An Italian priest, 72 has died of coronavirus after selflessly giving his own respirator to a younger patient he did not know.
According to Metro UK, Father Giuseppe Berardelli was the main priest in Casnigo, a municipality in the province of Bergamo which is now the epicentre of the worst Covid-19 outbreak in the world.
It was reported that his parishioners bought him a respirator after finding out that he suffered pre-existing health issues. However, he selflessly gave it to a younger patient who was struggling to breathe because of coronavirus, which has now killed more than 6,000 people in Italy.
Residents of Casnigo applauded from their windows and balconies as his coffin was taken for burial after his death last week in Lovere hospital, according to local media. The age and condition of the patient who received the respirator remains unknown. Jesuit priest James Martin, from the US, who is also a consult to the Vatican’s Secretariat for Communications, led tributes to Berardelli online, writing: ‘Greater love has no person…” (Jn 15:13)
‘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. ‘Don Giuseppe Berardelli, patron of those who suffer from coronavirus and all who care for them, pray for us!’ Some 60 priests are said to have died from coronavirus in Italy after the Pope called on them to ‘have courage’ to help the sick.
The total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Italy rose to 63,928 from 59,138 on Monday, but the rate of people dying appeared have slowed slightly. The World Health Organisation said on Tuesday that 85% of coronavirus cases reported over the past 24 hours have been in Europe and the United States.
Photo Credit: Metro UK (Fr. Giuseppe Berardelli)