Summary of Carlo Acutis: A Millennial in Paradise by Fr. Will Conquer

Born to a wealthy family in London, England, in in 1991, Carlo Acutis is a sign of contradiction for today’s society. Here are a collection of my favourite quotes from Carlo Acutis, with some insights that I gathered from reading this book:

“We are all born originals, but many of us die as photocopies” (Carlo Acutis)

  • Carlo believed we are all original when we are born, but, with time, we let ourselves be caught up in fashion, influences, and advertisements, and so we all end up looking alike.
  • In many ways, Carlo lived an ordinary life. He had no visions, performed no miracles, and had no dramatic conversion experience. In this, Carlo teaches us the value of ordinary holiness. Rather than sit on his couch and watch others act, Carlo was the actor of his own life.

“Sadness is looking at yourself. Happiness is looking at God” (Carlo Acutis).

  • Carlo was a passionate, joyful, and spontaneous child growing up who always met others with a loving smile. Carlo had the gift of making others laugh.
  • Carlo was always outwardly focused. Although he was very smart, he had average grades in school because he was so focused on helping others in their needs. Many friends in high school called his home to receive advice from Carlo.

“What good will it do if a man has won a thousand battles if he does not manage to overcome his own corrupt passions?” (Carlo Acutis).

  • Carlo struggled at times with gluttony. He loved Nutella. During Lent, Carlo would give up Nutella and his other favourite treats.
  • After being surprised when his friends got angry and cried when being told by their parents to no longer play video games, Carlo was aware of the addictive nature of video games and decided to put a limit to 1 hour per week of video games.
  • Carlo went to Confession once a week. He explained that “asking for forgiveness and being reconciled with God is like rekindling the fire of your hot-air balloon and discarding the stones that are weighing your basket down.” Carlo thought that even the smallest sins were like cords that re-attached to the ground and prevented him from taking off.
  • Carlo never used the internet for any bad purpose. A true model for how the use the internet well.

“The Eucharist is my highway to heaven” (Carlo Acutis).

  • Carlo received his First Holy Communion on June 16, 1998. Carlo was ecstatic that day, full of joy.
  • “My secret is to contact Jesus every day” (Carlo). He did this first by daily Mass. His friends were amazed at Carlo’s intensity during Mass, his focus, his passion.
  • “Jesus is love, and the more that we feed on Him, the more we increase our ability to love” (Carlo).
  • Carlo’s Eucharistic heart led him to serve the poor regularly. He would often prepare snacks for homeless who lived by and give them his allowance money.
  • Eucharistic Adoration: “Under the sun, we end up getting a tan. Under the Eucharistic Jesus’ gaze, we become holy!” (Carlo).
  • One day, when Carlo was invited by his dad to go on a vacation to the Holy Land, Carlo said: “Dad, I prefer to stay in Milan, when I think that Jesus makes Himself present here. Why go where Jesus was 2,000 years ago, whereas He is here now?”
  • Carlo was a missionary on the digital frontier. He used his talents in computer programming. During a 2002 Communion and Liberation Conference, Carlo saw a beautiful art exhibit about Italian cars. This inspired him to make an exhibit for Eucharistic miracles. For over 2 overs, he laboured extensively collecting information about over 160 Eucharistic miracles. Carlo saw Eucharistic miracles as a key way to help us understand what happens at Mass. He developed a website: to catalogue every Eucharistic miracle, like a virtual museum.

“To be united to Jesus forever is my program for life” (Carlo Acutis).

  • Carlo had a very personal friendship with Jesus. Whereas others bought brand name clothes, Carlo didn’t care. His only care was to be close to Jesus and get to heaven. Carlo was a geek and a computer genius.
  • Carlo shows us that holiness is possible today – right now, in our very own lives.
  • What can Carlo’s life change in my life? This is the question Carlo’s mom challenges us to ask ourselves.

“Mom, don’t be afraid. Since Jesus became a man, death has become the passage toward life, and we don’t need to flee it. Let us prepare ourselves to experience something extraordinary in the eternal life” (Carlo Acutis).

  • These were Carlo’s last words to his mother. She says that Carlo was her “little saviour”.
  • Carlo Acutis could be the first millennial to become a saint, the first saint to enter Heaven with a cell-phone in his hand.
  • When Carlo got sick on October 1st, 2006, he said: “Dad, Mom, I am offering all these sufferings for the Pope and the Church.” After a week of getting worse, he was diagnosed with acute leukemia, a cancer of the blood. When he received the diagnosis, Carlo said to his parents, “The Lord wanted me to wake up!” In the hospital, he said: “Dad, Mom, I am already experiencing my Purgatory, and I want to go straight to Heaven.” Carlo received the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick.
  • In his beatification file, the nurse who spent the last couple of hours with Carlo testified: “I had only a few hours to get to know Carlo. But these are moments that will always remain in my mind. Despite his illness, there was a sparkle of life in his eyes, and he did everything to crack a smile to anyone who was talking to him. When he was not able to answer the doctors’ questions, he asked for forgiveness as if he had done something wrong. That is real humility. In the evening, he asked me, above all, not to wake up his parents. “You know, they are already so tired.” He did not, in particular, want to worry them anymore. When I took his hand to try to reassure him, he was the one who gave me more peace and security.”
  • After his death, for four days, an uninterrupted procession of friends, loved ones, and strangers came to pray, shed tears, and console Carlo’s parents.
  • During the funeral, two people later testified that they received exceptional favours at Carlo’s funeral Mass. One woman testified about the disappearance of a cancerous tumour. Another woman, who had struggled with infertility, and was now 44 years old, had a baby 9 months later. The stories about Carlo continued to flood in.
  • 6 years later, the Archdiocese of Milan opened the cause for the canonization of Carlo Acutis.
  • On October 12, 2013, 7 years after Carlo’s death, a Brazilian child who was infected by a congenial anomaly in the pancreas, was miraculously healed. The Congregation for the Cause of Saints confirmed this miracle for Carlo to be now called Blessed.
  • Carlo’s body is in Assisi, as a wish he had asked before his death, due to his close friendship with St. Francis of Assisi.
  • When his body was exhumed on June 23, 2018, his body was found to be completely integral. Another sign of sanctity.

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