‘‘And I met Carlo, such a small child,’’ Mohur remembered.
His first impression of Acutis, with his brown curly hair, was that he looked like the little cherubs seen in paintings and sculptures around Milan. On his second day working for the family, Mohur remembered that little Carlo approached him with a big smile and a gift — a piece of chewing gum.
On rainy days, Acutis would sometimes watch videotapes of cartoons based on the Bible and the lives of the saints together with Mohur, who watched with some interest because he had not had much exposure to Catholicism.
After Acutis made his first Communion at the age of 7, Mohur would walk with him to the church around the corner from his house for Mass or to pray on his way to and from school.
Mohur observed how young Acutis’ behavior changed when he entered a church. While Acutis prayed in front of the tabernacle, Mohur would quietly sit in the back and watch the young boy as he prayed earnestly.
‘‘His behavior changed when he was inside the church, with all respect. He knew that there was something different where Jesus lives. ... That touched my heart ... when I saw Carlo’s behavior,’’ he said.
Acutis was eager to talk to Mohur about the things that he loved: heaven, the Mass, and the presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. He explained everything with ‘‘such a sweetness,” Mohur said.
‘‘He talked always about the Eucharist, Jesus, how he suffered for us ... sacrificed his life for us,’’ Mohur said. ‘‘Carlo, he told me that ... wherever you go, you may find Jesus present in Flesh, Soul, and Blood [in the tabernacle].’’
Mohur also observed Acutis’ care and concern for others. He said that young Carlo once gathered up his toys, including some nice Christmas presents from his grandparents and parents, and asked Mohur to accompany him to the park to sell his toys to give the money to the poor.
‘‘He collected the money, and there were some poor people lying there in front of the church. They were sleeping on the floor during winter. It was quite cold. ... He said that they were suffering, you know. They needed help,” Mohur said.
‘‘When I saw Carlo’s acts, you know, of such a small child, then I got converted.’’
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Acutis helped Mohur learn how to pray the rosary and invited him to pray it together with him and his parents.
“He had formed the habit ... of reciting the holy rosary every night before going to bed,’’ Mohur remembered.
Acutis told Mohur that a person can pray the rosary without being baptized, but only practicing Catholics can receive the holy Eucharist. Acutis explained that the Eucharist is the culmination of charity and that the virtues are acquired through a sacramental life.
‘‘He knew the Catechism of the Catholic Church almost by heart and explained it so brilliantly that he managed to excite me about the importance of the sacraments,” Mohur said.
‘‘So, slowly, slowly ... he used to tell me the importance of baptism and so many other things also,’’ he added. ‘‘All those experiences changed my life. And I could see the living God.’’
Four years after first meeting Acutis, Mohur was baptized. He was in his late 30s at the time, and as an adult entering the Catholic Church, he received at once all the Catholic sacraments of initiation: baptism, first Communion, and confirmation in a Mass at Acutis’ parish in 1999.