Thursday, March 05, 2020 - Updated: 1:25 pm
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis formally recognized a miracle attributed to the intercession of Carlo Acutis, a 15-year-old Italian teenager who the pope has said is a role model for young men and women today.
In a meeting Feb. 22 with Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciu, prefect of the Congregation for Saints’ Causes, the pope advanced the sainthood causes of Acutis, as well as one woman and seven men, including Jesuit Father Rutilio Grande and his two companions who were murdered in El Salvador in 1977.
The Vatican announced Feb. 23 that the pope had signed the decrees.
Antonia Salzano, Acutis’ mother, told Catholic News Service Feb. 24 that the news of the pope’s approval made her “really, really happy.”
“Pope Francis has always been close to Carlo; he quoted him in ‘Christus Vivit,’ and this was a great privilege in that he cited him as an example for young people in the whole world,” Salzano said.
In “Christus Vivit” (“Christ Lives”), Pope Francis’ exhortation on young people, he said the teen was a role model for young people today who are often tempted by the traps of “self-absorption, isolation and empty pleasure.”
Before his death from leukemia in 2006, Acutis was an average teen with an above-average knack for computers. He put that knowledge to use by creating an online database of Eucharistic miracles around the world.
Salzano told CNS that her son’s work, which included a traveling exhibition of eucharistic miracles, has been displayed “on every continent” and was the inspiration behind the documentary, “Segni” (“Signs”), which was produced by the Vatican Dicastery for Communication in October 2018.