Five things you should know about the first millennial saint-to-be
Carlo Acutis, a Catholic Italian teenager who passed away in 2006, was beatified recently in Assisi. A gamer and computer programmer who loved soccer and the Eucharist, he has been the subject of interest around the world. So who was Carlo Acutis? Here’s what you need to know:
1. He was a devout Christian
Carlo, dubbed the “cyber apostle of the Eucharist,” was born in London to Italian parents, and moved to Milan with them as a young boy. From a tender age, Carlo seemed to have a special love for God, even though his parents weren’t especially devout. He loved to pray the rosary.
While his peers spent their spare time hanging out with friends, Carlo utilized his time by drawing closer to God. He attended daily Mass and asked his parents to take him on pilgrimages.
2. Before his death, Carlo used his computer skills to spread the Word of God
Skilled in film editing and computer programming, Carlo set up a website where he researched and documented miracles attributed to the Eucharist. The millennial, whose body lies in state in Assisi, dressed in a tracksuit and trainers, also warned his contemporaries that the internet could be a curse as well as a blessing.
3. He was diagnosed with leukemia
An inspiration to so many, including young children and teens, Carlo died a young boy at the age of 15 after a brief battle with leukemia. He offered his sufferings for Pope Benedict XVI and the Church, and was buried in Assisi, at his request, because of his love for St. Francis of Assisi.
4. He loved playing video games
His console of choice was a Playstation, or a PS2, which was released in 2000, when Carlo was nine. Reports say he only allowed himself to play games for an hour a week, as a penance and a spiritual discipline.
5. He was put on the road to sainthood after Pope Francis approved a miracle attributed to him
He was designated “Venerable” after the Pope approved a miracle involving the healing of a Brazilian boy suffering from a rare pancreatic disease. The boy came into contact with an Acutis relic, a piece of one of his T-shirts.