Tech-savvy teen to become Catholic Church's first millennial saint

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. - The Catholic Church will soon grant sainthood to a teenager who used his knack for programming to spread the faith.

Carlo Acutis will become the church’s first millennial saint. Acutis died from leukemia in 2006, but he left a lasting legacy by creating a website to document miracles and later being credited with miracles of his own.

Archbishop Nelson Perez of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia said Acutis’ dedication and gift for technology has caused many across the globe to consider him the patron saint of the internet.

"He’s taken the world by storm," he said. "A young 15-year-old captured the imagination of the world."

Acutis was born in Italy and formed a strong devotion to the Catholic Church as early as age 7, attending daily mass and returning his parents to the church. Perez said Acutis’ love for the Eucharist, which represents God’s presence among believers, led him to help others document miracles online.

"He used the internet to speak about God and God’s love for people’s lives," he said.

After his death, Catholics enamored with Acutis’ life began praying to him, creating a buzz in the church when people began to claim Acutis had blessed them.

Sainthood requires the saint to have two miracles recognized by the church, and Aticus received his first when a young man from Brazil with a serious brain injury healed after touching Acutis’ shirt. Later, a child with a malformed pancreas prayed to Acutis and recovered his ability to eat, marking the second miracle.

Now, the young man known as "God’s influencer" is due to be canonized as a saint because of all he accomplished in his short life.

"A sense of devotion developed around this young, wonderful life after he passed," Perez said.