Italian teenage computer wizard set to become the first saint of the millennial generation

The body of a teen boy is visible as he lies in state.
Carlo Acutis, an Italian who died at age 15 of leukemia in 2006, lies in state in Assisi, Italy, four years ago. Pope Francis has paved the way for the canonization of Acutis, who will be the first saint of the millennial generation.
(Gregorio Borgia / Associated Press)

Pope Francis has paved the way for the canonization of the first saint of the millennial generation, attributing a second miracle to a 15-year-old Italian computer whiz who died of leukemia in 2006.

Carlo Acutis, who was born May 3, 1991, in London and moved with his Italian parents to Milan as a child, was beatified — the first step to sainthood — in 2020. Francis announced on Thursday he would convene a Consistory of Cardinals to deliberate the canonization of Acutis.

Touted as the “patron saint of the internet,” Acutis used his tech talent to create a website to catalog miracles and took care of websites for some local Catholic organizations. In elementary school, he taught himself to code using a university computer science textbook, then learned how to edit videos and create animation.


Acutis, who died of acute leukemia on Oct. 12, 2006, was put on the road to sainthood after the pope approved the first miracle attributed to him: the healing of a 7-year-old Brazilian boy from a rare pancreatic disorder after coming into contact with an Acutis relic, a piece of one of his T-shirts.

According to Vatican News, the second miracle recognized Thursday is related to a woman from Costa Rica, who in July 2022 made a pilgrimage to Acutis’ tomb in Assisi to pray for the healing of her daughter. The young woman, who suffered severe head trauma after falling from her bicycle, immediately started showing signs of recovery, the report said.

When he was a small child, Acutis showed a religious devotion that surprised his nonpracticing parents. His mother, Antonia Salzano, recalled in an interview that from age 3 he would ask to visit churches they passed in Milan, and by age 7 had asked to receive the sacrament of Holy Communion, winning an exception to the customary age requirement. His curiosity pushed Salzano to study theology in order to answer his questions, renewing her own faith.

Acutis was buried in Assisi at his own request, having become an admirer of St. Francis of Assisi for his dedication to poor people.

The Umbrian town was one of his favorite travel destinations. His body, clad in a tracksuit and sneakers, has been on display for veneration in a sanctuary in the town, and his heart has been displayed in a reliquary in the St. Francis Basilica.