Carlo Acutis, child of the digital age, beatified

Carlo Acutis, child of the digital age, beatified

© KEYSTONE / AP / Gregorio Borgia

Described as a little computer genius by his relatives, Carlo Acutis, a very pious Italian teenager who died in 2006, was beatified on Saturday in Assisi (I). He becomes the first “millennial” to join the list of the blessed.

“All men are born as originals, but many die like photocopies, don’t let that happen to you!” recommended to his generation the young Carlo, died at 15 years of a lightning leukemia.

This quote was included by Pope Francis in 2019 in a long text addressed to young people, warning them against an Internet guided by “gigantic economic interests” and disseminating “false news”.

“It’s true that the digital world can expose you to the risk of withdrawal, isolation or empty pleasure. But don’t forget that there are young people who are also creative, and sometimes brilliant, in this environment “, wrote the Pope, brandishing the example of Carlo Acutis.

The Pope himself punctuated his text intended for young people with expressions drawn from new technologies, by saying for example that the memory of God “is not a hard disk” and that Jesus “is online”. The beatification scheduled for June had to be postponed due to the coronavirus epidemic.

“All my family in Argentina are very excited and ask me to pray for them and for Carlo too. And nothing, we are very happy,” Carla Fiezzi, a student who participated in the ceremony, told AFPTV.

“The young people were a little tired of a pastoral ministry perhaps out of phase with the times despite so much effort, but the Lord intervenes in history and human affairs and offers us these beacons of light”, esteemed for his part during the ceremony Father Enzo Fortunato, head of the press service of the Convent of Assisi.

Future patron saint of Internet users?

Born in London in 1991, Carlo Acutis died in the Milan area on October 12, 2006. He was declared “venerable” in the summer of 2018 and his remains were transferred to Assisi the following year.

A miracle, recognized this year by the Vatican, paved the way for his beatification, the last step before becoming a saint. In 2013, a Brazilian child, suffering from digestive disorders and a rare pancreatic abnormality, was rescued without medical operation after his family prayed for Carlo’s intercession, describes the Church.

Internet fan and gifted computer scientist, sports enthusiast, altruistic to the point of wanting to take care of the homeless, and above all inhabited by a precocious and intense faith according to his relatives, the young man born in a little practicing family had created religious digital sites as well as an exhibition documenting the Eucharistic miracles that have toured the world.

His mother Antonia Salzano confided in interviews that Carlo, who went to mass every day and took communion, imposed himself maximum times for using the internet because he did not want to become a “slave” to it. .

Obsolete computer

“What is incredible is that with a relatively obsolete computer after all, he has managed to reach thousands of people in all continents through an exhibition on miracles,” she said.

If he became a “saint” – thanks to the recognition of a second miracle – the Church would consider naming him patron saint of Internet users, the prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, the Los Angeles Times, said in late June. Cardinal Angelo Becciu, recently removed from office.

The only problem: the Church has already officially adopted in 2002 a “patron saint of the Internet” who has never surfed the world wide web. This is Isidore of Seville, Spanish archbishop of the 7th century who died in 636, who compiled an encyclopedic work in twenty volumes bringing together all the knowledge available at the time.


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