‘God’s Influencer’ Ready to Become First Millennial Saint in Catholic Church

‘God’s Influencer’ Ready to Become First Millennial Saint in Catholic Church

Carlo Acutis, a 15-year-old programmer who died of leukemia in 2006, is set to be the first millennial saint, according to a new report from the Catholic News Agency Thursday. Acutis created websites documenting purported miracles and has been dubbed “God’s influencer” since his death.

Anyone who’s going to become a saint in the Catholic Church needs to be recognized as having performed at least two miracles, even if those miracles happened after the saint’s death. Pope Francis acknowledged Acutis’s second miracle on Thursday, according to the Catholic News Agency.

The miracle involved a 21-year-old girl from Costa Rica named Valeria Valverde who was studying in Italy, where Acutis lived. Valverde suffered a head injury in 2022 from a bicycle accident and had to undergo surgery, but her mother went to pray at the tomb of Carlo Acutis, where his body is publicly displayed.

From the Catholic News Agency:

Six days after the accident, Valeria’s mother went on a pilgrimage to Assisi to pray for the healing of her daughter at the tomb of Blessed Carlo Acutis, leaving a written note.

On that same day, Valeria began to breathe on her own and on the following day she recovered the use of her upper limbs and partly recovered her speech.

Valeria was discharged from the intensive care unit 10 days after her mother’s pilgrimage and underwent further tests that showed that the hemorrhagic right temporal cortical contusion in her brain had completely disappeared.

Contrary to medical predictions, Valeria spent only one week in physical therapy and on Sept. 2, 2022, two months after her accident, she went on a pilgrimage to Carlo Acutis’ tomb in Assisi with her mother to celebrate her complete healing.

The first miracle attributed to Acutis happened in 2013 and was recognized by the pope in 2020. That miracle involved a boy in Brazil who was reportedly healed of a rare pancreatic condition.

15-year-old Carlo Acutis, an Italian boy who died in 2006 of leukemia, lies in state ahead of being beatified by Cardinal Agostino Vallini, in Assisi, Italy, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020.
Photo: Gregorio Borgia (AP)

Acutis, who was born in 1991, created an online exhibition on Eucharistic miracles that went live shortly before his death in 2006. The Eucharist is the practice of Holy Communion, consuming bread or wafers and wine, which Catholics believe become the literal body and blood of Jesus Christ in a process called transubstantiation. The practice commemorates the Last Supper when Jesus ate with his disciples the night before he was betrayed and crucified.

The EWTN Global Catholic Network has a video on YouTube about Acutis and his faith.

Blessed Carlo Acutis and His Love for the Eucharist

Acutis won’t be the first saint in the Catholic Church tied to technology. Pope John Paul II declared Isidore of Seville the patron saint of the internet in 1997. Saint Isidore, who died in the year 676, attempted to record all human knowledge in an expansive encyclopedia that was only published after his death, making him a natural choice for associations with the web.

It’s not clear when Acutis will officially become a saint, but the pope’s recognition of a second miracle is one of the last steps necessary to finish the process. The last Catholic to be canonized was Maria Antonia de Paz y Figueroa, an 18th-century nun in Argentina, who became a saint in 2016.

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