The Catholic Church took its first step towards making a 15-year-old the “patron saint of the internet.” Carlo Acutis passed away in 2006 from leukemia and was beatified — meaning that he is now in heaven and can provide guidance to those who pray to them — making this the first step towards becoming a saint.
Pope Francis announced in February that Acutis was able to perform his first miracle on a seven-year-old boy who prayed to him. According to the pope, the boy was healed of his rare pancreatic cancer when he came in contact with one of Acutis’ old shirts. Later this year, in June, the Catholic Church announced that Acutis was to be beatified.
According to the rules set forth by the Catholic church, a person needs to perform two miracles to become a saint. They rarely do so, but pontiffs do drop the two miracle requirement for some people.
The church was made aware of Acutis because of a website he made to keep track of miracles and in 2017, Pope Francis said that he used the internet to “communicate values and beauty.”
Acutis came up with a saying to help guide people in their usage of the internet, which Pope Francis repeated. “Everyone is born an original,” he said, “but many die like photocopies.”
Many have called him the “patron saint of the internet,” but the Catholic Church has yet to determine which part of the internet he will be the patron of if his place as a saint is solidified.
Cardinal Agostino Vallini, at the beatification ceremony last week, said Acutis “used the internet in service of the Gospel, to reach as many people as possible,” and that he saw the internet as a place to use with responsibility, without becoming enslaved.”