Teenager could become first Catholic Church millennial saint

Carlo Acutis, 15, died in 2006. Picture: Maurizio Maule/Fotogramma/Alamy

A 15-year-old Italian boy who died in 2006 is on the path to sainthood and has been described by Pope Francis as a “blessed millennial”.

An Italian teenager who died of leukaemia is one miracle away from becoming the world’s first millennial saint.

Carlo Acutis, 15, died in hospital in Monza, Italy in 2006.

The Vatican claims he interceded from heaven in 2013 to cure a Brazilian boy suffering from a rare pancreatic disease.

A second miracle is required after beatification for canonisation, or official sainthood.

Carlo was beatified by the Catholic Church last Saturday in Assisi, the home of his idol Saint Francis, who dedicated his life to the poor.

Celebration of Beatification of Carlo Acutis. Picture: Roberto Settonce/LaPresse/AAP

He did not ease into comfortable immobility, but understood the needs of his time, because he saw the face of Christ in the weakest, Pope Francis said on Sunday last week.
His witness 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.

He called for a round of applause for the “new young Blessed millennial”.

His glass tomb, where his body can be seen in sneakers, jeans and a sweater after it was exhumed, is open for public veneration until October 17.

Carlo had a special bond with Assisi. He had Assisi in his heart. He said it was the city where he felt happiest, his mother Antonia Salzano said, the Catholic News Agency reports.

She said he had bought sleeping bags for homeless people with his savings and volunteered at a soup kitchen.

At his funeral, the church was filled with people he had helped, his mother said.

The beatification ceremony was held at the Basilica of San Francesco in Assisi. Picture: Massimiliano Migliorato/CPP/AAP
The beatification ceremony was held at the Basilica of San Francesco in Assisi. Picture: Massimiliano Migliorato. He had acute myeloid leukaemia./CPP/AAPSource:AAP

The teenager was born in London to Italian parents and moved to Milan with them.

He was religious from a young age and dedicated his short life to spreading the faith online via a website he created about miracles.

Carlo was a computer programmer and loved playing soccer and video games but also warned his peers the internet could be a curse as well as a blessing.

According to Vatican News, he asked his mother in 2006 whether he should become a priest.

She replied: 

You will see it by yourself, God will reveal it to you.

He was admitted to hospital later that year and reportedly said:

I’m not getting out of here.

Carlo was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia – a cancer affecting the blood and bone marrow.

He said: 

I offer to the Lord the sufferings that I will have to undergo for the Pope and for the Church, so as not to have to be in Purgatory and be able to go directly to heaven.

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