Carlo Acutis: British computer whizz is beatified in cathedral in Italy

A British-born computer whizz who died from leukaemia aged 15 has been placed on the path to sainthood during a beatification ceremony at a cathedral in Italy.

Carlo Acutis, who was born in London in 1991 to Italian parents before moving as a child to Milan, was honoured with a ceremony at the Basilica of San Francesco d’Assisi in Assisi, central Italy, on Saturday.

Despite being born to non-practicing Christian parents, Acutis became devout at a young age – asking to be taken into churches aged three. Aged 11, he used his IT skills to create websites documenting  miracles. He died in 2006.

The beatification ceremony acknowledges that Acutis has performed one miracle – decreed by Pope Francis to be the healing of a seven-year-old Brazilian boy who was cured of a pancreatic disorder in 2013 after praying to Acutis and coming into contact with a relic, in the form of a piece of his t-shirt.

Carlo Acutis, a British-born Italian who died from leukaemia aged 15 in 2006, has taken the first step towards sainthood after being beatified at the Basilica of San Francesco d'Assisi in central Italy

Carlo Acutis, a British-born Italian who died from leukaemia aged 15 in 2006, has taken the first step towards sainthood after being beatified at the Basilica of San Francesco d’Assisi in central Italy 

Acutis, who has been nicknamed the 'Patron Saint of the Internet', came to the attention of the Vatican aged 11 when he used his IT skills to program websites documenting Eucharistic miracles and Marian apparitions (pictured, a relic containing the boy's preserved heart is placed on display during the ceremony)

Acutis, who has been nicknamed the ‘Patron Saint of the Internet’, came to the attention of the Vatican aged 11 when he used his IT skills to program websites documenting Eucharistic miracles and Marian apparitions (pictured, a relic containing the boy’s preserved heart is placed on display during the ceremony)

Despite being born to non-practicing parents, Acutis became devout at a young age - asking to be taken into churches aged three, and receiving the sacrament aged seven after being granted an exemption due to his age

Despite being born to non-practicing parents, Acutis became devout at a young age – asking to be taken into churches aged three, and receiving the sacrament aged seven after being granted an exemption due to his age

Acutis's parents, Antonia (front) and Andrea (rear) are greeted by Cardinal Agostino Vallini during the beatification ceremony in Assisi, central Italy, on Saturday

Acutis’s parents, Antonia (front) and Andrea (rear) are greeted by Cardinal Agostino Vallini during the beatification ceremony in Assisi, central Italy, on Saturday

The ceremony began with a procession through Assisi, which drew some 3,000 people, most of whom watched the beatification on large screens outside the church

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TikTok Users in UK, Germany, France, Italy, Norway: Ages, Screentime, Open Rates

    

Photographer: Brent Lewin/Bloomberg

One in four Britons use TikTok every month, with 17 million regulars spending just over an hour a day on the app, signaling the upstart social network has built a local following almost half as large as Facebook Inc.’s in just three years. 

The data, seen by Bloomberg and contained within a presentation this summer from TikTok’s marketing solutions arm, TikTok for Business, shows that among that group four in 10 are between the ages of 18 and 24 as monthly active users, so-called MAUs. The average Brit uses the app for 66 minutes a day and opens TikTok 13 times in 24 hours. 

In comparison, marketing and research firms We Are Social and Hootsuite estimate Facebook has 37 million users in the U.K.

TikTok has grown prodigiously as more people seek entertainment during lockdowns triggered by the coronavirus. A similar presentation distributed in the first quarter of the year pegged TikTok at 10 million regular users in the U.K. A TikTok representative in London declined to comment on the data.

Despite travails in the U.S., where President Donald Trump has threatened to ban it, and India, where the government barred it from citizens’ phones, TikTok has continued to grow elsewhere in the world. Its signature shortform video has proven so popular that Instagram, owned by Facebook, rolled out a competing offering, Reels, earlier this summer, while Google followed with YouTube Shorts, which shares similarities with TikTok.

The future of TikTok’s U.K. business is unlikely to get caught in the crossfire between the U.S. and China.  Trump ordered parent company ByteDance to sell its U.S. arm on grounds of national security and privacy—but the U.K. business is to remain under ByteDance’s Chinese owners. Some other details from around Europe:

  • British users