24 May 2024

Italian teenage computer ace set to become first millennial generation saint

24 May 2024

Pope Francis paved the way for the canonisation of the first saint of the millennial generation on Thursday, attributing a second miracle to a 15-year-old Italian computer wizard who died of leukemia in 2006.

Carlo Acutis, born on May 3, 1991, in London and then moved with his Italian parents to Milan as a child, was the youngest contemporary person to be beatified by Francis in Assisi in 2020.

The approval of a second miracle for Carlo was notified by the Pontiff on Thursday during a meeting with the head of the Vatican’s saint-making department, Cardinal Marcello Semeraro, a Vatican statement said.

Pope Francis announced he will convene a Consistory of Cardinals to deliberate the canonisation of Carlo, as well as other three Blessed.

Touted as the “patron saint of the internet”, Carlo used his natural tech talent to create a website to catalogue miracles and took care of websites for some local Catholic organisations.

While still in junior school, Carlo taught himself to code using a university computer science textbook, and then learned how to edit videos and create animation.

Carlo, who died of acute leukemia on October 12, 2006, was put on the road to sainthood after Pope Francis approved the first miracle attributed to him: The healing of a seven-year-old Brazilian boy from a rare pancreatic disorder after coming into contact with an Carlo’s relic, a piece of one of his T-shirts.

According to Vatican News, the second miracle recognised on Thursday is related to a woman from Costa Rica, who in July 2022 made a pilgrimage to Carlo’s tomb in Assisi to pray for the healing of her daughter, who had suffered severe head trauma after falling from her bicycle.

The young woman started showing signs of recovery immediately after her mother’s plea.

Already as a small child, Carlo had shown a strong religious devotion that surprised his non-practising parents.

His mother, Antonia Salzano, recalled in an interview that from age three he would ask to visit churches they passed in Milan, and by seven had asked to receive the sacrament of Holy Communion, winning an exception to the customary age requirement.

His curiosity pushed Ms Salzano to study theology in order to answer his questions, renewing her own faith.

Carlo was buried in Assisi at his own request, having become an admirer of St Francis of Assisi for his dedication to the poor.

The Umbrian town was one of his favourite travel destinations. His body, clad in a tracksuit and sneakers, has been on display for veneration in a sanctuary in the town, and his heart has been displayed in a reliquary in the St Francis Basilica.

The best videos delivered daily

Watch the stories that matter, right from your inbox