Pope Francis paved the way for Carlo Acutis to become the first saint of the millennium

Pope Francis paved the way for an Italian teenager to become the first saint of the millennial generation by giving him his second miracle, The Vatican announced Thursday.

Teenager Carlo Acutis is often called the patron saint of the Internet by Roman Catholics because of the computer skills he once shared in his faith. He died of leukemia in 2006 at the age of 15.

Carlo was born in London to Italian parents and moved with his family to Milan as a child. His passion for Catholicism blossomed early, his mother, Antonia Acutis, recalls. The New York Times in a 2020 interview. At age 7, he began attending daily Mass. His faith inspired his mother to join the church, she said.

He was called to serve, she said, to find ways to help those less fortunate and to donate to the homeless. In the months before his death, Carlo used his self-taught digital skills to create one website store miracles. He also enjoys playing soccer and video games.

After his death, Ms. Acutis told The Times that people from around the world had told her about medical miracles, including cures of infertility and cancer, that had occurred after his death. as they prayed for her son.

“Carlo is the light-hearted answer to the dark side of the web,” his mother said, adding that some admirers have called him “an influencer for God.”

Ms. Acutis added that Carlo’s life “can be used to show how the Internet can be used for good, to spread good things.”

Carlo’s journey to canonization began in 2020, after the Diocese of Assisi, where his family owns property, petitioned the Vatican for permission realize he is like a saint.

In February 2020, Pope Francis announced the healing of a boy with a pancreatic malformation to Carlo after the child came into contact with one of his shirts. Carlo is the first millennial to be “beatified” or blessed by the church, another step on the path to holiness.

The final step was for the Holy Father to approve the second miracle.

According to the Vatican, The second miracle involved the recovery of a Costa Rican college student who suffered a severe head injury after falling off his bicycle in Florence. The woman needs major brain surgery and doctors warn her survival rate is very low. This woman’s mother went to Assisi to pray for her daughter at Carlo’s tomb in the Cathedral of Renunciation and ask for Carlo’s intercession.

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

On Thursday, the Pope said he would convene a meeting of cardinals to consider Carlo’s canonization. The Vatican has not announced the official date of the canonization ceremony.

Kathleen Sprows Cummings, a history professor at the University of Notre Dame and author of the book, said Carlo’s path to becoming the first millennial saint was an important milestone.A saint of our own: How the Search for a Saintly Hero Helped Catholics Become Americans.” She said Carlo used the Internet and his computer skills to spread his faith, giving the Catholic Church an opportunity to show a more positive side on social media. She said Carlo’s canonization could also help the church connect with Catholic youth, many of whom have become increasingly disengaged.

“This is an example of someone like them, hopefully attracting them back to church,” Professor Cummings said.

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