From Hindu to Catholic: The Beautiful Effects of Witnessing Jesus!

 From Hindu to Catholic: The Beautiful Effects of Witnessing Jesus!

What are the beautiful effects of witnessing Jesus? In this article, we shall look to someone who has been ‘eulogised’ numerous times. The incident we shall capture, however, is one that is a bit more obscure . We shall speak of the friendship that Carlo Acutis‘ had with a Hindu man named Rajesh Mohur. Their friendship, together with Carlo’s witness, eventually helped Rajesh discover Jesus in a personal and intimate way, eventually leading Him to a full participation in the life of the Church.


Looking to Scripture one notices that, on numerous occasions, Christians are invited to be “witnesses”. Acts 1:8, for example, says: “but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth”. … But what exactly does it mean for one to be a witness? On this matter, St Augustine writes that, “to be a witness for Jesus means that you speak about Jesus to others with your actions and words”. A more expressive definition is the following:

A witness is a person who calls attention to something other than himself, one who is called upon to give—or to be—evidence of something. He gives—or is—witness. All true religious witness is an exteriorization of inner commitment; it transmits truth to others in a living way. A witness is a person totally given to God and his fellow men. There are three elements in this Christian witness: message, signs to convince, divine helps to awaken and draw others to God.

Rajesh Mojur and Carlo Acutis

In reading the above, perhaps a level of scepticism could befall us.  In today’s world, how effective is it to ‘attend to something other than myself’? More specifically, how would I be helping others if I ‘exteriorised’ my inner commitment and my personal relationship with God? … How can I authentically do this?

Rajesh Mohur’s Profound Search For God

Born in Mauritius, Rajesh Mohur was a Hindu from a family of the Brahmin caste, the highest Hindu caste. His father was a priest and president of the Hindu Association of Mauritius. He taught his son all the Hindu prayers and instilled religious culture and history in him. Rajesh narrates how: ‘‘[My father] used to teach me from the early beginning about all of their prayers … about the scriptures, Indian scriptures”. Eventually, at the age of 16, Rajesh was sent to Gujarat to continue his studies.

After gaining admission to a university, Rajesh graduated with a degree in physics. During his time there, he was even more fully immersed in Hindu culture and religious practice. ‘‘I’ve been to so many temples. I met so many gurus in the meditation center, and I met swamis”, Rajesh recalls here.  ‘‘I witnessed all of those places. It was peaceful, you know. Nice. But your life doesn’t change. … I was in search of a living God.’’

‘‘My journey was always to find something that … from myself, deep down, I could not fulfil.”

Just as he was about to enrol in a master’s program in England, Rajesh learned of his father’s death. As a result, he soon returned to Mauritius to help his family, who were facing financial problems. Full of anger and bitterness, Rajesh took refuge in Hindu prayer, but was unable to find solace.

‘‘And then I met Carlo, such a small child’’, Mohur remembers.

Touched in the Heart by a Child

child prayingRajesh’s first impression of Carlo Acutis, with his brown curly hair, was that he looked like the little cherubs seen in paintings and sculptures around Milan. On his second day working for the family, Mohur recounts that little Carlo approached him with a big smile and a gift — a piece of chewing gum. And on rainy days, Carlo would sometimes watch videotapes of cartoons based on the Bible and the lives of the saints together with Rajesh, who watched with interest because he had not had much exposure to Catholicism.

After Carlo made his first Communion at the age of 7, Rajesh would walk with him to the church around the corner from his house for Mass or to pray on his way to and from school.  This is because Carlo enjoyed going to church regularly to pray before or after school. It was there that Rajesh witnessed young Carlo’s soul blossoming like beautiful roses in spring!

“His behaviour changed when he was inside the church, with all respect. He knew that there was something different where Jesus lives…. That touched my heart,” recalls Rajesh.

But the young boy’s generosity with others and the way he spoke about his faith was what ultimately converted Rajesh. He confesses, “seeing Carlo’s acts, you know, (the acts) of such a small child, that was what converted me”.

Speaking of God with a “Sweetness”

loved by God; witnessing his love

One particular trait of Carlo was his tendency and eagerness to talk to Mohur about the things that he loved: heaven, the Mass, and the presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. He explained everything with ‘‘such a sweetness”, Rajesh writes. ‘‘He always talked about the Eucharist, Jesus, how he suffered for us … sacrificed his life for us’’

‘‘Carlo, told me that wherever you go, you may find Jesus present in Flesh, Soul, and Blood [in the tabernacle].’’ Here, Rajesh would ask Carlo how such a thing could be possible, and then the boy would explain the Eucharist to him, along with other aspects of the faith.

“He did this so sweetly. It felt as if we had already gone up to heaven.”

Finally, as he grew up, Carlo taught Rajesh to pray the Rosary, and explained to him the the importance of the sacraments and other truths of the faith. “He knew the Catechism of the Catholic Church almost by heart and explained it so brilliantly that he managed to get me excited about the sacraments”, says Rajesh. When he then told Carlo that he had been having dreams about Jesus, Carlo responded, “Jesus loves you, Rajesh.”

Encountering the Living God

Touched by God's love

‘‘So, slowly, slowly … he used to tell me the importance of baptism and so many other things also’ … all those experiences changed my life. And I could see the living God’’. Four years after first meeting Carlo, Rajesh was baptized. He was in his late 30s at the time, and as an adult entering the Catholic Church, he received at once all the Catholic sacraments of initiation: baptism, first communion, and confirmation in a Mass at Acutis’ parish in 1999.

Carlo’s family threw a party afterward for Rajesh and his friends, sharing sweets and snacks at their apartment. Mohur let Carlo pick where to go out for dinner. He said that Carlo proposed: ‘‘Let’s go to the Chinese restaurant today because it’s a special day.’’  Mohur joked in reply: ‘‘It’s special for me, but it’s more special for you because you like Chinese food’.’ Joking aside, Acutis later told his parents: ‘‘There are many people who do not realize what an infinite gift it is to receive baptism’’.

Carlo’s (and our) Role In All This

How did Carlo manage to get Rajesh “excited about the sacraments”? How did he “touch his heart”? How did he help Rajesh discover the “infinite gift of baptism”? Surely, God and His grace played a role in all this. But there must have been something more –

humans working with God; witnessing GogCarlo’s total co-operation with God! This was not a co-operation that was done out of mere ‘duty’, ‘habit’ or ‘ritual’ – but a co-operation done out of love; within a living relationship of love! Indeed, it was not only Carlo’s versed knowledge of the Catholic Faith and the Catechism, it was not only his ability to outline the reasoning behind the Faith with a sweetness – these are all crucial and important – but it was also his living witness to a living God. It was Carlo’s selfless love – which permeated all his actions and thoughts. It was love – integrated with love for the other and for all creation – that healed Rajesh and showed him, ultimately, the true identity of that God whom he had been searching for all his life.

We too are called to ‘attend to something other than our self’. And although we may not be called to do this in the same way Carlo did – we are certainly called to express the same degree of love (if not more)! Learning love’s ropes is an infinite journey in itself, but God never denies our search or any request for help. We may even begin from the very beginning and simply ask God to cultivate within us the desire to love – or to understand what it means to love in a fuller and more holistic way. So, let’s just try to ask. Through love, we shall most certainly be given!


Read More –

Are We All Called to Be Disciples?


Related post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *