A teenager who died of leukaemia in 2006 has been beatified by the Catholic Church in Assisi, Italy.
Fifteen-year-old Carlo Acutis has been known as the patron of the internet as he used it to spread his Catholic faith by teaching online and creating a website to catalogue miracles.
A few years after he passed away, Carlo´s parents began the process of canonisation. In 2018, Carlo Acutis was designated “Venerable” after a miracle related to the healing of a young Brazilian boy from a rare pancreatic disorder was attributed to him. Pope Francis approved the miracle which put Carlo on the path to becoming the first millennial to be canonised as a saint.
In Catholic tradition, two miracles need to be accredited to the individual and must be analysed and verified by an independent panel of experts.
Earlier this week, Pope Francis wrote on Twitter encouraging young people to take Carlo´s beatification as an example of finding “true happiness by putting God in first place.”
The witness of Blessed Carlo Acutis indicates to today's young people that true happiness is found by putting God in first place and serving Him in our brothers and sisters, especially the least.— Pope Francis (@Pontifex) October 12, 2020
Carlo´s beatification comes at a time when the internet is more present than ever in the religious sphere. Online streaming of religious services has skyrocketed in the last six months following the coronavirus restrictions.
If Carlo Acutis becomes a saint, he will join an exclusive list of individuals. According to the National Catholic Register in 2017, of the 10,000 saints recognised by the Catholic Church, only 120 died as children or teenagers.