Pope Francis Clears Way for First Millennial Saint

pope francis clears way for first millennial saint

ASSISI, ITALY - OCTOBER 10: A tapestry featuring a portrait of Carlo Acutis is hang at the St. Francis Basilica during the beatification ceremony of Carlo Acutis, on October 10, 2020 in Assisi, Italy. The fifteen-year-old Carlo Acutis member of the Millennial generation who died on 12 October 2006 from M3 fulminant leukemia, is considered a "computer geek" on account of his passion and skill with computers and the internet. Acutis applied himself to creating a website dedicated to cataloguing each reported Eucharistic miracle in the world. (Photo by Vatican Pool/Getty Images)

Pope Francis has cleared the way for the first Millennial sainthood after attributing a second miracle to an Italian teenager who died at the age of 15.

Carlos Acutis, who has been dubbed "God's influencer" and "the patron saint of the internet," used his computer skills during his short life to spread the Catholic faith online.

Acutis was born in London in 1991 to Italian parents, but grew up in Milan. There, he created a website to catalog miracles and took care of websites for local Catholic organizations, Reuters reported. He died of acute leukemia on October 12, 2006.

Acutis was put on the path to sainthood after Francis approved a miracle attributed to him in 2020, saying he had interceded to heal a 7-year-old Brazilian boy who had a rare pancreatic disorder after the boy came into contact with a piece of one of Acutis' T-shirts.

Francis approved the latest miracle attributed "to the intercession of Blessed Carlo Acutis" during a meeting with the head of the Vatican's Congregation for the Causes of Saints, Cardinal Marcello Semeraro, on Thursday, according to a statement from the Vatican press office.

The attribution of a second miracle means Acutis can now be elevated to sainthood, although the Vatican did not say when this would happen.

The Vatican has been contacted for further comment via email.

The latest miracle attributed to Acutis' intercession concerns the healing of Valeria Valverde, a 21-year-old girl from Costa Rica who suffered a serious head injury following a bicycle accident while she was studying in the Italian city of Florence in the summer of 2022, the Catholic News Agency reported.

The girl's family were told by doctors that she was near death after she underwent an emergency craniotomy, the news agency reported. But six days after the accident, Valverde's mother prayed for her recovery at Acutis' tomb in Assisi, a town in Italy's Umbria region.

That day, Valverde began to breathe on her own and she was discharged from intensive care 10 days after her mother's pilgrimage.

Further tests showed that the contusion Valverde had in her brain had completely disappeared, the news agency reported.

Acutis "used the internet in service of the gospel, to reach as many people as possible," Cardinal Agostino Vallini said during his beatification ceremony in the Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi in October 2020, The Associated Press reported at the time.

Update 5/23/24, 8:20 a.m. ET: This article has been updated with additional information.

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