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Book Review: “Blessed Carlo Acutis The Amazing Discovery of a Teenager in Heaven”

Written by Sabrina Arena Ferris, foreword by Patrick Novecosky

Published by Holy Heroes

 

Having heard a bit about Carlo Acutis, I was excited to get a copy of this book, and was not disappointed.  One of the most amazing stories of young people of the late 20th century is that of Carlo Acutis. From a young age he showed devotion to the Eucharist and was a true Christian example to others..especially those of his age.

We live in a time where many parents (and us grandparents as well) are starved for good role models for teenagers.  The fact that Carlo Acutis was a computer geek and gamer makes him highly relatable to today’s young people.  He led a normal, happy life, and this book offers glimpses in to his life from a young age, with quotes from his parents and friends.   Many photos which add a lot to the story of his life.

Especially interesting was the role his Polish Nanny played in his life…something I was not aware of before.  His parents were nominal Catholics, but rarely went to Mass. Her role influencing young Carlo especially significant.

There is a section in the book with quotes from Carlo that I found very interesting.

And, of course, due to his devotion to the Eucharist he left a lasting legacy: compiling a list of Eucharistic Miracles around the world.  This takes on special meaning in our time when surveys seem to indicate that belief in the True Presence of Christ in the Eucharistic is extremely low among Roman Catholics.  Not only has this list been put on a website, but there is a traveling exhibit going to many churches around the world.

The publisher, “Holy Heroes” is to be complimented for adding this to their great list of book designed to deepen the understanding of the Catholic faith in young people…or people of all ages, since I am hardly young but enjoyed it immensely.

What I liked about the book:

  • Very well written, easy to understand, and will be a great read for all ages pre-teen and up.
  • Motivational: brought young Carlo and his devotion to the Eucharist to life.
  • Lots of photographs: we live in a visual age and photos of Carlo and his family added  to the book.
  • Quotes by Carlo that help to see his spirituality and the life that he lived.
  • Has nothing to do with the writing, but I liked the small size of the book…easy to put in a pocket or purse and, in  my case, great to take along to Adoration.  What better place to read about Carlo Acutis and his devotion to the Eucharist?

 

What I didn’t like about the book:

  • Hard to find anything not to like about this book. Only one thing, really, and that has nothing to do with the way the book was written.  The book starts off with information about the process of becoming a saint.  Considering that this is a book about the life of Carlo Acutis, I don’t know why the editor or publisher chose to put this at the beginning of the book. The second-to-last section of the book is “What comes next?”….and that would seem the most logical place to put the information about becoming a saint. And that would flow in to the final section on the process of  Carlo Acutis becoming a saint, which I think this was a great addition to the book, since it allows the reader a blueprint of the process as it relates to Carlo.

 

I give it 5 Stars

I really enjoyed this book and would say this comes under the category of a “must read” for people of all ages, but especially teenagers and probably pre-teens as well.  It is an easy read, packed with information and highly inspirational.  Great to add to your summer reading list.

You can order this book and other great books directly from the publisher at Holy Heroes.com.  Use the discount code CARLO15 that will give you 15% off this new book plus any additional Blessed Carlo resources.

 

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Book Review …. “Come and See: A Catholic Guide to the Holy Land”

Come and See A Catholic guide to the Holy LandA gem of a guide book written from the perspective of a Catholic priest’s own travels in the Holy Land. Originally for seminarians, it is really for everyone……layperson or religious.

Loaded with photos, diagrams, Biblical references and spiritual insights, it delves deeper than most guidebooks, incorporating many footnotes and references in addition to the author’s own reflections.

Each Biblical site is organized according to the scriptural background; archaeological history; issues, such as varying Biblical interpretations; and finally (we think this is where it really shines), points for reflection as to how these places might relate to your own spiritual life.

Whether you are an armchair traveler or planning a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, this book is a must. We suggest you read it before you leave for the Holy Land.   Grab a cup of coffee, your Bible and mentally take yourself to those places.

Carry it with you on your pilgrimage: the durable cover will stand up to heavy travel, and its compact size makes it convenient to carry around.   While you are in the Holy Land, it would be useful to read each days’ itinerary before hand: perhaps on the bus, between stops, or at night in your hotel room.

You will want to hang on to this book after your trip as well to relive the experience over and over again.

If it is lacking anything, from our point of view, we wish it had an index. That would make it a bit easier to use when looking for a particular site.

Overall, this is without a doubt the most spiritually rewarding Holy Land Guide book that we have found.

You can order this book here through St. Paul Center and Emmaus Road Publishing

About the author:

Fr. Charles K. Samson is a priest of the Archdiocese of St. Louis, Missouri. He obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Sacred Theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University and a License in Sacred Scripture at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome, during which time he studied language, history, and archaeology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. A doctoral candidate in the Biblical Theology department of the Pontifical Gregorian University, Fr. Samson helps lead the Holy Land Retreat and Pilgrimage of Kenrick-Glennon Seminary.