The Catholic English-speaking world has yet, another book about Blessed Carlo Acutis, this time, a title translated from Italian into English by Our Sunday Visitor. Carlo Acutis – The First Millennial Saint originally in Italian as Dall’Informatica al Cielo – Carlo Acutis by Nicola Gori, the postulator of the cause of canonization of Bl. Carlo Acutis is the first of its kind in the English speaking world. While we have reviewed three books about Carlo Acutis thus far on this blog: (1) Blessed Carlo Acutis – 5 Steps to Being a Saint by Mgr. Anthony Figueiredo, (2) Carlo Acutis – The Boy Who Knew by Corinna Turner, and (3) Carlo Acutis – A Millennial in Paradise by Fr. Will Conquer, this publication is special because it is a biography of Carlo Acutis written by the postulator.
You may ask, ‘What is /who is a postulator?’ Think about this – when you want to convince someone that something you believe is true, you would find all the means and evidence to back that point up. That is what I would define the role of the postulator. A cause for canonization is initiated by the bishop of a local diocese, and then the postulator must do an investigation into a candidate’s life. He or she will go through all the written works of the candidate’s life, listen to testimonials from the faithful and interview those who may have known the candidate during their lifetime. The postulator’s work, though quite discreet “behind the scenes,” but their work is very important in the canonization process.
Through Carlo Acutis – The First Millennial Saint, one does not get a generic biography of Carlo Acutis that you would find anywhere online. Rather, here in nearly 150 pages, the postulator recounts the story of Carlo Acutis through the eyes of those who knew him best. You may have probably heard of Ms. Antonia Acutis Salzano, the mother of Carlo Acutis, but here, we get much more than that. We hear from figures such as Fr. Roberto Gazzaniga, S.J. from the Instituto Leone XIII where Carlo was a student. From his point of view, we get an better inside look at Carlo’s student life. We also come across testimonies from Fr. Mario Perego, Carlo’s parish priest whom he turned to often for Confession. Even more remarkable, we also hear from homeless people who have been impacted by Carlo during his short lifetime. The thing is this: many like myself hear hear snippets of this amazing young man who loved the Eucharist, who was a kind student, who went to confession often, who helped the poor, but to hear these acts being attested to from witnesses gives a totally different dimension to the life of Carlo Acutis and all of this is compiled in this biography.
This is not a picture book about Carlo Acutis. Rather, this is a biography that encompasses the spirituality and life of Carlo together as it strives to paint a picture of a young man who was just so normal, but was able to live holiness in the most regular of ways. Carlo had a short life, but it was a full life, a life “close to Jesus.” There are some interesting anecdotes scattered throughout the book, and it is in these regularities of Carlo that allows one to come to admire him.
How would I suggest a youth or young adult to read Carlo Acutis – The First Millennial Saint? I would really start with a general biography about Carlo Acutis, maybe take a look at www.carloacutis.com – the official website of the Cause, maintained by the Associazione Amici di Carlo Acutis (Friends of Carlo Acutis Association). Having had a general sense of who Carlo was, I think will give this book more of a depth as you read because this biography really is an expansion of what the Catholic media has said about Carlo Acutis, but like any news article, unlike a book, there is not a lot of room to put much depth into someone’s biography. The biography, in my opinion must be paired with either one of these two book, Blessed Carlo Acutis – 5 Steps to Being a Saint by Mgr. Anthony Figueiredo, or Carlo Acutis – A Millennial in Paradise by Fr. Will Conquer. Both are books that provide a call to action for the reader because Carlo’s story is not merely a story in which you read and that’s the end. Rather, the essence of holiness from the lives of the saints should be applied to our very own lives, which I think is better prompted in Mgr. Figueiredo’s book or via Fr. Conquer’s book. You can take a look at those reviews in the hyperlinked terms above.
While the content of the book itself is amazing, there are two points I would like to make. First, I think the life of Carlo Acutis is one that should be made accessible particularly to youth and young adults. One of the impressions I had when I was reading was that the book was too text-heavy. Unlike the other Carlo Acutis books I have reviewed, there are a lack of photographs or illustrations. For me, what really bring the story to life were the images that went through my mind – recalling the many, many photographs of Carlo I have seen circulate all through the internet. I was a little underwhelmed that the book contained no photographs throughout the interior.
Another point that I question was the lack of mention of the original Italian title, Dall’Informatica al Cielo – Carlo Acutis (English translation: From Information Technology to Heaven – Carlo Acutis). One may question how I assumed and could conclude that his book was a translation of that title. The reason is simple (1) The bibliographic page indicated that it was copyright of Libreria Editrice Vaticana (the Vatican Publishing House) and a new revised version of Dall’Informatica al Cielo was published earlier this year by the Vatican; (2) To really confirm that the book was a translation of the original Italian title indicated, I looked to the preface and the original Italian had a preface by Msgr. Dario E. Viganò and here, in the English version, a preface of the same Msgr. Therefore, for me, there was no doubt that this was a translation of that title. I just question why the book was not modeled in cover-style and title it, “From Information Technology to Heaven – Carlo Acutis,” to be consistent with the Vatican edition. However, I assume that it may be because of copyright and rights… all the legal stuff. I hope to have some answers on this.
Overall, a beautiful biography of Carlo Acutis published this time by Our Sunday Visitor, and a great introduction to the life of the First Millennial Blessed of the Church, who may soon be “The First Millennial Saint.”
Bl. Carlo Acutis, pray for us!
Click here to purchase the title from Our Sunday Visitor.
Disclaimer: Vincent Pham was provided a review copy of this title to provide an honest review of the title on our blog. The Catholic Man Reviews thanks Our Sunday Visitor for the opportunity for us to review this title on our blog. All thoughts and opinions expressed in here are our own and reflect our sincere thoughts about the book.
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