Antonia Acutis , mother of Blessed Carlo Acutis , is the producer and collaborator of the new film ‘The New Manna’, a film about Eucharistic miracles and the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, for which her son Blessed Carlo Acutis is best known.
For the Register , she talked about the New Mana, the devotion of Blessed Karl to the Eucharist, the meaning behind Eucharistic miracles and why Catholics must rediscover this sacrament.
This film talks a lot about the sacrament of the Eucharist. Why are the sacraments so important?
Sacraments are the most supernatural thing we have on this earth. It is a huge problem that people do not believe in the sacraments. Through Jesus’ infinite mercy and wounded side, blood and water were shed. The Church was born from there. Jesus gives us the sacraments through his greatest act of love: his death on the cross.
Sacraments have infinite value because Jesus gives us sanctifying grace through them.
If you do not have faith in the effectiveness of the sacraments and their supernatural reality, it means that you do not have faith in Jesus. It means you don’t believe something Jesus told us. This is not a promise like any other. When God makes a promise, it has infinite value.
Let’s remember that the sacrament of the Eucharist always works, regardless of the holiness of the priest and regardless of our own fervor. In fact, the Church definitively declared it at the Council of Trent (from 1545 to 1563).
Tell us, please, what is the relationship between the world of science and Eucharistic miracles.
It is only because of God’s infinite mercy that He gave us these recent Eucharistic miracles that have been recognized by science. Science has not always been allied with the Catholic faith. But in this case it is about an arch-ally because it is undeniable that if the Eucharistic Host becomes a body, which eventually becomes a part of the human heart, which has the parameters of a living tissue, with the signs of the Passion of Christ, with the signs of the blood group similar to the Shroud of Turin – that is, as you know, the greatest relic we have of our Lord in the world – then certainly, this must make one think.
During Carl’s life, his computer caught fire five times. Can you tell me something about this?
Yes, we had to buy five computers for Karl. The devil does not want us to talk about Eucharistic miracles. Don’t ask me how his computers caught on fire. Karlo did nothing to them. We were always very careful. Mysteriously, strange things were always happening.
I saw supernatural forces at work: supernatural because, apparently, they are controlled by the devil, not God. Those forces wanted to destroy what Karlo was doing at any cost.
There are so many fruits of Carl’s website. Many people were converted and others returned to the Catholic faith as a result. So it’s clear that someone didn’t want this.
Can you tell us about these recent Eucharistic miracles? How many are there?
We didn’t have just one Eucharistic miracle. We had a lot of them. And I’m only talking about those who were really recognized by the Church. But I will tell you that we have more than 20 Eucharistic miracles that are currently under investigation. Some of them have already received a positive verdict.
But let’s talk about recent miracles that have already been recognized by the Church: 2013 Legnica in Poland, 2008 Sokolka in Poland, 2006 Tixtla in Mexico and 1996 Buenos Aires, where our current Pope Francis was actually the archbishop who ordered the investigation.
I ask: What else does God have to do for them to believe?
One of the problems with miracles is that even with scientific evidence, some people refuse to believe.
It is the same as when Jesus was on earth. There were many people who did not believe. Jesus performed miracles. He brought the dead back to life. He suspended the laws of nature that only God can do. He did amazing things. However, some people did not believe.
Tell us about Carl’s devotion to the Eucharist.
Carlo said: “If people really understood the importance of the Eucharist, the churches would be so full that it would be difficult to get inside.” However, this is not happening.”
Karlo said that we are happier than those people who lived with Jesus 2000 years ago, when he was on earth in Palestine, walking the streets. Yes, people could see him and maybe talk to him, but it wasn’t that easy, because Jesus was often surrounded by crowds. We are happier because we can go down to the sanctuary in the church behind our house and be close to Jesus at all times. Karlo would say that we have Jerusalem behind our house because the tabernacle has the real presence of Jesus.
Some people have difficulty learning about the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. What does the Church teach?
Pope Benedict XVI said that in the holy sacrament is the presence of Jesus. It is a physical presence. He is really present. It is hidden under the type of bread and wine. We can’t imagine it. On the other hand, Jesus promised: “I will be with you every day until the end of the world.” This is a promise from God of infinite value. Jesus did not intend to be with us only spiritually. He wanted to be our food and drink.
When Jesus said that the ancestors of the Jews ate manna in the desert from heaven, but they all died, it is because it was not the Bread of Eternal Life. But then Jesus said: “I am the living Bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever” — clearly announcing the Eucharist.
Then, in the Gospel according to John, in chapter 6, Jesus goes on to say: “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him.”
Therefore, Jesus promises us something extraordinary: a special unity through the Eucharist.
Some people leave the Church and the sacraments because of anger towards other laity or clergy who are not holy. What would you say to them?
It is extremely important to rediscover the beauty of Jesus’ promises and to go beyond what may be our judgments of the Church, which are, in any case, partial judgments.
Jesus never promised a perfect earthly Church. Imperfections will always be present. But we must never doubt the sacraments because maybe the priest is not holy or because I don’t like him. I need to believe in the words of Jesus because that is where my faith is. Many people deprive themselves of the Eucharist because they fall into the condemnation of others. This is not good for souls and their own spiritual life. And it is a shame to deprive ourselves of the sacraments, because there is nothing more supernatural on earth.
How did Karlo come up with the idea to create a website about Eucharistic miracles?
Karlo had the opportunity to teach catechism for five years. He saw the reality of catechists in a very concrete way: that most people have no faith. You can see this in the fact that many go through religious education classes, but then abandon the practice of going to mass. This decline in faith in the Eucharist is not just something that is happening in the U.S. Even in Italy there has been a big decline in people going to mass on Sundays. This happens in many countries. This shows a real coldness towards religion.
What is the effect of technology on evangelism?
More than ever, now is the time for people to rediscover the beauty of faith. But especially now, we have the Internet and many technological tools that we can use to learn more about Catholicism. People should be less ignorant of their Catholic faith.
Yet there is an illiteracy about faith that is frightening and unjustifiable. This is especially true considering the instruments we have at our disposal today, which we certainly did not have 50 years ago, and not even during Karl’s lifetime.