Teenager to be Named First Millennial Saint in Catholic Church

Beatification Of Carlo Acutis

A British-born teenager who died of leukemia at age 15 in 2006 is set to be recognized as the Catholic Church’s first millennial saint, Thursday.

Nicknamed “God’s Influencer,” Carlo Acutis was known for his computer prowess and spreading Roman Catholic teachings online. Acutis was in 1991, before his Italian parents Andrea Acutis and Antonia Salzano relocated to Milan. 

In his short lifetime, Acutis taught himself how to code, created websites to document miracles, and provided his tech services to local Catholic organizations. “Carlo was the light answer to the dark side of the web,” his mother Salzano told the in 2020, when he was beatified and put on the path towards sainthood.  

His story “can be used to show how the internet can be used for good, to spread good things,” his mother added. 

Acutis, a regular attendee of daily mass, first expressed interest in attending church as a toddler, Salzano told Italian newspaper . Acutis carried out charitable acts for local citizens and supported his peers through hardship, his father added. Following his death in 2006, the Diocese of Assisi petitioned the Vatican to recognize Acutis as a saint. 

On Thursday, the Medical Council of the Congregation for Saints’ Causes—a unit that examines the validity of miracles for the Catholic church—said it has investigated a second miracle relating to Acutis. Vatican News reported that a Costa Rican woman named Liliana prayed at Acutis’ tomb in the Umbrian town of Assisi on July 8, 2022, for her 21-year-old daughter Valeria Valverde.

Valeria had incurred severe head trauma from a cycling accident days before, and underwent an emergency craniotomy to reduce pressure on her brain.

The Vatican said the prayer invoked a same-day miracle that saw Valeria breathing on her own, as well as regaining some mobility and speech. The Vatican added that by July 18, CAT scans showed Valeria had stopped hemorrhaging and she began a rapid recovery. She was discharged from intensive care after 10 days.

It was this that moved Pope Francis to gather Cardinals for a meeting to discuss Acutis’ sainthood. The Pope canonized 912 people, but Acutis would be the first individual born after 1926. 

Acutis was already attributed with a miracle from 2020, whereby a child with a pancreatic deformity made a full recovery after coming into contact with a T-shirt belonging to the late teenager.