Is the Internet Getting Its Own Patron Saint?

The first steps for one candidate are in the works

Vatican City
The Vatican might declare a patron saint of the internet.
Andreas Tille/Creative Commons
By Tobias Carroll / June 29, 2020 6:00 am

What does it take to make someone a saint? Fascinating books have been written on the subject of sainthood and its accompanying artifacts and relics. Cities can have patron saints — Los Angeles’s patron saint, for instance, lived long before the current city of Los Angeles was founded. So can nations, as it turns out; the story of Cuba’s patron saint is a fascinating one. But what about a place that, while far-reaching, occupies no clear physical location?

As it turns out, the internet may also be getting its very own patron saint. Writing at the Los Angeles Times, Tom Kingston has the story of the person who may well become the first patron saint of all things online. Specifically, it’s to a computer expert and devout Catholic who died at a tragically young age:

Carlo Acutis, an Italian schoolboy who helped spread Roman Catholic teaching online before he died of leukemia in 2006, is the perfect candidate to become the protector of web surfers, said Cardinal Angelo Becciu, the head of the Vatican’s saint-making department.

Earlier this year, the beatification process for Acutis began. This followed Pope Francis’s declaration that a miracle had taken place in Carlo’s name. If a second miracle can be verified, he will eligible for sainthood — and would be a likely choice for patron saint of the internet. Cardinal Becciu told the Los Angeles Times that the decision is ultimately the Pope’s to make.

Kingston notes in his article that Pope Francis has spoken frequently about the internet. Ergo, having a patron saint for it would be entirely in keeping with his papacy. While a patron saint of the internet might seem like an odd idea at first, reading about Acutis’s life story makes it seem like a fitting decision.

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