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Computer Whiz Who Died In 2006 Could Become 1st Millennial Saint

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

The Catholic Church announced something unusual over the weekend.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

POPE FRANCIS: (Speaking Italian).

MARTIN: This is Pope Francis saying that 15-year-old Carlo Acutis has been beatified. Carlo died of leukemia in 2006.

NOEL KING, HOST:

The Catholic Church says that Carlo is in heaven, and all that's left in order for him to become a saint is that he performed two verified miracles. Now, the Vatican says he already completed one of those miracles from heaven in 2013 by saving a Brazilian boy who was suffering from pancreatic disease. Here's his mother, Antonia Salzano.

ANTONIA SALZANO: We are touching a lot of hearts. A lot of people are approaching themselves to the Eucharist and are getting closer to the sacraments.

MARTIN: Carlo Acutis created a website to catalog Eucharistic miracles, which are unexplained phenomena involving the Catholic communion. That's made him known among Catholics as a sort of unofficial patron saint of the Internet. Because Carlo died so young and so recently, his mother will be able to present at her son's beatification, which is a rare phenomenon itself.

SALZANO: And he used to say all are born as original, but many die as photocopies.

KING: Carlo's short and extraordinary life will be difficult to duplicate.

(SOUNDBITE OF U137'S "THE NOSTALGIC TUNE") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.