A priest gives his life to save a young man

FILE PHOTO: Cemetery workers and funeral agency workers in protective masks transport a coffin of a person who died from coronavirus disease (COVID-19), into a cemetery in Bergamo
FILE PHOTO: Cemetery workers and funeral agency workers in protective masks transport a coffin of a person who died from coronavirus disease (COVID-19), into a cemetery in Bergamo, Italy March 16, 2020. REUTERS/Flavio Lo Scalzo/File Photo

Fr Giuseppe Berardelli, an Italian 72 yr old priest from Casnigo, Bergamo, sacrificed his life by giving the respirator his community had bought for him to a younger person whom he did not know. This act of altruism is a ray of hope in a city, Bergamo, at the epicentre of the Coronavirus crisis.

A member of the medical staff at the residential home San Giuseppe who witnessed this gesture claimed that “Fr Giuseppe died as a Priest. I am moved by the fact that this man, out of his free will passed on this respirator to someone else. Instead of saving his life he saved that of someone else.”

Fr Giuseppe died in hospital at Lovere and he is on of 30 priests who till now have died due to the Coronavirus in Italy, 16 of which in the diocese of Bergamo alone.

Fr James Martin, a prominent American Jesuit commentator shared this heartbreaking story on Twitter describing Berardelli as a martyr of Charity: “a saint-like St. Maximilian Kolbe, who in Auschwitz volunteered to take the place of a condemned man with a family, and was killed.”

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