Life of a Brave: Br. Artemide Zatti To Be First Salesian Brother Canonized As A Saint In The Catholic Church
By: Connor Sheehan, Editor-in-Chief
The Holy Father, Pope Francis, announced the certification and widespread publication of the decree that proclaims the miracles of God that were seen through Artemide Zatti’s works as true, paving the way for Zatti to be the first Salesian brother to be canonized as a Saint.
Br. Artemide, born on October 12th, 1880, in Boretto, Italy, was a prolific lay Salesian Brother and doctor. He immigrated to Bahía Blanca, Argentina at 17 but spent the rest of his life in Viedma, Argentina. An immigrant, he assimilated to Argentinian culture by a Salesian parish in Bahía Blanca and attending Spanish language masses held by Salesian Priest Fr. Carlo Cavalli, who later guided Br. Artemide to a Salesian life.
He ran a pharmacy and hospital for the sick and poor for forty years, in which time he cared and aided countless patients and provided hundreds of jobs and opportunities for work to his community in Viedma. His philosophy, adapted from his predecessor and mentor, Fr. Evaristo Garrone, was to provide all patients, no matter their class, with high quality and holistic care. He followed Garrone’s philosophy: “He who has little, pays little and the one who has nothing pays nothing.”
Poverty stricken and sickly as a child, he decided to renounce the priesthood and dedicate his life to help those who were afflicted with those same blights after he was cured of tuberculosis by the intercession of Mary Help of Christians when promised to dedicate his life to service if he was healed. He would later write of the events of his curing.
“I believed, because I knew by reputation that Mary Help of Christians helped him [(Father Garrone)] in visible ways. I promised, because it was always my desire to help my neighbor in some way. And, since God listened to his servant, I recovered,” Br. Artemide wrote.
Br. Artemide was a fervent and proud Salesian. He undoubtedly lived the message St. John Bosco preached to the first Salesians that were sent to the Americas on missionary vocations.
“Take special care of the sick, the children, the elderly, the poor, and you will receive God’s blessing and the respect of those around you,” Don Bosco said.
After his death, several miracles were attributed to his intercession with God. He was beatified and declared blessed by St. John Paul II on April 14, 2002.
Br. Artemide embodied all it meant to be a Salesian and Catholic. His example of tireless dedication, strong belief and unbounding love and care are now being immortalized. He is to be a patron of immigrants and pharmacists.
Saint Artemide Zatti is due to be canonized at St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican tomorrow. Salesian Rector Major Fr. Ángel Fernández Artime and the Pope are set to make appearances. A livestream of the festivities can be viewed via the Salesian Info Agency’s (ANS) YouTube channel here – or alternatively, at their Facebook page, here.