From a young age, Acutis seemed to have a special love for God, even though his parents weren’t especially devout. His mom said that, before Carlo, she went to Mass only for her First Communion, her confirmation, and her wedding.
As a young child, he loved to pray the rosary. After he made his First Communion, he went to Mass as often as he could, and he made Holy Hours before or after Mass. He went to confession weekly. As he grew older he began to go to Mass daily, often bringing his parents along.
“He had made the Eucharist the center of his life, and he directed towards the most needy the love that God poured out through him,” Sorrentino said ahead of the beatification.
As a teenager, Acutis was diagnosed with leukemia. He offered his sufferings for Pope Benedict XVI and for the Church, saying: “I offer all the suffering I will have to suffer for the Lord, for the pope, and the Church.”
Among his friends was Sr. Giovanna Negrotto, a missionary religious sister, who is now 86 years old and one of the people who shared her memories of Acutis at the event in Assisi.
She said that Acutis took great interest in her missionary work in India, asking to see photos of “my great leper friends.”
She said the last question that Acutis had asked her was: “What do you think? Is God more pleased with a service like this to the least of the world, generous and tireless, or prayer?”
Referencing Acutis’ parents, Negrotto said: “I will never forget that morning when you told me that Carlo had gone up to heaven and about how he offered his life for the pope and for the Church.”
“And then I realized that Carlo had already given the answer to his question. Service, yes, prayer, yes, but no one has a greater love than someone who gives his life for his friends,” she said.