Carlo Acutis As Seen By His Mother


In this interview with Aleteia, the mother of Blessed Carlo, Antonia Salzano, testifies to the “extraordinary ordinary life” of her son who had an infinite love for Jesus in the Eucharist. He is a source of inspiration for young and old alike.




Antonia, you are the mother of Blessed Carlo Acutis. Tell us what your secret is. What did you do to raise a saint?

Personally, I didn’t do anything. I only gave my son the educational foundations that all parents should give. Carlo went to a kindergarten where he received a religious education. I had him baptized, but I was born into a secular family where I had absolutely never heard anyone talk about faith. My first Mass was my First Communion; my second Mass was my Confirmation; and my third Mass was my wedding.

It was my son Carlo who taught me everything. Even as a child, he showed great piety. At the age of three, when we passed in front of a church, he wanted to go in, greet Jesus on the cross and Jesus in the tabernacle, and bring little flowers to Our Lady. At the age of four and a half, he was reading the Bible and the lives of the saints and was praying the Rosary. He was my little savior, and above all he was my great educator in the faith.

What made Carlo different from other young people of his age?

As John Paul II said, when we open the doors to Christ, our lives change. Every ordinary life becomes extraordinary if it is lived in Christ, for Christ, and with Christ. This is what Carlo did in every situation, from the smallest thing to the biggest, such as helping out at home and helping children who were victims of bullying, or those in difficulty who had a disability, or the homeless, bringing them food and blankets.

His commitment was mainly in the apostolate. At the age of nine, he was reading computer engineering textbooks that he had bought at the Polytechnic University of Milan. He learned algorithms with which he created programs, then websites for parishes, the Jesuits, and the Vatican. He didn’t do it for his personal glory but for the glory of Heaven. To achieve that, he spent hours on it. And in the summer, instead of having fun, he would stay at his computer until 3 a.m. He wanted to spread the Good News, the Gospel, and he used his extraordinary skills to proclaim Christ and help others come closer to God.

Carlo also created exhibitions on different topics of the Christian faith, including an exhibition on Eucharistic miracles that was a huge success. How did this project come about and what fruit has it borne?

The exhibition on Eucharistic miracles is now touring the world, on all continents. In the United States, it has been displayed in more than 10,000 parishes. Then in Singapore, China, Japan, Africa, India. It’s an international exhibition. Carlo started collecting material in 2000, when he was nine years old. We had gone on a pilgrimage to Lanciano and he was very impressed by that Eucharistic miracle. From there came the idea of doing something that would shake up people’s consciences, get them out of their torpor, out of their lukewarmness— because there’s no longer this awareness that Christ is present in the consecrated bread and wine.

As you can see, the pews are always empty in front of the tabernacles. This is how the exhibition was born and spread worldwide, immediately after his death. Carlo immediately had a reputation as a saint because people knew he was a young man whose life was consistent with his beliefs. Why do saints attract? Because Christ is hidden in them, they are Christ-bearers. “Being always united to Jesus: that is my program of life,” he used to say.

In your book, The Secret of My Son Carlo Acutis, you say that you had the intuition that your son would leave the earth prematurely. Had the Lord prepared you for this trial?

Yes, I had this inner feeling in front of the relic of the veil of the Virgin Mary, in the beautiful cathedral of Chartres. It’s a special place with great spirituality because it’s a place where people have been praying for centuries. Even Carlo, who was so close to Jesus, didn’t realize it but told us things that came true afterward. For example, since he was a child, he used to say that he would always stay young and die because of a vein in his brain that would break (this happened due to his leukemia).

He also said that when he weighed 70 kg, he would die. And that’s what happened. When the leukemia started, he came to the hospital and said, “Mom, I’m not going to make it out of here alive. I want you to know that, but I will send you lots of signs.” He was very serene, always with a smile; he never complained. If someone asked him, “Are you suffering?” he would answer, “There are people who suffer more than I do.” He gave an example of holiness in death. I understood that I couldn’t complain, that it was the supreme will of God: Carlo was ready and ripe for Heaven. He was a boy of perfect and upright life, extraordinary purity, generosity, goodness… We’ve never had the slightest doubt that he’s already in Heaven.

When your son was exhumed, his body was found in an extraordinary state. Today he is in Assisi, in the Shrine of the Stripping, and his heart is in a reliquary in the Basilica of St. Francis. Can you talk to us about his relics?

Indeed, Carlo was found intact. They were able to dress him. His organs were intact as well as his heart, which was then carried in procession during Carlo’s beatification in Assisi. Relics are helpful because the saints, who have many merits in Heaven, can intercede so that the Lord may grant miracles. Let us never forget that all this is a work of the Lord. When people come into contact with these relics, or when the relics are exhibited or carried in procession, there are healings and deliverances. They do a great deal of good, and this isn’t new.

Carlo Acutis was proclaimed Blessed on October 10, 2020. Do you think your son will be canonized soon? What is needed for that?

We hope so. For the canonization, another miracle needs to be recognized by the medical commission. We’re optimistic because we see a lot of them. Every other day we receive news about possible miracles: cancer cures, malformed people who were cured without surgery, people who couldn’t have children. Then the Church will analyze them in due time. It’s important to know that we are proposing one at a time because it takes months to analyze each one. Depending on the type of miracle, all the doctors have to agree, on the miracle of beatification. Then it goes to the theological commission and then to the commission of cardinals. This is the route. And in the end, the Pope has the last word.

Carlo was a young man who went against the grain. We live in a world where it’s difficult to follow God unreservedly. What advice would your son give to young people today?

Surely to be an influencer of God, not an influencer of nothing. The things of the earth are things that pass away and will no longer exist. What will remain is how much we have loved God, above all, and our neighbor as ourselves. Jesus says to each of us: “Go into the whole world. Proclaim the Gospel.” He calls us all to be apostles, no matter what our state in life. So first of all, let us respond and be Christ-bearers. I say to young people: Don’t trivialize your life. Always be connected with Heaven, and to be connected we must pray. If we pray, God guides us and we’re more docile to His inspirations, to go and walk straight on the right path. So, Carlo is a young man of your time, who lived what you live with the same dangers, joys, and sorrows. He knew how to resist and win his fight. Win yours! Know that Jesus is a great friend and that the sacraments are excellent means. Take advantage of this great opportunity!

Antonia, could you conclude with a prayer through the intercession of your son, Blessed Carlo Acutis?

As Carlo used to say, “Not me, but God; not my own self-esteem, but the Glory of God.” Lord, may your will always be done. Let us never forget to ask your holy Mother for help. May she always be a safe refuge for us! Do not forget her call to pray the Rosary every day. It’s a very powerful means to which the Holy Trinity has given an extraordinary power. So let us take advantage of it and follow the advice of Heaven. Let us not forget to go to Eucharistic Adoration and Holy Mass every day, and if this is not possible, let us pray to be able to go more often.

We must ask this from the Lord: spiritual graces above all, to heal our souls and be ready to go directly to Heaven. Carlo… pray for us!

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