The Catholic Church Is About to Canonize Its First Gamer Saint

The Catholic Church is set to canonize its first-ever gamer saint, Carlo Acutis. At the age of 15, he lost his life to leukemia but has now been chosen for sainthood. A native of London, Acutis, who moved to Milan, Italy early in life, was deeply rooted in the Catholic faith and was dedicated to serving the community through acts like volunteering with the homeless, cleaning local areas, and working at his neighborhood church.

In addition to exhibiting a strong faith commitment, Acutis also had passions for video games, primarily playing Halo, Mario, and Pokémon. His mother revealed he only spent an hour a week on gaming due to concerns about addiction after purchasing a PlayStation at 8 years old. Acutis developed skills in technology and was well-known for his work documenting different Catholic miracles on a website of his own creation.

The first step in the canonization process of Carlo Acutis began six years after his death in 2012. He was declared “Venerable” in 2018 and moved on to be beatified only two years later in 2020, when the Catholic Church recognized that a miracle had been attributed to Acutis. A Brazilian child who suffered from a severe birth defect not able to consume food normally was healed allegedly after his mother prayed for Carlo’s intercession. With another miracle attributed to him relating to a Costa Rican girl whose head trauma was healed after she prays at Acutis’ tomb, he is now set for canonical.

Carlo’s canonization is significant on several fronts, as the first millennial saint of the Roman Catholic Church and the first known saint known to have played video games. Such an achievement is not the norm due to the length and stringency of the canonization process taking place over many years or centuries for most candidates. However, younger Catholics find Acutis relatable, which may help establish connections with younger individuals and digital natives, as the Church ongoing endeavors to engage members of this demographic.

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