Pope Francis set to make London-born teenager, who died aged 15, first millennial saint

A London boy who died of leukaemia aged 15 is to become the Catholic church’s first millennial saint.

Pope Francis decreed that a second posthumous miracle has been attributed to Carlo Acutis, qualifying the teenager for canonisation.

Carlo was born and baptised in the capital in 1991.

Of 912 people canonised by Pope Francis, the earliest date of birth was previously 1926.

Dubbed “the cyberapostle of the Eucharist”, Carlo was suggested as a patron saint of the internet due to his love of computer programming and building websites.

His Italian mother and a half-English, half-Italian father who was working in the UK as a merchant banker were non-practicing.

Carlo’s family moved back to Milan when he was young and he was reportedly very devout from an early age, taking communion every day.

Having researched the miracles and apparitions, he used his computer skills to create website documenting their histories, which brought him to the attention of the Vatican.

Mr Acutis’ nickname, God’s influencer, has been attributed to him after his death due to this work.

His mother, Antonia Salzano, said her son would offer to support classmates whose parents were going through divorces, defend bullied disabled peers and take meals and sleeping bags to local rough sleepers in Milan.

Carlo fell ill while considering becoming a priest.

Carlo Acutis was born in London (carloacutis.com)
Carlo Acutis was born in London (carloacutis.com)

After the infection failed to clear up, he was taken to hospital where he was eventually diagnosed with an aggressive form of leukaemia - cancer of the blood. He died a short time later.

Carlo told his parents that he would give her many signs of his presence after death, reportedly telling them: “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.”

Since his death, he has built up a global following of devotees who see him as a role model for modern youths.

No date has yet been set for the canonisation, but it could take place next year.

When the Catholic church first announced it was considering Carlo, his mother told The Times: “Sometimes these beautiful [saints] are all very old and used to live in a very different world so young people don’t feel so close to them.

“Carlo was young and handsome and always smiling and was a computer genius and would play on his PlayStation and Game Boy.

“To have a saint that played with the same things as you do is something that really touches these young people.”