Millennial Teenager Will Become a Saint

Carlo Acutis 'used the internet in service of the Gospel'
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 11, 2020 9:31 AM CDT
Updated May 23, 2024 2:50 PM CDT
Church Moves Teenager a Step From Sainthood
A procession moves through the streets of Assisi, Italy, prior to the beatification ceremony of 15-year-old Carlo Acutis on Saturday.   (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
UPDATE May 23, 2024 2:50 PM CDT

Carlo Acutis is about to become the first millennial saint. The BBC reports Pope Francis on Thursday issued a decree recognizing a second miracle attributed to the teen, who died in 2006 at age 15 from leukemia. Acutis was beatified in 2020 after a first miracle was attributed to him: that of a Brazilian child whose congenital pancreatic disease was healed. The second miracle was tied to a Florida college student who experienced bleeding on the brain after a head trauma and was also healed. Acutis' canonization date has not yet been announced.

Oct 11, 2020 9:31 AM CDT

Carlo Acutis, who taught himself to code from a college textbook while in grade school, was precocious not just when it came to computers, but in matters of faith. "Carlo used the internet in service of the Gospel, to reach as many people as possible," Cardinal Agostino Vallini said in his homily Saturday. "There was in him a natural predisposition for the sacred," said his mother, Andrea. In a ceremony in the Italian town of Assisi, Carlo became the youngest person to be beatified by the Catholic Church in a century, ABC reports. He died of leukemia in 2006 at age 15.

The teenager was born in London and raised in Milan, but he asked to be buried in Assisi after developing an admiration for St. Francis. One miracle has been attributed to him, and a second would make him eligible for sainthood, a requirement Pope Francis has waived in the past. Now just one step from sainthood, Carlo already is called "the patron saint of the internet" by supporters.

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The roughly 3,000 people at the ceremony Saturday were told his feast day each year will be Oct.12, the anniversary of his death, in a letter from the pope, per the Catholic News Agency. Starting at age 3, Carlo would ask to visit churches his family would pass, and he asked to make his First Communion at age 7. He asked his mother so many questions that she began to study theology; his parents were nonpracticing Catholics. "Carlo saved me. I was an illiterate of faith," Andrea Acutis said. He liked Pokémon and Super Mario but also maintained websites for Catholic organizations, while launching a site to keep track of miracles. "Carlo used the internet in service of the Gospel, to reach as many people as possible,'' the cardinal said, and saw the internet "as a place to use with responsibility, without becoming enslaved." (More beatification stories.)

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