Have you heard of the newly beatified Bl. Carlo Acutis?
Bl. Carlo is best known for his incredible computer programming skills and his website dedicated to Eucharistic miracles. The 15-year-old Bl. Carlo died of leukemia on Oct. 12, 2006. Pope Francis beatified him on Oct. 10.
I first heard about Bl. Carlo Acutis a few months ago when he was a Venerable because he was inspired by our founder, Bl. James Alberione, to use the media for the Gospel (just like the Daughters of St. Paul do).
I looked into his life and was so impressed by how he built a website documenting Eucharistic miracles while he was just a young teenager.
I also felt a special kinship with him because we grew up around the same time and he enjoyed playing video games.
I’m really big on telling people about Jesus through video games, so it is exciting having a friend in heaven who understands the power of these new forms of communication and can intercede for the people of today–video gamers, programmers, those who use social media, etc.
Needless to say, hearing the news of his beatification thrilled me.
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Since then, I’ve turned to Blessed Carlo a lot in prayer for the work I do on social media and the blog articles I write for our Pauline Center for Media Studies.
It’s hard to explain, but I feel like he really pulls through and intercedes for me a lot! I love having that sort of living relationship with the saints. So, that’s why I thought of Bl. Carlo when our Metairie, La. convent internet gave problems.
An internet outage doesn’t seem like a big deal, but it causes a lot of problems because of our online ministry.
We aren’t just on social media. We run virtual retreats, livestream prayers, write articles for our websites, and use the internet to communicate with our other sisters around the country to coordinate our efforts and collaborate on projects.
Most importantly, the retail system for our book center (Pauline Books & Media) runs entirely through WiFi. If that quits, we cannot process sale transactions or search our inventory.
Helping people searching for Catholic resources or gifts for their loved ones is also very difficult if our internet is down.
For a while, we had also had a phone outage, which meant people could not even call us with prayer intentions or check our store inventory.
Of course, we made the best of it and asked Jesus to meet everyone’s needs, despite our limitations. But we really needed working internet.
No one seemed to discover the exact problem after trying everything. We concluded that it was probably the internet provider, since they worked in our area, but we really were not sure.
The next morning after after the problems began, the internet was still down, and one of the sisters woke up early to work on it, still unsuccessful after several attempts.
We discussed at the breakfast table how much we needed our internet before the book center opened at 10.
I suggested praying to St. Isidore, patron saint of the internet for help. But I also mentioned how I found it odd that we pray to a seventh-century saint for help with our modern technology problems.
St. Isidore of Seville was a brilliant bishop who wrote many Catholic books and encyclopedias. I believe he is the patron saint of the internet because his extensive knowledge compares to that of the internet.
That’s all well and good, but it seemed to me as if there should be somebody else to pray to in addition to St. Isidore for help with technical problems.
One sister then exclaimed, “What about Carlo?!” The sisters were excited because I told them all about him upon his beautification.
I thought it was a brilliant idea and at once started sending up prayers, asking Blessed Carlo to fix our internet by the time the book center opened.
Still, it wasn’t working and it wasn’t working and it wasn’t working.
I had the first shift that morning, and I wasn’t exactly hopeful when I went in. But five minutes before the book center opened, I checked the computer system again just to see.
It stunned me to see everything working perfectly–we powered up our retail system and continued all our ministries as normal.
I had such a strong impression in that moment of Bl. Carlo’s brilliant smile–the one you see in all the photos of him. I think he laughed at my small faith, inviting me to trust him a little more next time.
Our internet still quits from time to time, but my prayer is that it does not interrupt our ministries or negatively affect anyone approaching us for help.
So far, Bl. Carlo really pulls through, and he always seems to fix it again when we need it most.
I’d love for more people to know about Bl. Carlo and ask for his intercession in both big and little things. We need modern saints who understand our difficulties and struggles and can help us in their own unique way!
I was very edified to see I’m not the only one praying to him, either.
It seems Bl. Carlo excites many people. Another woman also told me she had a similar mini-miracle where Bl. Carlo saved her computer after spilling water on it.
I love seeing all the ways he’s busy at work helping us with the tech skills God gave him–and with the grace of God, of course.