A 15-year-old Italian computer whizz took the first step towards becoming “the Patron Saint of the Internet” on Saturday, after the Pope deemed him responsible for a miracle.
Carlo Acutis, who died of leukemia in 2006, was beatified by the Catholic Church, becoming the youngest ever person in the modern era to receive the status, The Catholic News Agency reported.
Beatification signifies that a person has entered heaven and that they now can guide those who pray to them. It’s the first step toward sainthood. The church first announced that Acutis was to be beatified in June 2020.
In February 2020, Pope Francis said that Acutis had conducted his first miracle from heaven: a 7-year-old boy in Brazil, suffering from a rare pancreatic disorder, was healed after praying to Acutris and coming into contact with one of his t-shirts.
Pope Francis on Easter Monday 2020.
Two confirmed miracles are needed to become a bona fide saint. On occasion, pontiffs have been known to drop the requirement for a second miracle, according to The Associated Press.
Acutis first caught the catholic church’s attention as an 11-year-old when he created a website that he used to document and catalog miracles.
Pope Francis said in 2017 that Acutis used the internet to “communicate values and beauty.”
Pope Francis then repeated a maxim created by Acuris to guide people’s conduct on the internet: “Everyone is born an original, but many die like photocopies.”
St Peter’s seen during the coronavirus pandemic in Rome, Italy.
Acutis has been dubbed “The Patron Saint of the Internet,” but it is not yet clear which concept, object, or activity Acutis would become patron of if he was canonized.
Last week at the beatification ceremony, Cardinal Agostino Vallini said: “Carlo used the internet in service of the Gospel, to reach as many people as possible,” adding that Acutis saw the internet “as a place to use with responsibility, without becoming enslaved.”
Acutis — born in London in May 1991 to Italian parents who moved to Milan soon after — is buried in a tomb in Assisi.
While he is the youngest person to be beatified in the modern era, he will not be the youngest saint if he receives the title.
In 2019, Pope Francis canonized Francisco and Jacinta Marto, two Portuguese children aged 10 and 9, who died during the 1918 influenza pandemic and were said to have seen the Virgin Mary while caring for sheep.