by Nicola Gori
Reviewed by Eileen Quinn Knight, Ph.D.Profiles in Catholicism
This is a fantastically hope filled book for all in the Body of Christ! In introducing this saint, Pope Francis in his post-synodal apostolic exhortation to young people and the entire people of God entitled Christus Vivit offered Carlo as an example of holiness to young people in the digital age. Pope Francis remarked that the internet can be risky bit it also has enormous potential. Carlo knew how to make the internet serve the common good and the Gospel, showing how to use it without compromising one’s moral responsibility. He is a model for every young person who uses computer technology. Carlo Acutis was a 15 year old youth who was enamored with the Eucharist. He understood the needs of his time, because he saw the face of Christ in the weakest. His witness indicates to today’s young people that true happiness is found by putting God in first place and serving Him in our brothers and sisters, especially the least.
Carlo was very moved by the lives of the saints and the Eucharistic miracles. He very much celebrated the presence of God in his life. In the epilogue, the author indicates that Carlo was ready to pass over definitively from this life into heaven. At the beginning of 2006, he fell ill with symptoms that seemed to be nothing but the common flu. Yet it turned out to be M-3 type leukemia, which doctors consider the most aggressive form, almost impossible to heal. His personal physician, as well as a family friend who was a doctor, first thought it was the mumps. His parents recall that a few days before he was admitted to the hospital, while they were keeping vigil at his bedside, they heard Carlo say: “I offer all the sufferings that I will have to undergo to the Lord for the pope and the Church, so that I can avoid purgatory and go straight to heaven.”
The book is filled with incidents in the life of Carlo as a young man. He is inspirational, spiritual and above all dedicated to Christ and His Church. It is a book about the joys of living in the light of Christ whether it is soccer, the internet, saying the rosary, reading the lives of the saints, playing video games or being with his parents, who are also inspirational. It is a book to give to any person preparing for Confirmation and everyone desiring to see the interactions of a holy person with his God.