The Gamer Saint

The Gamer Saint

On May 3, 1991, a possible modern-day saint was born in London. Carlo Acutis lived a life of piety and faith in Italy. His love for the Catholic faith emerged from a young age, and he was known to receive the sacrament of Reconciliation weekly and attend Mass frequently, encouraging his friends and relatives to join him. His faith is seen in the many ways in which Carlo incorporated the teachings of Christ into his daily life and interactions with others.

Acutis made an effort to defend the vulnerable, especially kids with disabilities, against bullies. This small act is a strongly impactful step to protecting the dignity of all human life, and made a powerful impression on both the bullies and those whom he defended.

Especially recently, children have been subject to the difficulties that come when their parents go through divorce. Acutis acknowledged how this can affect the mental state of children and reached out to his own friend with this experience, welcoming the friend into his own home during the process.

As a millennial, Acutis grew up with and utilized many of the same technologies that we see today. For example, the PlayStation and PS2 were both released when he was only a young child. He was known to love playing video games. However, out of sacrifice, Acutis limited his game time to one hour per week, so that his time may be spent in prayer and eternally gratifying acts instead.

Acutis had a passion for design and computer programming. In a way to incorporate both this passion and his passion for the faith, the young man designed a website which organized a list of every recorded Eucharistic miracle in history with information surrounding the events. The details put into the site reflect the deep interest he had in the history of the Catholic Church.

While a teenager, Acutis was diagnosed with Leukemia. The sickness overtook him quickly, and he passed away from it on October 12, 2006, at the young age of 15. In spite of the immense suffering brought about by the disease, Acutis offered up the pain he experienced for the lives and souls of others who were ill or in pain, staying selfless even still.

Carlo was named a Servant of God on May 13, 2013, the first step on the journey to sainthood. Four years prior, a child was born in Brazil named Mattheus. Mattheus had a birth defect known as annular pancreas that can block the flow of food to the intestines. As a result, the young boy suffered daily and was unable to hold down foods. In 2013, when Carlo’s life was brought to public attention, Mattheus was four years old, and half the weight he should have been. The parish the boy and his family were part of held a prayer service, in which they asked for Carlo’s intercession. Mattheus’s mother had prayed for his healing since he was born. According to Father Nicola Gori, the priest present during the service, when a picture of the Servant of God was being passed around, the sick young boy touched the picture and prayed, “I wish I could stop vomiting so much.”

On his way home, Mattheus could tell there was something different – he had been healed. At home, the child ate foods he had never been able to hold down before. His parents and doctors were amazed as day after day he continued to eat like a normal four year old should. The physicians observed a physical change in the condition of Mattheus’s pancreas; he had been healed, in way that doctors could not explain as anything other than a miracle.

This healing was attributed to the intercession of Carlo Acutis in Heaven. In 2018, the Servant of God was named Venerable, and just recently, on October 10, Acutis was beatified. The only thing left is for his canonization, which could happen sometime within the next few years, officially declaring Carlo Acutis as the first millennial saint.

An exciting additional bit of information: when Acutis’s body was exhumed, it was clear that the body was still in great shape. While it is too early to say for sure, it seems as though Acutis will join a number of other saints in having an incorrupt body after death.

To quote Pope Francis, “[Blessed Acutis] did not ease into comfortable immobility, but understood the needs of his time, because he saw the face of Christ in the weakest. His witness indicates to today’s young people that true happiness is found by putting God in first place and serving Him in our brothers and sisters, especially the least. A round of applause for the new young Blessed millennial!”