Since Carlo’s death of leukemia in 2006, Antonia has more deeply realized how special of a child he was.
Although Carlo played on a Playstation, Antonia never had to reprimand him for spending too much time playing video games.
“He was also a normal child!” Antonia said. “He used to play with the Playstation. But he forced himself to play once a week only for one hour because he didn’t want to become a slave to this technological games. He wanted to be free.”
Exactly four years after Carlo’s death, Antonia gave birth to twins– a miracle she attributes to Carlo’s intercession. The twins were born into the world on the anniversary of the day Carlo left it.
The twins have revealed to Antonia just how extraordinary Carlo was as a child.
“Sometimes I have to say ‘don’t do this’, ‘don’t do that’... I mean, they are good children because they pray the rosary each day, they go to Mass because of the example of Carlo. But they are not like Carlo. There is really a very, very big difference,” she said.
Ironically, the faith that Carlo kindled in his mother was the very thing that helped her make sense of his death.
“Jesus was preparing me and my husband because we got closer to the faith and the sacramental life and he prepared us for this moment for the death of Carlo. Without the faith, I don’t know how we could accept the death of a child - an only child,” said Antonia.
After his death, Carlo’s example in holiness quickly bore much fruit. His mother said that people who knew Carlo began praying to him right after he died, and crowds who had been touched by Carlo’s life flooded the funeral.
Pope Francis named Carlo venerable in July 2019, and his beatification ceremony, originally planned for the spring of 2020, was postponed until October due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Gori said that the ceremony was postponed especially because so many young people hoped to attend. Carlo, along with Saint Pier Giorgio Frassati or Blessed Chiara Luce Badano, have become beacons of holiness for modern youth.
(Story continues below)
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“Because Carlo’s beatification will surely be a celebration for all young people, and since Carlo is known in many countries, not to say universally known, it would be a shame to be able to do it only with a few people,” Gori said.
Antonia hopes that the ceremony that declares her son on the path to canonization will occur within her lifetime.
“I am confident that it won’t be so far away,” she said.