Summary of My Son Carlo: Carlo Acutis Through the Eyes of His Mother by Antonia Acutis

My Son Carlo is a profound and personal reflection about the life of Blessed Carlo Acutis from his mother, Antonia Acutis. I highly recommend that you read this book. Here are some of my favourite quotes, organized in my top 5 categories for personal reflection.

#1: Prayer

“It was natural for him to interrupt his daily activities to pray. His relationship with God was continuous, incessant. Everything he did, he thought of God, turning to him. His prayers helped him, as he said, to gather up energy and start the day’s activities with increased strength and serenity” (Antonia, 13).

“This was his secret: that he had a constant, intimate relationship with Jesus… Carlo did everything in Jesus, for Jesus, and with Jesus” (Antonia, 49).

“Carlo had a strong character and knew exactly what he wanted. But he was basing his life on friendship with Jesus and always looked to him when deciding how to behave. Jesus was a fixed point of comparison in his life. He took inspiration from him. He felt his presence, that he was truly there beside him” (Antonia, 98).

“Vocal prayers, which Carlo considered to be an effective means for uniting oneself with God, were also very important to him. Carlo said that prayer makes us look at everything from the point of view of eternity. The difficulties of this world seem to be insignificant if viewed from this perspective. For Carlo, immersing himself in God through meditation and prayer was like entering into heaven through a secret door and sitting down in his place in eternity for a moment. Carlo had a contemplative spirit. He was always thinking of God, who became the guide of his heart and his actions” (Antonia, 202).


He wrote soon after his first Communion, “To always be united with Jesus: this is my life’s goal.” To achieve this ambitious plan, he believed it was fundamental to eliminate everything that could somehow bring him further from God. He wrote the following in this regard: “Conversion is nothing other than lifting one’s gaze upward. All you need is a simple movement of the eyes… Conversion means look at things from the perspective of heaven” (Antonia, 117).

“Of what use is it for a man to win a thousand battles if he is not able to win against himself and his own corrupt passions?” (Blessed Carlo, 139).


Blessed Carlo went to the Sacrament of Reconciliation every week with a retired priest from his local parish. After his death, the priest told Antonia that Carlo was a boy of exceptional transparency and clarity. He wanted to improve in all aspects, both in terms of love toward God and in terms of love for his neighbor, starting with his parents. He wanted to perfect his friendships with those his age, with his classmates, with his teachers. He also wanted to work harder to dive deeper into various school subjects and informatics in addition to topics related to faith.

Carlo strove to eliminate even the smallest imperfections.

He often used the following metaphor to describe the residue that sin leaves on the soul: “The smallest flaw keeps us anchored to the earth, just like balloons that are held down by a string that you hold in your hand.”

He used another analogy to show how we need to confess: In order to rise, a hot air balloon needs to remove weights, just like how the soul needs to remove the little weights of venial sins in order to rise up to heaven. In the case of a mortal sin, the soul falls back to earth, and confession is like the fire that makes the hot air balloon rise up again. We need to confess often because the soul is very complex.

Carlo felt the need to explain that confession is also called the sacrament of mercy, because it reflects God’s love for us — the love of he who died on the cross to save us and redeem us. Since eternity, he has thought of each of us individually. Carlo said that through this sacrament, it is as if a ray of light filters through the consecrated hands of a priest and tears down the shadows in which we are enveloped by sin. Mercy is the movement of light in the shadows. He also said that where possible it is important to confess regularly with the same priest. He believed it was fundamental to have changes recommended at each confession and to have achievable goals. He said that you have to look at the priest with eyes of faith. The confessor is like a doctor for us. In fact, it is through him that God heals the wounds which come from sin. The only obstacle to a good confession is the “I.” When we confess our wretchedness, we demolish the “I,” and the mirror of our soul becomes pure, with no shadows, and God reflects his own image through this mirror since no obstacle presents itself to him” (Antonia, 119-121).

The Eucharist

“The Eucharist was Carlo’s great love” (Antonia, 19).

“To have more grace, we must be assiduous in the sacrament of the Eucharist. There are not seven sacraments, but rather six and one. Six give us grace, or renew it. One, the Eucharist, is the source of grace. So ‘in’ and ‘with’ and ‘due to’ this sacrament, the closer we come toward it, the more grace is poured into us. All the prayers, novenas, pilgrimages, and weeks for Christian unity are just ‘hot air’ without the Eucharist” (Blessed Carlo, 72).

“Beginning with his first Communion, he made the Eucharist the center of his life, or rather, an encounter of living friendship with Jesus, to the point of saying that the Lord is truly present in the world through the Eucharist, just as, during the time of the apostles, the disciples could see him walking through the streets of Jerusalem in the flesh. In his life, full of serious dedication to studies and many friendships, meetings with classmates, and various activities, he placed the Eucharist at the forefront. Daily Mass was a priority for him, as was Eucharistic adoration. And through the Eucharist, he was internally molded into the meek Lamb, and he learned, without even noticing that he was doing so, true silence, the silence which always says yes to God’s will, without rebelling, without asking for explanation, but rather embracing it with love” (Antonia, 144).

Carlo was so deeply aware of this that he set up his entire existence as a daily encounter with Jesus through the Most Holy Sacrament. To understand Carlo’s spirituality, you have to delve into the Eucharistic mystery. When he took his first Communion at the age of seven, he began to go to Mass and perform Eucharistic adoration before Mass or afterward every day. He said: If we truly reflect, we are much, much luckier than those who lived more than 2,000 years ago with Jesus in Palestine. The apostles, the disciples, and the people of those times could meet him, touch him, talk to him, but they were limited by space and time. Many had to travel for miles on foot to meet him, but it was not always possible to approach him because he was always surrounded by crowds. Just think of Zacchaeus, who climbed a tree to see him. All we need to do, however, is go into the nearest Church, and we have “Jerusalem” right outside our front door! (Antonia, 210-1).

“Certainly, union with the Eucharistic Jesus was at the heart of Carlo’s day and from that moment onward. Starting on that day, he went to Mass every day. His relationship with the Body of Christ had become “LIFE.” During Mass, he conversed with him, he spoke to him, he listened to his words, and he took inspiration and energy from his actions. His creativity and constructive energy flowed outward from his daily Mass attendance” (Antonia, 212).

“According to Carlo, the more that we feel we are flawed, the more we must approach the Eucharist as a viaticum for personal salvation. He himself did not feel that he was in any way better than anyone else. Quite the contrary. He considered himself to be a boy like many others, who, however, unlike others, had discovered that the secret for a happy life lay in abandoning everything to Jesus, in meeting him in the Eucharist, and in placing God at the center of our lives” (Antonia, 232).

“Carlo believed that the consecration was a very important part of Mass: “During consecration, we have to ask for grace from God the Father through the merits of his only Son, Jesus Christ, his five holy wounds, his most Precious Blood, and the tears and sadness of the Virgin Mary, who as his mother, can intercede on our behalf more than anyone else.” After consecration, he always said the following prayer: “For the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer you all my requests and ask you to grant them to me.” As soon as Carlo received the Eucharistic Jesus, he said, “Jesus, come in! Make yourself at home!” He often repeated, “If we approach the Eucharist every day, we will go straight to heaven!” When we take Communion, we must have the same feelings that the disciples had in Emmaus when they recognized Jesus: hearts burning with love (see Lk 24:13–35)” (Antonia, 234-5).


“For Carlo, a person’s exterior beauty was comparable to a sandcastle built on a beach. As soon as the waves come, it disintegrates, and nothing is left except a pile of sand, just like what will happen to us after death. We are dust, and to dust we will return. Physical beauty flowers, and then time takes it away without pity. Afterward, nothing is left. Spiritual beauty, however, never deteriorates and will only become greater if we are faithful collaborators. Carlo found all of these efforts to remain aesthetically young and beautiful to be completely useless. For this reason, he used to say, “Everything fades, anyway. … What will make us truly beautiful in the eyes of God is only the way in which we loved him and how we loved our neighbors” (Antonia, 113).

“Why do people worry so much about the beauty of their body but never worry about the beauty of their soul?” (Blessed Carlo, 116).

“My son taught catechism to children for a few years, and to help them progress spiritually, he created a kit for becoming a saint. He wrote: I want to tell you a few of my very special secrets which will help you quickly reach sainthood. Always remember that you, too, can become a saint! First, you have to want it with your whole heart, and if you do not have the desire yet, you must ask the Lord for it with insistence. Try to go to Mass every day and take holy Communion. If you can, try to spend a few minutes in Eucharistic adoration before the tabernacle where Jesus is truly present. In this way, you’ll see how your level of holiness increases! Remember to recite the holy Rosary every day. Read a passage from holy Scripture every day. If you can, confess every week, even for venial sins. Make promises often to God and the Virgin Mary to help others. Ask your guardian angel, who must become your best friend, for help” (Blessed Carlo, 139-140).

“Carlo was the opposite of unhappiness. I never heard him complain or grumble. On the contrary, he was always positive and optimistic, even in the most difficult of situations. He was full of energy and considered life to be an immense gift. He wanted to taste it with gusto in each moment, because, as he said, “each moment that passes is one less moment that we have to sanctify ourselves” (Antonia, 153).


“Websites were his passion. He had created various ones, and one in particular, about Eucharistic miracles, had gained worldwide acclaim. He created them on his computer and then let them run their course… Creating websites was his way of satisfying his great desire to proclaim the Good News to everyone. He was animated by an irrepressible desire to constantly bring the beauty of the contents of the Christian faith to light, to be proactive in seeking out the good in all of life’s circumstances, and to always remain distinctive in accordance with the unique and unrepeatable plan which God has designed for each of us for all of eternity. “Everyone is born unique, but many die as photocopies,” was not surprisingly one of his most well-known phrases” (10).

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