The first saint of the millennial generation: Catholic church set to canonise 15-year-old boy who died from leukaemia as Pope clears way for him to become a saint

Saturday, May 25, 2024 - A London-born teenager, whose proficiency at spreading the teachings of the Catholic church online led to him being called “God's influencer”, is set to become a saint.

Today, May 24, Pope Francis declared Carlo Acutis, a 15-year-old boy who died of leukaemia in 2006, the first saint of the millennial generation.

This means Carlo Acutis would be the first millennial - a person born in the early 1980s to late 1990s - to be canonised.

It follows Pope Francis attributing a second miracle to him.

It involved the healing of a university student in Florence who had bleeding on the brain after suffering head trauma.

Carlo Acutis was beatified - the first step towards sainthood - in 2020, after he was attributed with his first miracle - healing a Brazilian child of a congenital disease affecting his pancreas.

The second miracle attributed to the intercession of Blessed Carlo Acutis was approved by the Pope following a meeting with the Vatican's saint-making department, paving the way for him to become the first millennial saint.

The recognition of the second miracle attributed to Acutis’ intercession makes it possible that Acutis could be canonized during the Catholic Church’s 2025 Jubilee Year.  The specific date when he will be canonised is not yet known.

In a decree on May 23, Pope Francis approved the miraculous healing of a 21-year-old girl from Costa Rica named Valeria Valverde who was near death after seriously injuring her head in a bicycle accident while studying in Florence in 2022.

Carlo Acutis, an Italian computer-coding teenager who died of cancer in 2006, is known for his great devotion to the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist.

He died in Monza, Italy, after being diagnosed with leukaemia, having spent much of his childhood in the country. His body was moved to Assisi a year after his death, and it currently resides on full display alongside other relics linked to him.

As well as designing websites for his parish and school, he became known for launching a website seeking to document every reported Eucharistic miracle, which was launched days before his death.

Mr Acutis' nickname, God's influencer, has been attributed to him after his death due to this work.

His website has now been translated into several different languages and used as the basis for an exhibition which has travelled around the world.
His life is also remembered in the UK, where in 2020, the Archbishop of Birmingham established the Parish of Blessed Carlo Acutis incorporating churches in Wolverhampton and Wombourne.

Also, there is a statue of the soon-to-be-saint in Carfin Grotto, a Roman Catholic shrine in Motherwell.

Miracles are typically investigated and assessed over several months, with a person eligible for sainthood after they have two to their name.

For something to be deemed a miracle, it typically requires an act seen to be beyond what is possible in nature - such as the sudden healing of a person deemed to be near death.

The most recent person to be canonised was Maria Antonia de Paz y Figueroa, also known as Mama Antula, an 18th-century religious sister who became Argentina's first female saint.

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