Pope Francis Clears Way for Carlo Acutis to Become First Millennial Saint

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.

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, Ms. 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,” Ms. 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, Pope 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,” Professor Cummings said.

#Pope #Francis #Clears #Carlo #Acutis #Millennial #Saint

About The Author

Leave a Comment