72-year-old Don Giuseppe Berardelli, a Catholic priest in Italy, has died of coronavirus after sacrificing his ventilator to a younger patient in need.
Italy is currently the worst hit country by the Coronavirus pandemic, with over 6,000 deaths already recorded, and there still being over 50,000 active cases in the country.
According to the Italian news site TgCom24, Don Giusseppe Berardelli renounced the respirator that parishioners “had purchased just for him” to ostensibly save the life of a stranger whom he “didn’t even know.”
Taking to social media to report the death of the priest, John Stone wrote;
“This priest, Suffering from the coronavirus, gave up his ventilator to give to a younger patient and has died. His name was Don Giuseppe Berardelli. He was 72 years old, from Bergamo.”
This priest, Suffering from the coronavirus, gave up his ventilator to give to a younger patient and has died. His name was Don Giuseppe Berardelli. He was 72 years old, from Bergamo. pic.twitter.com/3N1ONtxFjO
— John Stone (@Johnthemadmonk) March 23, 2020
Speaking with the Italian magazine Araberara, a health worker from the San Giuseppe retirement home said that they were deeply moved by Don Giuseppe’s show of Christian faith.
Giuseppe Imberti, the longtime mayor of Casnigo, described him as a man of “great kindness and helpfulness” who faithfully served his community.
“He was a simple, straightforward person, with a great kindness and helpfulness towards everyone, believers and non-believers,” said the mayor. “His greeting was ‘peace and good.’ Always friendly and available to the public administration, associations and not only those of the parish.”
“He was loved by everyone, his former parishioners still came from Fiorano after years to find him,” the mayor continued. “But he also had an incredible ability to solve economic problems, to knock on the right doors for help … An archpriest loved by all.”