Italian teenager is about to become ‘internet skipper’

A London-born “computer genius” who died in Italy of leukemia at age 15 is one step closer to becoming a saint, now that the Vatican has credited him with a miracle.

Carlo Acutis, who died in Milan in 2006, was credited with healing a Brazilian boy who recovered from a rare disease after praying to him and asking him to communicate with God. Carlo will be beatified in Assisi, Italy, in October of this year, the last step before holiness.

Carlo Acutis in 2002. (Family photo)
Carlo Acutis in 2002. (Family photo)

Beatification, the recognition by the church that a person has entered heaven and has the ability to intercede on behalf of those who pray on his behalf, is the final step before holiness.

The coronavirus pandemic delayed his beatification, which will take place in the fall in Assisi, Italy, where he is buried. Once a second miracle is approved by a council of scientists, it will become the patron saint of the Internet.

Carlo’s mother, Antonia Salzano, said that in many ways her son was a normal teenager who liked to play video games, but that he also had “a special spiritual life and gifts on the Internet.”

Using the family’s small old computer, Carlo learned how to program and created a website that catalogs miracles around the world.

Carlo also supported classmates who were bullied and helped the homeless.

“When he contracted leukemia at age 15, his faith helped him see his suffering differently,” Brende Thompson, CEO of Catholic Voices. said.

At Carlo’s funeral, the church was “so flooded that many people had to stay outside,” his mother said. Catholics around the world petitioned the Vatican, asking that the teenager be named a saint.

Holy tech expert

The Catholic Church recognizes some 10,000 saints, according to the Pew Research Center, including the patron saints of animals, lost causes, and children, but very few infant saints.

According to Jay Breeden, president of Catholic Faith Technologies, Carlo’s canonization could be seen as Pope Francis “sending a message that there is a place for technology and the continued growth of our faith and the development of the next generation of Catholics.”

Francis called the Internet a “gift from God” and encouraged the Vatican to use technology to achieve what the Vatican estimated last year to be its 1.3 billion followers worldwide.

During the confinement, the pontiff has broadcast live mass, including an Easter mass that he celebrated in front of an empty square in San Pedro.

“There is a technological revolution that has happened within the church, so the church will never be the same again after this virus, just like the rest of the world,” said Thompson.

The tomb in Assisi, where Carlo’s body lies, is already being broadcast live, 24 hours a day.