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From internet prodigy to saint for social media 

From internet prodigy to saint for social media 

From internet prodigy to saint for social media 

TORONTO – In the eyes of a parent, a child is a gift from God. Ask any mother and she will say her son is a saint. This reality is one step closer for one mother, Antonia. Her son, Carlo Acutis, a 15-year old Catholic, Italian, boy who died in 2006, will be beatified this Saturday October 10th, in Assisi. The beatification is the second to last stage before sainthood.

Growing up in Milan, Carlo was like any other typical boy; he loved soccer. Early in his life, he developed a passion for computers. What made this boy different was his devotion to the Mary, the Mother of Jesus Christ, and the Eucharist. Even as a young boy, he loved to pray the rosary. He also attended Mass as often as possible. Both gave him strength.

Carlo was devoted to practicing his faith, saying, “always be close to Jesus, that’s my life’s plan”. He wanted to share his faith and devotion with others. So, using his exceptional programming skills, he developed a website cataloguing Eucharistic miracles from all over the world.

In his short life, Carlo devoted himself to the Catholic ethic and to emulating the teachings of the Roman Catholic church. It may seem strange to some today, but he unabashedly shared his faith with those around him and with countless others online.

At school, he came to the defense of peers less fortunate than he and to those subjected to bullying. Most often, he would find himself protecting those with disabilities.

Nor did he waver when, early in his teenage years, Carlo was diagnosed with Leukemia. Anyone’s faith may be shaken after a cancer diagnosis. For Carlo, his faith in God strengthened. Despite whatever pain he was suffering during his illness, he would tell his doctor, “there are people who suffer much more than me”. He offered his suffering for the Lord, the Pope and for the Church.

Unfortunately, Carlo lost his fight with cancer on October 12, 2006. As per his request, he was laid to rest in Assisi because of his love for St. Francis.

Almost immediately, the many people on whom his life had an impact began to petition for his canonization. On May 13, 2013, Acutis was given the title “Servant of God”, marking one of the first steps toward sainthood.

Five years later, following investigations into his life’s work, it was determined that Carlo had lived a life of “heroic virtue”. Pope Francis declared him a “Venerable”. Then, in January 2019, the remains of the Venerable Carlo Acutis were exhumed. This was done in accordance with Canon Law and as part of the investigation process for canonization.

In February of this year, the Pope approved a miracle attributed to the intercession of Carlo, thus prompting the next stage of that process: [his] beatification. The miracle, documented in 2013, involved the healing of a young Brazilian boy suffering from a rare pancreatic disease.

Prior to his beatification, the tomb of the Venerable Carlo Acutis was opened for public veneration in Assisi’s Sanctuary of the Spoliation. It will remain open until October 17th for the faithful to come and pray at his side. On the opening day of the Tomb (October 1st), Bishop Domenico Sorrentino of Assisi said that the body was found to be intact; however, to prepare his body with dignity and for public veneration, some silicone reconstruction of his face was necessary.

Carlo’s life was short but his devotion to his faith will live on forever through his website. The faithful around the world suggest that the Venerable Carlo Acutis just may be the perfect candidate for patron saint of the Internet.