TRIBUTES AND PRAISE POUR IN FOR AN ITALIAN PRIEST THAT GLADLY GAVE A RESPIRATOR BOUGHT FOR HIM BY HIS PARISHIONERS TO A YOUNG PRIEST INFECTED WITH THE CORONAVIRUS
An elderly Catholic priest has died from the COVID-19 coronavirus after refusing a ventilator so that a younger patient could use it instead.
Don Giuseppe Berardelli, 72, died March 15 at a hospital in Lovere, Italy after declining to use the medical equipment that his parishioners were said to have bought for him. Berardelli was a beloved figure well known for helping those with financial problems, as well as for riding on a motorcycle!
He was praised on English language social media on Monday after news of his sacrifice began to surface.
“He is 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,” prominent Jesuit priest James Martin tweeted. “Don Giuseppe Berardelli, a patron of those who suffer from coronavirus and all who care for them, pray for us!”
At least six priests including Berardelli reportedly died of the virus over the course of one week in the northern Italian province of Bergamo, with at least 14 more hospitalized. The province is one of many that have been hit hard during the pandemic, stretching hospitals past their capacity and causing essential medical equipment like ventilators to be in short supply.
In 2006 Don Giuseppe was appointed archpriest of Casnigo, he had had health problems but he fought with his usual smile and that grit to those who rely on God. He died at the Lovere hospital, there was no funeral but the people of Caserta greeted him in their own way, at noon on Monday 16 March they looked out onto the balcony of their home and greeted him with applause. May God Bless Don Giuseppe Berardelli.