Carlo Acutis was beatified on Saturday 10th October 2020 at the basilica in Assisi. Carlo lived most of his life in Italy, but what is less well-known is Carlo’s connection with the Church of Our Lady of Dolours on Fulham Road, in London.
Carlo was born in London on 3rd May 1991 to Italian parents and was baptised at Our Lady of Dolours on 18th May of the same year by Fr Nicholas Martin OSM, Parish Priest at the time. The family moved to Italy shortly afterwards where Carlo was raised in the same active faith as his parents. Having made his First Holy Communion at the age of seven, he made the decision to attend Mass and pray the Rosary daily. He said, ‘By standing before the Eucharistic Christ, we become holy.’ He also had a routine of weekly confession. By the age of 11, he became a catechist.
‘He was a remarkable young man, who had a great understanding of the sacraments and scripture’, explains Fr Patrick Ryall OSM, current Parish Priest of Our Lady of Dolours.
Fr Patrick added: ‘We’re grateful that Carlo and his family had that time with our parish. We are sure he will be a source of blessing for us.'
Carlo learned about the known sites of Eucharistic miracles around the world and expressed a keen desire to go on pilgrimage to see these sites. Unfortunately, he developed leukaemia, which made this impossible. He offered his suffering for the Pope and the Universal Church. To help others learn to grow in devotion to the Eucharist, he used his digital media skills to develop a website to catalogue each of these miracles. One of the Eucharistic Miracles that Carlo highlights is that connected with St Juliana, Foundress of the Servite Sisters on her death bed.
Carlo died in 2006 at the age of 15. His cause was opened in 2013 and he was declared a Servant of God. On 5th July 2018, Pope Francis declared him to be venerable. Beatification is the final step before sainthood and was helped when a young Brazilian sought Carlo Acutis' intercession in healing from a serious pancreatic disease. In February this year, the Pope approved a miracle attributed to him.
Baptismal certificate for Carlo Acutis at Fulham Road parish. Image credit: Mazur/CBCEW.org.uk
Flowers at the baptismal font at Our Lady of Dolours, Fulham Road, where Blessed Carlo Acutis was baptised in 1991.
More photographs of the Church of Our Lady of Dolours, Fulham Road, are available here.
The below video is an animation of Carlo Acutis' life with a reflection from Cardinal Vincent Nichols.