Why is Carlo Acutis, an Italian teen, being granted sainthood? What miracles are attributed to him? | World News - Hindustan Times
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Why is Carlo Acutis, an Italian teen, being granted sainthood? What miracles are attributed to him?

May 24, 2024 11:49 PM IST

Nicknamed “God's Influencer,” Acutis, who died in 2006, is set to become the Catholic Church's first millennial saint.

Carlo Acutis, an Italian teenager, will soon become the first millennial to be granted sainthood. On Thursday, the Vatican announced that Pope Francis recognised a second miracle attached to his name, paving the way for his future canonisation. " Informally dubbed God's Influencer,” he unfortunately passed away on October 12, 2006, at the age of 15, after succumbing to leukaemia.

FILE - An image of 15-year-old Carlo Acutis, an Italian boy who died in 2006 of leukemia, is seen during his beatification ceremony celebrated by Cardinal Agostino Vallini, center, in the St. Francis Basilica, in Assisi, Italy, on Oct. 10, 2020. Pope Francis has paved the way for the canonization of the first saint of the millennial generation on Thursday, attributing a second miracle to a 15-year-old Italian computer whiz who died of leukemia in 2006. Carlo Acutis, born on May 3, 1991, in London and then moved with his Italian parents to Milan as a child, was the youngest contemporary person to be beatified by Francis in Assisi in 2020. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia, File)(AP)
FILE - An image of 15-year-old Carlo Acutis, an Italian boy who died in 2006 of leukemia, is seen during his beatification ceremony celebrated by Cardinal Agostino Vallini, center, in the St. Francis Basilica, in Assisi, Italy, on Oct. 10, 2020. Pope Francis has paved the way for the canonization of the first saint of the millennial generation on Thursday, attributing a second miracle to a 15-year-old Italian computer whiz who died of leukemia in 2006. Carlo Acutis, born on May 3, 1991, in London and then moved with his Italian parents to Milan as a child, was the youngest contemporary person to be beatified by Francis in Assisi in 2020. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia, File)(AP)

Born in London on May 3, 1991, the computer prodigy was an avid gamer. However, as recounted on carlosacutis.com, in addition to his “main duties… as that of student and son,” he used his technological expertise at a young age to spread the word about the Catholic faith online before his death from cancer.

As the first step towards his sainthood, the Pope beatified Blessed Carlo Acutis in 2020 in Assisi, where his remains are buried today and enshrined. His path to canonisation first came to light when Pope Francis attributed a miracle to Carlo.

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A second miracle was required for him to officially attain sainthood, which was ultimately recognised on Thursday and helped Carlo earn the title.

Why is Carlo Acutis attaining sainthood?

Carlo Acutis' miracles: In 2020, the Italian teenager was beatified when the first miracle was attributed to him. For the said marvellous wonder, Carlo supposedly healed a Brazilian child troubled by a congenital disease impacting his pancreas.

Following the recognition of his first miracle, his mother, Antonia Acutis, spoke to The New York Times. In her 2020 interview with the American news outlet, she revealed that Carlo started attending daily mass at 7, reigniting her faith as she joined the Church again. His mother also claimed that several people from across the globe had witnessed a turning point in their lives upon being blessed with medical miracles after they prayed to Carlo.

Dubbed the “influencer for God,” “Carlo was the light answer to the dark side of the web,” said Ms Acutis.

As for the second miracle credited to him that ultimately made things official, Acutis was involved in helping a university student grappling with head trauma.

According to Vatican News, Carlo's recognition was attributed to a Costa Rican woman's prayers being answered. Blessed Carlo's remains are enshrined in the Italian town of Assisi alongside other relics associated with him. A woman named Liliana reportedly visited the tomb on July 8, 2022, and left a letter detailing her troubles.

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In her written account, she mentioned her daughter Valeria, who had fallen off her bicycle in Florence on July 2. Upon her accident, she suffered “severe head trauma and required craniotomy surgery and the removal of the right occipital bone to reduce pressure on her brain." Doctors solemnly claimed she had a very low chance of survival.

Liliana’s secretary addressed her pleas to Blessed Carlo, and eventually, she also visited his shrine. Reportedly, the same day, she discovered that her daughter had “begun to breathe spontaneously.” Valeria subsequently also started moving and gradually regained her speech. As she showed visible signs of improvement, a CT scan also revealed that her brain's haemorrhage had supposedly disappeared ten days after her mother embarked on her pilgrimage. The previously afflicted girl was then transferred to a rehabilitation facility.

A date for Carlo's formal canonisation ceremony has yet to be announced. According to The Times, Kathleen Sprows Cummings, a professor of history at the University of Notre Dame and the author of ‘A Saint of Our Own: How the Quest for a Holy Hero Helped Catholics Become American’, stated that Carlo's example would help bridge the gap between the Church and young Catholics.

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