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Italian teenager nicknamed ‘God’s influencer’ set to become Catholic Church’s first millennial saint

Carlo Acutis, an Italian teenager and computer prodigy who earned the nickname “God’s influencer,” is set to become the Catholic Church’s first millennial saint.

Pope Francis has recognized a second miracle attributed to Acutis, a gamer and computer programmer who died from leukemia in 2006 at age 15.

During his life, Acutis used his technological skills to spread awareness of the Catholic faith, including setting up a website documenting miracles.

Born in London 1991, he later moved to Milan, Italy with his family. Although Acutis’ parents were not religious, the young boy’s faith was nurtured by his Polish nanny. After his death, his body was moved to the Italian town of Assisi, where it is now displayed in a shrine, alongside other relics linked to him.

Prospective candidates for sainthood normally need to have two miracles attributed to them before they can be canonized. The latest miracle attributed to Acutis relates to the reported healing of a girl from Costa Rica who had suffered a head trauma after falling from her bicycle in Florence, Italy, where she was studying. Her mother said she prayed for her daughter’s recovery at the tomb of Acutis in Assisi.

Acutis was beatified and declared “blessed” after his first miracle in 2020, when he reportedly healed a Brazilian boy who had a birth defect in his pancreas that left him unable to eat food normally.

Following the attribution of two miracles, the next step is for the Pope to convene a meeting of cardinals to agree on Acutis’ sainthood and decide on a date for the canonization.

His story is seen as helpful for the Catholic Church as it seeks to connect better with younger generations in a digital age.

Acutis – considered a millennial as he was born between the early 1980s and mid-1990s – is remembered by friends and family as enjoying playing video games such as Halo, Super Mario and Pokémon.

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