Pope Clears Path for ‘God’s Influencer’ to Become a Saint

May 24, 2024
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An image of 15-year-old Carlo Acutis, an Italian boy who died in 2006 of leukemia, is seen during his beatification ceremony celebrated by Cardinal Agostino Vallini, center, in the St. Francis Basilica, in Assisi, Italy

Carlo Acutis, a London-born teenager renowned for spreading Catholic teachings online, is set to become a saint. Acutis, who died in 2006 at age 15, would be the first millennial to be canonized. Pope Francis recognized a second miracle attributed to him, involving the healing of a university student in Florence who had brain bleeding after a head injury.

Acutis was beatified in 2020 after his first miracle was acknowledged: the healing of a Brazilian child with a congenital pancreatic disease. Following a meeting with the Vatican’s saint-making department, the Pope approved the second miracle, although the date for his canonization is not yet determined.

Carlo Acutis spent much of his childhood in Italy and died in Monza from leukaemia. His body was relocated to Assisi a year after his death, where it remains on display alongside other relics associated with him. Acutis was known for creating websites for his parish and school and for launching a website documenting Eucharistic miracles just days before his death. This earned him the nickname “God’s influencer.” His website has been translated into multiple languages and inspired a global exhibition.

Getty Images The beatification ceremony of Carlo Acutis in October 2020 in Assisi, Italy.
Carlo Acutis’ beatification ceremony, Italy 2020

In the UK, Acutis is remembered through the Parish of Blessed Carlo Acutis, established by the Archbishop of Birmingham in 2020, which includes churches in Wolverhampton and Wombourne. A statue of him is also present in Carfin Grotto, a Roman Catholic shrine in Motherwell.

Miracles, typically reviewed over several months, qualify a person for sainthood after two are confirmed. A miracle is generally defined as an event beyond natural possibilities, such as the sudden healing of someone near death. The most recent person to be canonized was Maria Antonia de Paz y Figueroa, also known as Mama Antula, an 18th-century religious sister and Argentina’s first female saint.