Mom of Soon-to-Be-Saint Carlo Acutis: Son Offers ‘a Spirituality That Can Be Followed by Everybody’

‘Already on the day of Carlo’s funeral, we began to see miracles …’

Antonia Acutis speaks to Montse Alvarado during an interview on 'EWTN News In Depth' on Oct. 13, 2023.
Antonia Acutis speaks to Montse Alvarado during an interview on 'EWTN News In Depth' on Oct. 13, 2023. (photo: EWTN News / EWTN)

Carlo Acutis will soon be a saint.

Antonia Salzano Acutis, the mother of Blessed Carlo Acutis, spoke with the Register on May 29 about the news that her son will soon be the first millennial saint. In a 2-part series, Acutis discusses the second miracle attributed to the holy teen, his witness and popularity, and his deep devotion to the Eucharist.


Why is your son so popular? 

These are the mysteries of Carlo Acutis, my son! [laughing] 

The public is very interested in Carlo, surely, because he was a young millennial of our times. The problems of young people today are something deeply felt among everyone: believers and nonbelievers.

But Carlo is a figure that, in a certain sense, provokes interest.

Another reason for the great interest in him is that people are calling Carlo the “patron saint of the internet.” 


What about Carlo’s “Eucharistic Miracles” exhibit? Has this helped to spread Carlo’s fame?

Certainly, there is also the fact that Carlo’s exhibit has reached thousands of parishes in the whole world: in China, Japan, India, Africa, the United States, Brazil, Europe. It is something pretty extraordinary. In the end, this work of Carlo has really spread, and we have seen its fruits. We have seen conversions and, incredibly, even healings during the “Eucharistic Miracles” exhibit — healing from tumors: Incredible! In effect, when we speak about the Eucharist, we are talking about God among us. And Our Lord receives glory from this because he loves that we speak about the Eucharist. Maybe he has given us these signs to wake us up a little bit.


Let’s speak about Carlo’s canonization. Do you know where it will be, and when?

It will take place in Rome. The date will be communicated to us during the month of June. It could be this year or during the Jubilee of 2025. There are a few “hot” dates, which could be during the Jubilee of Adolescents/Youth, which will be in April 2025, or the Jubilee of Young People/Young Adults, which will be in July 2025. I don’t know yet.


Can you speak to me about the process that led to Carlo’s canonization? We know that the second miracle attributed to Carlo’s intercession was of a Costa Rican woman named Valeria who was healed from a traumatic brain injury, after a cycling accident in Florence in 2022.

I already knew about this miracle because the process for canonization has various phases. During the medical commission, which is the most difficult phase, there are about 15 doctors who are making inquiries. There are various steps. Depending on the pathology (for the specific disease or injury which was healed), they need to find specialist doctors in that sector. And not just one doctor, but various experts in the same field. Then, they have to vote. Some doctors may vote against the conclusion (that it was a miracle). In Carlo’s case, the votes were unanimous that it was a miracle.

Then there is the Theological Commission. After this, there is the Commission of Cardinals. And then there is the Pope. Obviously, he is the one who decides everything, because the Pope can also decide, “No. This won’t go forward.” That is why the enthusiasm is always great when the Pope signs. Everything is on hold, up until he signs. 


Tell me about other miracles of Carlo? How do you hear about them?

You know, every day we get news about possible miracles through Carlo’s intercession. We hear about healings with medical documentation from all over the world. We hear about favors, conversions, graces. The Church chooses one miracle for the beatification and one for the canonization. But there have been many, many others. In my opinion, some have been truly amazing. I can’t speak about them all. We hear about cases of leukemia being healed instantaneously without chemotherapy. The first miracles from Carlo happened at his funeral. There was a woman who had breast cancer. She had already done a histological exam, and they had told her that she had to start chemotherapy soon. She prayed to Carlo on the day of his funeral Mass, and the tumor disappeared instantaneously.

So, already on the day of Carlo’s funeral, we began to see miracles.


How is your relationship with Carlo now? Does your family pray for his intercession every day?

I pray like everybody else does now, with a novena prayer card. I speak to him. I feel his presence in our home. We feel his help and assistance for his siblings. I continuously hear news about apparitions of Carlo to other people, of healings, of graces, of conversions. We see the works of God through Carlo as an active thing. 

I have a particular capacity to feel his intercession. I also feel the action of Our Lord and the Virgin Mary. These are interior sensations which I don’t know how to explain. I am not a mystic, but … I go to Mass every day. I take part in daily Eucharistic adoration, and I spend time in prayer. I have the good fortune of not needing to sleep very much, about five hours per night. So, when I wake up at 4am, I use this time for prayer. This helps me to be more sensitive to God’s presence. The more we pray, the more we feel God’s presence and action in our lives. Then, one learns. The more one prays, the more you learn. The less you pray, the less you will feel God’s presence. 


 Why was receiving the Eucharist every day so important for Carlo? What effect does the Eucharist have on our souls? 

Carlo was 7 years old when he received his first Communion. He wrote in a notebook that day, “Being always united to Jesus. That is my life plan.” From that day on, he began to go to Mass every day, going to Eucharistic adoration every day, either before or after Mass.

What are the effects of the Eucharist? The Eucharist is God in the midst of us, with his Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity. The Eucharist is the living presence of Christ. When I receive the Eucharist, the infinite encounters the finite. I come into contact with heaven. 

This contact provokes something in me. In fact, this is independent of the holiness of the priest and the person who is receiving Communion. Jesus always acts. But it is clear that the more I correspond to the grace of receiving God in me, the more he will fill me with grace. God can always do extraordinary things, but the effort that we put into our spiritual life matters as well. It is like a vase. If I am going to get fresh water, and I have a small vase, I will get a little bit of water. If I have a bigger vase, I will get a lot. The same thing happens when we receive Communion.


How does the Eucharist help us to live the virtues?

You know that when the Church declares someone to be a saint, it is because they lived the Christian virtues. There are more than 200 virtues, but the principal ones are seven: prudence, justice, faith, hope, charity, fortitude, temperance.

The virtues are a stable attitude of the will towards the good. Virtues need the strength of the will. If I don’t have the strength of will, for example, I will never be able to take university exams. I won’t be able to study. Sometimes we see someone with lesser intelligence do better in exams than someone who is smarter because they have the strength of will.  

Our virtues need to be strengthened, and through the Eucharist, Jesus helps to strengthen our will and fight against temptations. The Eucharist is really a medicine for our souls. It heals us from our wounds that we carry as a residue of original sin.

When I eat the Eucharist, I eat from the fountain of love, and Jesus helps me to increase my capacity to love God and my neighbor.


Carlo used to say that the Eucharist was his “highway to heaven.” What did he mean by this?

In the Bible, we read in John, Chapter 6:56, “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them.”

This means that Jesus promised a special union through the Eucharist.

I know many people with serious problems of depression who began to go to Mass every day. They had been seeing the best psychologists and psychiatrists, and nothing had been resolved in their lives. They kept having the same problems. After they began going to Mass every day, they were cured of these problems. It was like they were reborn. 

With the Eucharist, we are transfigured. There is nothing more supernatural in this earth than the Eucharist: It is Jesus among us. Jesus is really present. Carlo used to say when he was teaching catechism, “If there is a fire in a Church, who would take care to go and save Jesus — who is alive — from the tabernacle? We have to do this because he is a living presence. He is alive among us.”


Carlo was a great proponent of Eucharistic adoration. Carlo used to say, “When we face the sun, we get a tan … but when we stand before Jesus in the Eucharist we become saints.”

Let’s remember that when Moses prayed on Mount Sinai to God (Exodus 34), his face became luminous. This happens to us, too. We don’t realize it, but the light of God envelopes us. It transforms us and purifies us. 


Tell me about Eucharistic miracles: What should Catholics know about them?

Through the centuries, Jesus has given us extraordinary Eucharistic miracles in many countries to show his Real Presence. In the past, we did not have the means to study them, but today we have science as our ally. 

Jesus is sending us signs. Like the famous miracle in Lanciano, Italy [from A.D. 750), which was studied by the World Health Organization. The Eucharistic Host there was transformed into flesh, which turned out to be the myocardium, part of the heart. 

In 1996, in Buenos Aires, a Eucharistic miracle took place, which was investigated by Pope Francis, who was archbishop there at the time.

In 2006, there was a miracle in Tixla, Mexico; then, in 2008, in Sokolka, Poland.

In 2013, in Legnica, Poland, a Eucharistic Host was transformed into flesh. It was found to be the myocardium — again. It had the AB blood type, which is the same as that of the Shroud of Turin. There were also intact white blood cells. 


What is the meaning of these miracles, that Eucharistic Hosts have transformed into heart tissue?

You know the word “heart” is found in the Bible 1,000 times.

Jesus is sending us his heart — his myocardium, which is the part of the heart which causes it to pulse. We know that the Eucharist is the heart of the Church because it is God, in Person, in the midst of us. 

All of these miracles where Jesus is showing us his heart. It is, frankly, so moving to see God’s love for us — that he is sending us his heart [through these extraordinary Eucharistic miracles]. 


It’s a difficult moment culturally. Maybe this is why Carlo’s example gives a lot of hope.

In 2006, we had no Facebook or Twitter. But Carlo’s sayings were a form of tweets: 

“Not self-love, but the glory of God.” 
“Happiness is not looking at yourself but looking towards God.” 
“Everybody is born as an original, but most die as photocopies.”
This was his way of catechizing, which is very relevant. 

These sayings strike people more than the treatises of the mystics. Nobody reads these types of treatises anymore. Today, we need a catechesis which is more dynamic and more essential. God is extremely simple. 

The more we are complicated, the more we move farther away from God. The simpler we are, the closer we get to God. 

Surely, Carlo was extremely simple in his spirituality. It was a spirituality that can be followed by everybody: the sacraments, Our Lady, the Holy Rosary, prayer, reading sacred Scripture, works of charity.