Inspired by Carlo Acutis and Other Young Saints

Holiness among young people is always a beautiful witness.

Clockwise from top: Carlo Acutis, Thérèse of Lisieux and Pier Giorgio Frassati all lived holy lives as young people.
Clockwise from top: Carlo Acutis, Thérèse of Lisieux and Pier Giorgio Frassati all lived holy lives as young people. (photo: via CNA; public domain)

As young people, and everyone inspired by holiness the world over, await the beatification of “computer nerd” Carlo Acutis, who died of leukemia at age 15, this weekend, here’s a brief look at his life and the lives of other inspiring holy young people.

Of late, here at the Register, we have highlighted the holiness of soon-to-be Blessed Carlo numerous times. The sneaker-wearing, video-game-playing holy teen who loved the Blessed Sacrament wrote: “The more we receive the Eucharist, the more we’ll become like Jesus.” People gravitate to his witness in our time (he died in 2006) and how he put Christ first in his full life as a student and son.

What other holy souls were young in age? (This is just a sampling, of course.)

Many know of the witness of such young saints as Sts. Maria Goretti and Dominic Savio. 

St. Maria is a model of purity — and forgiveness. “I forgive,” she said in reference to her attacker as she was dying at age 11.

St. Dominic died at 15 of tuberculosis, but his youth didn’t prevent him from being a Christlike witness among his fellow youth. His dying words were “What beautiful things I see!” 

And there are Sts. Jacinta and Francisco, who were only 9 (almost 10) and 11 when they died.

Jacinta loved Our Lady, telling a desperate man worried about his sick wife: “Don’t cry. Our Lady is so good! She will certainly grant you the grace you are asking.”

Francisco loved praying in adoration: “I’ll stay with the Hidden Jesus.”

Blessed Chiara Badano was 18 when she died of cancer. You can read about her here, in relation to other holy youth. She reminds young people, “I care only about doing the will of God, doing it well, in the present moment.”

Blessed Nunzio Sulprizio proves that holiness can be embodied in youth, too. The Register chronicled him along with the witness of Carlo Acutis. As Blessed Nunzio lay dying at age 19, while holding a crucifix and looking at a statue of the Blessed Mother, he said, “How beautiful she is!”

And various beloved saints died at just 24, including St. Kateri, Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati and St. Thérèse.

St. Kateri is a beautiful witness of faith and conversion. Her last words were “Jesus, I love you.”

Blessed Pier was a fun-loving outdoorsman who fiercely lived his faith. He reminds youth, “As long as faith gives me strength, I will always be joyful.”

St. Thérèse, the Little Flower, like Blessed Pier, died of tuberculosis. “Do all that you do with love” is her encouragement to youth who follow her “little way.”

And Servant of God Chiara Corbella Petrillo was 28 when she died of cancer. The Register covered her inspiring life here. One beautiful quote of hers reflects her sanctity: “We do not define ourselves as men or as women through our work, our house, our health, or our reputation. We define ourselves as men and women through the way we love.”

Carlo, and all of our young holy friends in heaven, pray for us!