed.” Her response is interesting: “Unfortunately, many think that having a special son automatically makes us special ourselves, but this is not the case,” she wrote. “Each person has his or her own free will, and we must sanctify ourselves. Carlo can intercede, but he cannot do the work of sanctification on our behalf.”
Blessed Carlo’s beatification in 2020 captured the attention of Catholics around the world, and his story has ignited a renewed interest in the faith, especially among the youth. He is a shining example of stewardship — his profound faith, devotion to the Eucharist, selflessness in service, and virtuous conduct reminds us that stewardship encompasses every aspect of our lives. Through his innovative use of technology and his ability to inspire a new generation, Carlo’s life continues to guide us, urging us to live our faith more deeply and share it more widely. His beatification invites us to reflect on our own stewardship journey and how we can, like Carlo, make a meaningful impact on our faith and the world.