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Yes We San: Millennial Computer Whiz On Track to Become Youngest Modern Saint

An Italian teenager who built websites for his church is in line to be canonized.

By Katie Compa · May 30, 2024

Real talk: We hope the dress code isn't too strict. Nheyob/Wikimedia Commons

Disclaimer: While this article is based on infallible saintly facts, there are also some protruding horns of satire.

Naming people saints might seem like an outdated practice to most of us in modern times—but one person who disagrees is Pope Francis, or as we usually refer to him, “Way better than the last guy, at least, and probably better than the next one.” 

When he’s not insulting pet parents or using gay slurs, the Pontiff is quite focused on the future of the Church and remaining relevant to modern life. A computer-savvy Italian boy who died from leukemia at fifteen (sorry for the bummer, but we promise the sentence goes up from here!) is on track to become the millennial generation’s first saint. Suck it, Willennials.

Carlo Acutis was born in London in 1991 to Italian parents, and moved to Milan as a child. Carlo later managed the website for his local parish there, and after that for an academy based in the Vatican; he also created an online worldwide database of miracles. What a suck-up. Whoops! Sorry. Looks like we may be headed someplace warm in a hand basket, even though that joke is inappropriate more because of the Church’s actions than what we said.

What we meant to say was that clearly, this conclave of old men needed a kid to take care of the computers. We get it!

They work in mysterious ways.  Dominic Alves/Flickr

While Acutis won’t be the youngest saint ever (that honor goes to Saints Francisco and Jacinta Marto, Portuguese siblings who were beatified ten and nine years old respectively after dying in—well, this is awkward—the last deadly global pandemic in 1918). 

Moving right along, Acutis is the youngest contemporary person to be beatified by Pope Francis. His beatification ceremony took place in 2020 at the Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi, one of Italy’s (and the world’s) most famous churches, which must have been a thrill for the tourists. 

The requirements to become a saint are strict: Hopefuls must have worked two verifiable miracles to be canonized (versus only one to be beatified), and an investigation into the candidate’s life must yield evidence of exemplary goodness and virtue worthy of imitation, OR dying a heroic death (martyrdom), OR giving up a previously sinful life to devote oneself to holiness. (We know some people who’ve done something along the lines of that last one, and they are, we regret to say, sanctimonious—OUCH! Is it hot in here? Okay, jeez, we take it back.)

Acutis’s case is based on two miracles: in the first, he healed a Brazilian child of a congenital disease affecting his pancreas, and in the second, per the head of the Vatican’s saint-making department—which is real—he healed a university student in Florence who had a head injury causing a brain bleed… allegedly

Though Acutis passed away back in 2006, his road to sainthood has been relatively fast-tracked. One saint, the Venerable Bede, had to wait over a thousand years before making the cut. The official minimum, though, is only five years after death—and the Pope is allowed to cheat a little at that, INFALLIBLY (we assume this works like “allegedly”), as Pope Benedict demonstrated when he fast-tracked beatification of his (more popular) predecessor, John Paul II. In turn, JP2 had done the same for Mother Teresa, on whom we will hold our opinions, because it really is getting quite warm in here.

Our congrats to almost-San Carlo, and we know who we’ll be praying to next time our computer crashes.