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Soon to Be the First Millennial Saint, “God’s Influencer,” Carlo Acutis

Blessed Carlo Acutis' grave and kenotaph in the Santa Maria Maggiore Church in Assisi

Blessed Carlo Acutis' grave and kenotaph in the Santa Maria Maggiore Church in Assisi

The Pope has cleared the way for fifteen-year-old Carlo Acutis, who died of leukemia in 2006, to become the first Saint familiar with cellphones, cyberspace and youth soccer. Blessed Carlo, his official title since he was beatified in 2020, began his mission at age 11 when he began meticulous research on miracles, which he then posted online. Once recognized as being responsible for one miracle—the requirement for beatification—the soon-to-be saint’s tomb in Assisi was visited by 117,000 of the faithful over the following year where his body is on display wearing Nikes, jeans and track jacket.

Described as a teen with a “strong faith and a weakness for Nutella,” Carlo’s research on Eucharistic Miracles dating back nearly a thousand years resulted in an exhibition that opened in 2005 and has since gone on to be displayed at thousands of parishes on five continents. It continues on as an online exhibition and virtual museum. The tech-savvy teen’s creation led thousands to believe or renew their faith in the reality of the presence of Jesus at every Eucharist celebration.

At age seven, after his first Communion, Carolo informed his mother, “To always be united to Jesus: This is my life plan.” Then, eight years later, shortly before his death, he said, “I offer all my suffering to the Lord for the pope and for the Church in order not to go to purgatory but to go straight to heaven.”

The youth’s canonization is assured since Pope Francis has recognized a second miracle attributed to Carlo’s intercession—the miraculous healing of a young Costa Rican woman who was expected to die of head injuries following a bicycle accident on the streets of Florence. Her mother went to the tomb of Blessed Carlo and prayed for the healing of her daughter. That same day, the injured woman began breathing on her own for no accountable medical reason. The following day, she recovered the use of her upper limbs and began to speak. She fully recovered in 10 days—medical tests revealing no sign of contusion or hemorrhage—and astonishingly only needed a week in physical therapy before fully regaining strength and mobility.

Archbishop Domenico Sorrentino of Assisi welcomed the news that Acutis will be canonized.

“The Church in Assisi is in celebration,” he said. “I plan to arrive in Assisi this evening to thank the Lord in a Eucharistic celebration. But as of now, I join the faithful who are in the shrine for a prayer of praise.”

“May the Lord continue his work through the witness of Blessed Carlo. May he obtain for us from the Lord the grace to love him as he loved him, especially in the holy Eucharist.”

Photo credits: Blessed Carlo Acutis’ grave and kenotaph in the Santa Maria Maggiore Church in Assisi by Dobroš, CC BY-SA 4.0

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