A 15-year-old Italian computer whiz who died of leukemia in 2006 moved a step closer to possible sainthood Saturday with his beatification in the town of Assisi, where he is buried.
Carlo Acutis is the youngest contemporary person to be beatified, a path taken by two Portuguese shepherd children living in the early 1900s who were proclaimed Catholic saints in 2017.
At the beatification ceremony in the Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi, a portrait of Acutis was slowly unveiled, revealing a smiling teen in a red polo shirt, his curly dark hair illuminated by a halo of light. Cardinal Agostino Vallini, the papal legate for the Assisi basilicas, kissed each of the boy’s mask-wearing parents, Andrea Acutis and Antonia Salzano, after reading the proclamation decreed by Pope Francis.
Already touted as the “patron saint of the internet,” Acutis created a website to catalog miracles and took care of websites for some local Catholic organizations. While still in elementary school, Acutis taught himself to code using a university computer science textbook, and then learned how to edit videos and create animation.
“Carlo used the internet in service of the Gospel, to reach as many people as possible,” the cardinal said during his homily, adding that the teen saw the web “as a place to use with responsibility, without becoming enslaved.”
Acutis was born in London on May 3, 1991, to Italian parents and moved to Milan as a child. Already as a small child, he showed a strong religious devotion that surprised his non-practicing parents. His mother told the Corriere della Sera newspaper that from age 3 he would ask to visit churches they passed in Milan, and by age 7 had asked to receive the sacrament of Holy Communion, winning an exception to
A teenage computer gamer and programmer from Italy who devoted the final years of his life to the church until his death in 2006 was beatified over the weekend, making him the first millennial to be put on the path to Catholic sainthood.
A portrait of Carlo Acutis, who died of leukemia at age 15, was unveiled at the beatification ceremony at the Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi. In it, he is wearing a red polo shirt and his curly hair is ringed by a faint halo of light.
Acutis has been called the “patron saint of the Internet.” He created a website to catalog miracles and managed sites for local Catholic organizations.
“Carlo used the internet in service of the Gospel, to reach as many people as possible,” Cardinal Agostino Vallini, the papal legate for the Assisi basilicas, said during his homily.
Vallini kissed the boy’s mask-wearing parents, Andrea Acutis and Antonia Salzano, after reading the proclamation decreed by Pope Francis.
“He was considered a computer genius,” his mother told Vatican News. “But what did he do? He didn’t use [computers] to chat or have fun.”
She told an Italian newspaper that from age from age 3 her son would ask to visit churches the family passed in Milan.
”There was in him a natural predisposition for the