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Italian Teenager to Become the First Millennial Saint

Started by Rella, Fri May 24, 2024 - 10:53:03

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You can see his picture if you click on the link. Bolding is mine for emphasis....

Italian Teenager to Become the First Millennial Saint
Alexandra E. Petri
Updated Fri, May 24, 2024 at 9:13 AM EDT·3 min read

Carlo Acutis died in 2006 at age 15.

Pope Francis cleared the way for an Italian teenager to become the first millennial saint by attributing a second miracle to him, the Vatican announced Thursday.

The teenager, Carlo Acutis, is often called the patron saint of the internet among Roman Catholics because of his computer skills, which he used to share his faith. He died of leukemia in 2006 when he was just 15.

Carlo was born in London to Italian parents and moved with his family to Milan when he was a child. His passion for Catholicism bloomed early, his mother, Antonia Acutis, told The New York Times in an interview in 2020. At 7, he began attending daily mass. His faith inspired his mother to rejoin the church, she said.

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He was called to serve, finding ways to help those less fortunate and donating to the unhoused, she said. In the months before his death, Carlo used his self-taught digital skills to create a website archiving miracles. He also enjoyed playing soccer and video games.

After he died, Antonia Acutis told the Times that people from all over the world had told her about medical miracles, including cures for infertility and cancer, that happened after they prayed to her son.

"Carlo was the light answer to the dark side of the web," his mother said, adding that some admirers had called him an "influencer for God."

Carlo's life "can be used to show how the internet can be used for good, to spread good things," Acutis added.

Carlo's journey to canonization began in 2020, after the Diocese of Assisi, where his family owned property, petitioned the Vatican to recognize him as a saint.

In February 2020, Francis attributed the healing of a boy with a malformed pancreas to Carlo after the child came into contact with one of his shirts. Carlo was the first millennial to be "beatified," or blessed by the church, another step on the path to sainthood.

A final step is for the pope to approve a second miracle.

According to the Vatican, the second miracle involved the recovery of a Costa Rican university student who suffered severe head trauma after falling off her bicycle in Florence. The woman needed major brain surgery, and doctors warned survival rates were low. The woman's mother traveled to Assisi to pray for her daughter at Carlo's tomb at the Sanctuary of the Renunciation and ask for Carlo's intercession.

The young woman quickly began to show signs of improvement in her breathing, mobility and speech, the Vatican said. Ten days after the woman's mother visited Carlo's tomb, a CT scan showed the hemorrhage on the woman's brain had vanished, and she was later transferred to a rehabilitation facility.

The pope said Thursday that he would convene a meeting of cardinals to consider Carlo's sainthood. The Vatican did not announce a date for the formal canonization ceremony.

Carlo's path to becoming the first millennial saint is a milestone, said Kathleen Sprows Cummings, a professor of history at the University of Notre Dame and the author of the book "A Saint of Our Own: How the Quest for a Holy Hero Helped Catholics Become American." Carlo used the internet and his computer skills to spread his faith, offering the Catholic Church an opportunity to show a more positive side to social media, she said. Making Carlo a saint may also help the church connect with young Catholics, many of whom have become increasingly disengaged, she said.

"This is an example of a person like them, that hopefully can draw them back into the church," Cummings said.

c.2024 The New York Times Company


Carlo Acutis, an Italian teenager who passed away in 2006 at the age of 15, is set to become the first millennial saint, following Pope Francis attributing a second miracle to him, as announced by the Vatican. Known as the patron saint of the internet among Roman Catholics for his adept computer skills, Carlo used his talents to share his faith before succumbing to leukemia.

Born in London to Italian parents and raised in Milan, Carlo's deep Catholic devotion was evident from a young age, attending daily mass starting at the age of 7. His mother, Antonia Acutis, noted how his faith inspired her own return to the church. Despite his illness, Carlo dedicated himself to serving others, using his digital skills to document miracles on a website he created. He was also passionate about soccer and video games.

Following his death, reports of medical miracles linked to prayers made to Carlo began to surface worldwide, reinforcing his reputation as a beacon of positivity amid the darker elements of the internet. His canonization journey began in 2020 when the Diocese of Assisi petitioned for his recognition as a saint. Pope Francis beatified Carlo after attributing a miracle to him in 2020, and now, with a second miracle confirmed involving the recovery of a Costa Rican student from severe head trauma, Carlo is on the verge of sainthood.

Kathleen Sprows Cummings, a history professor at the University of Notre Dame, views Carlo's impending canonization as a significant milestone. She believes it presents an opportunity for the Catholic Church to showcase the positive impact of social media through Carlo's example, potentially reconnecting disengaged young Catholics to their faith.

Carlo Acutis' journey towards sainthood underscores his enduring influence and the modern relevance of his message, bridging spirituality with contemporary digital culture.



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