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VATICAN CITY (ChurchMilitant.com) - An Italian teenager who found in the Eucharist his "highway to heaven" will be beatified Oct. 10 in the Upper Basilica of Saint Francis in Assisi.
Venerable Carlo Acutis, who died of leukemia at age 15 in 2006, is set to be confirmed "Blessed" — just one rung from sainthood — in a ceremony chaired by Cdl. Angelo Becciu, prefect for the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.
Combining his love for the Holy Eucharist and passion for personal computers, Acutis created a website detailing 136 eucharistic miracles from across the world and throughout history before he died. Moved to use technology to proclaim the gospel, Acutis in effect created a virtual museum that internet users can visit to learn more about them.
"To always be close to Jesus — that's my life plan," Acutis said, articulating the priority of his brief existence. In the spirit of redemptive suffering, he offered the pain of his battle with leukemia for Pope Benedict XVI and for the Church.
Shortly after his birth in London, his parents moved to Milan where he received his first Holy Communion at age 7. His devotion to the Eucharist became pronounced early on, and he began cataloging miracles associated with the Eucharist at age 11. "The more Eucharist we receive, the more we will become like Jesus, so that on this earth we will have a foretaste of Heaven," he said.
The news of Acutis' beatification became public days before the feast of Corpus Christi, the day the Church sets aside to honor the Real Presence of the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. Acutis saw the Eucharist as his compass, calling it "his highway to Heaven."
In a book titled The Eucharist: My Road to Heaven: A Biography of Carlo Acutis, author Nicola Gori describes him as a "teen for our times."
In the book, Acutis' mother Antonia recollects how her son "never missed his daily appointment with the Holy Mass ... followed by a moment of eucharistic adoration."
Testifying to his devotion to the Mother of Jesus, he said, "The Madonna is the only woman of my life." He called his time for Rosary prayer as "the most loving appointment of the day."
Acutis' favorite saints included the child saints Francisco and Jacinta Marto, to whom the Blessed Mother appeared at Fatima; Tarcisius, who was murdered by Romans in the early days of the Church for carrying the Eucharist to imprisoned Christians; and St. Francis of Assisi, whose shrine was a favorite place for Acutis to visit.
Church Militant previously reported how Acutis' otherwise ordinary life, characterized by a keen interest in computers, was transformed by his extraordinary devotion to the Holy Eucharist.
A prayer for Acutis' continued journey to sainthood begins:
who has given us the ardent testimony
of the young Ven. Carlo Acutis,
who made the Eucharist the core of his life
and the strength of his daily commitments
so that everybody may love You above all else,
let him soon be
counted among the blessed and the saints in Your Church.
According to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, various levels of sainthood in the Catholic Church include:
Acutis appears well on his way to sainted status, and the faithful are already finding in his short life many things to inspire them including, perhaps, a patron saint of the internet — and a lover of things genuine. "We are all born as originals," he said, "but many die as photocopies."
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