Italian teens could be the first millennial saint

When he was nine, Carlo began studying computer science textbooks and self-taught computer programming and graphic design, his mother, Antonia Actis, said in a telephone interview. A few months before his death, he created a website that cataloged miracles.

A procession walks down the streets of Assisi, Italy, before the beatification ceremony of 15-year-old Carlo

“Carlo was a light answer to the dark side of the web,” his mother said, adding that some fans call him “influencer of God.”

Her son’s life “can be used to show how the Internet is used for good things and to spread good things,” she said.

After his death, the Parish of Assisi, where his family had a second home, petitioned the Vatican to recognize Carlo as a saint. The parish delved into his email and computer search history and interviewed witnesses. Then they waited for a miracle.

People around the world told her about medical miracles such as infertility and cancer treatments that happened after praying to her son, Actis said. In February, Pope Francis returned to Carlo an unexplained cure for a boy with a malformed pancreas after a child touched one of his shirts.

Carlo Acutis, an Italian boy who died of leukemia in 2006, is in a state before being beatified by Cardinal Agostino Vallini in Assisi, Italy.

Carlo Acutis, an Italian boy who died of leukemia in 2006, is in a state before being beatified by Cardinal Agostino Vallini in Assisi,

Now beatified, Carlo could become a saint if the second confirmed miracle was attributed to him and recognized by the Pope. A formal canonization follows.

If that happens, Carlo will join the elite group. Of the more than 10,000 saints recognized by the Roman Catholic Church, only 120 died as children or teenagers, the National Catholic Register reported in 2017.

The time between beatification and saints varies greatly, and saints may not happen at all, Cass, a professor of American research and history and director of the Kushwa Center for American Catholic Studies at the University of Notre Dame. Lean Sprouse Cummings said. For some saints, including Jeanne d’Arc, she died when she was about 19, but centuries have passed between death and canonization.


Hundreds of masked believers, including Carlo’s parents and siblings, gathered in Assisi on Saturday for a beatification ceremony postponed from March due to the coronavirus. When church officials read a letter from Pope Francis, who declared Carlo “blessed,” many saw it on a screen that spread throughout the town square.

“It’s just beatified, but it’s already a global phenomenon,” said Rev. Will, a Cambodian Catholic priest and missionary who wrote about the path to Carlo’s saints. “What makes it so special is that he was normal. We tell people that the guy you should follow is a guy who is very similar to you. “

Carlo’s body, unearthed for worship this month, was exhibited at a nearby church along with his favorite wardrobe of Nike, jeans and a sweater.

These signs of modernity resonated with many young people looking at themselves in him, said Paul Jarsenbowski, head of the Youth and Young Adults Ministry of the US Catholic Bishops’ Council. It was. Carlo was not a theological writer or world leader, but a caring and ordinary young man, a willingness to integrate faith into his daily life and a “dedication to make the world a better place.”

“He is the true patron of the other young people who accompany us all in our self-isolating and digitally dependent era, and when we enter this new normal more completely.” Jarzembowski said.

Carlo was born to Italian parents in London and moved to Milan with her family as a child, her mother said. He enjoys soccer and video games such as Pokemon and Mario Kart, which his mother said was limited to one hour a week.

He was interested in Catholicism from an early age and urged his mother, who was not practicing Catholicism at the time, to return to faith. She said he had attended masses every day since he was seven and never missed a day.

Carlo was looking for ways to help the poor, the elderly, the disabled, and refugees. On her way to school, she said he stopped chatting with people about their problems. He brought food and sleeping bags to homeless people and knew many by name.

At Carlo’s funeral, she said, the church was flooded with the people of life he touched.

“People are focusing on the idea that young people become saints when they leave the church and are fascinated by it,” Cummings said.

And it’s worth noting that the church recognizes those who have used the Internet to promote faith, as people are worried about the corrosive effects of social media on young people, she said.

Francis embraces the Internet and calls it a “gift from God.” He wrote to a young man last year, praising Carlo as an example of using the Internet, saying that “everyone was born as an original, but many die as a copy.” The Pope added, “Don’t let it happen to you!”

On Monday, the Pope wrote on Twitter that Carlo’s example showed that “true happiness can be found by putting God first and serving our brothers and sisters, especially the least.”

Francis, especially known for adopting the Internet for Twitter and Instagram accounts, speaks frankly about the negative effects of social media and the corruption of Internet culture.

Carlo’s beatification occurs when technology is more integrated into religion than ever before. Online streaming allows loyal people to join the service under the restrictions of the coronavirus.

Carlo’s life has influenced hundreds of social media pages, not just books and documentaries. In YouTube videos, when he was young, he sticks his tongue out at the camera, hangs around, plays air guitar, and sings.

“There’s nothing special in his life,” Concur said of Carlo. “Everything he did can be honestly done, which gives us great hope.”

New York Times

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Italian teens could be the first millennial saint

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