An Italian priest infected with Covid-19 died after giving his respirator to an unknown young man who was struggling to breathe.
The priest, Mr. Giuseppe Berardelli, 72, reportedly gave up the respirator that the parish community he served bought previously for him. Instead of using it for himself, Berardelli gave it to a young man he didn’t even know. He thought it could be more useful for the young boy.
Giuseppe Berardelli, who was the main priest in the city of Casnigo, was taken to Lovere Hospital, where he died within a few days, according to a Newsweek report.
There was no funeral for Berardelli, but when his coffin passed through the streets, residents cheered on him from their balconies.
The 72-year-old man was an admired man who enjoyed serving his community and was known for helping people with financial difficulties.
The extraordinary case was revealed by the Jesuit priest James Martin, from the United States, who forwarded this information to the Vatican Secretariat of Communications. The Italian news magazine Araberara published the story.
James Martin praised the Italian minister for his selfless sacrifice during this coronavirus pandemic.
Fr. Giuseppe Berardelli, a 72-year-old priest who gave a respirator (that his parishioners had purchased for him), to a younger patient (whom he did not know), has died from #coronavirus.
— James Martin, SJ (@JamesMartinSJ) March 24, 2020
«The priest of the motorcycle»
Clara Poli, mayor of Fiorano, where the priest worked, said: “He was a priest who listened to everyone. He knew how to listen. Whoever turned to him knew he could count on his help. I remember him on his old Guzzi motorcycle, he loved his motorcycle, and when you saw him go by he was always happy and full of enthusiasm, he gave peace and joy to our communities. ”
The Catholic News Agency reports that 60 priests have died in Italy during the month of March.
Most of the deceased were over 70 years old and some of the priests suffered from health problems. Until now, the youngest priest who died of coronavirus in Italy was Paolo Camminati, 53 years.