Carlo Acutis's mom says the son introduced her again to the Catholic religion
While most Catholic mothers pray for their young sons, Antonia Acutis has the unique ability to pray to her, the soon-to-be-beatified Italian teenager Carlo Acutis.
Carlo is beatified on October 10 in Assisi, Italy. His cause for canonization was publicized not only because of his young will for holiness before he died of leukemia at the age of 15, but also because of his technical skills. At 14, he designed a website to share his great love for the Eucharist.
At first his mother didn't know what to do with such a smart and passionate boy.
"I wasn't the ideal model for a Catholic mother," Antonia told CNA.
Like many others, Antonia's faith was shaped by a culture of Catholicism. But Carlos' example challenged her and she asked a loyal friend for advice. Antonia's friend connected her to a priest who encouraged her to take classes to promote her Catholic faith.
Previously, she was "pretty ignorant of the facts," she told CNA.
Through the work of a priest she had met during her class, Carlo was able to receive his first holy communion at the age of only seven – after that he never missed the daily Mass, even when her family was traveling.
Carlos' love for the Eucharist was his mother's own dedication to the sacrament.
“The source of Carlo's holiness was the Eucharist. He used to say the Eucharist is my way to heaven, ”said Antonia.
Nicola Gori, the postulator of Acutis' cause of holiness, said that Carlos loved God so much that others, especially those closest to him, were invited to participate in the Eucharistic Festival.
"You think he managed to get his relatives, his parents to Mass every day. It wasn't the other way around; It wasn't his parents who brought the little boy to the fair, but the one who managed to get himself to the fair and convince others to receive communion every day, ”Gori told EWTN News.
Before Carlo, Antonia said that she only went to mass for first communion, confirmation and marriage.
But through Carlos' exemplary love for the Eucharist, "I started going to Mass again," said Antonia. "And that was actually because of Carlo. Carlo was a kind of little savior for me. "
Since Carlos died of leukemia in 2006, Antonia has realized more deeply how special he was as a child.
Even though Carlo was playing on a Playstation, Antonia never had to reprimand him for spending too much time playing video games.
"He was a normal child too!" Said Antonia. “He used to play with the Playstation. But he forced himself to play only once a week for an hour because he didn't want to become a slave to these technological games. He wanted to be free. "
Exactly four years after Carlos 'death, Antonia gave birth to twins – a miracle that she attributes to Carlos' intercession. The twins were born into the world on the anniversary of the day Carlo left them.
The twins showed Antonia how extraordinary Carlo was as a child.
"Sometimes I have to say" Don't do this "," Don't do this "… I mean, they're good children because they pray the rosary every day and go to mass because of Carlo's example. But they're not like Carlo "There is really a very, very big difference," she said.
Ironically, the belief Carlo awakened in his mother was exactly what helped her understand his death.
“Jesus prepared me and my husband because we were getting closer to faith and sacramental life and he was preparing us for Carlo's death at that moment. Without faith, I don't know how we can accept the death of a child – an only child, ”said Antonia.
After his death, Carlos' example of holiness quickly bore fruit. His mother said that people who knew Carlo began to pray to him immediately after his death and crowds that had been touched by Carlos' life flooded the funeral.
Pope Francis appointed Carlo a venerable man in July 2019, and his beatification ceremony, originally scheduled for spring 2020, has been postponed to October due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Gori said the ceremony was postponed, mainly because so many young people hoped to be able to attend. Carlo, together with Saint Pier Giorgio Frassati or Blessed Chiara Luce Badano, have become beacons of holiness for modern youth.
"Since the beatification of Carlo will surely be a festival for all young people and Carlo is known in many countries, if not to say generally known, it would be a shame to be able to do this with only a few people," said Gori.
Antonia hopes that the ceremony that explains her son on the path to canonization will take place in her life.
"I am confident that it will not be that far away," she said.