Carlo Acutis was born in London in 1991 to Italian parents and grew up in Milan. From a very early age, people felt that Carlo was a particularly special boy. He showed great devotion to Jesus in the Eucharist and to Our Lady, even though his parents didn’t practice their faith.
Carlo was really talented with computers. He taught himself to design websites and could understand computers as well as college graduates. He helped to create a website for his school and his parish, but his big project brought together two of his passions: technology and the Eucharist.
His goal during his short life was to help bring others closer to Jesus through awareness of the mystery of the Eucharist. Carlo received the sacrament of the Eucharist daily and desired to share the joy of Christ’s presence with the world through his God- given talents.
Carlo wanted to catalogue all the Eucharistic miracles in the world, and so he began researching and collecting information from all over the world and travelling to various shrines with his parents when he could to take photos. He wanted people to know that Jesus is truly present in the Eucharist. So, he designed a website from his research, presenting a catalogue of 165 Eucharistic Miracles of the World. This website is like a Virtual exhibition and has resulted into the Vatican approved International physical exhibition ongoing in various countries.
The Exhibition was opened in Lagos, (the first in Nigeria) on 6th January 2023, at The Mater Ecclesiae Monastery, Sangotedo. It featured panels highlighting some of the most powerful Eucharistic Miracles of the World. Each panel tells the story of a Eucharistic miracle and is accompanied by photos and artwork.
The panels were selected from 126 recognized accounts that date from as early as the third century. All of the miracles displayed in this exhibition have been recognized by their local bishops. The exhibit’s purpose is to increase awareness of the Real Presence of our Lord in the Eucharist and promote Eucharistic adoration.
The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith wants this exhibit to be displayed at every parish in the world.
Why the Monastery?
The Exhibition was held at the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery for the following reasons:
– The Monastery is a Centre of discernment – Carlo gives a discernment for Youths and as a role model and can help with their vocation. In Christus Vivit, Pope Francis Exhortation mentioned Carlo as a role model for young people today who are often tempted by the traps of Self – absorption, isolation and empty pleasure.
Carlo’s life and spirituality were aligned to some of the specific vows of the Mater Ecclesia Monastery, i.e.
Eucharistic worship: to know and love the Eucharistic mystery through special devotion towards the Holy Mass and Eucharistic Adoration; the promotion of their dignity and respect for everything concerning the Eucharist
Devotion to Mary, Mother of the Church: to know and to love the mystery of Mary, Mother of the Church in relation to the Eucharist, the Priesthood and the Church
Devotion to the Church: to know and love the mystery of the Church, One, Holy Catholic and Apostolic in its essence o Prayers of reparation for the offences, indifferences and sacrileges committed against the Eucharist – Moreover, Carlo’s First Holy Communion was also at the Convent of the Romite Sisters of Saint Ambrose in Perego – a group of Cloistered Nuns
Some aims of the Exhibition
• Increase our awareness of the Real Presence of our Lord in the Holy Eucharist
• Enhance/develop our devoBon to EucharisBc AdoraBon
• Learn more about Carlo AcuBs, the patron of Youths, Millennials and the Internet, and his basic
principles for a holy life
• Draw our Youths to imitate Carlo
Exhibition Launch – 6th January 2023
The day kicked off with a conference Chaired and opened by His Grace, Archbishop Alfred
Adewale Martins, with some special guests – Archbishop Alaba Job, Very Rev. Monsignor Francis Ogunmodede, Episcopal Vicar and Monsignor Paschal Nwaezeapu, Dean of Lekki.
It was attended by priests, religious, parishioners and societies from various parts of the diocese, including the Knights of St. Mulumba.
After the opening remarks by His Grace, The Story of Blessed Carlo Acutis was shared with the audience, by Barbara Lawrence (Carlo Acutis Apostolate/ Exhibition Co-ordinator). His Grace further delved into a talk on Eucharistic Miracles and what Carlo had done to promulgate this.
Also, the special guests each gave talks emphasizing the real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist backed by various examples and stories.
After the conference, His Grace declared the exhibition opened and went round the exhibits from different parts of the world.
Subsequently, the Exhibition was moved to the Retreat Center at the Monastery the next day and it’s still running. Since its inception, over 5,000 visitors have visited, and it’s still opened to the public.
Monthly Eucharistic Adoration days held every last Saturday of the month, involving Adoration, Confession, Holy Mass, Conference with a Monsignor Paschal Nwaezeapu or available priest followed by Exhibition of the Eucharistic Miracles. On one occasion, there was also the Veneration of a first class relic of Blessed Carlo Acutis, which was received recently.
Anthonia Acutis, Bl Carlo’s mother was also informed about the Exhibition at the Monastery and presented with an album of the event during a visit by Barbara Lawrence to Assisi; she was greatly appreciative. She sent the Monastery a Relic as well and spoke with Mother Benedicta.
Initially, the Exhibition was to have ended on the feast of Christ the King, so parishes could start running theirs. However, this idea was shelved because:
– more visitors were still visiting the Monastery to see the exhibition.
– and to ensure better preparation in assisting parishes and organisations run their exhibitions.
– The Eucharistic Miracles Exhibition will be continued for now, till parishes start organizing similar in their parishes.
– Carlo Acutis Center Office:
Mother kindly donated a Carlo Acutis Center office to help co-ordinate the exhibitions and promulgation of Blessed Carlo Acutis
• Promulgate the Real Presence of Jesus through the work of Blessed Carlo Acutis
• Friends of Carlo Acutis
• Help with Exhibition of Eucharistic Miracles
• Provide Exhibition Guide – already produced.
• Help with posters and materials.
o Option of renting banners or producing theirs
o Will get Carlo books through Monastery.
• Supported Fr Emmanuel, CKC, Ibadan with some materials uring his presentation on B. Carlo
• Give talks, presentations as required.
*Gave a talk to CMO of Divine Mercy, Lekki – 17/12/23
• Help set up Friends of Carlo Acutis societies.
– Carlo Acutis Center: The main Carlo Acutis Centre, a vocational/formative Centre for youths will be built shortly. With Carlo as a role model, the center aims to develop Youths to be leaders and be gainfully employed in various vocations that will contribute to patriotism, whilst reducing talent drainage in the society and unsavory exploits in foreign countries.
– Children: His Grace has directed we work with MCA to start with the Children
Take Carlo to Catholic Primary and Secondary Schools in Lagos:
• Let them see Carlo as a Role Model for Youths
• Give talks on Carlo, Eucharistic Miracles, Real Presence of Christ
• Resource pack in production
• Show films on Carlo.
By: Barbara O. Lawrence, Coordinator – Blessed Carlo Acutis Apostolate, Lagos, Nigeria – 0803 402 5549