'God's influencer' Carlo Acutis to become first millennial Saint after Pope Francis approval

Blessed Carlo Acutis, a 15-year-old Italian teenager who died of leukemia in 2006, is set to become the first-ever millennial Saint after Pope Francis formally recognized a second miracle attributed to him.

During a meeting on Thursday with Cardinal Marcello Semeraro, prefect of the Dicastery for Saints' Causes, Pope Francis signed a decree advancing the sainthood of Blessed Acutis.

Acutis, known as the "Saint in Sneakers" and "God's influencer," lived a life dedicated to Jesus Christ.

He was born and baptized in London to Italian parents in 1991, but his family moved back to Milan when he was still an infant.

"To always be close to Jesus, that's my life plan," Acutis wrote in a journal at the age of 7.

He prayed a daily rosary and was devoted to Our Lady and the Eucharist.

"The Eucharist is the highway to heaven," wrote Acutis. People get tan when they sit in the sun, "but when they sit before Eucharistic Jesus, they become saints."

Acutis died at the age of 15 on Oct. 12, 2006, after being diagnosed with an aggressive form of leukemia.

"I'm happy to die because I've lived my life without wasting even a minute of it doing things that wouldn't have pleased God," Acutis wrote on his deathbed, according to America Magazine.

He was beatified by the Catholic Church during a mass at the Basilica of St. Francis in October 2020 after Pope Francis formally recognized a miracle attributed to Acutis' intercession.

The first miracle involved the miraculous healing of a young Brazilian boy in 2013, while the second miracle involved the healing of a young Costa Rica girl in 2018.

The Brazilian boy, Mattheus Vianna, was born with a serious birth defect that made him unable to keep his food down. Once Vianna touched Acutis's relic, he was miraculously healed.

The young Costa Rica girl suffered a severe head injury while studying in Italy in 2018. Doctors told her family that she would die at any moment. Her mother traveled to Assisi to pray at Acutis's tomb and later that day her daughter began to breathe on her own, making a full recovery.

According to the saints' dicastery, Acutis designed websites in high school for a nearby parish, his Jesuit-run high school, and the Pontifical Academy "Cultorum Martyrum." He also assembled an online database of Eucharistic miracles worldwide.

Acutis volunteered at a soup kitchen run by the church, assisted the poor in his neighborhood, assisted children struggling with their homework, played saxophone, soccer, and videogames, and enjoyed making videos with his dogs and cats, according to the website dedicated to his cause for canonization.

Pope Francis has urged young people to learn about Blessed Acutis, saying that the soon-to-be Saint "did a great deal of good things," despite his short life.

"Above all, he was impassioned by Jesus; and since he was very good at getting around on the internet, he used it in the service of the Gospel, spreading love for prayer, the witness of faith and charity toward others," said Pope Francis earlier this year, according to America Magazine.

"Prayer, witness, and charity" were the hallmarks of Blessed Acutis' life, he said

Image: Title: Saint Carlo