A 15-year-old Italian computer whiz who died of leukemia in 2006 is on track to become the first patron saint of the internet, according to a report.
Carlo Acutis was credited with healing a 6-year-old Brazilian boy who inexplicably recovered in 2013 from a congenital deformation of the pancreas, the LA Times reported. A priest prayed to Carlo on the boy’s behalf.
“The boy was vomiting and risked dying. Then, on the third day of prayers, he started eating,” said Carlo’s mom Antonia Salzano, 53, according to the newspaper.
“We get news of miracles attributed to Carlo all the time,” Salzano added. “One woman was cured of her cancer after attending his funeral, and I heard of two more a few days ago.”
She said she could not imagine how her late son’s fame has spread since his death.
“It’s a mystery. I sense the finger of God,” she said. “Losing your son is the most terrible thing, but we are happy he is helping people discover their faith.”
Cardinal Angelo Becciu, the head of the Vatican’s saint-making department, said Carlo would be an ideal saint to protect web surfers.
“That’s my hope — he would be an ideal example for all young people,” Becciu told the LA Times.
In February, Francis attributed a miracle to Carlo, triggering his beatification. The ceremony will be held Oct. 10 in Assisi in the final step before sainthood.
The youngster from Milan used his computer skills to set up websites for priests and helped spread Roman Catholic teaching online, according to the report. He also donated his pocket money to poor residents.
When he was just 10, he created an online exhibit about religious miracles. Hundreds of parishes worldwide have printed material from his site to create exhibits of their own.
Last year, Pope Francis paid tribute to the benevolent teen and his online efforts to “communicate values and beauty” – and quoted a phrase coined by Carlo warning youth not to lose their individuality on the internet.
“Everyone is born an original, but many die like photocopies,” he said, adding: “Don’t let this happen.”
Becciu told Vatican News this month that when Carlo was near death, he said: “I want to offer all my suffering for the Lord, for the pope and for the church. I don’t want to do purgatory; I want to go straight to heaven.”
He added: “He said that at 15! A little boy who talks like that strikes us, and I think it encourages everyone not to joke with our faith, but to take it seriously.”