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Why the impending sainthood of video game-playing teenager Carlo Acutis captures the Catholic imagination  

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An image of 15-year-old Carlo Acutis, an Italian boy who died in 2006 of leukemia, is unveiled during his beatification ceremony celebrated by Cardinal Agostino Vallini in the St. Francis Basilica, in Assisi, Italy, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

The news that the canonization of Italian teenager Carlo Acutis was imminent made headlines and continues to capture the imagination of Catholics across the globe. The 15-year-old who died of leukemia in 2006 would be the first millennial saint and likely the first to learn how to code and enjoy Nintendo Game Boy. But it was Acutis’ religious devotion and use of digital technology to teach others about Catholicism, through sites he created about Eucharistic miracles, that brought him to the attention of church faithful. In May, Pope Francis recognized a second miracle attributed to Acutis, clearing the way for his likely canonization next year.

Northeastern Global News spoke to Sarah Riccardi-Swartz, a Northeastern professor of religion and anthropology, about what makes Acutis suitable for sainthood in the digital age. Riccardi-Swartz is also the author of “Between Heaven and Russia: Religious Conversion and Political Apostasy in Appalachia.”

Continue reading at Northeastern Global News.

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