Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Monday 02 August |
Saint of the Day: St. Peter Julian Eymard
home iconChurch
line break icon

What Carlo Acutis teaches us about friendship

Uradna spletna stran o Carlu Acutisu.

Kathleen N. Hattrup - published on 05/03/21

May 3 is the young blessed's birthday. His lessons continue to guide us.

Each year May 3 marks the birthday of Blessed Carlo Acutis, the millennial “computer geek” saint who is quickly becoming an example of holiness revered around the world. In 2021, Blessed Acutis would have celebrated his 30th birthday.

In June 2021, Sophia Press was set to release a book on Carlo by Father Will Conquer.

Father Conquer was ordained as a Catholic priest for the Archdiocese of Monaco and sent by the Paris Foreign Missions Society to the mission of Cambodia, where less than 1% of the population is Catholic. 

But during his studies in Rome at San Luigi dei Francesi, he was blessed to meet the family of Blessed Carlo Acutis, who became for him a model of virtue and a spiritual friend. 

Father Conquer’s book, A Millennial in Paradise, will give some inside looks at Carlo’s brief life, and how he navigated the challenges faced by youth of our day.

For example, Father Conquer notes how Carlo had to struggle with loneliness: “Of course Carlo struggled with loneliness. Only child, busy parents, city lifestyle. Who could be his friend? Who could he relate to? Carlo had only one option, and he chose that option to become one of the greatest friendships in modern times: Rajesh.”

Rajesh was hired by Carlo’s parents to care for the boy, but the two formed a friendship more than a functional, professional relationship.

“This requires a certain simplicity of the heart, which not only Carlo had, but which Rajesh discovered once again with him. Though Carlo experienced loneliness, the presence of his best friend was a great support for him throughout his life,” explains the priest.

In fact, Rajesh, who was Hindu, became a Christian, aided by Carlo’s example.

Friendship with girls

Carlo’s great capacity for friendship is also notable in the relationships he had with the teen girls that he knew. Those friendships were characterized, according to Fr. Conquer, by long, deep conversations.

Long phone calls. Which means deep conversations. Carlo, in the footsteps of Saints Francis and Clare of Assisi, truly believed in the possibility of a genuine friendship between men and women. The best witness to this is probably his cousin Flavia, but other of his classmates confirm that as well.

This friendship was time-consuming, especially in hour-long conversations on the phone. Before Facetime came out, Carlo’s mother remembers hearing the old rotary dial telephone ring, and running to the living room to pick up the call only to shout “Carlo, it’s for you,” time and time again.

These conversations showed Carlo would listen and build trust with his friends, who miss him to this day.

Carlo was also intent on doing what he could so that young women would be respected.

Fr. Conquer reports that “it is quite obvious that he was as uncompromising with lust and promiscuity. For instance, Carlo was a great fan of swimming pools. He did front crawl, breaststroke, backstroke and butterfly, as much as he played around with his friends.”

But there is one type of attitude he did not play around with: the various forms of harassment against girls that took place there. And Carlo did not simply disapprove. … he publicly chastised those who thought wolf-whistling and cat-calling could be funny. It is not. 

What did Carlo tell them? Did he yell at them? Did he threaten them? None of the above. He told them plainly something much more daunting: “Our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit.”

Enjoy these 10 inspiring quotes from Blessed Carlo

Tags:
Saints
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
SIMONE BILES
Cerith Gardiner
Simone Biles leaves the Olympics with an important lesson for her...
2
Ignacio María Doñoro
Francisco Veneto
The military chaplain who pretended to be a criminal to rescue a ...
3
HIDILYN DIAZ
Cerith Gardiner
Gold-winning Filipina Olympian shares her Miraculous Medal for th...
4
JEDZENIE
Theresa Civantos Barber
The one thing we all should do before this summer ends
5
Zelda Caldwell
German women’s gymnastics teams modest dress protests sport’s ...
6
CARLO ACUTIS
Violeta Tejera
Carlo Acutis’ first stained glass window in jeans and sneak...
7
Zelda Caldwell
World-record winning gymnast Simone Biles leans on her Catholic f...
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.