NEW YORK - Carlo Acutis looked like an ordinary teenager. However, Catholics around the world and Pope Francis believe that, during his short life, what he did here on Earth was extraordinary.
His mother, Antonia Salzano, said, "Carlo was very aware of this presence of God among us."
Before his 2016 Leukemia death at the age of 15, the devout Catholic became known as "the Patron Saint of the internet".
Salzano said, "Carlo is an influencer of God because he pushed us to know there is a supernatural life there is an afterlife."
She spoke about her late son from her home in Milan, Italy.
"We were aware Carlo was special," Salzano said. "The purity of his life, the chastity of his life."
She says Carlo, a computer whiz, taught himself to code in elementary school.
He created a web-site cataloging miracles through history. His website attracted followers around the world.
Salzano said, "A normal child with a normal computer was able to do so much evangelization from the internet to give the world the good aspect of the internet."
She says his devotion to God set him apart at an early age. She said Carlo asked to be taken inside a Catholic church when he was just 3-years-old.
She said, "He wanted to enter inside the churches he wanted to say hello to Jesus to the Holy Virgin especially in the Springtime really was special."
Pope Francis took notice of Carl’s good deeds, calling him a "model of holiness for young people."
In October 2020, Carlo was beatified in a ceremony in the Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi in Italy.
It’s the last step before being canonized as a saint by the pope.
America magazine associate editor Zac Davis said, "He's been investigated. His life has been investigate. His life has been considered holy and worthy of veneration and there's also been a miracle attributed to his intercession."
Carlo is credited with healing a 7-year-old boy from Brazil who suffered from a rare pancreatic disorder.
Davis said, "I would say the church does recognize someone like Carlo can be an inspiration to young people but also to lay people. Carlo isn't…he's not a priest, he's not a religious, not a theologian, he's just a kid like video games like Pokémon like the rest of us."
Father Mike Schmitz is the host of the podcast "The Bible in a Year." Like Carlo he uses modern ways to spread the word of God.
Fr. Schmitz said, "He's just continuing the work of what so many saints have done which is how do we use the tools at our disposal for good?"
Carlo’s mother is not longing for recognition from the Vatican. Carlo is already a saint in her heart.
Salzano said, "Carlo devoted his life to help people to understand really God exists and God is here with us."