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Teenage Computer Whiz Beatified by Catholic Church

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portrait of Carlo Acutis unveiled during beatification ceremony

An image of 15-year-old Carlo Acutis was unveiled during his beatification ceremony in St. Francis Basilica, Assisi, Italy.

Credit: Gregorio Borgia / AP Photo

A 15-year-old Italian computer whiz who died of leukemia in 2006 moved a step closer to possible sainthood with his beatification in the town of Assisi, where he is buried.

Touted as the "patron saint of the Internet," Carlo Acutis had created a website to catalog miracles and took care of websites for some local Catholic organizations. While still in elementary school, Acutis taught himself to code using a university computer science textbook, and then learned how to edit videos and create animation.

At the beatification ceremony in the Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi, Cardinal Agostino Vallini read a proclamation decreed by Pope Francis.

"Carlo used the Internet in service of the Gospel, to reach as many people as possible," the cardinal said during his homily.

As a small child, Acutis showed a strong religious devotion that surprised his non-practicing parents. His mother told the Corriere della Sera newspaper that her son's curiosity prompted her to study theology, renewing her own faith.

"There was in him a natural predisposition for the sacred," she said.

From The Associated Press 
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